As you mentioned they are illegal, at the same time they are not very effective and became almost extinct even with the special services. The problem with the spring shooting knife is that the blade does not have enough mass for a good stopping power. Increasing the mass of the blade requires to increase the strength of spring which becomes impractical because of the size/weight and reloading dificulties. The effective distance for the knife on the photo(Russian made) is about 15 feet although the blade itself would fly much farther (up to 75 feet).
In many states (e.g. California) self defence with a knife would be looked upon a lot more unfavourably than with the gun.
if you worry about your safety and cannot get a concealed carry permit, I would recommend a taser. Attachment: 10.25 KB
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