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.
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.
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