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Thread: Open carrying a knife?

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    I recently got a nice hunting knife with a 6.5" blade. Does anybody know the law as far as carrying a knife goes? I would only be wearing it when I'm out in the middle of nowhere (no other real point in carrying something that big when you can carry a pocket knife and a pistol), but I just wanted to be sure on the law regarding it.

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    Regular Member Anubis's Avatar
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    I think the relevant Virginia law is 18.2-308. Apparently no restrictions on open carry of knives. However knives are much more likely than firearms to be further restricted in local ordinances.

    A starting point from which to get to some local ordinances is http://www.municode.com/Resources/online%20Library.asp

    Click on Virginia in the map to get to list of county and city ordinances and then search for "knife".

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    At what point does a knife become a machete?

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    ProtectMd wrote:
    At what point does a knife become a machete?
    After putting on a hockey mask :P

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    mercutio545 wrote:
    I recently got a nice hunting knife with a 6.5" blade. Does anybody know the law as far as carrying a knife goes? I would only be wearing it when I'm out in the middle of nowhere (no other real point in carrying something that big when you can carry a pocket knife and a pistol), but I just wanted to be sure on the law regarding it.
    Go to packing.org. They also have section on knife laws.

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    Campaign Veteran Dutch Uncle's Avatar
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    You can Google "state knife laws" and get Bernard Levine's "Knife Laws of the 50 States". Seems pretty complete, but as noted above, there can be local restrictions.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Got motivated and looked up my surrounding localities. A few basically repeat the restrictions on concealed carry. Only restrictions on OC are noted.

    Arlington Co.: No ordinances
    Fairfax Co.: No ordinances
    Falls Church:
    Sec. 37-14. Possession of certain dangerous weapons prohibited. (a)No person shall, within the city, possess any machine gun, sawed-off shotgun or any instrument or weapon of the kind commonly known as a blackjack, slingshot, sand club, sandbag, switchblade knife or metal knuckles, nor any instrument, attachment or appliance for causing the firing of any firearm to be silent or intended to lessen or muffle the noise of the firing of any firearms; provided, that machine guns or sawed-off shotguns, and blackjacks may be possessed by the members of the Army, Navy or Marine Corps of the United States, the National guard or organized reserves when on duty, the Post Office Department or its employees when on duty, marshals, sheriffs, prison or jail wardens, or their deputies, policemen, or other duly-appointed law enforcement officers, officers or employees of the United States duly authorized to carry such weapons, banking institutions, public carriers who are engaged in the business of transporting mail, money, securities or other valuables, wholesale dealers and retail dealerslicensed under section 37-10. (b)No person shall, within the city, possess, with intent to use unlawfully against another, an imitation pistol, or a dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto or knife with a blade longer than three (3) inches, or other dangerous weapons. (c)Whoever violates this section shall be punished as provided in this Code unless the violation occurs after he has been convicted in the city of a violation of this section or of a felony, either in the city or in another jurisdiction, in which case shall be confined for not more than one year in jail.


    Fairfax City: No Ordinances
    Prince William Co.: No Ordinances
    Leesburg: No Ordinances
    Manassas: No Ordinances
    Manassas Park: No Ordinances

    From
    http://www.municode.com/resources/co...asp?stateID=46

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    ProtectMd wrote:
    At what point does a knife become a machete?
    Looks like 12 Inches will do it.


    § 18.2-282.1. Brandishing a machete or other bladed weapon with intent to intimidate; penalty.

    It shall be unlawful for any person to point, hold, or brandish a machete or any weapon, with an exposed blade 12 inches or longer, with the intent of intimidating any person or group of persons and in a manner that reasonably demonstrates that intent. This section shall not apply to any person engaged in excusable or justifiable self-defense. A person who violates this section is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor or, if the violation occurs upon any public, private, or religious elementary, middle, or high school, including buildings and grounds or upon public property within 1,000 feet of such school property, he is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

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    Ok -- call me stupid.. I am a simple man and a lot of this law language just plays with my head.

    A standard Buck Knife (which I havecarried for thirty years) is about 3.75 inches long.

    Carried in a sheath on the belt.

    What Ireadhere insinuates it is illegal regardless of CC or OC??

    :?






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    I did not read anything like that.

    I believe a small traditional knife commonly carried by so many are not a problem.

    Just those big knives are a problem and then only when you start waiving it around.

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    I did not read anything like that.

    I believe a small traditional knife commonly carried by so many are not a problem.

    Just those big knives are a problem and then only when you start waiving it around.
    This is were I get thrown >>knife with a blade longer than three (3) inches, or other dangerous weapons<<

    DC

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    DeadCenter wrote:
    Ok -- call me stupid.. I am a simple man and a lot of this law language just plays with my head.

    A standard Buck Knife (which I have*carried for thirty years) is about 3.75 inches long.

    Carried in a sheath on the belt.

    What I*read*here insinuates it is illegal regardless of CC or OC??
    Most state and local laws on knife carry are based on blade length. Some also include some language as to the intent of the person carrying. The intent part is to cover people who might be say, using a machete to clear brush. Clearly the length of a machete would make them illegal in many places, but the legitimate use of the blade as a tool for clearing brush makes the possession legal.

    In effect all you have to worry about is the length of the blade. If your knife is shorter than the length specified by law, you are fine. If it is longer than that length, then you have to read further too see the specific conditions that would allow carry and legal use of that particular item.

    In most cases, if you are not causing any trouble, LEOs will not worry too much about knives of any reasonable length.

    Your milage may vary, and you should research all local laws that may pertain to your specific situation.

    Regards
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Read the whole code, yes it would be illegal IF you were carrying it with the intent to use it unlawfully against another. A defensive or utility purpose would make it legal as I read it.

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    longwatch wrote:
    Read the whole code, yes it would be illegal IF you were carrying it with the intent to use it unlawfully against another. A defensive or utility purpose would make it legal as I read it.
    with intent to use unlawfully against another



    I read it -- However, it's leaves room for interpretation.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Possession alone is not evidence of intent, I think a FCPD officer would have to articulate some pretty good evidence of unlawful intent. Such as evidence of assault or robbery or planning to do so. You can always rebutt such an assertion in court. I would also think a CHP and a clean record would also be strong evidence of a defensive intent. As someone who goes through the city everyday I'm not particularly concerned about being in violation of that ordinance.

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    longwatch wrote:
    Possession alone is not evidence of intent, I think a FCPD officer would have to articulate some pretty good evidence of unlawful intent. Such as evidence of assault or robbery or planning to do so. You can always rebutt such an assertion in court. I would also think a CHP and a clean record would also be strong evidence of a defensive intent. As someone who goes through the city everyday I'm not particularly concerned about being in violation of that ordinance.
    I agree... You need to do something bad with the knife... Just having it means nothing.

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    longwatch wrote:
    Possession alone is not evidence of intent, I think a FCPD officer would have to articulate some pretty good evidence of unlawful intent.* Such as evidence of assault or robbery or planning to do so.* You can always rebutt such an assertion in court.* I would also think a CHP and a clean record would also be strong evidence of a defensive intent.* As someone who goes through the city everyday I'm not particularly concerned about being in violation of that ordinance.
    I agree...* You need to do something bad with the knife... Just having it means nothing.
    I agree too, but doing something bad while in possession of the knife counts too. Even if you did not use the knife too do the bad thing, it would be another charge that could be brought.

    Regards
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    I have carried my knife everywhere even on a plane a few times (so much for the TSA huh) it is a spring assisted model with a 4 inch blade and never a problem. I am never without some kind of personal self defense tool. I was doing some work in a PD and pulled it out to open some boxes and was informed that it was not legal to carry...as I put it back into my pocket. Nothing came of that. The US has not yet hit the stage of banning "sharp pointy things" like Europe. Besides remember what your local news said "guns kill" they didn't say knives kill now did they. We all know that what the media says is true otherwise they wouldn't mention it ...... right.

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    Toad wrote:
    it is a spring assisted model with a 4 inch blade and never a problem. I am never without some kind of personal self defense tool. I was doing some work in a PD and pulled it out to open some boxes and was informed that it was not legal to carry...as I put it back into my pocket. Nothing came of that.
    So is it a switchblade? Technically?

    I like Benchmade products. I carry a switchblade model that is issued to the military.

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    Toad wrote:
    it is a spring assisted model with a 4 inch blade and never a problem. I am never without some kind of personal self defense tool. I was doing some work in a PD and pulled it out to open some boxes and was informed that it was not legal to carry...as I put it back into my pocket. Nothing came of that.
    So is it a switchblade? Technically?
    I don't know what Toad carries, but the spring assisted models from Kershaw are very popular; I have several.

    They are not switchblades.

    With a switchblade, releasing a catch allows spring force to open the blade without any manual blade-opening effort needed.

    On the spring assisted models, the user must manually begin the opening of the blade, and then the spring assists with completing the opening.

    I haven't seen any automatic knives (switchblades) at gun shows; the assisted opening models are there in great quantity.



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    I would imagine that it comes down to the LEO and the situation. For example... Not to get off the subject of VA law, but in Md. if you are carrying a knife such as any average pocket knife and even a benchmade and the clip is visible over the pocket/beltline then its not considered concealed. nor is it considered concealed if its in a pouch visible on your belt... like most gerbers/swiss army knives etc.

    Theres alot of cops over here that don't care about knives depending on who you are, they aren't going to arrest you for carrying a swiss army knife in your pocket even if there isn't a clip to show... but you have to have a reason for carrying it, like job related.... if you open boxes up, letters, fire/ems, other LE, construction etc. So... if your caught with a knife here and the cop asks why you have it, don't say self defense.

    Most of the crackheads actually don't carry average pocketknives, but they have been caught with the following.... swords, ice picks, shanks (plastic/metal), sharp objects, kitchen knives, whatever type of stabbing weapon they can get their hands on.

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    DrMark wrote:
    I don't know what Toad carries, but the spring assisted models from Kershaw are very popular; I have several.

    They are not switchblades.

    With a switchblade, releasing a catch allows spring force to open the blade without any manual blade-opening effort needed.

    On the spring assisted models, the user must manually begin the opening of the blade, and then the spring assists with completing the opening.

    I haven't seen any automatic knives (switchblades) at gun shows; the assisted opening models are there in great quantity.

    Ah.. Ok. I have nothing but Benchmades.. 3 of the 4 are switchblades.

    Here is a little light reading....

    § 18.2-311. Prohibiting the selling or having in possession blackjacks, etc.

    If any person sells or barters, or exhibits for sale or for barter, or gives or furnishes, or causes to be sold, bartered, given or furnished, or has in his possession, or under his control, with the intent of selling, bartering, giving or furnishing, any blackjack, brass or metal knucks, any disc of whatever configuration having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, or like weapons, such person shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. The having in one's possession of any such weapon shall be prima facie evidence, except in the case of a conservator of the peace, of his intent to sell, barter, give or furnish the same.


    § 18.2-308. Personal protection; carrying concealed weapons; when lawful to carry.

    A. If any person carries about his person, hidden from common observation, (i) any pistol, revolver, or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind by action of an explosion of any combustible material; (ii) any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, slingshot, spring stick, metal knucks, or blackjack; (iii) any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain; (iv) any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart; or (v) any weapon of like kind as those enumerated in this subsection, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    A second violation of this section or a conviction under this section subsequent to any conviction under any substantially similar ordinance of any county, city, or town shall be punishable as a Class 6 felony, and a third or subsequent such violation shall be punishable as a Class 5 felony. For the purpose of this section, a weapon shall be deemed to be hidden from common observation when it is observable but is of such deceptive appearance as to disguise the weapon's true nature.

    B. This section shall not apply to any person while in his own place of abode or the curtilage thereof.

    Except as provided in subsection J1, this section shall not apply to:

    1. Any person while in his own place of business;

    2. Any law-enforcement officer, wherever such law-enforcement officer may travel in the Commonwealth;

    3. Any regularly enrolled member of a target shooting organization who is at, or going to or from, an established shooting range, provided that the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported;

    4. Any regularly enrolled member of a weapons collecting organization who is at, or going to or from, a bona fide weapons exhibition, provided that the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported;

    5. Any person carrying such weapons between his place of abode and a place of purchase or repair, provided the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported;

    6. Any person actually engaged in lawful hunting, as authorized by the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries, under inclement weather conditions necessitating temporary protection of his firearm from those conditions, provided that possession of a handgun while engaged in lawful hunting shall not be construed as hunting with a handgun if the person hunting is carrying a valid concealed handgun permit; and

    7. Any State Police officer retired from the Department of State Police, any local law-enforcement officer, auxiliary police officer or animal control officer retired from a police department or sheriff's office within the Commonwealth, any special agent retired from the State Corporation Commission or the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, any game warden retired from the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and any Virginia Marine Police officer retired from the Law Enforcement Division of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, other than an officer or agent terminated for cause, (i) with a service-related disability; (ii) following at least 15 years of service with any such law-enforcement agency, board or any combination thereof; or (iii) who has reached 55 years of age, provided such officer carries with him written proof of consultation with and favorable review of the need to carry a concealed handgun issued by the chief law-enforcement officer of the last such agency from which the officer retired or, in the case of special agents, issued by the State Corporation Commission or the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. A copy of the proof of consultation and favorable review shall be forwarded by the chief or the Board to the Department of State Police for entry into the Virginia Criminal Information Network. The chief law-enforcement officer shall not without cause withhold such written proof if the retired law-enforcement officer otherwise meets the requirements of this section.

    For purposes of applying the reciprocity provisions of subsection P, any person granted the privilege to carry a concealed handgun pursuant to this subdivision, while carrying the proof of consultation and favorable review required, shall be deemed to have been issued a concealed handgun permit.

    C. This section shall also not apply to any of the following individuals while in the discharge of their official duties, or while in transit to or from such duties:

    1. Carriers of the United States mail;

    2. Officers or guards of any state correctional institution;

    3. [Repealed.]

    4. Conservators of the peace, except that the following conservators of the peace shall not be permitted to carry a concealed handgun without obtaining a permit as provided in subsection D hereof: (a) notaries public; (b) registrars; (c) drivers, operators or other persons in charge of any motor vehicle carrier of passengers for hire; or (d) commissioners in chancery;

    5. Noncustodial employees of the Department of Corrections designated to carry weapons by the Director of the Department of Corrections pursuant to § 53.1-29; and

    6. Harbormaster of the City of Hopewell.



    § 18.2-309. Furnishing certain weapons to minors; penalty.

    A. If any person sells, barters, gives or furnishes, or causes to be sold, bartered, given or furnished, to any minor a dirk, switchblade knife or bowie knife, having good cause to believe him to be a minor, such person shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

  23. #23
    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    DrMark wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    Toad wrote:
    *it is a spring assisted model with a 4 inch blade and never a problem. I am never without some kind of personal self defense tool. I was doing some work in a PD and pulled it out to open some boxes and was informed that it was not legal to carry...as I put it back into my pocket. Nothing came of that.
    So is it a switchblade? Technically?
    I don't know what Toad carries, but the spring assisted models from Kershaw are very popular; I have several.

    They are not switchblades.

    With a switchblade, releasing a catch allows spring force to open the blade without any manual blade-opening effort needed.

    On the spring assisted models, the user must manually begin the opening of the blade, and then the spring assists with completing the opening.

    I haven't seen any automatic knives (switchblades) at gun shows; the assisted opening models are there in great quantity.
    The Benchmade dealers at gun-shows almost always have full auto switch blades for sale to properly credentialed LEOs. I am not really sure anyone else is making any that are as popular as Benchmade for LE application.

    Regards
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

  24. #24
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    I have seen a few other guys with other models but the quality just is not there.

    I am still kicking around the idea to be a benchmade dealer. I have all the paperwork... just have to turn it in...

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