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Thread: Knife Carry Laws

  1. #1
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    What are restrictions on pocket knife carry in CA?

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    Letter I wrote to my university police concerning knife laws.

    http://writer.zoho.com/public/pullns...T-EMAIL/script

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    Chaingun81 wrote:
    What are restrictions on pocket knife carry in CA?
    You REALLY don't want to know Knife laws in CA are horrid and have HUGE variation in different localities. Move 10 feet and there might be a completely different law.

    About the only way that you can carry a knife nearly everywhere is if its a folding knife with a propensity to stay closed with a bladeunder 2 inches.

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    mjones wrote:
    Chaingun81 wrote:
    What are restrictions on pocket knife carry in CA?
    You REALLY don't want to know Knife laws in CA are horrid and have HUGE variation in different localities. Move 10 feet and there might be a completely different law.

    About the only way that you can carry a knife nearly everywhere is if its a folding knife with a propensity to stay closed with a bladeunder 2 inches.
    FUD!

    Read the letter above.

    Even better, let me describe it for you guys.

    -There is no length limit for folding, can be open carried or concealed (everywhere)
    -No length limit for fixed, must be open carried (everywhere)
    -Colleges= no limit for folding, 2.5" fixed.
    - K-12 schools= slightly weird (read letter) but basically, nothing over 2" folding if you are not otherwise qualified.
    -No switchblades over 2"
    -Spring assisted=OK
    -Unless you buy cheapass gravity knives at Pakistani swap markets, you won't run amok of the law.
    -There are some slight nuances due to local ordinances but they are only busted out in extreme circumstances.
    -Opening a folder and inserting into a sheath (like Emerson knives)=fixed blade, so be careful if you open and lock a folder and carry as such.

    CARRY ON!

    -N8



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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    You want this: http://www.ninehundred.net/~equalccw/knifelaw.html

    I carry a folding 3.75" blade in San Francisco and I've read the municipal codes and there are a handful of restrictions applying to carrying a knife. Here are a few of them:

    SEC. 1291. PROHIBITING LOITERING WHILE CARRYING CONCEALED WEAPONS. (a)As used in this Section, but in no wise limited thereto, "dangerous or deadly weapon" shall mean: any knife with a blade three inches or more in length; any spring-blade, switch-blade, or snap-blade or other similar type knife; any knife any blade of which is automatically released by a spring mechanism or other mechanical device; any ice pick, or similar sharp, stabbing tool; any straight edge razor or any razor blade fitted to a handle; any cutting, stabbing, bludgeoning weapon or device capable of inflicting grievous bodily harm. (b)It shall be unlawful for any person, while carrying concealed upon his person any dangerous or deadly weapon, to loaf or loiter upon any public street, sidewalk, or alley, or to wander about from place to place, with no lawful business thereby to perform, or to hide, lurk, loiter upon or about the premises of another. (c)It shall be unlawful for any person who has concealed upon his person or who has in his immediate physical possession any dangerous or deadly weapon to engage in any fight or to participate in any other rough or disorderly conduct upon any public place or way or upon the premises of another. (d)It shall be unlawful for any person who has concealed upon his person any dangerous or deadly weapon to loiter about any place where intoxicating liquors are sold or any other place of public resort. (e)The foregoing restrictions shall not be deemed to prohibit the carrying of ordinary tools or equipment carried in good faith for uses of honest work, trade or business or for the purpose of legitimate recreation.

    The stupidest of all in there, no fighting while you have a knife and no having a knife where alcohol is sold.

    So basically look up municipal codes for whatever city you'll be in.


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    A bit of info on "switch blades." Almost every swap meet in the Inland Empire sales small folding knifes that don't lock closed. The stay closed but don't have a locking mechanism. If the blade is over 2 1/2 inches long, and the blade opens with the flick of your wrist, it is illegal (misd). P.C. 653 (k). I find these knifes on people all the time.



    Also, a heads up. P.C. 12020 is a law that has the potential to get you screwed even if you have no malintent. This law says you can't carry a dirk or dagger concealed. It is a Felony!

    A "dirk" or "dagger" means a knife or other instrument with or without a handguard that is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or death. A nonlocking folding knife, a folding knife that is not prohibited by Section 653k, or a pocketknife is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or death only if the blade of the knife is exposed and locked into position.

    This law is open to interpretation. I can arrest a person for carrying a screw driver in his pocket...no joke. And this is a Felony. The DA probably wont file, but you can be arrested for it.

    Be careful carrying any stabbing or cutting instrument in your pockets. Always make sure they are locked closed, or the blade is retracted (box cutter).




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    CaCop. i take it you are on swings arent you?
    how fun is that?

    thank you nate and CaCop for the information on carrying knives. i had absolutely no idea what they were.


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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    CaCop wrote:
    If the blade is over 2 1/2 inches long, and the blade opens with the flick of your wrist, it is illegal (misd). P.C. 653 (k). I find these knifes on people all the time.
    I'm going to ignore the obvious violation of the second amendment here and just ask a practical question...

    Is it safe to say that if you purchased your knife through a reputable California company that the knife wouldn't be classified as a switch blade under this code's definition? I have a Benchmade Griptillian and it can be flicked open without touching the thumb stud although you have to whip your wrist back and forth like a moron a bunch of times at high speed to get it to happen. I can also get it to open without touching the thumb stud by disengaging the locking mechanism and then flicking my wrist. Would this be classified as a switch blade from your experience?

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    pullnshoot25 wrote:
    mjones wrote:
    Chaingun81 wrote:
    What are restrictions on pocket knife carry in CA?
    You REALLY don't want to know Knife laws in CA are horrid and have HUGE variation in different localities. Move 10 feet and there might be a completely different law.

    About the only way that you can carry a knife nearly everywhere is if its a folding knife with a propensity to stay closed with a bladeunder 2 inches.
    FUD!

    Read the letter above.

    Even better, let me describe it for you guys.

    -There is no length limit for folding, can be open carried or concealed (everywhere)
    -No length limit for fixed, must be open carried (everywhere)
    -Colleges= no limit for folding, 2.5" fixed.
    - K-12 schools= slightly weird (read letter) but basically, nothing over 2" folding if you are not otherwise qualified.
    -No switchblades over 2"
    -Spring assisted=OK
    -Unless you buy cheapass gravity knives at Pakistani swap markets, you won't run amok of the law.
    -There are some slight nuances due to local ordinances but they are only busted out in extreme circumstances.
    -Opening a folder and inserting into a sheath (like Emerson knives)=fixed blade, so be careful if you open and lock a folder and carry as such.

    CARRY ON!

    -N8

    Why are you calling FUD when you just essentially said the same thing I did?

    For the record, I carry some form of Benchmade Axis Lock knife everywhere except airport sterile areas...regardless of the potential consequences. I even regularly carry through arena-venue type metal detectors and never set one off.

    The reality is knives aren't demonized like guns are, so unless you get busted for something else, the likelyhood of being charge is nearly non-existant. I carry clipped to the inside of my right-front pocket if I'm not OC. Left-rear pocket if I'm OCing.

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    bigtoe416 wrote:
    CaCop wrote:
    If the blade is over 2 1/2 inches long, and the blade opens with the flick of your wrist, it is illegal (misd). P.C. 653 (k). I find these knifes on people all the time.
    I'm going to ignore the obvious violation of the second amendment here and just ask a practical question...

    Is it safe to say that if you purchased your knife through a reputable California company that the knife wouldn't be classified as a switch blade under this code's definition? I have a Benchmade Griptillian and it can be flicked open without touching the thumb stud although you have to whip your wrist back and forth like a moron a bunch of times at high speed to get it to happen. I can also get it to open without touching the thumb stud by disengaging the locking mechanism and then flicking my wrist. Would this be classified as a switch blade from your experience?
    Thanks for posting that first!

    I can flick any of my knives open with little effort and they all have that "detent towards closure bias" or whatever its called.

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    Yes, If an officer wants to push the issue, you can be arrested for P.C. 653(k). As long as the officer can make it open with the flick of his wrist. If he chose to arrest, you would most likely get cite released and not booked.



    Oilfieldtrash, yes I work swings. I love it. I have been on this particular shift for over 4 years. I am somewhat of a vampire lol.





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    CaCop wrote:
    Yes, If an officer wants to push the issue, you can be arrested for P.C. 653(k). As long as the officer can make it open with the flick of his wrist. If he chose to arrest, you would most likely get cite released and not booked.



    Oilfieldtrash, yes I work swings. I love it. I have been on this particular shift for over 4 years. I am somewhat of a vampire lol.



    So basically any well-oiled knife is subject to a BS PC 635(k) charge? There isn't a standard on this at all?



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    mjones wrote:
    pullnshoot25 wrote:
    mjones wrote:
    Chaingun81 wrote:
    What are restrictions on pocket knife carry in CA?
    You REALLY don't want to know Knife laws in CA are horrid and have HUGE variation in different localities. Move 10 feet and there might be a completely different law.

    About the only way that you can carry a knife nearly everywhere is if its a folding knife with a propensity to stay closed with a bladeunder 2 inches.
    FUD!

    Read the letter above.

    Even better, let me describe it for you guys.

    -There is no length limit for folding, can be open carried or concealed (everywhere)
    -No length limit for fixed, must be open carried (everywhere)
    -Colleges= no limit for folding, 2.5" fixed.
    - K-12 schools= slightly weird (read letter) but basically, nothing over 2" folding if you are not otherwise qualified.
    -No switchblades over 2"
    -Spring assisted=OK
    -Unless you buy cheapass gravity knives at Pakistani swap markets, you won't run amok of the law.
    -There are some slight nuances due to local ordinances but they are only busted out in extreme circumstances.
    -Opening a folder and inserting into a sheath (like Emerson knives)=fixed blade, so be careful if you open and lock a folder and carry as such.

    CARRY ON!

    -N8

    Why are you calling FUD when you just essentially said the same thing I did?

    For the record, I carry some form of Benchmade Axis Lock knife everywhere except airport sterile areas...regardless of the potential consequences. I even regularly carry through arena-venue type metal detectors and never set one off.

    The reality is knives aren't demonized like guns are, so unless you get busted for something else, the likelyhood of being charge is nearly non-existant. I carry clipped to the inside of my right-front pocket if I'm not OC. Left-rear pocket if I'm OCing.
    Because the only length restrictions are k-12 schools and gubmint buildings (2" and 4", respectively), everywhere else is fair game. That is why I called FUD.




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    pullnshoot25 wrote:
    CaCop wrote:
    Yes, If an officer wants to push the issue, you can be arrested for P.C. 653(k). As long as the officer can make it open with the flick of his wrist. If he chose to arrest, you would most likely get cite released and not booked.



    Oilfieldtrash, yes I work swings. I love it. I have been on this particular shift for over 4 years. I am somewhat of a vampire lol.



    So basically any well-oiled knife is subject to a BS PC 635(k) charge? There isn't a standard on this at all?

    As long as the officer can make it open with the flick of his wrist it does not matter if it is oiled or lubed or whatever. Most knifes are made so that they will stay closed, even if they dont have a latch to lock them closed. There is usually a small amount of pressure that must be over come with your thumb or a finger nail in order to open the knife. If not, it is illegal.

    I am not saying that this law is right, or constitutional. I am just explaining it.




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    CaCop wrote:
    pullnshoot25 wrote:
    CaCop wrote:
    Yes, If an officer wants to push the issue, you can be arrested for P.C. 653(k). As long as the officer can make it open with the flick of his wrist. If he chose to arrest, you would most likely get cite released and not booked.



    Oilfieldtrash, yes I work swings. I love it. I have been on this particular shift for over 4 years. I am somewhat of a vampire lol.



    So basically any well-oiled knife is subject to a BS PC 635(k) charge? There isn't a standard on this at all?

    As long as the officer can make it open with the flick of his wrist it does not matter if it is oiled or lubed or whatever. Most knifes are made so that they will stay closed, even if they dont have a latch to lock them closed. There is usually a small amount of pressure that must be over come with your thumb or a finger nail in order to open the knife. If not, it is illegal.

    I am not saying that this law is right, or constitutional. I am just explaining it.


    When I get back from this bowling trip (maybe OC while there?) I will videotape a knife and see if it would fall under 635(k)

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    PS25
    Sorry sir, you're wrong.
    pc653k is State law, there is no knife preemption like there is for guns.
    What is legal in San Francisco may be totally illegal in Oakland.

    Personally, I do not worry about it and carry a cold steel grand vaquero everywhere in CA.

    I do realize though it is not legal to do so.

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    pullnshoot25 wrote:
    FUD!

    Read the letter above.

    Even better, let me describe it for you guys.

    -There is no length limit for folding, can be open carried or concealed (everywhere)
    This varies depending upon location. LA City Ordinances prohibit carrying any knife openly that has a blade length over 3 inches in length. There are exceptions for carrying a knife for use in a lawful occupation, or lawful recreational activity (leave a lot to interpretation) or recognized religious practices, or traveling to from said activities.
    -No length limit for fixed, must be open carried (everywhere)
    See above
    -Colleges= no limit for folding, 2.5" fixed.
    - K-12 schools= slightly weird (read letter) but basically, nothing over 2" folding if you are not otherwise qualified.
    K-12 nothing over 2" folding an NO LOCK BLADE KNIVES regardless of length, even a 1" lockblade is illegal in K-12.
    -No switchblades over 2"
    -Spring assisted=OK
    -Unless you buy cheapass gravity knives at Pakistani swap markets, you won't run amok of the law.
    -There are some slight nuances due to local ordinances but they are only busted out in extreme circumstances.
    -Opening a folder and inserting into a sheath (like Emerson knives)=fixed blade, so be careful if you open and lock a folder and carry as such.

    CARRY ON!

    -N8


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    CaCop wrote:
    Oilfieldtrash, yes I work swings. I love it. I have been on this particular shift for over 4 years. I am somewhat of a vampire lol.
    what is your department's policy on ride alongs? i commonly ride with my dad on graves here and maybe we could meet up for a short ride along. it would be nice to meet the man behind the computer and we could discuss our views. just a thought.

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    chrsjhnsn wrote:
    PS25
    i dont think he likes that.....

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    oilfieldtrash11 wrote:
    CaCop wrote:
    Oilfieldtrash, yes I work swings. I love it. I have been on this particular shift for over 4 years. I am somewhat of a vampire lol.
    what is your department's policy on ride alongs? i commonly ride with my dad on graves here and maybe we could meet up for a short ride along. it would be nice to meet the man behind the computer and we could discuss our views. just a thought.
    Right now I don't work patrol. I sit at a desk most of the night and come out to play for the hot calls. It's a great position because I don't do many reports, just backup other officers on hot calls. The ride along would be pretty boring; sitting in my office waiting for one of these calls to go out.

    To be honest, I don't know if I would be comfortable letting anyone know who I am on this website anyway. I'm not worried about you, but some of the threats I have received have made me decide to stay anonymous. I have also read old threads where other Cops where threatened a lot worse than I was.


  21. #21
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    understood.

    it was worth a shot. im just very interested in having friends in law enforcement who are understanding of our cause. thank you for your honest response.

  22. #22
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    bigtoe416 wrote:
    Is it safe to say that if you purchased your knife through a reputable California company that the knife wouldn't be classified as a switch blade under this code's definition? I have a Benchmade Griptillian and it can be flicked open without touching the thumb stud although you have to whip your wrist back and forth like a moron a bunch of times at high speed to get it to happen. I can also get it to open without touching the thumb stud by disengaging the locking mechanism and then flicking my wrist. Would this be classified as a switch blade from your experience?
    No. Keep in mind a recent case that changed the definition for illegal knives. It used to be case law that a folder with any propensity to stay closed is exempt, even if it could be flicked open. A 2008 case changed this.

    The current standard is: if it can be opened without touching the blade (or thumb stud attached directly to the blade) then it is either a switch blade or gravity knife. If said knife is over 1.999 inches ("two or more inches").

    Theoretically, even a knife you are incapable of opening in such a manner could be a switch blade if the prosecution is able to get someone who can do it. (I demonstrated this to my wife with one of her folders. She couldn't get it to open like a "gravity knife" despite 5 minutes of trying. I got it on my 3rd try. Tightening the screw "fixed" this.)

    My suggestion is to "fix" any knives you have that aren't extremely resistant to opening. IMO it's just not worth risking it, especially if you're "on the radar" as a 2A activist/supporter.
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    CaCop wrote:
    A bit of info on "switch blades." Almost every swap meet in the Inland Empire sales small folding knifes that don't lock closed. The stay closed but don't have a locking mechanism. If the blade is over 2 1/2 inches long, and the blade opens with the flick of your wrist, it is illegal (misd). P.C. 653 (k). I find these knifes on people all the time.
    The above length is wrong. I hope this is simply an error on your part, or perhaps your departmental policy to give people a 1/2" gray area. (A sound idea when prosecuting such a silly law.)

    Any switchblade/gravity knife with a blade of "two or more inches" is illegal.

    1.999 inches = legal.
    2.000 inches = misemeanor.

    At the last gun show I attended, there was a table where the guy was selling switchblades, and had a big sign advertising it. The company he was selling for guarantees all their switchblades will not exceed 1.999 inches. One of their blades was the subject of an unsuccessfully prosecution in CA. The crime lab measured it in at 1.998 inches. (Gotta love precision manufacturing equipment.)
    Participant in the Free State Project - "Liberty in Our Lifetime" - www.freestateproject.org
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    Don't Tread On Me.

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    CA_Libertarian wrote:
    CaCop wrote:
    A bit of info on "switch blades." Almost every swap meet in the Inland Empire sales small folding knifes that don't lock closed. The stay closed but don't have a locking mechanism. If the blade is over 2 1/2 inches long, and the blade opens with the flick of your wrist, it is illegal (misd). P.C. 653 (k). I find these knifes on people all the time.
    The above length is wrong. I hope this is simply an error on your part, or perhaps your departmental policy to give people a 1/2" gray area. (A sound idea when prosecuting such a silly law.)

    Any switchblade/gravity knife with a blade of "two or more inches" is illegal.

    1.999 inches = legal.
    2.000 inches = misemeanor.

    At the last gun show I attended, there was a table where the guy was selling switchblades, and had a big sign advertising it. The company he was selling for guarantees all their switchblades will not exceed 1.999 inches. One of their blades was the subject of an unsuccessfully prosecution in CA. The crime lab measured it in at 1.998 inches. (Gotta love precision manufacturing equipment.)
    You guys are right. Sorry I didn't read 653k before stating 2 1/2 inches. It is 2 inches. When you are a rookie you tend to read the codes before using or quoting them. As time goes on you get comfortable with common codes (and somewhat senile) and sometimes make mistakes because you don't check them. It doesn't matter anyway...I can honestly say that I can't remember ever arresting anyone for this ridiculous violation.

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    Okay, so my basic understanding here is that we are all in agreeance that we can carry folders under 2 inches that don't flick open? Am I right?

    This is horrible. I just want to carry a knife...why does it have to be so confusing?

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