California knife rules


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Gordon
December 18, 2013, 12:08 AM
California changed it's knife laws a few years back. Now fixed blade knives regardless of size , with an unsharpened false edge, are allowed to be openly carried IF readily visible. :neener: So big bowies are in with my biker pals and finally I can wear my 9" Rezine Mad Dog which hangs perfectly when seated on my bike, even under a barn coat.:D

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CA Raider
December 18, 2013, 01:07 AM
Gordon - really? did not know that. thanks bro.

CA R

9mmepiphany
December 18, 2013, 07:30 PM
Gordon - really? did not know that. thanks bro.

CA R
State laws governing edged weapon in CA are actually pretty liberal.

You can carry any sized folder concealed...as long as you can conceal it.
You can carry any sized fixed blade...as long as it is not concealed
You can carry a tomahawk...openly or concealed

..but, you can't carry a switchblade, gravity or spring powered knife

Caution: County Codes can supersede State Law as to the size of knives

hso
December 18, 2013, 07:33 PM
you can't carry a switchblade, gravity or spring powered knife

Ahhh, but you can if the blade is under 2" (strange "novelty" exemption).

Nighteyes
December 18, 2013, 07:40 PM
Gordon - really? did not know that. thanks bro.

CA R
Yup. In the Sons of Anarchy series, on the FX Network, they regularly showed bikers openly carrying large single-edged knives at their sides. There was quite a variety of them too. For example Jax Teller (played by Charlie Hunnam) carried a Ka-Bar Commemorative Mark II.

Thinking this to be a bit odd, I asked a CHP friend. He told me it was quite legal.

9mmepiphany
December 18, 2013, 08:02 PM
Ahhh, but you can if the blade is under 2" (strange "novelty" exemption).
Yes, you're right. I always forget about that exemption.

I just learned about the tomahawk last year

Gordon
December 18, 2013, 08:49 PM
HMMMMMMMM? Tomahawk conceal or open eh?:evil:

9mmepiphany
December 18, 2013, 09:08 PM
There is even a class (http://dftraining.net/index.php?dft=dft_aboutus) for Fighting Tomahawk

telomerase
December 19, 2013, 02:34 PM
NH doesn't have sharp-object laws... a Free Stater legislator got a bill passed to remove them several years ago.

I suppose you could carry a cutlass here if you wanted to. But most people carry these things called "gonnes", they're lighter and smaller.

ChaoSS
December 20, 2013, 04:35 PM
California changed it's knife laws a few years back. Now fixed blade knives regardless of size , with an unsharpened false edge, are allowed to be openly carried IF readily visible. :neener: So big bowies are in with my biker pals and finally I can wear my 9" Rezine Mad Dog which hangs perfectly when seated on my bike, even under a barn coat.:D
Please explain. I don't see any requirement for a blade to have an unsharpened false edge. Seems the law just bans the concealed carry of a fixed blade knife.

I regularly carry a fixed blade knife. I'd hate to find out that I was in violation, but my reading of the law doesn't show that to be the case.


FWIW, I do get people who comment on my carrying of a knife, but it's usually the idiots who need to ask me if they can borrow my knife, because they have failed to bring the proper tools to work with them. One genius claimed that I was committing a felony by having a knife over 3 inches, because he knows everything about everything, having been through the police academy in LA or somewhere near there. (I'm not in LA, or near there)

Sam Cade
December 20, 2013, 04:53 PM
I don't see any requirement for a blade to have an unsharpened false edge.

I believe that would put you over into "dirk or dagger" category.


PENAL CODE
SECTION 21310-21390




21310. Except as provided in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section
17700) of Division 2 of Title 2, any person in this state who carries
concealed upon the person any dirk or dagger is punishable by
imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment
pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.



21390. The unlawful concealed carrying upon the person of any dirk
or dagger, as provided in Section 21310, is a nuisance and is subject
to Sections 18000 and 18005.

ChaoSS
December 20, 2013, 05:09 PM
Which means that open carry is perfectly legal, right? I mean, it says, "carries concealed upon the person".

Sam Cade
December 20, 2013, 05:26 PM
I mean, it says, "carries concealed upon the person".

In California "concealed upon the person" could mean that your shirt came untucked.
Not the sort of thing that you want to let a jury decide.

9mmepiphany
December 20, 2013, 06:02 PM
Which means that open carry is perfectly legal, right? I mean, it says, "carries concealed upon the person".
Open carry of a knife has to be completely open...meaning that no part of it may be concealed or covered (except by the sheath)

ChaoSS
December 20, 2013, 06:06 PM
I'm very careful about that. Not really interested in carrying a dull blade....

Nighteyes
December 20, 2013, 07:49 PM
Please explain. I don't see any requirement for a blade to have an unsharpened false edge. Seems the law just bans the concealed carry of a fixed blade knife.

The California ban on carrying any double-edged knife, including blades with sharpened false edges, goes back well into the mid-1980s and perhaps a good bit further. I found out about it shortly after I moved here from Alabama in '88, and had to change the sheath knife I carried when hiking and backpacking.

The double-edged ban was possibly not named or alluded to in this 'new' law because it wasn't affected. Then there's always the "dirk or dagger" provision...

9mmepiphany
December 20, 2013, 08:08 PM
I haven't been following the court cases, but it is often misunderstood what exactly a "dirk or dagger" are.

The "more than one edge sharpened" was an often used rule of thumb, but I believe there was an Appellate Court case which ruled that it wasn't applicable.

I'm not a lawyer, this opinion is personal and has as much standing in court as you paid for it

ChaoSS
December 20, 2013, 08:21 PM
I moved to California in 2005, and I don't remember ever seeing anything about double edged blades. As far as I remember, and this was before they rewrote the code but I can't speak for anything before 2005, dirk or dagger has only referred to a fixed blade knife, or a folder that is locked open.


I see what you guys are referring to, though, I had thought that Gordon was saying that only unsharpened knives, basically stage knives, were legal to be carried if they were fixed blades. Now his comment makes more sense.

CWL
December 20, 2013, 09:29 PM
I can say that it is an interesting sight to go out for Sunday brunch in the East Bay, CA and see a group of bikers all packing bowies at their hips and eating pancakes.

Gordon
December 22, 2013, 01:32 AM
well I don't want to run into a misinformed misanthrope cop with a double edged knife. I am not that comfortable with a 9" bladed single edged knife hanging in the open while seated on my Road King in Cali. Here is my Mad Dog Rezine being used, harmless looking eh?
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i203/gordonhulme/036.jpg

9mmepiphany
December 22, 2013, 02:22 AM
finally I can wear my 9" Rezine Mad Dog which hangs perfectly when seated on my bike, even under a barn coat.:D
Wouldn't a barn coat cover part of the knife?

http://s5.thisnext.com/media/largest_dimension/33018140.jpg

Gordon
December 22, 2013, 11:33 AM
notice I said seated on the bike with a barn coat. Although the ATAK sheath on that knife does dangle a bit and it puts the tip of the blade almost to my knee, I would take off the coat when I get off and fly my colors on my cut,:evil: to avoid them overzealous fearful ocifers.:neener:

ChaoSS
December 28, 2013, 05:09 PM
Now here's a question, is there any case law regarding whether or not an OTF knife would be considered a "pocket knife", and thus not a dirk or dagger? Specifically, an OTF box cutter....


Seems that would be a stupid thing to get busted for, but the code sections are perfectly clear to me in this regard.

Gordon
December 28, 2013, 07:57 PM
OTF if over 2" are a felony.

ChaoSS
December 28, 2013, 10:06 PM
It's not a switchblade, that's not a problem.

http://www.photo-dictionary.com/photofiles/list/2389/3120box_cutter.jpg


Something like this. It's not going to go into the category of switchblade, it doesn't meet those criteria. But the question is, does it meet the criteria of a "dirk or dagger"?

Gordon
December 29, 2013, 01:04 AM
No that is a tool, completely legal except in courts, jails, schools, hospitals , commercial carriers, events (anybody know where else?)

Dr. Sandman
January 4, 2014, 09:39 PM
I'm glad I do not live in California.

Zoogster
January 4, 2014, 11:12 PM
California knife laws are actually rather permissive and I think a lot of what people believe is false or spread by police that confiscate otherwise legal knives when they deal with teenagers and others they can tell the law to.


I have heard the double sided theory many times. Yet I do not believe there is actually any restriction on double sided fixed blades. Even with 2 sharp edges.
Actual daggers are legal, just not concealed.
Dirks and daggers are described by the penal code as something readily usable as a stabbing weapon including things like ice picks and screwdrivers carried for use as weapons.
It is not the dictionary definition of dirk or dagger, or even those of other states with the same term. Dirk/dagger in California law does not mean dagger.
It is specifically something concealed that is readily useable as a stabbing weapon that is the violation of California law.
A screwdriver is a dirk/dagger if carried concealed for use as a weapon under the law. While carrying a sword on a belt is legal.
So it has nothing to do with its edge, number of edges, or lack of.


I have also heard people with various theories on legal sizes. I recall even police that would say as wide as a hand, or "this long". Without any basis in law and confiscating or advising against entirely legal knives from people thinking they were getting a break and merely having it confiscated and not being charged. Since the people think they got a break they don't complain, and the cops got free toys.



The law allows folders to be carried concealed of any length. Some locales have additional restrictions, but these are usually minor crimes and misdemeanors at most, not the felony dirk dagger violation of California penal law. Local jurisdictions cannot just make felony knife laws and don't trigger any state ones when violated to the best of my knowledge.

Folders are also considered fixed blades under the dirk dagger laws if concealed while open. If you lock one open and conceal it then its the same as a fixed blade under the law and becomes a felony dirk dagger.

There is restrictions in some government buildings and schools. K-12 is mst restrictive, and college campuses a little less but still more than elsewhere under the law.


That said open carry of large knives gets attention. Attention leads to harassment by police even when legal on occasion and proposals at local levels for more restrictions and ordinances. Since the knife laws can vary throughout the state at the local level you also probably don't want attention because some places it is not legal to have certain lengths or have them at such park etc and will result in a fine or citation typically, and possible arrest.
Concealed does not get noticed. So like in the example given about bikers, someone driving through multiple jurisdictions open carrying large knives is just asking for trouble and will likely be cited or arrested at some point.
While if it is a concealed folder then it will go unnoticed most of the time, is generally legal, and even when it violates some local ordinance not be a serious offense and be unlikely to even be noticed unless being carried by an individual with frequent police attention.

If it is a fixed blade leave the knife and sheath uncovered.

ChaoSS
January 5, 2014, 03:34 AM
I have also heard people with various theories on legal sizes. I recall even police that would say as wide as a hand, or "this long". Without any basis in law and confiscating or advising against entirely legal knives from people thinking they were getting a break and merely having it confiscated and not being charged. Since the people think they got a break they don't complain, and the cops got free toys.

...


That said open carry of large knives gets attention. Attention leads to harassment by police even when legal on occasion and proposals at local levels for more restrictions and ordinances. Since the knife laws can vary throughout the state at the local level you also probably don't want attention because some places it is not legal to have certain lengths or have them at such park etc and will result in a fine or citation typically, and possible arrest.
Concealed does not get noticed. So like in the example given about bikers, someone driving through multiple jurisdictions open carrying large knives is just asking for trouble and will likely be cited or arrested at some point.
While if it is a concealed folder then it will go unnoticed most of the time, is generally legal, and even when it violates some local ordinance not be a serious offense and be unlikely to even be noticed unless being carried by an individual with frequent police attention.

If it is a fixed blade leave the knife and sheath uncovered.

I've never been hassled for open carry of any knife, and that includes some really big pig stickers when I was younger. The worst I've had is when a coworker asked to borrow my knife (everyone always needs a knife, yet no one wants to carry one) and my boss saw it, asked to see it, laid it out across his palm, and declared it a felony. He claims he used to be a reserve police officer, and his wisdom comes straight from the police academy.

That being said, no real police officers have ever batted an eye at my knife or tried to bluff me into giving it up.

hso
January 5, 2014, 07:51 AM
No one can tell you what an LEO or DA might do in specific circumstances, but common utility safety knives like that don't get attention unless they've been used in crime.

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