Knives in Washington State

Knives in Washington State

This is a discussion on Knives in Washington State within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've been reading up on the topic of carrying a knife in washington and have more questions than when I started. What is legal and ...

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  1. #1
    New Member Array ssfootball53's Avatar
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    Knives in Washington State

    I've been reading up on the topic of carrying a knife in washington and have more questions than when I started. What is legal and what isn't? Can I have any type of knife in my home? I am just confused and need some clarification.
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  2. #2
    Member Array Bonesnofoa's Avatar
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    After looking through my little green book of laws i can only find a ban on switchblades.

    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

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array Macattack's Avatar
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    hey fellow seattlite, welcome to the forum

    As far as knives go, my friendly neighborhood police offficer has informed me that you can have any type of knife or sword or whatever in your house(excluding switchblades i think)

    As far as carrying them around, he said to measure the blade against your hand. If the blade is longer than 4 fingers (width) than you should leave it home. He also mentioned that he has never stopped someone because the knife clipped to their pocket is to big looking. but you may get in trouble in court if you have to use it.
    Juries may decide you were looking to kill someone if you carry around a 6inch bladed folding gut hook.

    As always this is not legal advice and may be completly false as anything on the internet.

    If in doubt, ask a cop. They usually know a bit about the law...sometimes.

    be safe
    -mac
    "In those days, there was a lot more respect for other people and it showed in peoples values.... Today the word value means nothing more than something you get on the $1 menu at McDonald's." -BARK'N

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    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonesnofoa View Post
    After looking through my little green book of laws i can only find a ban on switchblades.
    that's all I could find as well (a Google search on "Washington State statutes" took me right to the correct page...hint, hint)

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

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Macattack
    If in doubt, ask a cop. They usually know a bit about the law...sometimes.
    If he's telling you to measure on your hand I have my doubts as to whether he knows exactly what he's talking about or not...that's a pretty subjective system of classification.
    "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.

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  5. #5
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    heres what i found for washington state
    This prohibits the carry of "dangerous knives.

    http://clerk.ci.seattle.wa.us/~scrip...2A.14.080.HEAD.

    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

    C. Possess a firearm in any stadium or convention center operated by a
    city, county or other municipality, except that such restriction shall
    not apply to:
    Seattle Municipal Code

    Information retrieved February 17, 2006

    http://clerk.ci.seattle.wa.us/~scrip...2A.14.010.HEAD.


    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.
    as you see it is unlawful to carry concealed or unconcealed a dangerous knife,a dangerous knife has a blade over3 1/2" long ,so if you're knife blade is over 3 1/2 inches long on your person you can be charged.This law does not apply in you're home,or most of the knives in you're kitchen would be illegal
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    VIP Member Array raevan's Avatar
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    The Seattle Municipal; code only applies to Seattle, other Cities may have their own code. Washington State covers a whole lot aof area. I make it a point of staying out of Seattle. I carry various knives of different lengths for different things. If one plans on going into a big city then just carry a folder with blade less then 4 inches except in Seattle make sure it isn't longer then 3 and 1/2.
    Also in Seattle don't carry a fixed blade of any sort.

    Seattlites and people not from Washington think Seattle rules apply everwhere.
    Seattle is about the most Draconian part of Washington. Just stay out and don't give them your buisness untill the come around to thinking like the rest of the state.

  7. #7
    New Member Array ssfootball53's Avatar
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    So what is a general law for the rest of Washington outside of Seattle? Thanks for all your help.
    There is no substitute for victory.

    ~Gen. Douglas MacArthur

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    KenpoTex posted the links for the RCW, Washington's laws. There is another thread: http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...xed-blade.html
    which has a lot of information as well.
    eschew obfuscation

    The only thing that stops bad guys with guns is good guys with guns. SgtD

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    New Member Array alpinehawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raevan View Post
    Seattle is about the most Draconian part of Washington. Just stay out and don't give them your buisness untill the come around to thinking like the rest of the state.
    Sadly, with all the liberals in Seattle, I don't think that will be happening in my lifetime :(

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raevan View Post
    ...

    Seattlites and people not from Washington think Seattle rules apply everwhere...
    Tsk Tsk. As a minority Seattlite I am offended that you lump me in with the majority (liberals).


    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

  11. #11
    New Member Array CZ85convert's Avatar
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    I too live in seattle and would not like to be lumped in with a bunch of wacko lefties, or wacko righties for that matter.

    but back to the question at hand "what knives are legal for EDC in Washington? . the RCW's that are posted are your best bet for broad strokes on Washington state, However you will have to look up local municipal codes to be 100% sure. but from my experience even the most jerkoff cops dont care about a pocket knife, that being said if your arrested for something especially a violent crime a pocket knife no matter what size probably wont help your case. Other than that use your head, fixed blades are a Big no, unless your hiking or camping, as far as folders go i wouldnt carry one of those giant cold steel 6" folders or anything crazy like that, but a smaller 4.5" or less will be fine 99% of the time,
    case in point i had a ticket I had to go to court over, (the cop wouldnt accept broad form insurance as valid so i had to go to court to fight the $700 dollar fine). Anyway I forgot to leave my ZT 0200 4" folder in the car, and walked through the metal detector with it in my pocket, honest mistake, and the cop running the security checkpoint got a little exited when he found it but I was cooperative and respectful, and he held on to it while i was in court, and we bs'd about knives after I was done, so unless you get a jerk on a real bad day i wouldnt worry about a pocket knife.
    One thing to not is the caveat about "automatics" where it is talking about gravity knives and spring loaded knifes, if you read it the line says "except A knife that contains a spring, detent, or other mechanism designed to create a bias toward closure of the blade and that requires physical exertion applied to the blade by hand, wrist, or arm to overcome the bias toward closure to assist in opening the knife is not a spring blade knife".
    So any of the assisted openers like Kershaw SOG, Gerber ect, that you can find almost anywhere are not considered switchblades becasue of the fact they have a closed bias, so the spring doesnt actually impart force on the blade until you physically start to move the blade.
    an automatic that you cant buy from stores or any reputable website anyway (without law enforcement or military ID BTW) is a push button spring loaded blade, so if you dont have to use a thumb stud or a flipper like on a Kershaw its illegal, And a good rule of thumb is if you dont have to touch anything attached to the blade (like a thumb stud, or the flipper tab on the back of the knife) its illegal. Unless you fall under the exemption, Ive only ever held a true automatic once and even if I could buy one Id never carry it the blade just pops out way too easily, all you have to do is barely touch the button and it flies open, and an accidental opening just seems far too likely with one of those. I dont consider them safe.

    I hope that helps, If it didnt all i can say is, if it feels iffy or wrong, or you think its illegal, dont carry it. there are plenty of other absolutely legal knifes out there you can pick from.

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    I haven't lived in WA (Spokane) since '93, prior to the CA liberals taking over Seattle, but no one ever questions or harrassed anyone for carrying their 7-8" Buck knife on their belt. Fishing, hunting, camping, trips to the White Elephant, made no difference!
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array BigStick's Avatar
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    First, I would say this is a pretty epic thread resurection. In the world of zombies, this guy is mostly bones by now.

    Normally, I wouldn't mention that, but in this case, some of the info listed earlier might not be accurate anymore.

    Chapter 9.41 RCW: Firearms and dangerous weapons

    Section 9.41 is still the section on weapons, but I think there may have been some restrictions added. You are correct that assisted openers are ok as long as you have to push on the blade to initiate the opening process. The part that always makes me shake my head is that you can conceal any length folding knife, but it is illegal to conceal ANY length fixed blade (becaues they are so much more dangerous!) Open carry of fixed blade is ok though.

    While WA has preemption on firearms laws, they do not on knife laws, so any city or county can make things more restrictive. Good luck tracking down all of those codes.
    Walk softly ...

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    Member Array CaptSmith's Avatar
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    Holy cow !!! great resurection..I didnt see the date eather...I carry a military folder made by gerber...clips into my pocket..I believe it is legal everywhere but Seattle...what happen regarding your insurance policy ??

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array Happypuppy's Avatar
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    The cities in fact do have different laws. To be safe legally I carry a 3" kenshaw non auto folder . The legal blades range from 3" to 4" based on location. Some allow a fixed blade others not. In a word it's a mess.

    Please note some local a dangerous blade is over 3" folder OR fixed. Granted a LEO may not have a problem , but what of you had to use it and the DA said you were in possession and use of a dangerous blade?

    The best source for laws I have found is this. Broken down locally

    http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/USKnife.pdf

    Sent via Messenger Pigeon
    CaptSmith likes this.

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