When A Knife is "A Weapon of Like Kind"
To be a "weapon of like kind," the knife must first be a weapon. Farrakhan, 273 Va. at 182, 639 S.E.2d at 230; see also Delcid, 32 Va. App. at 17, 526 S.E.2d at 275. Generally, a weapon is "[a]n instrument of offensive or defensive combat: something to fight with." Delcid, 32 Va. App. at 18, 526 S.E.2d at 275 (citing Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary 1326 (1977)). Because a bladed instrument may be "possessed and used for non-aggressive as well as aggressive purposes," determining whether the knife "is an implement or a weapon requires consideration not only of the physical character of the instrument itself, but also of the circumstances surrounding its possession and use." Id. at 19, 526 S.E.2d at 275. Although the purpose for carrying the knife is irrelevant under Code § 18.2-308(A) and 18.2-308.2, "that purpose is one of the defining characteristics of the item in question." Id. ...Here, as shown, the knife in question has a 6-inch blade and a 5-inch handle. The blade has one dull, straight edge, and one sharp edge. Both edges come to a sharp point. The knife contains the inscription "MCR-11 Handmade" on one side, and "Taylor/Seto Surgical Japan" on the other. The knife does not fold to cover the blade. Rather, a leather sheath protects the blade. The knife is clearly not an "innocuous household [knife or an] industrial kni[fe] which may be carried for legitimate purposes." Richards, 18 Va. App. at 246 n.2, 443 S.E.2d at 179 n.2. Nor is it an implement possessed for "non-aggressive" purposes. See generally Delcid, 32 Va. App. at 19, 526 S.E.2d at 275. Moreover, Gilliam did not possess this item during the day at a job site. Instead, the knife was found in his possession after he was arrested for public intoxication around ten o'clock at night. And although Gilliam testified that he used the knife for construction, the trial court found this testimony incredible. Thus, we hold that there is sufficient evidence to support the conclusion that the knife in question is a weapon.
"In this case, Ohin's knife is not a common pocketknife as he claims it to be. It has physical features making it similar to several of the prohibited knives listed in Code 18.2-308(A)(ii) and dissimilar to the kinds of "innocuous household and industrial knives which may be carried for legitimate purposes." Richards, 18 Va. App. at 246 n.2, 443 S.E.2d at 179 n.2. Ohin's knife has a "hilt like a sword," as the trial judge described it. This hilt includes a cross-guard to improve the stabbing capability of the knife by protecting the hand during the thrusting motion. The same can be said for the oversized, notched handle a feature that enhances the user's grip. These physical properties make the knife of "like kind" to the dirk and the switchblade, given that both are designed primarily for stabbing motions. The knife's substantial hilt and cross-guard make it quite unlike a common pocketknife, kitchen carving knife, or other type of non-fighting blade. Ohin's knife blade also locks securely when opened, much like a switchblade or a butterfly knife, and can be retracted only when unlocked. See, e.g., O'Banion, 33 Va. App. at 60, 531 S.E.2d at 605 (noting that a "retractable blade that can be locked into place" gives a knife a weapon-like quality). The blade comes to a point like a bowie knife, with one side sharpened and the other side shaped with a concave curvature. This blade design likewise improves the knife's fighting capabilities. What was said about the butterfly knife in Delcid can be said also about Ohin's knife: It has a "fixed blade, sharp point, and single-sharpened edge" affording it "unquestionable utility as a stabbing weapon." Id. at 18, 526 S.E.2d at 275; see also Richards, 18 Va. App. at 246, 443 S.E.2d at 179 (finding on "examination of the weapon's blade" it was a "weapon of like kind").
See Also: Samuel Kingrey v. Commonwealth , (1999) , Allen Delcid v. Commonwealth, Va. App. (2000). , JOSEPH GOODWIN, III v. Commonwealth, Va. App. (2005) ,
In sum, the evidence supports the trial court's factual finding that Ohin's knife constitutes a "weapon of like kind" under Code 18.2-308(A)(v). We affirm Ohin's conviction, finding no error in the trial court's denial of his motion to strike the evidence."
3) "Code 18.2-308(A) defines the word "weapon" to include, inter alia, "any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife. . . or any weapon of like kind"
Contrary to the school division's assertion, the pocket knife that Brian had in his possession does not constitute a firearm within the meanings of these statutes [18.2-308.1, 22-1-2777.01(A)]. . . Applying these principles, we hold that Brian's pocket knife is not a firearm because a pocketknife is neither a dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, nor a weapon of like kind6"
6 A "dirk" is defined as a "long straight bladed dagger formerly carried (especially) by the Scottish Highlanders[;]2. a short sword formerly worn by British junior naval officers." Websters Third New International Dictionary, 642 (1981). A "bowie knife" is defined as "a large hunting knife adapted [especially] for knife fighting and common in western frontier regions and having a guarded handle and a strong single-edge blade typically 10 to 15 inches long with its back straight for most of its length and then curving concavely and sometimes in a sharpened edge to the point." id at 262, A "switchblade knife" is defined as " a pocketknife having the blade spring-operated so that pressure on a release catch causes it to fly open." id. at 2314. A "ballistic knife" is defined as "any knife with a detachable blade that is propelled by a spring-operated mechanism." Code 18.2-308(N) - Wood v. Henry County Public Schools, 255 Va. 85, (1998)