This question came up in this thread:http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...ml#post1199741 Post #48 so far has the meat of the issue, I will copy it here:
Originally Posted by GWRedDragon View Post
My understanding is...
1) VA 18.2-308 prohibits concealed carry of "any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, slingshot, spring stick, metal knucks, or blackjack", and a CHP does not exempt you from this prohibition.
2) Preemption applies only to firearms and ammunition, not for knives and blades.
3) Many if not most 'urban' counties have blade length restrictions.
I can't agree with your assertion that carrying a knife concealed is generally illegal (or words to that affect as I remember them). I believe that you have incompletely read and/or interpreted the Code, although I capitulate that knife law is quite scant in VA.
1. I see this just like open carry. No law against it, so it's OK. No law against folders, or hunting type fixed blades which are not of the listed types. Most fixed blades will be open carried anyway as a matter of necessity unless you really are trying to 'conceal', and that would be right uncomfortable hiding a machete. Of course if Customs gets the definition of switchblade changed, one handed openers could be in peril.
2. Again, folders I do not believe are addressed in the Code. Preemption would be nice to have, though.
3. Can't speak to this, but among my old LEO associates it was generally accepted that a common folder is not illegal absent other criminal activity. Many use a rule of thumb of between 3 and 4 inches blade length, although none carry rulers.
Any VA LEOs out there who can offer insight?