Knives and the Law...

Knives and the Law...

This is a discussion on Knives and the Law... within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Here in Kentucky, we have a very nice set of laws that deal with firearms. In essence, if we are law abiding citizens, we can ...

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Thread: Knives and the Law...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array EvilMonk's Avatar
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    Knives and the Law...

    Here in Kentucky, we have a very nice set of laws that deal with firearms. In essence, if we are law abiding citizens, we can OC without issue (most times), and with the CCDW, we can carry concealed as well.

    The only three places I can't carry here are a Federal Building, a bar, and a School Zone. I could care less about the Federal Buildings, and I'm not much of a drinker (but it would be nice, since the Wife likes to hang out in one for lunch), and the law specifically provides for me to carry on School property while picking up and dropping off the kiddo. All in all, I can't complain.

    But...

    Knives are a different story. When I called the KSP (Kentucky State Police) while waiting for my CCDW to arrive, I spoke to their Legal Office in regards to the law (most states SHOULD have this very useful service). Firearms drew no raised eyebrows or a "concerned" tone of voice, but when I asked about knives, the Officer told me himself that, "The law is intentionally vague to allow the responding Officer to make a judgement call." He admitted that the law concerning knives was seemingly contradictory (Paraphrased: "standard pocket or hunting knife"), and could mean a very wide range of blades and styles.

    He stated that the CCDW alleviates most concerns over knives as it is by definition a Concealed Carry Deadly Weapons Permit. According to him and the law, I can carry almost anything concealed such as nunchaku, shuriken, crossbows, cattle prods, slapjacks, bo staffs and other various weapons of mass retardation.

    Still, he cautioned that even he in the Legal Office of the State Police couldn't definitively advise me on the law when it came to knives. Even with the CCDW, my options may be limited in this regard. Carried concealed or openly, a large knife might fetch me a fine or even some time in County. It would be up to the responding Officer or the Judge to determine the classification of my knife (standard pocket or hunting).

    When asked why this is the case, he responded that knives are viewed as "thuggish in nature", and therefore looked upon with suspicion. Regardless of their immediate and common use as everyday tools, they represent a potentially silent threat that most LEO's are not comfortable with. He went on to point out that this was simply the perception and the general Disposition of the Kentucky State Attorney General.

    Further research found this to be a widespread feature in many other states' laws. Firearms have relatively black and white laws that cover their use and carry options, but knife laws are mostly left vague and amorphous for the above stated reasons.

    I guess what really "uncomfortably gathers my pantaloons" is the fact that in the average day, I am MUCH MORE LIKELY TO USE THE KNIFE THAN THE GUN, and I have to be careful what knife I appear in public with. Not to mention the fact that my Wife doesn't carry a gun (yet), but she does carry knives (yes, plural), and I don't want her running afoul of the law. She rarely has any problems though as she is a small (in stature only) woman, and I have yet to see or hear of an LEO who will refuse a woman an effective means of defense, but still...

    I understand the need to provide LEO's with the proper tools to effectively perform their jobs, but shouldn't we be afforded a clear set of laws on the tools that are so useful in our daily lives?

    Thoughts, stories, and legal pointers are welcome here.

    Tell us your tale...

    That which does not kill us leaves us broken and bleeding...

    Donít mess with the guy who can barely stand up. His remaining options for self-defense don't include your survival.

    Convenire Volui Spectatus


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array 2edgesword's Avatar
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    Here is what the People's Republic of New York has to say on the subject...

    "The possession by any person of any dagger, dirk, stiletto, dangerous knife or any other weapon, instrument, appliance or substance designed, made or adapted for use primarily as a weapon, is presumptive evidence of intent to use the same unlawfully against another."

    In addition to this the law prohibits gravity knives (a knife that can be open using the application of centrifugal force), daggers, switchblades, etc., etc., etc.

    Talk about the potential for screwing over law abiding citizens!

    Was the Spyderco Delica made/designed primarily to be used as a weapon? Who makes that determination?

    Does the determination as to whether it is a gravity knife depend on how tight the pivot screw is tightened?
    Martial Blade Concepts, Jiu-Jitsu & Eskrima NRA, GOA, NYSRPA, LIF, Old Bethpage Rifle & Pistol Club

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
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    Washington had minimal state laws and a few local wonky ones to worry about and Texas has some pretty reasonable state laws and a few wonky local ones. Nothing like, "If it's a weapon (in our opinion) we can charge you with intent to commit a violent crime because it's really guilty until your lawyer convinces twelve untrained idiots that it's just a tool", of course, but the older states tend to have some pretty heavy-handed ideals of polite society in my research for my trip to Maine last summer.

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array searcher 45's Avatar
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    Wife and I both carry lock blade folders, and you are right the knife is much more likely to be used on a daily bases than the CC pistol.

    The knife is much more a tool than the CC and is very effective and quiet to work with.

    In a tight spot and up close and personal, smell his stinking breath, a blade that one is well trained with and willing to use is very very effective.
    NOT LIVING IN FEAR, JUST READY!!!
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Array EvilMonk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychophipps View Post
    "If it's a weapon (in our opinion) we can charge you with intent to commit a violent crime because it's really guilty until your lawyer convinces twelve untrained idiots that it's just a tool"...
    You've hit the nail with your head on that one!

    This statement is applicable to almost everything we discuss on this site.

    That which does not kill us leaves us broken and bleeding...

    Donít mess with the guy who can barely stand up. His remaining options for self-defense don't include your survival.

    Convenire Volui Spectatus

  6. #6
    Member Array HardcoreSlot's Avatar
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    Here in Nevada I had a pocket knife confiscated when a buddy of mine and I were pulled over for suspesion of DUI. I was pretty lit but he was not. The sherrif that had pulled us over searched us both and asked if I had any "weapons" I said I had a pocket knife. (it was a small one, 2in blade, cliped in my pocket) I pointed to it with my right hand as it was still streched out from the search, and had my hand immediatly slapped away and the knife striped from my pocket... Sure do miss that lil knife...
    Last edited by HardcoreSlot; May 5th, 2010 at 06:01 PM. Reason: edited for deplorable spelling. prolly didnt get it all...
    Life is a game of chance, be prepared to throw down when its time to dance. If your young, enjoy it cuz your youth is gold and never waste time every single day you grow old. written is a page in the book for you, with hard times and bad luck to see what you will do.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    Get yourself a Spyderco Rescue and look into Inverted Edge Tactics. You can get them in nice bright pretty colors. Keep one in the console of your car and one in your pocket. They are obviously only for "rescue". IET turns these rescue folders into effective SD tools that can be carried just about anywhere without a second thought. Imagine one of these serrated blades ripping across your palm or inside your armpit. Truly defensive. If people keep their hands to themselves they having nothing to worry about.- George

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array EvilMonk's Avatar
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    Mercop:

    I've heard you talk about your IET before, but I just watched your video for the first time. You are on to something there in regards to the (legal) perception of such a knife (Spyderco Rescue, et al) and the ability to use it in a devastating fashion for defense.

    Something to consider...

    That which does not kill us leaves us broken and bleeding...

    Donít mess with the guy who can barely stand up. His remaining options for self-defense don't include your survival.

    Convenire Volui Spectatus

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array cwblanco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by searcher 45 View Post
    Wife and I both carry lock blade folders, and you are right the knife is much more likely to be used on a daily bases than the CC pistol.

    The knife is much more a tool than the CC and is very effective and quiet to work with.

    In a tight spot and up close and personal, smell his stinking breath, a blade that one is well trained with and willing to use is very very effective.
    As strange as it may sound, San Antonio, Texas, has an ordinance that makes it illegal to have a lock blade knife (without regard to size or length of the blade). I suppose that those San Antonioans love to live dangerously when using small lock blade knives.

    Texas State law prohibits a knife on which the blade opens by a button on the handle (defined as a switch blade knife). There is a recent Texas case where the highest Texas criminal court held that a knife which opened by the extension on the blade was an illegal knife. However, I suspect that the defendant did a sorry job in presenting the case so that the court could really understand what kind of knife it was.
    Live every day so that you can, with a clear conscience, look all men in their eyes and tell them to go to hell.

  10. #10
    Member Array Buckles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwblanco View Post
    As strange as it may sound, San Antonio, Texas, has an ordinance that makes it illegal to have a lock blade knife (without regard to size or length of the blade). I suppose that those San Antonioans love to live dangerously when using small lock blade knives.

    Texas State law prohibits a knife on which the blade opens by a button on the handle (defined as a switch blade knife). There is a recent Texas case where the highest Texas criminal court held that a knife which opened by the extension on the blade was an illegal knife. However, I suspect that the defendant did a sorry job in presenting the case so that the court could really understand what kind of knife it was.
    i actually read not too long ago that Governor Perry signed into law that a/o were legal in Texas. so that case law really doesnt mean anything now .

  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array mr.stuart's Avatar
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    Strange sign on our post office. It is a regulation Texas 30.06 sign that adds the phrase 'or other dangerous weapons'. And it extends the gun and dangerous weapons clause to your car in the parking lot! I understand this is federal property,but what are other dangerous weapons? Whatever they say? Pocket knife? Hat pin? #2 pencil? Very vague.

  12. #12
    Member Array Buckles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.stuart View Post
    Strange sign on our post office. It is a regulation Texas 30.06 sign that adds the phrase 'or other dangerous weapons'. And it extends the gun and dangerous weapons clause to your car in the parking lot! I understand this is federal property,but what are other dangerous weapons? Whatever they say? Pocket knife? Hat pin? #2 pencil? Very vague.
    that sign has no authority. if it adds the phrase, it is no longer a legal 30.06 sign.

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array mr.stuart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckles View Post
    that sign has no authority. if it adds the phrase, it is no longer a legal 30.06 sign.
    Maybe so. I thought the federal government could make its own rules. Any lawyers want to comment?

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    No knife restrictions were mentioned during the CCW class here in FL, but I haven't looked first hand at the laws down here. I do remember that AO knives are OK down here, and can be carried if you have a CCW.

    I also have been told that Bowie knives are illegal in Texas. Sounds strange to me, but it has been confirmed by several people.

  15. #15
    Member Array Buckles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutoFan View Post
    No knife restrictions were mentioned during the CCW class here in FL, but I haven't looked first hand at the laws down here. I do remember that AO knives are OK down here, and can be carried if you have a CCW.

    I also have been told that Bowie knives are illegal in Texas. Sounds strange to me, but it has been confirmed by several people.
    they are illegal to carry on your person unless you are on your own property or property under your control etc...

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