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Discussion Starter #1
Im trying to figure out the laws on carrying fixed blades in WA state. I know they are illegal in Seattle but what about other places. I cant seem to find a clear answer with google. I looked at WA laws and its still unclear. It says:

(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.

but then also says

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

(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;


Im confused about the presently threatened part. So if a cop saw a knife on your hip it would be illegal, but if he didnt see the same knife and you defended yourself it it would be legal. In short its illegal to carry unless you are presently defending yourself? What?
 

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1. Where did you read that fixed blade knives are illegal in Seattle?

2. The main point of the RCW you quoted is here: "...carry, exhibit, display, or draw...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."

The bolded part lists conditions that must be met in order for the carry to be unlawful. Having a firearm in a holster or a knife in a sheath does not meet any of those conditions.

Anti-gunners have tried to make legal hay out of this before and got shot down because the RCW doesn't stop with "carry, exhibit, display, or draw." It has to be done "in a manner" and "under circumstances" and "at a time and place" that shows an intent to intimidate another or warrants alarm. Holstered pistols and sheathed knives have been disqualified as warranting alarm and intention of intimidation.

Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Seattle Municipal Code Definitions

Seattle law on dangerous weapons

Seattle Municipal Code says its illegal to carry (concealed or unconcealed) "dangerous weapons" and Seattle MC defines dangerous weapons as any knife that is a fixed blade or a folder with a blade over 3.5in. I asked a SPD officer recently and he said the same.
 

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I'm a Washington resident.

At last check,

1) fixed blade knives, of any length, are illegal to carry concealed (by RCW), and

2) the maximum folding blade length is 3.5 (by RCW and Seattle Municipal Code)
 

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If you're using a fixed-blade implement, whether it's a knife, machete, or what-have-you, for yard work, fishing, ..., or some other legitimate purpose, it's alright to openly carry a sheathed fixed-blade.
 

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Seattle Municipal Code Definitions

Seattle law on dangerous weapons

Seattle Municipal Code says its illegal to carry (concealed or unconcealed) "dangerous weapons" and Seattle MC defines dangerous weapons as any knife that is a fixed blade or a folder with a blade over 3.5in. I asked a SPD officer recently and he said the same.
Thanks for the info; I'll definitely be reading through those.

As for the last part, be wary of asking a cop about anything outside of traffic law. I'm not saying they're all ignorant, but there are still some out there who aren't aware (or refuse to recognize) that open carry is legal.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
As for the last part, be wary of asking a cop about anything outside of traffic law. I'm not saying they're all ignorant, but there are still some out there who aren't aware (or refuse to recognize) that open carry is legal.
I feel you on that one. :frown:
 

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WA state has no length restriction for knives concealed or otherwise and the Seattle Municipal Code is only for fixed blade knives. The laws, and I think that WA has some of the best for both firearms and knives, simply restrict their use to defensive purposes within the boundaries of the law. As long as you're not being a jerk (read: doing anything illegal), you can carry just about any knife you want barring the Seattle example above.
 

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What RCW says you cannot carry a fixed blade concealed? There is no limitation on blade length by RCW, only by certain cities who have specifically have a limit in there municipal code.
 
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