Sunday, April 25, 2010

Knife Laws in USA

Anonymous said...
Regarding knife carry, the USA is more restrictive with knives than even guns. In many states even if you have a concealed carry permit you cannot carry a knife with a blade over 3 inches (the concealed carry permit only applies to a gun). There is no 2nd amendment protection to the right to carry knives, so be careful. I would not carry one with a blade over 3 inches anywhere.
April 25, 2010 10:21 AM

That’s pretty interesting. Given that knives are considered weapons, I’d argue that it is covered when the second amendment talks about “arms” (small arms, including firearms but blades too) not to mention that they are part of a “well regulated militia”.

Never the less, anyone knows which States have the best knife laws?
Which are the States with worse knife laws?
I’ve learned not long ago that “bowie” knives are illegal in Texas, at least carrying them. That’s crazy. I’m also curious about how they would even define a “bowie” given that even knife experts can’t make up their minds. A “bowie” could be anything from a clip point knife to a regular curved point knife like the Razin Bowie.

I’d feel naked without a knife. I’ve been carrying a big one with me for as long as I can remember, even in school (doubt thats ok in USA these days).



Mike in Ark said...

Arkansas repealed its knife law in 2007; now there's no state law on length, type, opening mechanism, etc.
Federal laws on swtichblades obviously still apply, and you still have restrictions at schools/govt buildings, but overall that makes for a pretty knife-friendly state.
Interestingly, AR is NOT an open-carry state... so it's not an all-around weapons tolerance, just knives.

Anonymous said...

Here you go Ferfal:


You would definitely lose a 2nd amendment argument. It's been tried.

Chief Instructor said...

I did a post yesterday at CaliforniaPreppersNetwork.com about Ignoring Laws. In it, I told of a friend of mine who recently bought a belt buckle knife.

It's illegal here in California.

It's also a law he is going to ignore. It is part of our Firearms Laws here.

Blackeagle said...

"Never the less, anyone knows which States have the best knife laws?"

A big part of the problem is that we're not just talking about states here. Many knife laws are county or city ordinances. This produces an indecipherable hodgepodge of poorly written and obscure laws that are very easy to run afoul of without intending to.

In contrast, most states have preemption laws that make regulation of firearms a state issue, prohibiting local governments from enacting their own restrictions. This prevents the sort of patchwork we have with knife laws. The only state with a knife preemption law is Arizona (and that just passed last week).

Anonymous said...

FerFAL, Louisiana is fairly lax, or so the law says. I have asked the public information officer about a length limit and he has not responded to me, but none is listed is our statutes that I can find. The only restriction on size is officers cannot carry rescue knives with a blade larger than five inches.

LA R.S. 14:95 is the Louisiana carry weapons document. A knife could be considered "instrumentality customarily used or intended for probable use as a dangerous weapon," which would make it illegal to carry on your person.

The law is broad enough to be taken pretty much any way that one desires. That is why I've asked the police about their enforcement policies.

And yes, many areas of the US are absolutely insane about weapons laws, and the police often do not even know what they are (for instance, many cops in Louisiana are unaware that the Sheriff issued CC permits give much more freedom than state issued CC permits or that it is legal to "open carry" in Louisiana if one is careful to avoid the courthouse or schools.

Anonymous said...

Also be careful because you may buy a knife online or at a flea market that is completely illegal even if it has a short blade. Gravity/butterfly type, switchblades, etc are illegal in some states.

Knife laws can be very confusing

Anonymous said...

In Florida, it seems if you have a concealed weapon permit you can carry a knife. What length, I have yet to find out in the Florida Statutes-F.S.
It also appears that pocket knives are allowed to be carried without permits. One needs to consult an attorney though for clarification. See F.S. below:
You're looking for F.S. 790.001 (13)

(13) "Weapon" means any dirk, knife, metallic knuckles, slungshot, billie, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapon except a firearm or a common pocketknife, plastic knife, or blunt-bladed table knife.

Anonymous said...

I can't answer who has the best laws, but I am pretty sure that Kniferights.org would know.

Anonymous said...

"You would definitely lose a 2nd amendment argument. It's been tried."

After Heller?

Wrt knives...if it's reasonable (i.e., not an Arkansas toothpick), perhaps you'd have a chance that local LEO / prosecutor wouldn't push charges on you. Depends on the way in which they find out...were you waving it around? Were you drunk and disorderly and just happened to have a 9" gravity-assisted blade on your person? Or is it just a traffic stop for a taillight, you're someone with no record, and you're complying and calling the officer "Sir"?

Anonymous said...

Problem with the US is every municipality wants to get in with their own laws.
My state, SC, has no real limits but I could be in violation of laws in two separate municipalities if stopped on my drive to work.

CapnRick said...

Saludos -Here's a useful posting that I found online that points out some researched restrictions around the country. http://www.donath.org/Rants/StateKnifeLaws/

The site pointed out that you are correct on TX restricting Bowie knife carry. Sad, that. I have overheard some TX State cops speculating that Bowie knives could be considered to be swords... which are also forbidden for carry.

Thank goodness no one in TX decided my machetes are dangerous!

Suerte -CapnRick

Living in Babylon said...

Of non firearm weapons in Indiana, only switchblades and throwing stars are illegal-and that is only for carry, not position if I recall.

I have also been told by a state cop but not verified that push button opening batons count as switchblades because the ban on carry is for the action and not the weapon itself. I suppose technically even those switchblade combs might be a problem.

Other than that though, it is a mall ninja's paradise. :D

Bones said...

Generally speaking I'm pretty sure your basic fixed blade 6" hunting knife is not covered by these laws, particularly if you merely keep it in your car as opposed to carrying it. The problem is you still risk a charge of assault with a deadly weapon when using a knife, e.g., why wouldn't you just use a gun? Still, if you aren't carrying a gun and the situation calls for more than OC spray, one advantage larger hunting knives retain is the intimidation factor. Buck #119's are inexpensive and very high quality.

Anonymous said...

As one can see form the posts, laws in the USA are contradictory starting with Federal, State, County, City, Hamlets, Towns, Villages etc. Sometimes they contradict each other. For example there is a Federal law that prohibits firearms within, I believe, 1000 feet of a school in Florida. But there is also a contradictory State law that states one can carry a firearm to work and yet have it in the car. Again, one's work policy must be researched about having a firearm in the workplace, even though one would be legally authorized to carry it to work. A teacher asked a School Officer who told him as long as it is in the car he was okay, but not to have it on his person in the classroom. As you can see there is No clear cut best State/County/Town where concealed carry is concerned.

Anonymous said...

Double sided knives like my Vietnam era Mark I boot knife are illegal here in MA. I got mine years before the law was passed but would not want to be caught with it now.


Anonymous said...

In Wisconsin it is a felony to have a switchblade but it is a misdemeanor if you are caught concealing a handgun, go figure.

Anonymous said...

The public information officer got back to me with this reply:

"After looking carefully at the statute you mentioned, there is no size of blade issue that I can see. We don't normally charge anyone with illegal carrying of a weapon when the person is carrying any size pocket knife. Other states may have blade length issues, but that does not apply in the Louisiana Criminal Code in this regard.

However, it may be a violation of school policy to carry one. There is a portion of the law that says one may not be carried on elementary, secondary or vocational school campus. This does not include colleges as far as I can tell.
To be safe, I would check with the university police and make sure that they don't have some internal rules that you might violate.

The most common knife violations occur when someone uses one during the commission of a crime. Then of course, they would be charged. Any spring loaded or automatic blade is also a violation. But as far as a hunting knife, or folding type knife, either worn on your belt or in your pocket, should be fine."

I assume other towns/cities are very similar if not identical, but it is worth checking the rules in your municipality.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, it is legal to own a bowie-scale knife in Argentina?

I might just pick one up. Seems like a good stepping stone psychologically to the responsibility of owning a gun.

Martin Schap said...

I am located in Indiana and we have no laws that I know of regulating blade length. Switchblades are illegal, as are knives that shoot the blade (don't know the term for those) and it's illegal to carry a knife in a school (K-12). So overall we have pretty good laws. You can carry as big of a fixed blade knife as you want and nobody will care, and indeed where I live it is common to see hunting knives on people's belts year round, and half the men you see have a clip of a folder visible on their pocket.
Myself and many people I know keep what we call "Chicago knives" which are folders with blades less than 2.5" for trips into Chicago, where basically every type of weapon is illegal and therefore they have a violent crime rate so small it is almost impossible to measure...

Emmanuel said...

Some wikipedia reading on this precise topic


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure, but I think they even take fingernail clippers from school children? I presume it's due to the small "knife" found in them.

America, even the march of the world, seems to be on a bent to wimpify and disarm everyone in every way possible, except of course for the police. People are so scared of any perceived danger simple kitchen paring knives are banned from workplaces, no doubt mostly due to political persuasion. Workplaces expect you to only use plastic eating utensils, the world of spork and padded corners?

This article describes what America used to be like in regards to weapons, perhaps what America used to be like is what many foreigners think America is like now?

How Things Change Out From Under Us
by Paul Craig Roberts


Anonymous said...

In Texas any knife with a blade length over 5.5 inches is considered an illegal knife. Also covered are double edged blades, switchblades, gravity knives, butterfly knives ect. First rule keep it covered and don't get pinched up by the police and you will have no trouble. "When in doubt Throw it out!" Good advice I got from my Grandpa a long time ago.