Virginia knife laws; are concealed folders legal, etc.?

Virginia knife laws; are concealed folders legal, etc.?

This is a discussion on Virginia knife laws; are concealed folders legal, etc.? within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; 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 ...

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Thread: Virginia knife laws; are concealed folders legal, etc.?

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    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Virginia knife laws; are concealed folders legal, etc.?

    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?
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

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    Member Array celticredneck's Avatar
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    I am definitely not a LEO, but the Va Concealed permit is a CHP (Concealed Handgun Permit), not a CCW(Concealed Weapons Permit). That said, I usually carried a Buck Folder on my belt for work. In the winter it was covered by my jacket. I never gave this any before thought before obtaining my CHP, after all, to me it was another tool, not a knife.

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    Smile What constitutes "blade length"?

    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    Many use a rule of thumb of between 3 and 4 inches blade length, although none carry rulers.
    This brought back memories of a funny incident.

    I took some out of town guest to visit the Holocaust Museum, shortly after it opened. I had a small pocket knife with me.

    The guards took out a ruler and proceeded to have an argument among themselves about how to measure a blade length -- i.e., "From the tip [ to the end of the sharpened portion of the blade vs. to the hinge pin vs. to back of the metal with the knife half open so as to measure the entire blade, were it unassembled]"

    After a bit I said something like "It's a pen knife. No matter how you measure it it's shorter than [whatever they had said was the limit]. The whole thing folded is shorter than [???] and the blade is shorter than the handle that it is folded into."

    Back came, "We need to measure and record the length of the blade."

    A supervisor was called and somewhere in some archive there is a record that I carried an inch and whatever blade knife into the Holocaust Museum.
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