Knife length?

This is a discussion on Knife length? within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; What is the max. length a knife can be to be able to carry in every state? Is there a length that would be legal ...

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Thread: Knife length?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array REVMAN's Avatar
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    Knife length?

    What is the max. length a knife can be to be able to carry in every state? Is there a length that would be legal everywhere?
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  3. #2
    Member Array black knife's Avatar
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    In California the length of the blade only matters when you are carrying on school grounds or if the knife is a switch blade......if you carry a folder then you can carry it concealed. If you carry a fixed blade then it must be in a sheath and carried openly on your waist.....no size limits on either the fixed blade or folder other than on schools grounds which is 2 3/4 inches.
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    Ex Member Array Sunday's Avatar
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    I think this is a very murky area, far more so than with firearms. I know in NJ and NYC folders that have the look of lets say an Emerson can cause LEO problems even if they have a short blade. I think it really is a LEO discretionary issue, i.e. if someone is already doing something wrong a knife is just another issue. In other states a folder clipped onto your pocket can be an issue if the wearer looks like a gang banger but not if the wearer does not (I was recently told this at a dinner by several LEO friends). Due to the discretionary nature a LEO has regarding knives (in Gotham city LOL) I don't use clipons under any circumstances (I prefer det cord in the liner of my jacket for those sticky situations LOL). That being said some of my friends put the combat folder clipons on the inside of their belts so they can't be seen. Basically for knives IMO "there is no spoon".

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    Senior Member Array rljohns's Avatar
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    I would say under 3" would be GTG almost anywhere. The laws are very vague and lots of grey areas. For example, San Antonio, TX outlaws any lock blade knife. It must really suck to be a carpet layer in San Antonio. I have also heard that SA, TX DAs have given direction to lay off tourist and "normal" citizens. It is a tack-on offense, not used as a primary offense.

    I was in Washington, DC working at in Federal Building (most of the buildings in that town) and we decided to go to the new Café in the D.O.T. building down the block. They require any US Government ID to enter the DOT building. The guy with me had a lock blade NRA 2.875 " folder and we were required to go thru an airport style metal detector and show a badge to enter. He put his change, knife, keys, etc in the little pan, went thru the metal detector and the guard handed him back his knife on the other side without even looking at it.

    So I would say 3" is good in DC. I think even up to 3.5 in DC as long as you don't present it in a threat. If you read DC law it says it must be presented as a weapon to be illegal. But I have heard if it is "scary" they may proceed with confiscating it. Especially if it is an "assault" knife. (LOL).

    I have also been told that NYC allows up to 4" as long as it is concealed. That seems a little strange for NYC. According to a blog it is required to be concealed and can not be clipped on the pocket. So most ppl that buy Spydercos in NYC remove the clip. So strange!!

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    Member Array KevinInstructor's Avatar
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    As already mentioned, under three inches is playing it safe in most states. Here in Oregon I see all types of carry, it is common place to carry folders clipped to a pocket and also fix blades on belts openly carried. Yet another reason I like Oregon.

    Best to carry openly if for no other reason the knife is easier to draw than bouncing around in a pocket.
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    Distinguished Member Array Anubis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by REVMAN View Post
    Is there a length that would be legal everywhere?
    If "everywhere" includes Chicago, with the shortest specified legal blade length I've yet seen, that would be 2.5 inches (or 2.0 inches if the carrier is under 18).

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    Ex Member Array jahwarrior72's Avatar
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    many may-issue states have state preemption, which means that local goverments can't regulate the ownership and carry of firearms. PA is one of those states.

    unfortunately, i don't know of any state that extends these laws to knives. in PA, one town can allow the carry of a bowie, while another may ban any sort of blade altogether, regardless of size. it might possibly be easier to carry a gun in various states, legally speaking, than finding a knife that can do the same.

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    Member Array aric's Avatar
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    No fixed blades in WA except for hunting and work situations that require one.

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    Member Array JSlack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aric View Post
    No fixed blades in WA except for hunting and work situations that require one.
    Can you point me to the RCW? I was researching this just the other day, and from the RCW's I read, there is no restriction on a knife, unless you carry it to intimidate.

    I might have missed something, however.

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    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
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    Seattle has a ban on any fixed blade knife but I haven't seen it anywhere else.

    Under 3" for a folder seems to be good to go in every state I've found so far.

  12. #11
    Member Array Dupek's Avatar
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    In Wyoming there are no laws regarding knife length. You must surrender your knife/gun when entering a saloon, but you get it back when you leave.

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    Member Array aric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSlack View Post
    Can you point me to the RCW? I was researching this just the other day, and from the RCW's I read, there is no restriction on a knife, unless you carry it to intimidate.

    I might have missed something, however.
    9.41.250 and 9.41.270 cover most of it.

    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

    is guilty of a gross misdemeanor punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.

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    Distinguished Member Array TerriLi's Avatar
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    Now Everywhere does that include overseas? It thats it then 2" with no lock folder would work almost everywhere. Knife laws suck.......
    I know not what this "overkill" means.

    Honing the knives, Cleaning the longguns, Stocking up ammo.

  15. #14
    Member Array black knife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aric View Post
    9.41.250 and 9.41.270 cover most of it.

    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

    is guilty of a gross misdemeanor punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.
    It appears that you can have a knife as long as it is not concealed or have a loose folder knife....
    "You fight the way you Train"

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array rljohns's Avatar
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    Some states include knives with their CCW. Unfortunely, Colorado does not. That would be a defacto preemption.

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