Butterfly Knife Legality in CA?


January 12, 2008, 04:39 PM
Hello everyone,

I have searched high and low for the answer to this question and I have found several conflicting answers. Is it legal to own a butterfly knife with a blade longer than 2" at home as long as you do not let it leave your house? Some say that butterfly knives are all illegal anywhere in CA, but some say it's OK as long as you don't carry one with you. Does anybody know for sure?

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January 12, 2008, 07:36 PM
Well here's what Wikipedia says.....Again this is Wikipedia....

In some U.S. states it is illegal to possess and/or carry such a knife in public. In certain jurisdictions, butterfly knives are categorized as a "gravity knife", "switchblade", or "dagger" although they are also occasionally outlawed by name ("butterfly knife"). The knife is illegal in California if blade length exceeds two inches. In a recent US Federal Court case, Spyderco, Inc. pleaded guilty and was fined $75,000 for sending butterfly knives through the United States Postal Service.

I see a lot of online knife retailers with disclaimers that say "Cannot ship to CA" and I think Massachusetts has the same restrictions on them.

January 12, 2008, 08:03 PM
This site may be useful to folks: State Knife Laws (http://pweb.netcom.com/~brlevine/sta-law.htm#A-H)

The CA Attorney General ruled that any butterfly knife with a blade exceeding 2" is a "switchblade". Here is the section on switchblades:


California - Penal Code Section 653k. Every person who possesses in the passenger's or driver's area of any motor vehicle in any public place or place open to the public, carries upon his or her person, and every person who sells, offers for sale, exposes for sale, loans, transfers, or gives to any other person a switchblade knife having a blade two or more inches in length is guilty of a misdemeanor.

For the purposes of this section, "switchblade knife" means a knife having the appearance of a pocketknife and includes a spring-blade knife, snap-blade knife, gravity knife or any other similar type knife, the blade or blades of which are two or more inches in length and which can be released automatically by a flick of a button, pressure on the handle, flip of the wrist or other mechanical device, or is released by the weight of the blade or by any type of mechanism whatsoever. "Switchblade knife" does not include a knife that opens with one hand utilizing thumb pressure applied solely to the blade of the knife or a thumb stud attached to the blade, provided that the knife has a detent or other mechanism that provides resistance that must be overcome in opening the blade, or that biases the blade back toward its closed position.

For purposes of this section, "passenger's or driver's area" means that part of a motor vehicle which is designed to carry the driver and passengers, including any interior compartment or space therein.

Harley Quinn
January 12, 2008, 08:04 PM
Felony to have on your person, many have them, lots of practice ones around with the writing, it is for practice no sharping etc.
It will get you time in front of a camera and a healthy fine. Best to play with at home and never have them in your car.:uhoh:

I have quite a few of them because I practice the arts called FMA and they are considered the Balisong in Filipino. I am "anglo" but the art is good.


January 15, 2008, 10:09 PM
Ok, so it sounds like it is legal to own one, as long as it doesn't leave the house. Thanks everyone.

January 16, 2008, 01:59 PM
just remember people can say things, even the fed has been know to give a report, just to be able to bust you.

the felony is yours and only yours.



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