Benchmade Adam 275 and WA law

This is a discussion on Benchmade Adam 275 and WA law within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have a question about the legality of a Benchmade Adam 275. There are two points to consider. One is the axis mechanism, which opens ...

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Thread: Benchmade Adam 275 and WA law

  1. #1
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    Benchmade Adam 275 and WA law

    I have a question about the legality of a Benchmade Adam 275.

    There are two points to consider.

    One is the axis mechanism, which opens very easily. BUT you must operate the locking mechanism to be able to flip it open.

    The other point is the blade length.

    The law regarding the mechanism seems to be covered by this:

    RE:
    RCW 9.41.250
    Dangerous weapons — Penalty — Exemption for law enforcement officers.


    (1) Every person who:

    (a) Manufactures, sells, or disposes of or possesses any instrument or weapon of the kind usually known as slung shot, sand club, or metal knuckles, or spring blade knife, or any knife the blade of which is automatically released by a spring mechanism or other mechanical device, or any knife having a blade which opens, or falls, or is ejected into position by the force of gravity, or by an outward, downward, or centrifugal thrust or movement;

    (b) Furtively carries with intent to conceal any dagger, dirk, pistol, or other dangerous weapon; or
    But the fact these are legal to sell, and the fact that one must operate the lever to flip it out, makes me believe the mechanism is perfectly legal in WA. Further, if this isn't legal, the spring assist wouldn't be. So I'm thinking this mechanism is legal to have.

    The second point is the blade length. This knife has a 3.8" blade. Some cities allow 3", some 3.5" max. and perhaps there may be some where longer are ok. And then there is a state law to consider too.

    Anyway, what I'm wondering about length is, is it illegal to carry, period? or is it illegal to carry ONLY if concealed? If it's carried on you belt and visible, is that legal?

    Seems kind of pointless to sell these in WA, if it's illegal to have it for any useful purpose. I mean it's not illegal to use for your kitchen knife but is there any situation where it's legal to have in your posession, outside the home? Unconcealed? Out hunting? Out in the woods or mountains for use as a tool? Is there any "legal" way to posess this knife, for any useful purpose, in WA? Anyone know for sure?

    This is one of my favorite knives. It would be a shame to not be able to use it. It would be a bigger shame to be arrested for carrying it illegally.


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  3. #2
    Member Array OJDerrick's Avatar
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    Do you carry a gun? Think they are going to give a damn what kind of knife you have?

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    Senior Member Array Happypuppy's Avatar
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    Benchmade Adam 275 and WA law

    The knife laws with regards to assisted openers was revised last June. Personally I will not carry a assisted opener over 3". The penalty is too severe. I would suggest asking the State AG office specifically about the knife. The city laws are all over the place.

    RCW 9.41.270
    Weapons apparently capable of producing bodily harm — Unlawful carrying or handling — Penalty — Exceptions.

    (1) It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.

    (2) Any person violating the provisions of subsection (1) above shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor. If any person is convicted of a violation of subsection (1) of this section, the person shall lose his or her concealed pistol license, if any. The court shall send notice of the revocation to the department of licensing, and the city, town, or county which issued the license.

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    Senior Member Array stanislaskasava's Avatar
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    You ask about the 'legality' of the knife. The truth is that knives are arms, and we have a constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land; thus the knife is legal and any law that restricts keeping or bearing it is invalid.

    This likely will have little practical effect on your decision to carry a knife, but I find it important to keep proper perspective. It is absurd that Americans must be concerned with the pseudo-legality of pocket knives. A knife is a knife is a knife.

  6. #5
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    Do you carry a gun? Think they are going to give a damn what kind of knife you have?
    Sure they do. I'm covered on the gun side of things. But violating a knife law, can cost me my gun carrying rights. You don't think some liberal prosecutor won't know that. That's why I'm looking into the knife laws. I don't carry a knife for protection. I carry a gun.

    The knife laws with regards to assisted openers was revised last June. Personally I will not carry a assisted opener over 3". The penalty is too severe. I would suggest asking the State AG office specifically about the knife. The city laws are all over the place.

    RCW 9.41.270
    Weapons apparently capable of producing bodily harm — Unlawful carrying or handling — Penalty — Exceptions.

    (1) It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.

    (2) Any person violating the provisions of subsection (1) above shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor. If any person is convicted of a violation of subsection (1) of this section, the person shall lose his or her concealed pistol license, if any. The court shall send notice of the revocation to the department of licensing, and the city, town, or county which issued the license.
    That applies equally well to a firearm. The essential part of this law, is the circumstances in chich it is carried or used. NOT merely in the "carrying". If it was, guns wouldn't be permitted either. So this law doesn't address my question. I DO agree however, that the penalties are severe for violating this law.

    Quote Originally Posted by stanislaskasava View Post
    You ask about the 'legality' of the knife. The truth is that knives are arms, and we have a constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land; thus the knife is legal and any law that restricts keeping or bearing it is invalid.

    This likely will have little practical effect on your decision to carry a knife, but I find it important to keep proper perspective. It is absurd that Americans must be concerned with the pseudo-legality of pocket knives. A knife is a knife is a knife.
    Totally useless information. Everyone on the forum likely believes that. But you know as well as I, that there are constitutionally valid restrictions, whether or not you agree with them. I'm not looking to be "right on the law" but "wrong in the real world".

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    Senior Member Array Happypuppy's Avatar
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    Benchmade Adam 275 and WA law

    Here is an example of what we have to deal with in WA regarding local ordinances

    http://www.codepublishing.com/wa/yak...akima0644.html

    in Yakima WA , a knife with a blade greater than 3.5 is a dangerous weapon

    But...

    6.44.040 Knives—Unlawful possession—Exceptions.
    A. It is unlawful for anyone to carry or wear in any manner concealed upon one’s person, or in one’s possession, or concealed under one’s control any dangerous knife.

    So from this if I would carry a longer than 3.5 inches ( some cities such as Everett it is 3") knife it has to be displayed and not concealed. It fails to specify fixed or folding which makes it really difficult.

    Since the RCW says one thing and cities vary that I am forced to always carry a 3" blade if I travel any distance. A lot of people assume that a LEO will just ignore it but it can be a violation and you can lose your concealed carry rights.

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    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    IANAL, but assisted opening knives are VERY different than switchblades that are operated by a button. You have to actually touch the blade of an assisted opening knife a certain distance before the assisted opening will take over. Switchblades simply require you to press a button.

    FYI, the Axis lock doesn't have to be engaged to release the blade. You can do it with practice with simple inertia. I can open my Benchmade Kulgera this way very easily.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the outcome of the vote." ~ Benjamin Franklin

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happypuppy View Post
    Here is an example of what we have to deal with in WA regarding local ordinances

    Since the RCW says one thing and cities vary that I am forced to always carry a 3" blade if I travel any distance. A lot of people assume that a LEO will just ignore it but it can be a violation and you can lose your concealed carry rights.
    This is what concerns me, and why I asked the question. I read the laws like you do (and we are correct. :) ). Those laws are regarding carrying concealed.

    But this last sentence makes me think this is unconstitutional, at the state level. We have State laws governing the control of firearms. There is a state pre-emption on this. No city can make a law more restrictive than the state law.

    Now, the state law, regarding concealed carry is very hard to prevent someone from getting that permit. AND, it only covers handguns. I believe a local law, that makes some vague misdemeanor law, that's easy to unintentionally violate, that carries a minor penalty, that causes one to forfeit their state rights, is unconstitutional. In other words, a misdemeanor violation doesn't necessarily prohibit you from getting a concealed carry permit, at the state level. So how can a city make a misdemeanor carry a penalty that causes you to lose those rights. It's almost a trap, to allow cities to stealthly superceed state law.

    Just my opinion.

    FYI, the Axis lock doesn't have to be engaged to release the blade. You can do it with practice with simple inertia. I can open my Benchmade Kulgera this way very easily.
    I think you mean disengaged. But sure, if the screws aren't tight, the blade will simply fall open. ;) . I have several benchmades and I can flip them open too. But they all require tweaking the tightness or use of the thumb against the peg. Operating the button lever, in my opinion is much easier, on the larger knives. I prefer to have some tightness, for safety, so I don't cut my nuts off, if it's in my pocket. ;) The Adams 275 for instance has a very heavy blade and with a small amount of back pressure on the lock mechanism, it practically falls open. But without that pressure, it's locked securely.

    But the best part about using the lock mechanism is you have plausible deniability. If anyone sees you flipping open the knife, without using the button, you are in violation of the law. If you use the button, you are not.

    (1) Manufactures, sells, or disposes of or possesses any instrument or weapon of the kind usually known as slung shot, sand club, or metal knuckles, or spring blade knife, or any knife the blade of which is automatically released by a spring mechanism or other mechanical device, or any knife having a blade which opens, or falls, or is ejected into position by the force of gravity, or by an outward, downward, or centrifugal thrust or movement;
    That means "outward, downward, or centrifugal thrust" only. If you have to operate a button or the blade peg, your off the hook. The reason I say that is because if it were illegal for YOU to posess, then it would also be illegal to sell, according to the same law. That operation of the button, exempts you from this law, with regard to quick opening. And since we know the state allows them to be sold, it also allows them to be posessed. However, if you modify the knife to not have to operate that lever, you would then again fall under this law. And modification can simply be using it enough until it becomes loose. Use the button and you have an argument. Use gravity alone and you lose the argument.

    I'm still wondering about the length issue

    Dangerous knife doesn't mean you can't carry it (I don't believe). I believe it means you just can't carry it concealed. Look at the Yakima law you quoted.

    6.44.040 Knives—Unlawful possession—Exceptions.
    A. It is unlawful for anyone to carry or wear in any manner concealed upon one’s person, or in one’s possession, or concealed under one’s control any dangerous knife.
    I believe this is only about concealed. I think that is read like this:

    * It is unlawful for anyone to carry or wear in any manner concealed upon one’s person
    * It is unlawful for anyone to carry or wear in any manner concealed in one's possession
    * It is unlawful for anyone to carry or wear in any manner concealed under one's control, any dangerous knife

    I say that, because the same type of wording is used with regards to dangerous weapons

    A. It is unlawful for a person to carry or wear in any manner concealed upon his or her person, or in his or her possession, or concealed under his or her control, any b.b. gun, pellet gun, slingshot, slung shot, bow and arrow, metal knuckles, ball flail, or any other dangerous weapon or instrument which may be used to inflict injury upon the person of another.
    And we know that a bow and arrow isn't illegal, per se, to posess. And a BB or pellet gun isn't prohibited to posess. Only when concealed.

    I still wonder if a 4" folding knife, openly carried on the belt, is a violation of any of these knife laws. Probably never get a straight answer from any city official. I still have not found any specific law that definitively prohibits merely posessing a 4" folding knife. All the discussions seem to center around concealed.

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    Benchmade Adam 275 and WA law

    I will never understand the logic behind laws in states that allow ccw permit holders to carry pistols concealed, but not knives with blades over a certain length.

    That's bureaucracy for you...


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    Quote Originally Posted by ACS_Matt View Post
    I will never understand the logic behind laws in states that allow ccw permit holders to carry pistols concealed, but not knives with blades over a certain length.
    - Since the introduction of ninjatō bans, ninja attacks are down almost 1000%.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the outcome of the vote." ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Benchmade Adam 275 and WA law

    Quote Originally Posted by tokerblue View Post
    - Since the introduction of ninjatō bans, ninja attacks are down almost 1000%.
    Good point. Ninja throwing stars are specifically prohibited in the RCW. Then again I never heard of an attack prior with them, Nunchucks , Tonfa, butterfly knives, Sai etc they are banned too. for that matter. It's a good example of legislation base on media and " scary looking " vs any empirical data ...at all.

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