Knife laws in your state.


PDA






makdaddy03
March 26, 2003, 04:00 PM
Just wondering?

If you enjoyed reading about "Knife laws in your state." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
OF
March 26, 2003, 04:31 PM
Off the top of my head (Maine):


- The way I read it, the law prohibits any concealed knives, although I don't know what the enforcement standard is. I don't pay much attention to it, myself.

- No automatics. :(


- Gabe


Title 25: Part 5: Chpt. 252: PERMITS TO CARRY CONCEALED FIREARMS


§2001. Threatening display of or carrying a concealed weapon

No person may display in a threatening manner, or wear under his clothes or conceal about his person, any firearm, slung shot, knuckles, bowie knife, dirk, stiletto or other dangerous or deadly weapons usually employed in the attack on or defense of a person, unless excepted by a provision of law. [1985, c. 478, §2 (new).]

The provisions of this section concerning the carrying of concealed weapons do not apply to: [1985, c. 478, §2 (new).]

1. Permit issued. Firearms carried by any person to whom a valid permit to carry a concealed firearm has been issued as provided in this chapter; [1989, c. 917, §3 (amd).]

2. Disabling chemicals. Disabling chemicals as described in Title 17-A, section 1002; [1985, c. 478, §2 (new).]

3. Hunting knives. Knives used for the purposes of hunting, fishing or trapping as defined in Title 12, section 7001; [1985, c. 478, §2 (new).]


===

Chapter. 43 17-A Section 1055. 1. A person is guilty
of trafficking in dangerous knives, if providing he has no
right to do so, he knowingly manufactures or causes to be
manufactured, or knowingly possesses, displays, offers,
sells, lends, gives away or purchases any knife which has
a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied
to a button, spring or other device in the handle of the
knife, 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. 2.
Trafficking in dangerous knives is a Class D crime.

Elmer Snerd
March 26, 2003, 04:59 PM
Knife laws by state:
http://www.knifeart.com/knifeart/kniflawbysta.html

Knife legal issues in general:
http://martialarts.about.com/cs/knifelegality/
http://www.ebladestore.com/knife_laws.shtml
http://www.physics.mun.ca/~sstamp/knives/laws.html

Harbinger
March 26, 2003, 07:50 PM
Maine: I believe there is a 6" blade length limit.
No double edged stuff, and no automatics, butterfly knives, etc. unless it is a knive that is considered an antique collectable.

OF
March 27, 2003, 09:37 AM
Harbinger,

Do you have a reference for that? I haven't seen anything for Maine stipulating a blade length limit or anything referring to butterfly or double-edged knives.

- Gabe

brownie0486
March 27, 2003, 11:36 AM
The below from Levines website.

Maine - Chapter. 43 17-A Section 1055. 1. A person is guilty
of trafficking in dangerous knives, if providing he has no
right to do so, he knowingly manufactures or causes to be
manufactured, or knowingly possesses, displays, offers,
sells, lends, gives away or purchases any knife which has
a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied
to a button, spring or other device in the handle of the
knife, 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. 2.
Trafficking in dangerous knives is a Class D crime.


________________________________________________
This also from the state of maine.

9. Dangerous weapon.

A. "Use of a dangerous weapon" means the use of a firearm or other weapon, device, instrument, material or substance, whether animate or inanimate, which, in the manner it is used or threatened to be used is capable of producing death or serious bodily injury. [1977, c. 510, §10 (rpr).]

B. "Armed with a dangerous weapon" means in actual possession, regardless of whether the possession is visible or concealed, of:
(1) A firearm;

(2) Any device designed as a weapon and capable of producing death or serious bodily injury; or

(3) Any other device, instrument, material or substance, whether animate or inanimate, which, in the manner it is intended to be used by the actor, is capable of producing or threatening death or serious bodily injury. For purposes of this definition, the intent may be conditional.
[1977, c. 510, §10 (rpr).]

C. When used in any other context, "dangerous weapon" means a firearm or any device designed as a weapon and capable of producing death or serious bodily injury. [1977, c. 510, §10 (rpr).]

D. (TEXT EFFECTIVE UNTIL 1/31/03) For purposes of this subsection, a thing presented in a covered or open manner as a dangerous weapon shall be presumed to be a dangerous weapon. [1977, c. 510, §10 (rpr).]

D. (TEXT EFFECTIVE 1/31/03) For purposes of this subsection, proof that a thing is presented in a covered or open manner as a dangerous weapon gives rise to a permissible inference under the Maine Rules of Evidence, Rule 303 that it, in fact, is a dangerous weapon. [2001, c. 383, §1 (amd); §156 (aff).]

[1977, c. 510, §10 (rpr); 2001, c. 383, §1 (amd); §156 (aff).]
___________________________________________________

After speaking with Maine officials this morning the above two statutes seem to cover the "dangerous weapons" which would include knives.

I see no blade length restriction in the above laws. If I lived in Maine I would call the atty generals office citing these two statutes and ask if there is case law since or if in fact these are the pertinent statutes in total.

Hope this helps

Brownie

OF
March 27, 2003, 11:56 AM
Thanks Brownie. With the statutes defining the 'dangerous weapon' term, in conjunction with the relevant part of my post above re: you can't 'carry in a threatening manner' or 'conceal' a dangerous weapon, it looks like concealed knives are a no-no. But so far nothing about carrying knives openly.

If I get a minute, I'll give the AG a call and see if I can get some clarification.

- Gabe

Jim March
March 28, 2003, 04:23 AM
My comments on California:

http://www.ninehundred.com/~equalccw/knifelaw.html

OF
March 29, 2003, 07:47 PM
I spoke with the AG's office, and they sent me to the State Police. The Lt. at the State Police confirmed that concealed knives are bad and autos are bad. Other than that he didn't know.

I talked to a friend up here and he mentioned the same things Harbinger mentioned: automatics, butterfly, double-sided, 6" as being no-no's. But I can't find anything in the law that addresses butterfly, double-sided or a blade length restriction of any size.

Seems like a Maine rumor.

- Gabe

Harbinger
March 29, 2003, 08:03 PM
Sorry, GRD, but I can't find any evidence either, other than hearsay.

Growing up in the Lewiston school system, we would always be visited once a year, especially in high school, by the local officer friendly. I remember asking the question once and that was the answer given: no double edges, nothing greater than 6" in length, and no automatics or gravity knives. Vaguely remember an arrest last year around these parts involving a knife fight, and I saw a blurb on the news with the local police chief talking, and he mentioned those restrictions as well. Maybe you're right about the Maine rumor, but I'm not taking any chances. :)

OF
April 2, 2003, 03:18 PM
My buddy who said the same things you did heard it from an instructor/cop at his CCW class.

Free the truth! :)

- Gabe

brownie0486
April 2, 2003, 03:26 PM
They could all be mistaken as well.

There is no blade length restriction mentioned in the statute. If the state cop doesn't know, guess what, most of the rest of the LE's in the state are "guessing" as well.

Carry the statute in your glovebox, wallet.
If you are questioned, produce the statue and ask them to show you where the restriction is cited.

They can't.

Brownie

OF
April 3, 2003, 09:33 AM
Good idea Brownie. Will do.

- Gabe

Eiji88
February 26, 2006, 03:46 AM
It is, to my understanding, that in most US states you will find no such law in ACTUAL existance. It, as far as I know, is NOT written as a law. A friend of my fathers had some trouble with that "law" in Florida. He was the type to carry a Machete with him(EVERYWHERE). An officer stopped and fined him for it. Well, he had checked before he started carrying it and saw no such law....
He took the officer to court, and it turnned out that the officer was merely, no more than an ass (parden to all law inforcement for this>>>) who hid behind his badge! Texas, however is onesuch state that has a blade limit.(excessively, in my oppinion)


Just wanted to state my Knowledge :)

RyanM
February 26, 2006, 04:17 AM
Butterfly knives are covered under the "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." part.

Pilot
February 26, 2006, 10:57 AM
In Colorado you can't carry a blade longer than 3.5 inches unless you are hunting, fishing or doing other outdoor sports. No posession of automatic knives either, not even in you home fro collecting only. A Colordo CCW permit only covers guns, so it does not help if you want to carry a larger knife. :confused:

22-rimfire
February 26, 2006, 11:13 AM
Old topic, but a worthy topic. I would suggest going to the bladeforums which has a separate topic area on "knife laws".

In my state (TN), the blade limit is 3" where the intent is to go armed. INTENT is the important word. Switchblades, automatic knives, and other gravity blades are generally illegal to carry. There are all kinds of exceptions such as hunting and law enforcement. Best way to check out knife laws in your state is to read the code and understand them as best you can. If you have a problem, you get a lawyer.

I had a co-worker who was put in jail for having a machete displayed in his truck in Texas. In my opinion, in most cases there are usually other circumstances involved other than simple blade length.

Big knives are really cool. But I wouldn't depend on a knife to defend myself. I would carry a gun.

James T Thomas
February 27, 2006, 09:13 PM
The PA Crime Code categorizes particular edged weapons as "Prohibited Offensive Weapons" sensibly as those having a push button, spring mechanism or automatic opening device...having no practical utility purpose.

Then with this sensible approach, grenades, knuckle knives, sawed off shotguns are included, I suppose, just so they are right there in black and white.

If you run into an old "Keystone Cop" however, you may still be subject to the bigger than the palm of my hand measurement test that has been used by the locals since the days of Ben Franklin. Now why didn't the Crime Code include rubber hoses?

hso
February 28, 2006, 09:09 AM
22-rimfire,

That's greater than 4" in TN not 3".

39-17-1307. Unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon.

(a) (1) A person commits an offense who carries with the intent to go armed a firearm, a knife with a blade length exceeding four inches (4"), or a club.

hso
February 28, 2006, 09:11 AM
22-rimfire,

You're correct in saying that blade length is restricted for carrying a knife with the intent to go armed, but it's greater than 4" in TN not 3".

39-17-1307. Unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon.

(a) (1) A person commits an offense who carries with the intent to go armed a firearm, a knife with a blade length exceeding four inches (4"), or a club.

T.R.
February 28, 2006, 12:30 PM
On weekends it common to see ranchers in town with holstered sidearms in open sight. Not that they're looking for trouble but carrying is an everyday habit for them. South Dakota and Wyoming have no laws against a rifle in the back window of a pick up. This is also quite common. Most of the saloons have a place to check your gun when you come in for a drink. Its a friendly way to disarm the patrons.

A concealed knife in a boot or pocket may pose a problem. But a lockback knife in a belt holster is not a crime. Even if a heavy coat covers the knife holster, this is not a crime.

South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, western Nebraska, and western Kansas represent the vast and least populated region(s) of the lower 48. US government has many counties listed as frontier. Folks in this region tend to be kind to strangers and children and each other. Armed robberies, assault, rape, and vandalism are so uncommon that it's not worth mentioning. South Dakota does not even have a Women's Prison! Not enough bad girls to justify the cost of building one so they're sent to Texas on a contract agreement.

Before you pack up and relocate to this area, you need to spend one Winter! Sub zero temps are common and that's part of western life.
TR

22-rimfire
February 28, 2006, 07:39 PM
oops... 4" sorry. For some reason, I had thought I read that. Probably contaminated brain from all the other forum postings from other states. I stand corrected!

5knives
March 1, 2006, 07:21 PM
A word of Caution Folks.

Don't stop with the State Laws!

Many if not most states have a spider-web of County and Municipal Laws and Ordinances on top of the state law.

Wisconsin for example has an almost reasonable State Law with no mention of blade length, while counties vary from the same to 3" limits. Municipalities are all over the place too.

The result is that if you're carrying a single bladed non-locking slip-joint folder with no guard and a blade less than 3" long, you are PROBABLY legal almost anywhere in the State.

While blade length alone is probably not going to be a big deal unless you threaten or use it illegally there IS such a thing as selective enforcement as well as an occasional LEO who's having a bad day, hasn't had any good arrests lately and thinks you look like his BIL whom he hates.

I do not know but I would be surprised if we didn't have anywhere with laws like Canada and U.K where using any knife for self defense automatically makes it an illegal and prohibited weapon.

The Knife Laws in the U.S are a total nightmare.

Be Cautious,

:)

BlackBearME
October 18, 2007, 06:10 AM
Hah! I used the search feature for once. I love zombie threads.

Anyway, I just heard from a co-worker of mine today that apparently, double-edged knives are illegal in Maine. I've research the relevant laws (Am a paralegal-hopeful) and they are all still in force as listed above. He claims he personally knows someone that got arrested for having a double-edged blade. I asked him how it is that I have three double-edge throwing knives I purchased last week at a shop three towns away. All he had to say was "Well, it's illegal".

Oh, and he pulled out the "palm" crap. I mean, seriously, maybe this was relevant back in the 1600's, but is that actually in force anywhere in this country? It would blow my mind if it was, to have such a subjective standard.

Mannix
October 18, 2007, 08:30 AM
The only state restriction(that I know of) is on autos, but in Minneapolis they have restrictions on everything that could be used as a weapon except folders with blades under 4". State law also restricts possession of "any other dangerous article or substance for the purpose of being used unlawfully as a weapon against another", and I'm not sure how the case law works out with that.

Minneapolis also has an AWB in place, which they can't enforce due to state preemption, but it's still on the books :scrutiny:.

hso
October 18, 2007, 09:18 AM
BBM,

Your friend's opinion is nothing more than that unless he's willing to provide the appropriate citation of code. Using a hand to measure blade length is absurd since my hand may measure 3" across the palm and your's may measure 5". Laws concerned with blade length state the length in inches not in some arbitrary, subjective and variable measure. Also, the individual who was arrested may have been arrested for carrying a double edged knife as a weapon, but did he say whether the individual was charged, held, tried and convicted on some charge of having a double edged blade? Big difference between being taken in and being convicted.

Remember that local ordinances may be more restrictive than state and that a knife legal to carry in your county may not be in a given local.

Tell your pal to shovel the fertilizer from between his ears to make room for some simple reading and logic skills.:rolleyes:

BlackBearME
October 18, 2007, 01:11 PM
Heh, I'm quite familiar with what his (or most people's) opinion is worth. I tried my best to tactfully enlighten him about common misconceptions when it comes to the law. People love to state as fact things they only know as rumor without ever having looked up the proper statute or case law.

And regarding the palm issue, I've never seen it written in code anywhere. Everyone tells you that it's for sure, but again they don't have it straight from the source. I didn't really come here to advice, per se; I'm pretty familiar with the laws, and confident in that familiarity. I mostly came to rant because I can't believe that such rumors and unsubstantiated claims persist day to day.

Of course, if the entire public were properly informed, we wouldn't be fighting an uphill battle for RKBA, then, would we? *sigh*

Novus Collectus
October 18, 2007, 03:17 PM
In MD there is no limit on the length or type when openly worn because there is simply no state law prohibitting doing so except for minors in some areas and wearing a weapon to unlawfully injure (self defense is a lawful purpose).

Concealed, only penknives are allowed to be carried and back in the 70s the state's highest court ruled any folding knife that is not a gravity knife (like a butterfly knife is a "gravity knife") is a "penknife". Then later in a number of cases the highest court ruled that since the statute did not provide a maximum length allowed, the "penknife" can be any lenght.

However, police officers in MD still arrest people for having "penkives" concealed (or even open) greater than three, four or even five inches regardless of the law.

Double however, the cops should know this well established interpretation of law that is no limit on penknife length and therefore they cannot claim immunity from being sued for false arrest! See below: Id. at 766. The Mackall court then discussed the definition of penknife: "Penknife" is not defined in the statute. Even if the General Assembly had the dictionary definition in mind when it first enacted the statute in 1886, this concept of a "penknife" had obviously changed when the exception was amended to "penknife without switchblade." Penknives today are commonly considered to encompass any knife with the blade folding into the handle, some very large .


Id. at 769 n.13 (emphasis added). In short, the Maryland Court of Appeals clearly defined penknife as any knife whose blade folds into the handle. It is undisputed that the blade of Sorrell's knife folded into the handle and that it was not a switchblade. As Mackall made clear, carrying such a knife is not prohibited by the concealed weapons statute, even if it is deadly and even if it is large.


Two later cases adopt Mackall 's definition of penknife and further clarify Maryland law. In re Daryl L. , 511 A.2d 1108 (Md. Ct. Spec.


App. 1985), quotes directly from Mackall : " Mackall also instructs that `[p]enknives today are commonly considered to encompass any knife with the blade folding into the handle, some very large .'" Id. at 1109- (emphasis in the original). At issue in In re Daryl L. was whether a folding knife without a switchblade but with a locking device fell within the exception for "penknife without switchblade" in Md. Ann. Code art. 27 36(a). The 8-inch knife had a blade that was 3 3/4- inches long and between 3/4- and 1-inch wide, with the blade tapering to a narrow point. The In re Daryl L. court never questioned that a folding knife without a locking device was a penknife. As far as the court was concerned, the only issue was whether the locking device disqualified the knife from the statute's exception by making it like a switchblade. The court held that the knife was not like a switchblade and was therefore legal.


In Bacon v. State , 586 A.2d 18 (Md. 1991), the Court of Appeals addressed the question of whether a folding knife that was unfolded and locked was illegal under Md. Ann. Code art. 27 36(a). The court started its analysis by defining both penknives and switchblades.


Like the In re Daryl L. court, the Bacon court quotes Mackall 's definition of a penknife. Holding that the open and locked knife was not banned by the concealed weapons statute, the court wrote: On the face of the statute, there is no indication contradicting the view that a penknife is a penknife whether small or large, whether the blade is closed or open, whether the blade is locked open or unlocked, whether it is carried concealed or openly. Its character is not changed by being carried openly with the blade unfolded; its dangerous propensity is merely more easily realized. . . . We call attention to the fact that Mackall v. State , 283 Md. 100, 387 A.2d 762, was decided 13 July 1978. The General Assembly has had a dozen opportunities to correct our view of a "penknife" if it believed that our view was contrary to the legislative intent.


Bacon , 586 A.2d at 22-23. The knife in Bacon had a five-inch blade.


Id . at 20.


To sum up, the highest court in Maryland has more than once defined "penknife" as "any knife with the blade folding into the handle, some very large." Maryland cases also establish the legality of a folding knife with a 3 3/4-inch blade and a locking device as well as the legality of an unfolded and locked folding knife with a five-inch blade. Consequently, it is clearly established that Sorrell's knife, a folding knife with a folded three-inch blade, is a legal "penknife without switchblade." McGuigan suggests that a reasonable police officer would not necessarily know specific Maryland cases on penknives. However, a reasonable officer is presumed to know clearly established law. See Harlow , 457 U.S. at 818-19 ("[A] reasonably competent public official should know the law governing his conduct.").


Qualified immunity protects law enforcement officers from bad guesses in gray areas. Wilson v. Layne , 141 F.3d 111, 114 (4th Cir. 8). Because the legality of Sorrell's penknife was clearly established, Sergeant McGuigan was not in a gray area. Accordingly, we affirm the district court's order denying him qualified immunity. AFFIRMED
http://vlex.com/vid/18210130

If a cop arrests you for having a ten inch folding buck knife, then you may spend the night in jail, but you will also win the lawsuit for false arrest.

If you enjoyed reading about "Knife laws in your state." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!