Author Topic: Syderco's balisong legal troubles  (Read 11600 times)


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Syderco's balisong legal troubles
« on: April 13, 2007, 10:46:12 AM »


OAKLAND - LAWFUEL - American Law Newswire - United States Attorney Scott N. Schools announced that Spyderco, Inc., a Colorado corporation, pleaded guilty and was sentenced today to mailing butterfly knives, which are nonmailable, to pay a $75,000 criminal fine, a $125 special assessment, and to forfeit all such knives seized by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement from its corporate offices in Golden, Colorado (estimated to be valued at over $400,000). The guilty plea and sentence is the result of an investigation by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE").

In pleading guilty, Spyderco admitted that from June 2005 through January 2007, it had mailed butterfly knives, after importing the knife components from Taipei, Taiwan, through the Port of San Francisco and the Port of Oakland, to Golden, Colorado. The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol had issued a ruling to Spyderco holding that these knives fit the definition of "switchblade knives" as an imported knife "with a blade which opens automatically by operation of inertia, gravity, or both" and were therefore not allowed into the United States pursuant to the Switchblade Knife Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1241-1245, and were further not to be mailed in the United States.

Spyderco agreed to issue a Notice of Recall on its internet site for these butterfly knives and to mail this recall notice to reasonably identifiable customers. Spyderco also agreed not to import, transport, distribute, manufacture, sell, introduce, or attempt to introduce into interstate commerce knives defined as switchblades under the Switchblade Knife Act, in violation of the law.

The sentence was handed down by U.S. Magistrate Judge Wayne D. Brazil following the corporate guilty plea to one violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1716(j)(1), a class A misdemeanor.

Maureen Bessette is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the case with the assistance of Cynthia Daniel. The prosecution is the result of a one year investigation by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Further Information:

Case #: CR0700203WDB

A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at

Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at

Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s website at

All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Natalya LaBauve at (415) 436-7055 or by email at


SpyderFly/SzaboFly Recall Announcement

(2007-04-12) US Customs brought to our attention that some of the parts used in the construction of the SpyderFly/SzaboFly were imported contrary to U. S. Customs laws. Additionally, federal statutes require that only certain classes of individuals may purchase knives that fall within the definition of switchblade knives under the federal Switchblade Knife Act, 15 U.S.C. §§1241-1245. Switchblade knives may be lawfully acquired and possessed in particular state and local jurisdictions. In other jurisdictions, they may not. They may be transported in interstate commerce only under certain circumstances. Accordingly, it is incumbent upon anyone acquiring a knife that may fall within the legal definition of a switchblade knife to check the Federal law and laws of your local jurisdiction to determine whether such a knife may be lawfully acquired or possessed. In order to comply with US Customs regulations, Spyderco will not be manufacturing this product in the future with any improperly imported components. They will be shipped only to persons legally authorized by law to acquire them. In order to conform to legal requirements, Spyderco is asking for any purchaser of the B01 SpyderFly or B03 SzaboFly from January 1, 2006, through January, 2007, to review the attached Acknowledgement and Representation form to determine whether he or she qualifies as an authorized dealer or purchaser of the knife that was acquired from Spyderco. If so, please execute the form and return it to Spyderco. If you did not qualify as an authorized dealer or purchaser at the time of acquisition of the knife(s), please return your purchase directly to Spyderco for a credit or refund. Please cut and paste this link into your browser for the form: Please contact Spyderco at 800-525-7770 for more information.


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Re: Syderco's balisong legal troubles
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2007, 04:59:56 PM »
What is amazing is that in this age of international terrorists attempting murder on a catastrophic scale, we have the Govt. worrying about a type of knife. Just plain silly, not to mention stupid.


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Re: Syderco's balisong legal troubles
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2007, 10:06:51 PM »
Does anyone have any more info on this,I smell a rat.  It just seems odd with all the balis flying around the internet, that they decided to go after spyderco. As I understand it the blades were imported and the handles,finishing and assembly was done here.

Spyderco is a great company, the bigger they get the better their products. They have also made a huge effort to to produce more and more of their products in the US.  That is a rarity in the free market, let alone the knife market. Oh, and they tend to come up with their own ideas for their products.

And no, I'm not sponsored by or make any money from spyderco. I had one of their enduras for over a decade that I beat to hell. I used it every day for all those things you wouldn't use one of your "nice" knives for.  I had sharpened it to death, broke the lock and snapped the clip off. I sent it in expecting nothing and they sent me a brand new knife for free, how many company's would do that?

I hope people support them during this asinine witch hunt and buy their products.