I REALLY want to carry a fixed blade

This is a discussion on I REALLY want to carry a fixed blade within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I live in WA state. The laws say I cannot carry a fixed blade, of ANY length, either concealed or non-concealed. I am licenced and ...

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Thread: I REALLY want to carry a fixed blade

  1. #1
    Member Array ShooterMcGavin's Avatar
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    Unhappy I REALLY want to carry a fixed blade

    I live in WA state. The laws say I cannot carry a fixed blade, of ANY length, either concealed or non-concealed. I am licenced and I carry a firearm. Still, I am too dangerous to be carrying a fixed-blade knife I carry a folding knife, but I want every advantage possible if I'm attacked or if someone tries to take my gun from me.

    What would you do??

    I am considering buying a sturdy, folding knife and having a custom sheath made to carry it in the open position. Being in the open position does not mean that the knife is "a blade which is permanently open and does not fold" (quoted directly from the law).

    Applicable laws:
    SMC 12A.14.010 Definitions.
    SMC 12A.14.080 Unlawful use of weapons.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    If carrying a folder in the open position does not violate the laws, it sounds like you've found your answer.
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

    Matt K.

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    I'm often amazed at the narrow mindedness of people.

    You're licensed and authorized to carry a gun and can carry a folding, lock blade knife, but a 3" fixed blade is prohibited.


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    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    Survivalsheath.com, right there in WA state, makes such sheaths at a very high level of quality.

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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    I'm always a bit leery, when people skirt the issue in that way. Realistically, if a DA had reason, and wanted to, he'd tan your hide for violating the spirit though not the letter of the law, and probably be effective doing it.

    Having said that, the best folding alternative to fixed is the Spyderco wave. Alternatively, call your local DA's office and ask about the opened-folder-sheath-system....or, make your own decision. Basically, I'm saying don't find a getaround and convince yourself it would never be a problem.
    Spade115 likes this.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array Musketeer's Avatar
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    Drive south to Portland and pick up a perfectly acceptable Benchmade. Either automatic (depending on the law) or assisted opener. Alternatively invest in a well made Emerson one handed opener.

    Put your money into a quality blade, not a gimmicky sheath that will do nothing but cause an LEO to question your motivation and make you look as if any violent encounter you may become involved in might have been more your fault. You are intentionally trying to defeat the clear intent of the law. Legal or not it looks bad to LEOs, DAs, and most importantly of all... JURIES.
    PatAz likes this.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array bzdog's Avatar
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    Personally I like the Benchmade / Doug Ritter MK1 (full size). It's ambi, has a super solid locking system, is short enough for WA and you can easily open and close one handed.

    With just a tiny amount of practice, you can flick it open and closed with one hand.

    -john

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob72 View Post
    I'm always a bit leery, when people skirt the issue in that way. Realistically, if a DA had reason, and wanted to, he'd tan your hide for violating the spirit though not the letter of the law, and probably be effective doing it.

    Having said that, the best folding alternative to fixed is the Spyderco wave. Alternatively, call your local DA's office and ask about the opened-folder-sheath-system....or, make your own decision. Basically, I'm saying don't find a getaround and convince yourself it would never be a problem.
    Indeed. Seattle Municipal Code is what the OP is referring to, and it prohibits anything longer than 3.5" or that can be opened single handed. In practice, folding knives are OK as long as they aren't auto openers, but I bet they'd make an exception to normal practice for someone that appeared to be skirting the law.

    E. "Switchblade knife" means any knife having a blade that opens
    automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring mechanism,
    or other device, or a blade that opens, falls or is ejected into
    position by force of gravity or by an outward, downward, or
    centrifugal thrust or movement.
    The applicable code can be found here, check definitions:

    Seattle Municipal Code


    Quote Originally Posted by Musketeer View Post
    Drive south to Portland and pick up a perfectly acceptable Benchmade. Either automatic (depending on the law) or assisted opener. Alternatively invest in a well made Emerson one handed opener.

    Put your money into a quality blade, not a gimmicky sheath that will do nothing but cause an LEO to question your motivation and make you look as if any violent encounter you may become involved in might have been more your fault. You are intentionally trying to defeat the clear intent of the law. Legal or not it looks bad to LEOs, DAs, and most importantly of all... JURIES.
    See above, neither automatics or assisted openers are legal in Seattle.

    Quote Originally Posted by bzdog View Post
    Personally I like the Benchmade / Doug Ritter MK1 (full size). It's ambi, has a super solid locking system, is short enough for WA and you can easily open and close one handed.

    With just a tiny amount of practice, you can flick it open and closed with one hand.

    -john
    Also illegal in Seattle.

    I hope to move to Arizona or Texas someday.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array bzdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matiki View Post
    Also illegal in Seattle.
    What? Almost any knife can be opened one handed. Are you suggesting I have to find one I *can't* open one handed?

    -john

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bzdog View Post
    What? Almost any knife can be opened one handed. Are you suggesting I have to find one I *can't* open one handed?

    -john
    I'm just telling you what the law is. Write your representatives.

    Let's run through some typical knives:

    Legal:
    Boyscout Pocket Knife, relatively new and stiff
    Folding Buck Knife

    Illegal:
    Anything with a lever for your thumb to flip it open
    Anything that can be swung open
    Anything that opens with a button
    Anything that has spring assisted action
    Any folder over 3.5"
    Anything Fixed regardless of length
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array bzdog's Avatar
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    You sure? There is an 'or' in that statement, but the axis lock does not 'automatically' open upon activation of the button, and you cannot open the blade by any movement *unless* the button is concurrently held down.

    It would seem to me that your interpretation would make almost any modern knife a 'switchblade', which doesn't seem to be the objective.

    -john


    EDIT: What about a BM with a Spydie-hole? It has no button.

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array Musketeer's Avatar
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    SMC 12A.14.010 Definitions.

    The following definitions apply in this chapter:

    A. "Dangerous knife" means any fixed-blade knife and any other knife having a blade more than three and one-half inches (3 1/2") in length.

    B. "Fixed-blade knife" means any knife, regardless of blade length, with a blade which is permanently open and does not fold, retract or slide into the handle of the knife, and includes any dagger, sword, bayonet, bolo knife, hatchet, axe, straight-edged razor, or razor blade not in a package, dispenser or shaving appliance.

    ...

    E. "Switchblade knife" means any knife having a blade that opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring mechanism, or other device, or a blade that opens, falls or is ejected into position by force of gravity or by an outward, downward, or centrifugal thrust or movement.

    ...

    SMC 12A.14.080 Unlawful use of weapons.

    It is unlawful for a person knowingly to:

    A. Sell, manufacture, purchase, possess or carry any blackjack, sand-club, metal knuckles, switchblade knife, chako sticks, or throwing stars; or

    B. Carry concealed or unconcealed on his or her person any dangerous knife, or carry concealed on his or her person any deadly weapon other than a firearm; or
    What does not fall into the above categories are knives that open one handed using direct pressure on the blade to do so, even if assisted. The above does cover true automatic knives and balisongs (butterfly) knives.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array Musketeer's Avatar
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    Get a quality folding knife, even assisted, and you are going to be a hell of a lot better off than trying to get away with a opened knife in a custom sheath.

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Musketeer View Post
    What does not fall into the above categories are knives that open one handed using direct pressure on the blade to do so, even if assisted. The above does cover true automatic knives and balisongs (butterfly) knives.
    I'll agree to respectfully disagree with you here.

    Quote Originally Posted by bzdog View Post
    You sure? There is an 'or' in that statement, but the axis lock does not 'automatically' open upon activation of the button, and you cannot open the blade by any movement *unless* the button is concurrently held down.

    It would seem to me that your interpretation would make almost any modern knife a 'switchblade', which doesn't seem to be the objective.

    -john


    EDIT: What about a BM with a Spydie-hole? It has no button.


    Quote Originally Posted by Musketeer View Post
    Get a quality folding knife, even assisted, and you are going to be a hell of a lot better off than trying to get away with a opened knife in a custom sheath.
    I agree completely. While you and I disagree on the interpretation of the code (policy), I agree that enforcement (procedure) makes this the best option.

    They wrote the law in a convoluted manner, but with a clear intent. They wanted to make it easier to bust gang members for carrying weapons. They outlawed most knives, razor blades, billy clubs, nun-chucks, and throwing stars.

    I carry a Kershaw Ken Onion Blur knife. If I hold it so the blade opens down, and apply pressure to the thumb lever, it opens completely. Many assisted openers do this. This makes it illegal by definition. In practice, you can demonstrate for the Officer (as I have had to) that the knife does not open when held horizontally, and that's good enough. If the Officer wanted to bust me, they need only to have me demonstrate it in a different manner (or try it themselves).
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array Musketeer's Avatar
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    Remember with all the assisted blades you are not pressing a lever or button. You are pressing the BLADE. There is a fine but very legally defined difference. That "thumb lever" on the kershaw is the blade, same steel, just the back end of it.

    LEO "How do you open that?"

    You "I open it by pushing on the blade."

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