Oregon knife carry

This is a discussion on Oregon knife carry within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Chapter 166 — Offenses Against Public Order; Firearms and Other Weapons; Racketeering 166.240 Carrying of concealed weapons. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of ...

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Thread: Oregon knife carry

  1. #1
    Member Array porsche4786's Avatar
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    Oregon knife carry

    Chapter 166 — Offenses Against Public Order; Firearms and Other Weapons; Racketeering

    166.240 Carrying of concealed weapons. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, any person who carries concealed upon the person any knife having a blade that projects or swings into position by force of a spring or by centrifugal force, any dirk, dagger, ice pick, slungshot, metal knuckles, or any similar instrument by the use of which injury could be inflicted upon the person or property of any other person, commits a Class B misdemeanor.

    (2) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section applies to any peace officer as defined in ORS 133.005, whose duty it is to serve process or make arrests. Justice courts have concurrent jurisdiction to try any person charged with violating any of the provisions of subsection (1) of this section. [Amended by 1977 c.454 §1; 1985 c.543 §2; 1989 c.839 §21; 1999 c.1040 §15]

    so you can't carry concealed on your person a dirk, dagger, or auto knife even on your own property?

    and, how do they define dirk or dagger? Would a fixed blade Ka Bar (like the one below) be considered a dirk or dagger?


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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array raevan's Avatar
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    Carrying a combat knife would be covered by the statement "or any similar instrument". The law is regards to concealed, not open carry.

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    Senior Member Array dnowell's Avatar
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    If you're in the Portland area, a bigger concern for you is that the Portland Police Department is enforcing a non-existent law regarding knife length. The city at one point had a limit on blade length of 3.5", and the department believes that it's still on the books. I've corresponded with them on the issue -- the law is literally stricken from the books -- but they insist that it's still valid.

    Talking with knife store owners they've told me many accounts of officers confiscating knives without even measuring them, and refusing to give receipts.

    I'm not anti-police in general. I just want to warn you that they would be likely to attempt to enforce this "law" on you and that you'd have a real hassle on your hands getting justice. Apparently high end knives get confiscated at a higher rate.

    I believe that you're correct that you can't conceal a dirk, dagger, etc even on private property.

    Some people try to get around this by carrying it openly, but IMHO that' s asking for trouble. Legal, maybe, but only if you have the funds to fight it in court. Similar to how Portland's open carry ban is probably illegal under state preemption but I'm not volunteering to be the test case.

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    Member Array porsche4786's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnowell View Post
    If you're in the Portland area, a bigger concern for you is that the Portland Police Department is enforcing a non-existent law regarding knife length. The city at one point had a limit on blade length of 3.5", and the department believes that it's still on the books. I've corresponded with them on the issue -- the law is literally stricken from the books -- but they insist that it's still valid.

    Talking with knife store owners they've told me many accounts of officers confiscating knives without even measuring them, and refusing to give receipts.

    I'm not anti-police in general. I just want to warn you that they would be likely to attempt to enforce this "law" on you and that you'd have a real hassle on your hands getting justice. Apparently high end knives get confiscated at a higher rate.

    I believe that you're correct that you can't conceal a dirk, dagger, etc even on private property.

    Some people try to get around this by carrying it openly, but IMHO that' s asking for trouble. Legal, maybe, but only if you have the funds to fight it in court. Similar to how Portland's open carry ban is probably illegal under state preemption but I'm not volunteering to be the test case.
    That's pretty nuts that you can carry a gun (concealed) on your own property without a CHL, but not a knife concealed. I don't see how the police could win a case against you for knife length. Wouldn't you just bring the statutes with you? I guess they don't have the city/county rules in the oregon statutes. Is there a place to find city and county laws?

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    Member Array Fjolnirsson's Avatar
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    I'd suggest Title 14 as a likely place to start looking. That's Portland Municipal code. As for others, they are scattered, but here's a couple...
    Municipal Codes Web Library by LexisNexis

    Portland's open carry ban applies(legally, that is), only to those without a CHL. However, they do still occasionally arrest for it. Were I to open carry there, or were my concealment less than perfect, I would expect to be put on my face on the concrete, and at the very least, lectured at length about the folly of my ways.

    I am unaware of any place in the Oregon law where "concealed" is defined. As such, the default would be the dictionary, I'd expect, but better call the State Attorney's office or such, to be certain.

    A good all around book to have is available through the Oregon Firearms Federation. If I recall correctly, it's "Understanding Oregon's Gun Laws".

    Oregon Firearms Federation | FAQ's. A Gun Owner's Guide In The Beaver State
    This was a very handy guide for me when I moved to Oregon...

    Here's the direct link for that book I mentioned.
    Oregon Firearms Federation
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    Member Array porsche4786's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fjolnirsson View Post
    I'd suggest Title 14 as a likely place to start looking. That's Portland Municipal code. As for others, they are scattered, but here's a couple...
    Municipal Codes Web Library by LexisNexis

    Portland's open carry ban applies(legally, that is), only to those without a CHL. However, they do still occasionally arrest for it. Were I to open carry there, or were my concealment less than perfect, I would expect to be put on my face on the concrete, and at the very least, lectured at length about the folly of my ways.

    I am unaware of any place in the Oregon law where "concealed" is defined. As such, the default would be the dictionary, I'd expect, but better call the State Attorney's office or such, to be certain.

    A good all around book to have is available through the Oregon Firearms Federation. If I recall correctly, it's "Understanding Oregon's Gun Laws".

    Oregon Firearms Federation | FAQ's. A Gun Owner's Guide In The Beaver State
    This was a very handy guide for me when I moved to Oregon...

    Here's the direct link for that book I mentioned.
    Oregon Firearms Federation
    thanks for the info, i have read the "understanding oregon's gun laws" book, it is a very good book to have!

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    Senior Member Array dnowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by porsche4786 View Post
    That's pretty nuts that you can carry a gun (concealed) on your own property without a CHL, but not a knife concealed. I don't see how the police could win a case against you for knife length. Wouldn't you just bring the statutes with you? I guess they don't have the city/county rules in the oregon statutes. Is there a place to find city and county laws?
    The issue that's more concerning to me is that - from what I've heard - officers will confiscate knives and fail to issue a receipt. Meaning that you have no evidence that it ever happened. It hasn't happened to me directly, but I have heard it from several knife store guys.

    I agree that you could almost certainly win a case if you got to court; the question is whether it's really worth it. Some employers ask if you've ever been charged with a crime -- they don't ask whether you were convicted. Not a situation I want to have to explain.

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    Member Array porsche4786's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnowell View Post
    The issue that's more concerning to me is that - from what I've heard - officers will confiscate knives and fail to issue a receipt. Meaning that you have no evidence that it ever happened. It hasn't happened to me directly, but I have heard it from several knife store guys.

    I agree that you could almost certainly win a case if you got to court; the question is whether it's really worth it. Some employers ask if you've ever been charged with a crime -- they don't ask whether you were convicted. Not a situation I want to have to explain.

    Couldn't you request a receipt from the officer? He can't just leave without issuing you one can he? I would get the officers name and badge # and call the police station.

    I'm just wondering what exactly they consider a dirk. At some point I'm sure they define a knife as a dirk once it hits a certain length.

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    Senior Member Array stanislaskasava's Avatar
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    I've been pondering this very question and someone mentioned that I might contact a legal clerk at the courthouse. Calling the city and state police was pointless. I can verify that a former police officer in the area mentioned a 'less than 3.5" length' requirement when I asked about a week ago. I have not yet found that law and wonder if it is by the terms dirk, dagger, etc. possibly being defined elsewhere as being a blade over 3.5" in length?

    ETA: As for officers 'confiscating' knives without a receipt... The law makes an exception for peace officers to carry them concealed. Do the math.

  11. #10
    Member Array SpizyChicken's Avatar
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    Firearm Open Carry, Conceal Carry

    Quote Originally Posted by Fjolnirsson View Post
    I'd suggest Title 14 as a likely place to start looking. That's Portland Municipal code. As for others, they are scattered, but here's a couple...
    Municipal Codes Web Library by LexisNexis

    Portland's open carry ban applies(legally, that is), only to those without a CHL. However, they do still occasionally arrest for it. Were I to open carry there, or were my concealment less than perfect, I would expect to be put on my face on the concrete, and at the very least, lectured at length about the folly of my ways.

    I am unaware of any place in the Oregon law where "concealed" is defined. As such, the default would be the dictionary, I'd expect, but better call the State Attorney's office or such, to be certain.

    A good all around book to have is available through the Oregon Firearms Federation. If I recall correctly, it's "Understanding Oregon's Gun Laws".

    Oregon Firearms Federation | FAQ's. A Gun Owner's Guide In The Beaver State
    This was a very handy guide for me when I moved to Oregon...

    Here's the direct link for that book I mentioned.
    Oregon Firearms Federation
    As long as you have a valid CHL in Oregon, you may OPEN CARRY your firearm. A CHL does NOT allow concealed carry of anything else other than a Hand Gun.
    Your comment of getting put down on your face because you OPENED CARRIED is pretty drastic and a bit dramatic. I've talked with many Police officers who I'm friends with and they all are very aware of the OPEN CARRY LAWS pertaining to CHL holders. As long as you have a CHL you are good to go. I open carry often and have NEVER had an issue. I mostly conceal carry because I believe in the element of surprise in a defensive situation, but I also open carry when I feel it's warranted.

    Know the laws, exercise your rights, don't be a jerk about it.
    Pro-Peace & Pro Piece

  12. #11
    Member Array KevinInstructor's Avatar
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    Here is how I look at things in regards to Oregon knife laws. When carrying an edge tool concealed which is not on the off-limits rule under Oregon Statutes is “if it never seen it will never be an issue” coupled with (and this is extremely important) your demeanor.

    In regards to open carry of a firearm, just because it is legal does not mean it is a good idea. For those who do carry open carry and have never had an issue you are lucky as many lifelong criminals will not be put off by someone carrying openly but instead see this as an opportunity to get a firearm especially if they are a unable to purchase a firearm because of prior convictions marking them as a felon.

    You are carrying open carry (you choose, no retention device or not) standing on a sidewalk in the evening waiting for the walk signal to allow you to walk across the street with several other people who are strangers to you. Since you are a highly trained individual, you are constantly scanning the surrounding area for issues. The walk signal turns to white; everyone walks across the street, which is the last thing you remember. You wonder how you ended up laying face down on the sidewalk and while looking up see several people who are asking are you alright? After several minutes, you feel good enough to get up and afterwards pat yourself down and notice your holster is empty. One of the people who had asked if you were all right then tells you that while you were walking across the street several street thugs came out of nowhere, hit you over the head with a pipe, and took your firearm. Seems they came out of thin air but more likely than not they were close by, saw the exposed firearm and targeted you.

    In a normal “arm chair quarter back what-if scenario” there are many things someone can come back and say they could have done to prevent this from happening but no matter how you twist it in your favor there is no way one can circumvent an unseen attack.

    Food for thought.
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    Member Array Nicegy525's Avatar
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    My dad is a Portland LEO. He has defined dirk or dagger as a knife sharpened on BOTH sides. He did caution on carrying fixed blades concealed in city limits. Both of my EDC fixed blades are 3.5" or smaller.

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    Member Array porsche4786's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicegy525 View Post
    My dad is a Portland LEO. He has defined dirk or dagger as a knife sharpened on BOTH sides. He did caution on carrying fixed blades concealed in city limits. Both of my EDC fixed blades are 3.5" or smaller.
    Does he have an opinion for what concealed means as far as a folding/auto knife goes? I never carry an auto knife because there is no legal definition of what open carry of a knife means exactly. Is a visible pocket clip enough? Or does the whole knife have to be visible? Makes it pretty tough though. At any point would your shirt cover it for a split second you could go to jail, even though it's legal to carry a GUN. I don't understand the people that make the laws (legal to carry a gun and a fixed blade, but not an auto, hah). As far as fixed blades go, I do carry a very small (under 2'') fixed blade knife concealed in the city limits. Where ever I go. I guess I never thought about it being illegal anywhere.

    Edit: I just realized this is my thread lol, started in 2008!!

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    Member Array porsche4786's Avatar
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    Oops, it's actually more than 2'', smaller than 3''...

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    Member Array Nicegy525's Avatar
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    Pocket clip showing is enough. So long as you can reasonably prove you were not intentionally attempting to conceal a folding knife, I highly doubt an officer would hassle you over carrying a knife unless your demeanor attracted his attention. Really, IMO, the laws exist to allow stricter punishments for those who commit crimes with the use of, or possesion of knives.

    Auto knives are ok in Oregon. Im not sure about pdx city limits. I believe switchblades are illegal though (not sure why. They arent a very durable knife for fighting anyways)

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