Open Carry of Swords and Sword-Like-Objects


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Cosmoline
July 23, 2013, 04:04 PM
I've been doing longsword practice this summer, and as part of the fat-old-man exercise regime, I bike the miles to and from the class every Wednesday. As it happens the Maxpedition backpack has an almost perfect carrying location for my plastic waster, which looks vaguely sword-like but is white polymer with a steel pommel and crossguard. But you can see it pretty clearly, and I've been getting way more looks than I do carrying the trail guns around en route to hikes.

Last week a fellow asked me if I had it for personal protection! I pointed out to him that it was obviously made of PLASTIC and for fencing. He seemed unconvinced. I'm worried enough about police being called that I've taken to not packing my usual CCW for fear of a tragic mixup with APD.

But having reviewed the laws local and state I see nothing against carrying fencing devices or even sharp swords. I'm torn on the issue. On the one hand I don't want to cause troubles but on the other, it is perfectly legal. Matters will come to a head in a month or so when Albion finishes my steel waster and I graduate to using it for at least part of my training. That really does look like a sword, and is shiny steel.

So what to do. I suppose I could wrap it all up, but it won't transport as well. And at that point it becomes concealed and may present a legal problem.

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beatledog7
July 23, 2013, 04:32 PM
I suspect you could rig up some sort of frame-mounted carrier that would position the sword parallel to one of the frame tubes. Once there, it would blend into the frame and just about disappear to all but close inspection.

two gun charlie
July 23, 2013, 04:33 PM
Ok I am going to let you in on a little secret , take your "sword" and spray it so that it looks like a candy cane , or use any other silly colors you like , the more colorfull and insane the better . You will observe that now people will just smile when they see it or completely ignore your "sword"

Amazingly this same phenomenon also works for assault rifles , hand guns and tanks :scrutiny: , you cannot believe how the human mind perceives objects.

I have an handgun that I sprayed with a cheap gold color , some black with a few streaks of green , whenever I take it out in company people smile and look at me with a grin , some even laugh , where usually they would get tense .... go figure

hso
July 23, 2013, 04:54 PM
What's keeping you from casing it against the weather?

glistam
July 23, 2013, 07:42 PM
"911, what is your emergency?"
"There's a guy riding a bike with a sword!"
"Is he threatening someone or swinging it around?"
"Well...no, he's just carrying it on is back and going somewhere."
"Sir, that's not actually against the law. Please stop wasting our time." *CLICK*

Ok seriously though, I'd just cover it with a cloth or case. I fence with a cup-hilt rapier and I just cover the grip end with some dark cloth and wrap it up. Nobody's even noticed.

rcmodel
July 23, 2013, 07:47 PM
Buy yourself a pool Cue case.

http://www.pooldawg.com/product/action-1-butt-2-shaft-soft-pool-cue-case

Or a chunk of white PVC drain pipe and two pipe caps.

rc

JShirley
July 23, 2013, 11:06 PM
I use an old cheap surplus side-zip duffel bag as a gear bag for bokken and such.

lemaymiami
July 24, 2013, 07:19 AM
Cos... don't think you'd ever have a police problem (although I don't live in Cali or NY so I might be wrong). If stopped, a simple explanation that you're going to or from a class or dojo should be all it takes.

The only advice my Dad ever gave me when I became a cop was pretty simple..."Kid, don't be a prick". I tried to follow that advice and most cops I ever met were of that mindset as well. Yes, there's an occasional "Barney Phyffe" everywhere you go but a simple explanation will go a long way to sort out any problems in that area....

Riven_Cole
July 24, 2013, 08:25 AM
i live in indiana and while it is legal to carry any bladed weapon openly (last time i checked, may have changed) in the city i live in you can still get arrested for doing so even if it is sheathed. no disrespect to the good cops out there but, the city cops here for the most part are a bunch of jerks more interested in forcing people to treat them like gods among men than in actually following/enforcing laws. i regularly get threatened by cops when i have my machete in hand to do yard work for friends. meaning i am chopping down mulberry, large weeds, ivy, low hanging branches, etc. i have even spent a night behind bars for it. they never filed charges but here they are allowed to hold someone for up to 48 hours without charges. they let me go when i asked to see my lawyer.
point: dont assume you wont get hassled even if you aren't breaking the law

lemaymiami
July 24, 2013, 11:46 AM
sorry to hear that... in my area any cop that even thought of that kind of behavior would find a flock of attorneys feasting on what was left of him.... or her.

Deltaboy
July 25, 2013, 10:02 AM
LOL down here the cops stop and offer to help. Sorry you got a bunch of little men on your PD.

Riven_Cole
July 25, 2013, 10:32 AM
unfortunately this seems to be becoming more and more common as time goes by.

joeschmoe
July 25, 2013, 11:22 AM
At my dojo people carry all kinds of weird stuff. Kris swords, Klingon battle axes, etc. Some enjoyed the attention. The instructor liked the free advertising. Any sports store will have a bag for most objects. Or make one from fabric and string.

Cosmoline
July 25, 2013, 01:06 PM
Well last night two groups of people in cars could be heard saying in shocked tones "HE HAS A SWORD!"

Lordy. This is a white piece of plastic with some steel stuck to it, and they're freaking out. But I had an idea. I'm going to start putting the HEMA fencing mask on the outside, so people will see that too. Hopefully their brains will make a connection. Should be an interesting psychology experiment if nothing else.

hso
July 25, 2013, 01:10 PM
Just case the silly thing.

Cosmoline
July 25, 2013, 01:49 PM
It's either too long (50") or too wide for the bags I've got, so I'd have to rig some kind of special two piece case, and make it more difficult to transport.

Still, I'm not the only one with this kind of issue LOL:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtoINoEdLQ8

JShirley
July 25, 2013, 03:45 PM
My surplus duffle will take a 48" jo.

And you should have replied in shocked tones, "YOU HAVE CARS!!!"

dprice3844444
July 25, 2013, 03:56 PM
piece of pvc pipe and a cover over the handle.you can attach shoulder straps to it.

two gun charlie
July 26, 2013, 02:28 AM
Well last night two groups of people in cars could be heard saying in shocked tones "HE HAS A SWORD!"


Turn to them and say "there can be only one !":D

HorseSoldier
July 26, 2013, 02:45 AM
But having reviewed the laws local and state I see nothing against carrying fencing devices or even sharp swords. I'm torn on the issue. On the one hand I don't want to cause troubles but on the other, it is perfectly legal. Matters will come to a head in a month or so when Albion finishes my steel waster and I graduate to using it for at least part of my training. That really does look like a sword, and is shiny steel.


There's nothing under state law or Anchorage muni code to prevent the open carry of a live sword, much less a sword-like training device. (This came up somewhat recently when a guy called APD to check on the legality of his UAA sociology class experiment -- "go somewhere, violate social norms, and assess reactions" . . . his take on that was to run errands around town in full ninja suit complete with ninja-to or whatever ninja swords are called. I double verified my recollection of the law and found nothing to stop him from doing it so long as he was not trying to conceal the sword.)

That said, I also know we have had officers dispatched to contact persons walking to and from kendo, fencing, whatever with swords slung over their back. One can be demonstrably not breaking the law when officers arrive, but if someone is going into hysterics about seeing someone with a sword (gun, whatever) it's likely to get officers dispatched simply from a liability angle just to make sure it isn't someone cracked out of their mind on spice and bath salt and off to stop the zombie apocalypse or whatever.

I've been doing longsword practice this summer, and as part of the fat-old-man exercise regime, I bike the miles to and from the class every Wednesday.

Cool. Is that the class at Northway Mall or Fairview Rec Center or where ever they are holding it these days?

Cosmoline
July 26, 2013, 03:49 AM
It's the same group--Dave's bunch. We're in the park behind the library now but shift to Fairview in the winter.

To keep things interesting I just ordered a five pound war hammer to run drills with for strengthening. It's probably only a matter of time before I'm hauled away ;-)

lemaymiami
July 26, 2013, 09:02 AM
By the way, every officer has encountered folks doing "something peculiar" -this sort of stuff can range from running naked to carrying gasoline cans and torches (and everything in between). The only way to sort out the harmless from the really dangerous is to stop and talk with them. Any cop worth his/her salt has done this many, many times and learned how to keep cool and see where things go. 99% of the time you find out that there's no problem whatsoever - it's that 1% that will keep you up at night... And yes, there are times when no laws are being broken but if you don't stop and ask you might not like what's going to happen...

hso
July 26, 2013, 12:05 PM
Cosmo,

Once you get a steel waster you're going to want to drop the blade into a PVC "sheath" just for your own safety as you go back and forth. While it is unsharpened and it doesn't have a needle point, there's enough of a point on it to be dangerous in an accident to you or someone else. You can even heat pvc pipe with a heat gun to flatten it into a sheath if you want to. Drill and add cords or webbing for straps and you could have a pretty safe way to carry it. Pick a big enough piece to flatten and it could cover the guard and be completely unrecognizable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rseA45hQI8M
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXSQ8o5nKGc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Kg1Lmp9EVU

Cosmoline
July 26, 2013, 12:36 PM
That's not a bad idea

hso
July 26, 2013, 01:46 PM
Make it large enough to cover the guard and no one would have a clue AND it would protect all of it from rain/snow.

armoredman
July 26, 2013, 05:27 PM
Dumb question time - why is this sword shaped object referred to as a "waster"?
I carried a short sword once, for grins and giggles. Good quality thing, not a cheap display sword, got one or two looks, nothing else.

glistam
July 26, 2013, 06:22 PM
Because it's used for training that often involves physical impact (especially if used full-force on an inanimate pell), so it's generally not meant to last forever. Though it was my understanding this term is not used for blunt steel, just wood or nylon weapons. I also thought "sword-like-object" was confined to simple replicas, sharp or blunt, of inferior craftsmanship intended for display.

General Geoff
July 26, 2013, 06:35 PM
Carry it proudly, and if someone gives you gruff, just reply with "There can be only one." :D

Cosmoline
July 26, 2013, 06:47 PM
LOL

hso
September 13, 2013, 10:04 AM
http://www2.knifecenter.com/item/CIOH2158/CAS-Hanwei-Large-Sword-Bag

theotherwaldo
September 13, 2013, 07:35 PM
Freaking the Mundanes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6s5KtpQV_ns) is a grand old tradition. Carry your waster with pride, and glory in those witless ones that point and stare.

Officers'Wife
September 13, 2013, 08:09 PM
Hmmm, paint it yellow with black lines and numbers and tell people it's a yardstick?

22-rimfire
September 13, 2013, 08:45 PM
The "looks" don't surprise me in the least. Get a bag or tube to carry it on your bicycle (strapped to the frame). I don't think our society is ready for swords openly carried again.

Pick a big enough piece to flatten and it could cover the guard and be completely unrecognizable.

Or just use a piece of PVC and you can look like a plumber on a bicycle. :D

zignal_zero
September 14, 2013, 07:39 AM
LEMAYMIAMI -

yer name suggests you are in FL. I was LEO in FL for many years. As you apparently know, we have no statute against the open carry of a nonfirearm weapon. So... OC'n a sword is legal here.

I was on duty and saw a group of youngsters walking down the sidewalk, the oldest was dressed all King Louis era looking and had a big sword hanging off his hip. While not illegal, this did strike me as odd. Truth is I had no RS to detain, so my contact was (had to be) consentual. I just walked up (carefully considering what a real bladesman can accomplish with such a weapon) and struck up a "how ya doin" line of conversation. After the normal pleasantries, I asked "so what's with the sword?" He told me he just felt like going all Ren today, when he woke up. All I could think to say was, "OK, cool. Well, don't hack anybody up and have a great day". Still among the top weirdest things I remember from that job :)

AJumbo
September 14, 2013, 10:16 AM
Hmm..... If the waster is secure, but still readily accessible, I wouldn't change a thing. If you get accosted by someone who means you no good, you have a weapon that extends you reach inside his, and the training to employ it. A plastic waster shouldn't be too vulnerable to weather, though I suppose the hilt could be slippery if it got wet.

My problem would be resisting the temptation to go all 'dragoon' on random roadside objects...

Cosmoline
September 16, 2013, 12:33 PM
fter the normal pleasantries, I asked "so what's with the sword?" He told me he just felt like going all Ren today, when he woke up.

LOL Did they theme to "Portlandia" start playing?

sf46
September 16, 2013, 03:12 PM
I'm sure the laws vary from place to place, but I don't see where you should have much trouble with an open carry plastic practice sword. I've walked around with a real sword on before, during, and after some Civil War reenactments, and I've never had any issues (yet).

RyanM
September 18, 2013, 07:04 AM
Take an old rifle stock and tape it to the sword, so it looks like you have a rifle slung across your back instead.

I'm under the impression that people in AK won't find a guy carrying a rifle unusual at all.

rtrwv
October 2, 2013, 09:40 AM
Pink duct tape with black electrical tape stripes.

Creature
October 2, 2013, 10:00 AM
If in fact you are not breaking any laws, don't worry about it. Be prepared to stand your ground and answer any questions from an 'interviewing' LEO.

PJSprog
October 7, 2013, 02:57 PM
A simple bag sewn together and tied at the top (like a katana bag) would be easy and inexpensive to make, and would likely end your concerns.

Critical J
October 19, 2013, 11:42 PM
Well, I don't own any swords, but no one's ever
bothered me while carrying around one of these... http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=188912&d=1379096221

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