Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Blade length laws in Washington?

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Kent, Washington, USA
    Posts
    2,053

    Post imported post

    I know this is primarily a firearms forum, but is anyone in the state of Washington familiar with blade length laws? I have seen nothing on the Legislatures RCWs that mention legal blade length for a common folding pocket knife. However, I have seen municipal laws that have blade length laws for concealed pocket knives.

    Is it safe to be under the impression that each city may have a different legal blade length for a concealed pocket knife?

    I have a Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops folding knife with a 4" blade. It has a carrying case with it. Would it be best to carry it on my belt buckle in it's carrying case rather than putting it in my pocket and concealing it?

  2. #2
    Regular Member shad0wfax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    1,074

    Post imported post

    This is the RCW that will get you on knives: RCW 9.41.250

    In a nutshell, you cannot carry a concealed knife with a furtive attempt. I don't know what a furtive attempt is and I don't want to find out in a court either. It's best if you open-carry knives of any sort, as the law makes no mention of lengths of blade or styles of knives.

  3. #3
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Port Orchard, Washington, USA
    Posts
    899

    Post imported post

    RCW 9.41.250

    (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.


    They could get you on the "other Dangerous Weapon" part if your carrying anything that could be used as a weapon, ie a ball point pen. But a Dagger and Dirk are specific types of non folding double edged knives.

    I can flip open most folding lock blades with the motion mentioned, but they are not designed that way. According to this though, I think they are referring to things more like switch blades and stilettos. So if you have a standard lock blade it doesn't matter what the blade length is, per this law

  4. #4
    Regular Member j2l3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    Posts
    879

    Post imported post

    Also, you should check local city laws. Since there is no state pre-emption on knives, they are pretty much free to regulate them.
    CZ 75B 9mm, Ruger P94 .40 S&W, Bersa Thunder .380, AR-15 Homebuild

  5. #5
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Kent, Washington, USA
    Posts
    2,053

    Post imported post

    Here is a response I got from someone I know from Des Moines PD. He's a Master Sergeant there, so he's been around for a while.

    Aaron, you are correct. You will find most laws pertaining to the possession and carrying of dangerous weapons in Title 9 of the RCW. I cannot find laws pertaining to length of the blade. The laws cover how the weapon is carried or displayed. Laws also cover knives that are opened by spring or other mechanical type device.
    Different cities have their own local codes. I just checked our DMMC on the city's web site. I cannot find any codes referencing knives (I know we used to have some, but perhaps they have been changed). Our codes adopt RCW by statute.
    Bottom line, if it is not a spring loaded knifeor some similiar openingmechanical device, it would appear to fall within the law.
    Bob C

    [line] From: aaronandjessica86@comcast.net [mailto:aaronandjessica86@comcast.net]
    To: Bob Collins
    Subject:

    Hi Bob, I was curious if you could help me out on finding a particular weapons law for the state of Washington. I've visited apps.leg.wa.gov and reviewed the weapons statute, but I'm unable to find any particular law that mentions how long a concealed folding pocket knife may be. Do you know if the state itself has a law on blade length, or is blade length of concealed folding pocket knives left up to county and city laws?

    From what I gathered from the information on the website, certain blades are legal to carry as long as there isn't an intent to conceal or furtively carry?

    Thanks,


    Aaron Braun

  6. #6
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    615

    Post imported post

    seattle any fixed blade no matter length is illegal when concealed

  7. #7
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Bellevue, WA, ,
    Posts
    144

    Post imported post

    There is no mention of blade length in the RCWs. Technically you can carry any length you want. However Seattle has a SMC that states no knife longer than 3.5 inches. And I do not believe there is preemption when it comes to knife laws here in WA.

  8. #8
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Pullman, WA, ,
    Posts
    24

    Post imported post

    In Seattle, any knife with a blade length of over 3.5" is considered a "dangerous knife."

    http://clerk.ci.seattle.wa.us/~scrip...mp;r=1&f=G

  9. #9
    State Researcher
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Olympia, WA, ,
    Posts
    3,208

    Post imported post

    Don't forget ANY fixed blade is illegal in Seattle.

  10. #10
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Greenwater, Washington, USA
    Posts
    90

    Post imported post

    It appears Seattle is the only city (that *I* can find) that has a blade length law, for concealed, or unconcealed.

    If you want to find out if a particular city has a blade length law for concealed or unconcealed, just type in the name of the city and state, followed by "Municipal code" and you have an option to search for keywords. That's how I found out the one regarding Kent.

    Code:
    
    
    
    
    
    SMC 12A.14.080  Unlawful use of weapons.
    It is unlawful for a person knowingly to:
    A. Sell, manufacture, purchase, possess or carry any blackjack, sand-club, metal knuckles, switchblade knife, chako sticks, or throwing stars; or
    B. Carry concealed or unconcealed on his or her person any dangerous
    knife, or carry concealed on his or her person any deadly weapon other than a firearm; or....


    Code:
    SMC 12A.14.010  Definitions.
    
    The following definitions apply in this chapter:
    
    
    A. "Dangerous knife" means any fixed-blade knife and any other knife
    having a blade more than three and one-half inches (3 1/2") in length.
    
    
    B. "Fixed-blade knife" means any knife, regardless of blade length,
    with a blade which is permanently open and does not fold, retract or
    slide into the handle of the knife, and includes any dagger, sword,
    bayonet, bolo knife, hatchet, axe, straight-edged razor, or razor blade not in a package, dispenser or shaving appliance.


  11. #11
    State Researcher
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Olympia, WA, ,
    Posts
    3,208

    Post imported post

    I think there are other cities with blade length laws though. I'd check with the town you live in. For instance Olympia doesn't reference them at all, and several LEO's I know tell me they just mirror state law on that matter, but get really grumpy over a large concealed blade, and "prefer" that if one were to wear a large fixed blade (combat knife for instance) to OC it.

  12. #12
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kingston, Washington, USA
    Posts
    344

    Post imported post

    I think there are other cities with blade length laws though. I'd check with the town you live in. For instance Olympia doesn't reference them at all, and several LEO's I know tell me they just mirror state law on that matter, but get really grumpy over a large concealed blade, and "prefer" that if one were to wear a large fixed blade (combat knife for instance) to OC it.

    Ironic given that they will hassle you over OC guns, eh?


  13. #13
    State Researcher
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Olympia, WA, ,
    Posts
    3,208

    Post imported post

    I have OC'd a blade twice here. I spoke with cops well AFTER my misadventures with OCing a handgun BTW. Also in almost two years now I haven't had any problems with them. Time to start acknowledging that now.

  14. #14
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    390

    Post imported post

    So if I drive through Seattle with a fixed blade in a box in my passenger compartment, is that illegal?

    Reason I ask is I own plenty of large knives, and I will be moving back to the West side of the mountains in a couple of weeks. Everything I own will be in my Suburban, which does not have a separate trunk area.

    Not that I'm worried about the police finding any knives, but I'd like to keep things legal.

  15. #15
    State Researcher
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Olympia, WA, ,
    Posts
    3,208

    Post imported post

    IIRC you have to have them in a locked box. Where are you moving to?

  16. #16
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Greenwater, Washington, USA
    Posts
    90

    Post imported post

    Dr. Fresh wrote:
    So if I drive through Seattle with a fixed blade in a box in my passenger compartment, is that illegal?

    Reason I ask is I own plenty of large knives, and I will be moving back to the West side of the mountains in a couple of weeks. Everything I own will be in my Suburban, which does not have a separate trunk area.

    Not that I'm worried about the police finding any knives, but I'd like to keep things legal.
    I'd agree that to keep it safe, the best thing to do would be to keep them in a locked box. Not saying you couldn't get away with it otherwise, but that's your best bet to be safe.

    It makes me wonder how an officer in Seattle would view carrying a machete or hatchet in your vehicle, if you had just come back from a camping trip or something.

  17. #17
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    390

    Post imported post

    Great, so I have to stuff them in my pistol safe. Ridiculous.

  18. #18
    Regular Member 911Boss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Stevens, Washington, USA
    Posts
    753

    Post imported post

    sv_libertarian wrote:
    IIRC you have to have them in a locked box. Where are you moving to?
    No requirement for them to be locked. The requirement is similar to a unloaded firearm in a vehicle, a "secure wrapper". This has been defined as "safe" or "unlikely to fall out". If the requirement was to be in a locked container, they would have used the word "locked".

    "C. Any person carrying such knife in a secure wrapper or in a tool box while traveling from the place of purchase, from or to a place of repair, or from or to such person's home or place of business, or in moving from one (1) place of abode or business to another, or while in such person's place of abode or fixed place of business."

  19. #19
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    390

    Post imported post

    Looks like I'm covered then.

    SV, I'm moving back to Kitsap.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •