Knife resrictions in PA

Knife resrictions in PA

This is a discussion on Knife resrictions in PA within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; What are the legal limts for knife size - carry in PA? Is there a lenght limit? Is there a law against an assisted open ...

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  1. #1
    New Member Array D Compound's Avatar
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    Knife resrictions in PA

    What are the legal limts for knife size - carry in PA?

    Is there a lenght limit?
    Is there a law against an assisted open knife - like a Smith & Wesson S.W.A.T. knife?

    Thanks


  2. #2
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    There is no length limit mentioned.
    Double edges are considered to be daggers and are a no-no.
    I believe that an assisted open knife would also be taboo as are switchblades.
    There was legal precedent set that butterfly knives are considered legal.

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    New Member Array D Compound's Avatar
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    (BTT)

    I thought switch blades under 6 inches (same w/ assisted open under 6 inches) were ok....

    I guess these are ok to own ....just not carry....???

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    18 Pa.C.S. § 908: Prohibited offensive weapons
    (a) Offense defined.--A person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree if, except as authorized by law, he makes repairs, sells, or otherwise deals in, uses, or possesses any offensive weapon.

    (b) Exceptions.--
    (1) It is a defense under this section for the defendant to prove by a preponderance of evidence that he possessed or dealt with the weapon solely as a curio or in a dramatic performance, or that, with the exception of a bomb, grenade or incendiary device, he complied with the National Firearms Act (26 U.S.C. § 5801 et seq.), or that he possessed it briefly in consequence of having found it or taken it from an aggressor, or under circumstances similarly negativing any intent or likelihood that the weapon would be used unlawfully.

    (2) This section does not apply to police forensic firearms experts or police forensic firearms laboratories. Also exempt from this section are forensic firearms experts or forensic firearms laboratories operating in the ordinary course of business and engaged in lawful operation who notify in writing, on an annual basis, the chief or head of any police force or police department of a city, and, elsewhere, the sheriff of a county in which they are located, of the possession, type and use of offensive weapons.

    (3) This section shall not apply to any person who makes, repairs, sells or otherwise deals in, uses or possesses any firearm for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.
    (c) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

    "Firearm."
    Any weapon which is designed to or may readily be converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive or the frame or receiver of any such weapon.

    "Offensive weapons." Any bomb, grenade, machine gun, sawed-off shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches, firearm specially made or specially adapted for concealment or silent discharge, any blackjack, sandbag, metal knuckles, dagger, knife, razor or cutting instrument, the blade of which is exposed in an automatic way by switch, push-button, spring mechanism, or otherwise, any stun gun, stun baton, taser or other electronic or electric weapon or other implement for the infliction of serious bodily injury which serves no common lawful purpose.

    (d) Exemptions.--The use and possession of blackjacks by the following persons in the course of their duties are exempt from this section:
    (1) Police officers, as defined by and who meet the requirements of the act of June 18, 1974 (P.L. 359, No. 120), referred to as the Municipal Police Education and Training Law. [FN1]
    (2) Police officers of first class cities who have successfully completed training which is substantially equivalent to the program under the Municipal Police Education and Training Law.
    (3) Pennsylvania State Police officers.
    (4) Sheriffs and deputy sheriffs of the various counties who have satisfactorily met the requirements of the Municipal Police Education and Training Law.
    (5) Police officers employed by the Commonwealth who have satisfactorily met the requirements of the Municipal Police Education and Training Law.
    (6) Deputy sheriffs with adequate training as determined by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
    (7) Liquor Control Board agents who have satisfactorily met the requirements of the Municipal Police Education and Training Law.


    Pennsylvania case law:
    Where opening knife required lock to be released, and
    once lock was released blade could be exposed by flip of
    wrist, knife did not have blade which could be "exposed in
    an automatic way"... by "otherwise" legislature referred
    to knives that were opened by some sort of mechanism which
    is not a "switch," "push-button," or "spring" mechanism
    but still a mechanism... (1979)

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    New Member Array D Compound's Avatar
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    Gee......

    guess it would be better to just consider it illegal in PA and be done w/ it........

    thanks for the help.....

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array Knuckledrager's Avatar
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    It has been my experience in the court room that the highlighted items are only considered to be a POW when they are automatic knives. Assisted openers like the Kershaw "random task" do not fall under this definition.

    Offensive weapons." Any bomb, grenade, machine gun, sawed-off shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches, firearm specially made or specially adapted for concealment or silent discharge, any blackjack, sandbag, metal knuckles, dagger, knife, razor or cutting instrument, the blade of which is exposed in an automatic way by switch, push-button, spring mechanism, or otherwise, any stun gun, stun baton, taser or other electronic or electric weapon or other implement for the infliction of serious bodily injury which serves no common lawful purpose.
    "The liberty of the individual is no gift of civilization. It was greatest before there was any civilization." Sigmund Freud

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    Member Array ratrodfink's Avatar
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    ...and then there's always Philly that makes up their own laws regardless of state laws and will harass you for a knife that they deem is not for work purposes.
    Hopyard and Badey like this.
    If you're going to embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.

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    Member Array BentLink's Avatar
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    Sandbag!?!?!?!?!

    Wow. I've read this a few times, but didn't really have that one sink in. I guess I'll have to stack my firearms instead when all this snow melts...
    Still Clingin'

  9. #9
    New Member Array D Compound's Avatar
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    Got this off another site....where I asked the same question....
    --------------------------------------
    "Assisted-opening (spring-assisted) knives are legal. Fully automatic (switchblade) knives are not. The interpretation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 908 can be ambiguous, but the simple fact that it is illegal to sell a “prohibited offensive weapon” (i.e., a switchblade), yet assisted-opening knives are still sold throughout Pennsylvania seems to indicate that Pennsylvania follows in the footsteps of everywhere else in the United States in keeping assisted-opening knives legal.

    Additional information about specifics can be found at http://www.assistedknife.com/index.c....main/pageID/5."

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    Ex Member Array jahwarrior72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    There was legal precedent set that butterfly knives are considered legal.
    that was Commonwealth V. Miles.

    the problem with PA knife laws is, unlike firearms, there's no preemption, which means each municipality, township, county, etc, can make their own knife laws up arbitrarily. for example, in Lackawanna County, assisted openers are fine, as long as they're under 3.5"; in neighboring Luzerne County, assisted openers are a no-no, but you can openly carry a fixed blade up to 6" long. don't let Philly PD see you carrying any sort of knife; they will take it, and they might cite you.

  11. #11
    Member Array Steve261's Avatar
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    "in neighboring Luzerne County, assisted openers are a no-no"

    Oh really? Since when and based on what law?

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    Ex Member Array jahwarrior72's Avatar
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    since Wilkes-Barre PD say so. like i said, knife laws are arbitrary. a buddy of mine was stopped, and had his knife confiscated.

    of course, this is the same town that stopped a guy open carrying , and took his gun from him. PA is great for guns, but crap for knife carrying.

    one of the reasons i started carrying was due to the advice of a deputy sheriff from Wayne County. without going into specifics, he suggested that instead of using a knife for SD, it would be better for me, both practically and legally, to use a gun instead. he was the one who told me about PA's weird knife laws, and explained the process to get a LTCF.

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    "The interpretation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 908 can be ambiguous"

    I think intentionally ambiguous.

    Off the record I don't know of anyone in PA that was ever busted just for minding their own business and carrying a knife.

    Usually....you get busted for something else & they use the "on your person" knife to hold you until they get something else to stick.

  14. #14
    Ex Member Array jahwarrior72's Avatar
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    i'd like to add:

    in a recent incident, i was temporarily disarmed by the Scranton PD. they asked if i had any weapons, besides my gun, and i told them where to find my Spyderco Chinook, and 5.11 Tarani Journeyman. they relieved me of them, and my keys, because of the HAK i keep on them. after everything was over, they handed back my gun, knives, and keys.

    the only thing any one of the LEOs said about the knives, was where i got them.

  15. #15
    Member Array zackattack78's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    Double edges are considered to be daggers and are a no-no.
    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but my interpretation of the law is that for a dagger to be illegal the blade must be exposed in an automatic way.

    "...dagger, knife, razor or cutting instrument, the blade of which is exposed in an automatic way by switch, push-button, spring mechanism, or otherwise..."

    IMHO, carrying say, a Gerber Guardian Backup, would be legal.

    Back to the OP, ANY length blade is legal according to STATE law. With local laws, YMMV.

    I've been carrying a BM Griptilian (3.5" blade) everywhere I go for the last 2 years. During this time I've had a few LEO interactions and none of them have even questioned me on it. As long as your knife is reasonable I don't think you will have any problems.
    Sig Sauer P229 9mm
    Sig Sauer P238 .380
    Colt XSE 1911 .45

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