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I suspect users have had assisted-openers confiscated by customs, as a lot of countries (including mine) will define them as illegal switchblades.
This, of course, should not affect the imports of regular folding knives. I think that if Massdrop restricts assisted openers only, they could open up folders for a lot of countries.
Yes, I've had a Kershaw chive confiscated by UK's finest - and despite my showing them evidence of many places in the UK where they could be freely purchased, they refused to accept that it wasn't a "flick-knife". My only option would have been recourse to a Court hearing which would have been a little risky on a $30 knife. In the end I just swallowed the loss and bought one off Amazon UK for £30. It happens.
In Norway there are shops still selling assisted openers. However 10 assisted openers were confiscated by customs in 2012, and the following court proceedings in 2013 led the court to determine that these were in fact switchblades by Norwegian law and therefore illegal.
However, one-hand-openers (stud or hole, no spring) are perfectly legal to own and import. Norwegian customs are very service-minded and I am sure I can even get them to issue a statement to this effect, if Massdrop is interested.
AO is a sort of legal limbo at the moment in the UK. If taken to court I would bet highly that they would be found illegal and classed under automatic knives.
Thanks for the offer Ikkef, we may take you up on that at some point. Right now though we are exploring all of our options to try and find a way to reopen shipping to our international members, but I have no time estimate of when that might happen. Thanks for your patience.