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Thread: Spring assisted knive's in NC

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    State Researcher .40 Cal's Avatar
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    I threw the OC part in to make it relevant to the board, but could someone let me know what the verdict of a spring assited knife carry would be. I have read the law and find nothing that says yay or nay on the matter.

    Naturally I would be OC'ing the knife clip to make it legal.

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    Depends on how it is spring assisted.

    If it is a button, that is independant of the blade, then it is a switch blade.

    If it is like the kershaw and other knife systems where you have to push on the back of the blade and it is 'spring assisted' then it is perfectly legal.


    We all know about the accuracy of the following: I asked a police officer about it once, and his opinion was that I really wasn't carrying a knife, but I was carrying a nice tool. ala, perfectly legal. I was carrying a Kershaw Leek.

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    State Researcher .40 Cal's Avatar
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    Kershaw is exactly what I'm talking about. I bought a Kershaw Blur the other day.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    I recently had a similar question concerning carrying a pocketknife on a state college campus (ECU), as I am a new Graduate student, and am working a job off campus that requires that I cut open a lot of boxes. I recently bought a Gerber Vallotton Serrated Edge knife, which like your Kershaw is an "assisted open" knife, and was worried that it might be an issue on campus, because of the "no weapons" rule that NC has for school campuses. The Gerber Vallotton has a 2.6" blade and is 6.6" overall when open, and the blade must be flicked open with a finger (or your thumb) for the spring-assist to function. It is also a "locking blade".

    According to the working of the law, NO knives of any kind (except those used specifically for instructional purposes like an Exacto knife if you are in art school, or kitchen knives if you are in cooking school, etc) are allowed to be carried on campuses in NC. I quote the statute here:

    § 14-269.2. Weapons on campus or other educational property.
    (d) It shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any BB gun, stun gun, air rifle, air pistol, bowie knife, dirk, dagger, slungshot, leaded cane, switchblade knife, blackjack, metallic knuckles, razors and razor blades (except solely for personal shaving), firework, or any sharp-pointed or edged instrument except instructional supplies, unaltered nail files and clips and tools used solely for preparation of food, instruction, and maintenance, on educational property.
    Please take special not to the bolded bits. According to the "letter of the law", in North Carolina, even that tiny little Swiss Army Rambler that I carry as a "gentleman's penknife":



    is illegal to have while on the property of ANY school in NC...


    Here is a link to the Official NC statute:

    http://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislat..._14-269.2.html


    Now, the Campus police I've talked to, and the Greenville City Police I spoke to told me that the little Victorinox is not something anyone is going to hassle me over. I guess the fact that I'm 43 years old, a Graduate Student, and very clean-cut goes a long way in interpreting the "spirit of the law". If I were a 13 year old kid in Junior High, I probably would get a different answer...

    However, on the Gerber, I've gotten ddifferent answers depending on who I talked to. The Campus Police at ECU tell me such a knife is legal. The Greenville City Police tell me it is not. The posters that are displayed all around campus about weapons seem to hint that it is not, because they have several "lock back" knives pictured. The City Police where I live (Washington NC) tell me that it depends on what I'm doing and where I am as to whether such a knife would be an issue. If I were on a college campus, and not doing anything stupid or violent, they said it would most likely not be an issue. But if I were on grade school, or high school property, it might be an issue, if the administration wanted to "make an example" of me...

    Under North Carolina Case Law, a knife under 4.5" total length is an "ordinary pocket knife", and is not considered a "concealed weapon". However, in the Concealed Carry statute § 14-269, any knife that uses a spring mechanism to facilitate opening of the blade (regardless of length) IS considered a concealed weapon if it is in the pocket. HOWEVER, this same statute then goes on to say that with regards to such knives, "It is a defense to prosecution under this section that: (1) The weapon was not a firearm; (2) The defendant was engaged in, or on the way to or from, an activity in which he legitimately used the weapon..."

    So what it gets down to, is intent, and what you were doing with this knife when it comes to the attention of an LEO. I suspect that your demeanor, appearance, and comportment also play a factor in whether or not such a knife would be an issue in any given situation...

    For instance, if I were at school, working on a printmaking project (I'm in the MFA program), and I pulled my Gerber from my pocket and started cutting open a carton of printmaker's paper with it, and an LEO just happened to walk into the printmaking studio while I was doing that, I doubt there would be an issue. But if I were out in the Quad, playing "mumbley-peg" with it, there would probably be an issue...

    BTW, if you have a valid NC CHP (concealed handgun permit), said permit ONLY covers handguns. It does NOT entitle you to carry other types of weapons concealed on your person, like knives, blackjacks, collapsible batons, or knives (other than "ordinary pocket knives"). Just FYI...

    Also, you need to know that there is no maximum blade-length for folders specified in NC law as to what constituted a "legal sized folding knife", which makes things even more confusing and open to interpretation.

    Knife law in NC is VERY vague...

    If you have any serious concerns, I would suggest contacting the State Attorney General's office of Legal Services. When I have had questions regarding my rights and responsibilities concerning my CHP, they have been VERY helpful and informative:

    http://www.ncdoj.gov/About-DOJ/Legal-Services.aspx

    Good luck figuring this one out. Don't take ANYTHING an LEO tells you as being legit though, with regards to knife law. The laws are VERY vague, and each LEO will likely give you their opinion, NOT state legal fact. If you want to know your REAL rights and obligations, call or write to the NC AG...

    And please be sure to report back to this thread if you DO get a straight answer from the AG. I'd LOVE to hear what you find out, and an "official pronouncement" on this issue would be a MUCH needed addition to the exceedingly vague and open-ended statutes regarding knives in NC.

    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggressionand this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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