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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.
 

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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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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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Now Everywhere does that include overseas? It thats it then 2" with no lock folder would work almost everywhere. Knife laws suck.......
 

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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....
 

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I’m soOoo yesterdays’ news, but here in the Grand Canyon State, most folders that are considered general purpose are Ok being concealed. However, any quick action knifes that are not visible from three sides are consider concealed weapons. Hence, that’s part of the reason the CCW (conceal carry weapon) permit designation is so named. As others’ pointed out, the LEO has a whole lot of discretion in this regard. If you’re a dirt-bag or lack people skills, you will go down.
 

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As of (2009) Virginia's concealed weapons laws for knives do not specify blade length except for on school property [Va. Code 18.2-308.1(ii)(2009)].

What makes a knife illegal to conceal genearlly in Virginia is whether it is a "Dirk", "Bowie Knife", "Switchblade", "Razor Blade", "Machete" or "Ballistic Blade" or "Of Like Kind" [Va. Code 18.2-308(ii) (2009)].

What makes a knife illegal to conceal in Viriginia is a very case-by-case comparison of each knife with a Dirk, Bowie Knife, etc. as defined by a judge who may or may not have even a basic understanding of knives.

Simple Pocket Knives (not switchblades or box cutters) are generally concealable in Virginia. Thanks to Woods v. Henry County Public Schools, 255 Va. 85 (1998).

Kitchen Knives and Steak Knives are generally concealable in Virginia thanks to Farrakhan v Commonwealth, 639 S.E.2d 227 (2007). And Butterfly knives are generally ok (though the lower courts has often ruled otherwise) thanks to Thomas v. Commonwealth, 277 Va. 280 (2009).

That being said, the courts can always change their mind and there are many law enforcement officers which do not have a firm grasp on these laws. many law enforcement officers follow the "if it looks dangerous or if the person is up to no good, arrest them rule". In the case of concealed knives there is a big difference between what can get you arrested, what can get you convicted, and what will stick on appeal.

This is just a very basic statement of Virginia's law genearlly as of (Dec 2009) and is not legal advice for any specific person or situation. If you have questions about Virginia's concealed weapons laws. Please feel free to contact me at Spectrum Legal Defense.

Luke Nichols
Spectrum Legal Defense
(703) 383-9222
Spectrum Legal Defense
[email protected]
 

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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.
ok, I may be ignorant on the wording there, but I don't see where it says I can't carry a fixed blade knife concealed or otherwise. Is a fixed blade considered a dagger or dirk?

A dagger or dirk is not defined in "Terms Defined"
RCW 9.41.010: Terms defined.

Wiki defines a dagger here
Dagger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

and Dirk here
Dirk - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

for example, a RAT Izula or RC-3, does not fall into either of those definitions.

Of course, the WA courts may say otherwise...

thoughts?
 

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ok, I may be ignorant on the wording there, but I don't see where it says I can't carry a fixed blade knife concealed or otherwise. Is a fixed blade considered a dagger or dirk?

A dagger or dirk is not defined in "Terms Defined"
RCW 9.41.010: Terms defined.

Wiki defines a dagger here
Dagger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

and Dirk here
Dirk - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

for example, a RAT Izula or RC-3, does not fall into either of those definitions.

Of course, the WA courts may say otherwise...

thoughts?
RCWs > Title 9 > Chapter 9.41 > Section 9.41.270

Print Version | [No disponible en español]

9.41.260 << 9.41.270 >> 9.41.280


RCW 9.41.270
Weapons apparently capable of producing bodily harm — Unlawful carrying or handling — Penalty — Exceptions.

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.

(2) Any person violating the provisions of subsection (1) above shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor. If any person is convicted of a violation of subsection (1) of this section, the person shall lose his or her concealed pistol license, if any. The court shall send notice of the revocation to the department of licensing, and the city, town, or county which issued the license.

(3) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to or affect the following:

(a) Any act committed by a person while in his or her place of abode or fixed place of business;

(b) Any person who by virtue of his or her office or public employment is vested by law with a duty to preserve public safety, maintain public order, or to make arrests for offenses, while in the performance of such duty;

(c) Any person acting for the purpose of protecting himself or herself against the use of presently threatened unlawful force by another, or for the purpose of protecting another against the use of such unlawful force by a third person;

(d) Any person making or assisting in making a lawful arrest for the commission of a felony; or

(e) Any person engaged in military activities sponsored by the federal or state governments.


[1994 sp.s. c 7 § 426; 1969 c 8 § 1.]


Notes:
Finding -- Intent -- Severability -- 1994 sp.s. c 7: See notes following RCW 43.70.540.

Effective date -- 1994 sp.s. c 7 §§ 401-410, 413-416, 418-437, and 439-460: See note following RCW 9.41.010.

I found this....It all depends how you interpret intimidate
 

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ok, I may be ignorant on the wording there, but I don't see where it says I can't carry a fixed blade knife concealed or otherwise. Is a fixed blade considered a dagger or dirk?

A dagger or dirk is not defined in "Terms Defined"
RCW 9.41.010: Terms defined.

Wiki defines a dagger here
Dagger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

and Dirk here
Dirk - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

for example, a RAT Izula or RC-3, does not fall into either of those definitions.

Of course, the WA courts may say otherwise...

thoughts?
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

(c) Uses any contrivance or device for suppressing the noise of any firearm,

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

(2) Subsection (1)(a) of this section does not apply to:

(a) The possession of a spring blade knife by a law enforcement officer while the officer:

(i) Is on official duty; or

(ii) Is transporting the knife to or from the place where the knife is stored when the officer is not on official duty; or

(b) The storage of a spring blade knife by a law enforcement officer.


[2007 c 379 § 1; 1994 sp.s. c 7 § 424; 1959 c 143 § 1; 1957 c 93 § 1; 1909 c 249 § 265; 1886 p 81 § 1; Code 1881 § 929; RRS § 2517.]

Notes: Finding -- Intent -- Severability -- 1994 sp.s. c 7: See notes following RCW 43.70.540.

Effective date -- 1994 sp.s. c 7 §§ 401-410, 413-416, 418-437, and 439-460: See note following RCW 9.41.010.
 
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