This is a discussion on Fixed Blade Knives in North Carolina within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; For the ones still confused about North Carolina laws on Fixed Blade Knives. I have spent about a week talking with LEOs and calling the ...
For the ones still confused about North Carolina laws on Fixed Blade Knives.
I have spent about a week talking with LEOs and calling the local Magistrate, all while carrying in my pocket the NC Statutes of CCW and OCW. I asked the same question to every LEO i could find, "Are Fixed Blade Knives legal to carry?". The answer was the same across the board, "Yes, as long as the knife's total length is NOT longer then 6 inches, it is NOT double edged, it is NOT concealed, and it is NOT being used as a weapon for terror".
The only person than had a different answer was the Magistrate. He said there is no limit on the length of a knife and as long as it is being carried in the open, not concealed, it is legal. This is also backed by the NC Statutes. Keep in mind, if someone feels "unsafe" due to your actions whether physical or verbal, they can call the police and if they find you carrying a 12 inch knife, expect to get a reason why you have it.
For those who need a break down of what I have learned here it is;
The knife's total length can only be equal to or lesser then 6 inches.
The knife only has a single sharpened edge.
-False edges are good.
-Double edged knives are considered "Daggers" no matter the length
The knife is only to be carried in the open.
-If you are talking to any LEOs and they can NOT SEE the total length of the knife, then it is considered concealed.
The knife cannot be waved around in a threatening manner or in a way that will cause others alarm.
-Unsheathe the knife only in self-defense.
-Unsheathe only for the intended utility use.
Lastly, just use your head. If it feels wrong, looks wrong, and smells wrong, then its most likely wrong. Everyone ignores this last part for some reason.
Please share any personal experiences with carrying a Fixed Blade Knife in public or if its just to add more input on this subject, so we can help others with what to expect.
The closest answer to right was the magistrate, the leo's were speaking only from personal opinion that is not backed by any statute.
The only case law on knife length was in regards to what was considered a normal pocket knife and that case decided that a knife when open had a total length of 4.5 inches so that means the blade would be about 2 inches. This was what was considered acceptable for carrying concealed in a pocket.
As to open carry, you are going to be at the mercy of what a leo can convey in court as to it being openly carried or concealed. I have yet to see any statute that defines concealed for knives as being able to see the entire length. If you can provide a statute that does I'd be very interested in seeing it. What a LEO says is only their opinion and for weapons statutes usually overly conservative and incorrect. For them it's better to error on the side of safety so you usually get overly cautious opinions.
There is no length restrictions on open carried knives nor whether they have more than one sharp edge. Daggers are not restricted from carry openly, only concealed or onto educational property.
North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit Instructor
NRA Personal Protection and Basic Pistol Instructor