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clarification on Idaho knife law

Discussion in 'Legal' started by azathoth, May 18, 2008.

  1. azathoth

    azathoth New Member

    May 18, 2008
    Idaho Statute 18-3302:"If any person, excepting [officials] shall
    carry concealed upon or about his person any dirk, dirk
    knife, bowie knife, dagger... or any other deadly or
    dangerous weapon within the limits or confines of any
    city, town or village, or in any public assembly, or in
    any mining, lumbering, logging, railroad or other
    construction camp, public conveyances or on public
    highways within the state of Idaho, or shall, in the
    presence of one or more persons, exhibit any deadly or
    dangerous weapon in a rude, angry or threatening manner,
    or shall have or carry such weapons upon or about his
    person when intoxicated... or shall [transfer] to any
    minor under the age of sixteen years any such weapon
    without the consent of the parent... shall be [fined or
    imprisoned]; provided, however, that any person shall be
    allowed to carry any of the above weapons in the places
    mentioned above on securing a permit from the sheriff of
    the county...

    Reading this section (obtained at http://pweb.netcom.com/~brlevine/id.txt), I see no mention of non-concealed weapons. I'm just wondering if I may be mistaken in assuming this.
  2. Biker

    Biker Senior Member

    Mar 10, 2005
    Some of the guys I ride with (in Idaho) open-carry carry full size bowies and LE seems to have no problem with it.

  3. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

    Jan 20, 2004
    Madison, WI
    This is one area where my belief is that "knife laws" simply exist to remove trouble makers from the streets. It gives the beat cop leverage to get problems off of the street before they boil into major trouble.

    I've carried Emersons, switchblades, assisted openers and knives with long blades for decades. I'm just not a troublemaker or your typical townie drunk.

    Usually when I see a guy whining about "draconian JBTs" what he really means is that he mouthed off and paid the freight.
  4. Killermonkey21

    Killermonkey21 Member

    Mar 26, 2008
    Fort Richardson, AK
    Tourist: You've carried switchblades? Correct me, as I'm probably wrong, but wern't switchblades restricted and all that to active duty military and LEO's and all that.

    Your state different?

    And I agree with Tourist on the "spirit of the law" as well. A pocketknife, to most people, is just that. A pocketknife. It isn't an intrument of mass murder. Its a tool. Albeit a more "publicly acceptable" tool than a gun, but a tool nonetheless.

    Carry on.
  5. jrfoxx

    jrfoxx Senior Member

    Sep 23, 2004
    Switchblades vary by state, in a sense. Here in OR, switchblades are legal to own and carry, but illegal to carry concealed. The federal law, as best I recall, and dont have a cite for, sorry, just says that interstate sale of switchblades is restricted to LEO's, military, etc. So, the only switchblades you can get, as a "civillian", would be ones made in your state, or ones brought into the state by LEO's, military, etc, who then sold them to someone in the state (that doesnt mean an LEO would be very smart to order 1000 switchblades to his house, then sell them though, as there's probly something in there to keep people from using the LEO exemption as a "loophole".maybe not though, just an assumption).

    You see lots of switchblades at gunshows here.I have considered buying an inexpensive one, just to have,for the simple fact that MOST states, and the feds thinbk they are "evil" and need to be "controlled". Cause, you knwo "West Side Story" was a documentary, and "Greasers" are still running around getting into "rumbles" all the time....;):rolleyes:
  6. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

    Jan 20, 2004
    Madison, WI
    No, we're the same. I applied for a cutlery resellers license and I sell to police, fire, EMTs and soldiers.

    That's business, now here's my personal story.

    I'm of a generation that used switchblades because it was just another knife. There was a movie that came out called "Twelve Angry Men" which showed the jury deliberations. They also show a switchblade which Henry Fonda bought at a drugstore.

    I bought my first real switchblade in 1964. Most guys in my high school either carried them or owned one "just in case." I guess as youngsters we felt that this style of knife was a superior fighting instrument. Yikes.

    As I got more heavily into motorcycles, I carried a Buck 110. I still carry that type of knife now. I can get it reasonably sharp for the jobs intended (mostly eating) and it's a lot stronger than a Sicilian switchblade.

    I felt a pang of regret once during the silliest of circumstances. In about 1977 I saw the first "Star Wars" movie. Alec Guiness hands Mark Hamill a lightsaber, admonishing him that it was a more elegant weapon of a bygone time.

    Perhaps I blushed. But once in a while I dig out an old real-deal Sicilian switchblade I have in the vault, and think the same thing...
  7. Killermonkey21

    Killermonkey21 Member

    Mar 26, 2008
    Fort Richardson, AK
    Ok. Yeah, I remember looking into it.

    Something along the same lines as the Tourist. On Ft Bragg, being a military post, you have all the usual restrictions on firearms...AND KNIVES TOO?!

    Apparently any knife over a given length is contraband...and we're ISSUED Leathermans, Benchmade Auto-openers etc. So, according to regs, we're breaking the law by walking around with pocket-knives that we were issued.

    Like I said...it doesn't exactly make sense.

    Oh, and foxx, you mean you don't want a part of the 1000 Benchmades I ordered? Damn...;)
  8. Grizfire

    Grizfire Member

    Nov 3, 2007
    Look into Idaho state law, title 18, chapter 33.


    also look under...


    This is a good question because Idaho code discusses the need for a permit for concealed WEAPONS (including those you describe) but then gives an exception for plainly viewed FIREARMS.

  9. Dwylbtzle

    Dwylbtzle New Member

    Feb 28, 2010
    Is there a dirk GUN???

    Well, that law's a bit disturbing.
    I googled "idaho knife laws" because I have all these different sized knives, and was wondering which ones might get me busted, if i carried them in my pocket.
    And I was expecting some clear-cut stipulation, like they have in in California, where the law clearly states you can carry any folding knife, (except maybe a switchblade), in yer pocket, as long as the blade is under 3 and a half inches.
    But all the google references I looked at ALL post that exact text:
    and that's it.
    And reading that thing, I see nothing that would stop any cop, (or "official" whatever THAT is),from claiming any pocket knife, of any length, might be a "dangerous weapon" if they WANTED to.
    I, personally, don't LIKE the thing about giving them options to decide if yer a troublemaker, or not
    at THEIR leisure and discretion.
    I'd rather have the clear cut, clearly stated law
    and just not violate the damn thing.

    And what the heck is the difference between a dirk, and a dirk KNIFE???
  10. Zoogster

    Zoogster Senior Member

    Oct 27, 2006
    There is no folding size limit in the state of California at the state level. 1 inch, 10 inches, or 3 feet long are all legal.

    I have heard it repeated by many people many times, it certainly is a persistent rumor. So persistent I once believed it myself. Before being sure I learned all the knife laws of the state and read the statutes and case law. However there is absolutely no legal size limit on a folding knife (or open carried fixed blade, including a sword) under state law. There is also no restrictions on double edged knives, another rumor that I have heard.
    The only limit is if they are opened in the locked position, at which point they cannot be concealed or they count as an illegal concealed dirk/dagger just like a fixed blade. As long as they stay folded while concealed no crime is committed.
    There is some more restrictive local level ordinances.

    A dirk as defined under California law (different in various states) is anything readily used as a stabbing weapon. This includes not just fixed blade knives, but screwdrivers, ice picks and other things of any size.
    Dirks are legal to carry, but must be carried openly. Folders are exempt and cannot be a "dirk" under the law as long as they are folded shut per 653k.

    "Switchblades" are prohibited (except under 2".) Switchblades are spring activated type knives, as well as a few others like gravity operated, butterfly knives, etc. But that is the only size limit on a knife.
    A folding knife with a detent or bias is not a switchblade under the law.

    What "Dirk" means in another state can be totally different. Legal definitions are not dictionary definitions. In some states a dirk/dagger is a two sided knife, or a specific type of knife under the law. Some states are closer to the dictionary definition, and some are nothing like it.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2010
  11. Dwylbtzle

    Dwylbtzle New Member

    Feb 28, 2010
    Well, I haven't lived in California, since 1996.
    But, when I was a kid--oh say around the very early seventies
    the police used to pounce on anyone they thought looked lke a "hippy"
    and search them
    hoping to find drugs.
    This happened to me, personally, in parks, and even just walking down the street.
    And they used to take yer pocket knife out and make a BIG DEAL about measuring the blade.
    And, as they were doing it they would go "OOOH! THIS BETTER NOT BE OVER THREE AND A HALF INCHES!"
    I MOVED to Idaho hoping to find more freedom
    but THIS law seems to leave any pocket knife open to the interpretation of "dangerous weapon"
  12. Dwylbtzle

    Dwylbtzle New Member

    Feb 28, 2010
    this was in Sacramento
    so maybe it was a local ordinance?

    i believe in most states it can be a felony to be carrying the wrong kind of knife
    but an UNLOADED gun
    is NOT

    i guess because an unloaded gun is just a club?

    It was suggested to me that this is a result of how strong the gun lobby is,
    to which I say RIGHT ON!
  13. Zoogster

    Zoogster Senior Member

    Oct 27, 2006
    This varies by every state.
    Yes many states are more restrictive of knives than guns, from times when certain classes of people had guns and some had more knives. When wealthy and middle class people had firearms, but many poor laborers had other weapons.
    Similarly I imagine many of the restrictions in Idaho stem from this. Like the
    They once had a lot of very disliked Chinese laborers building things like railroads across the nation in the 1800s. Many laws were passed to disarm them and otherwise restrict them and similar disliked groups. While the locals still wanted to legally have their guns.
    You see this in the states of the South a lot. Where places like Texas allow anyone to have a loaded gun in a vehicle without any license or permit whatsoever due to modern pro gun changes, but a knife over 5" can be a felony dating back to old laws. Those knife restrictions also dating back to times when certain classes of people used or could afford different types of self defense. They may want to disarm the poor guy with his "bowie knife" but they still wanted the guns available to the middle and upper classes. It may not be that way anymore, but the law is still on the books there.
    Today similar things are done elsewhere with permits and licenses.

    No, and once again every state is different.
    For example while you can legally open carry a sword in California, a club is a felony (but a gun is never a club.)
    So razor sharp several foot long sword is legal, but a stick with a handle is a felony.

    In fact a huge number of blunt objects fall under the definition of "sap" "slungshot" "sandbag" "weighted cane" or "billy".
    Any item, purse, bag etc with something in it to make it heavy is a felony sap, slungshot, or sandbag if carried as a weapon.
    Any blunt stick, club baseball bat etc is a felony if carried as a weapon, and if it is a weapon (like a baton) then it has no other purpose.
    "Weighted cane" is any item artificially made heavier to be better as a weapon, including things which are not canes, and weights beyond lead, including cement, sand, or anything meant to add weight to deliver better strikes.

    So you can carry a sword, or any size folder, but a stick with a handle or a sock with something in it is a felony.

    Firearms have a strong politically active element of society that fights for them. So their restrictions are less in some places that still have old laws against other types of weapons.
    In Arizona anyone can open carry (and a new bill may add concealed carry) a loaded firearm with no license or permit. But nunchaku/nunchucks is a major crime (2 sticks connected by a cord, rope, or chain.)

    The law is the law, it does not have to make sense, and often will not.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2010
  14. Dwylbtzle

    Dwylbtzle New Member

    Feb 28, 2010
    Just LIKE a Texan to bring a gun to a knife fight
  15. Al Norris

    Al Norris Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Rupert, ID.
    Azathoth, Idaho is fairly laid back in most of its weapons laws. Note, the the code you quoted is old and outdated. Go here for the code as it stands today.

    Title 18 contains the criminal code of Idaho. Chapter 33 contains the Firearms, explosives and deadly weapons laws. Most firearms violations in Idaho are misdemeanors. However, if intent with malice can be proven, the violation(s) may be charged as a felony - Prosecutorial discretion (IMO, based upon the "good ol boy" system).

    As far as concealed weapons go, a permit is only needed if within the confines of an incorporated town.

    When does a knife become a concealed weapon? That's actually a pretty gray area of Idaho law. On the one hand, if you are carrying a "any dirk, dirk knife, bowie knife, dagger, pistol, revolver, or any other deadly or dangerous weapon" openly, it is lawful. If any of the above are carried concealed (rifles and shotguns are excepted), within the confines of an incorporated town, then you must have a permit.

    Folders, generally anything that can be considered as a pocket knife, are exempt from the concealed weapon statute unless...

    Regardless of what you are carrying, if it can be proved you are carrying with intent to assualt another, then you are guilty of a misdemeanor.
  16. Dwylbtzle

    Dwylbtzle New Member

    Feb 28, 2010
    I guess y'all have answered my two main concerns that I was wondering about:

    I gather I could probably carry my folding hunter with the 4 and 1/8th inch blade
    but i better not carry the Italian stiletto (in town-and hidden in a pocket)
    which is 7 inches closed
    has a six inch blade
    (which makes for a WICKED 13 inch damn harpoon)
    has a trigger assist
    and clearly has no purpose other than as a deadly weapon


    Here's what I'm talking about:
    (I have two knives that seem kinda "gray area")
    If you don't count the machete--(which is only partially shown, at the top),
    then the folding hunter is the red thing--fourth from the top.
    For reference, the sixth one from the bottom is a normal-sized pocket knife, (whittler).
    The red folding hunter is five and a quarter inches, closed.
    So, although it's clearly a "pocket knife", it's huge and ungainly--and, with the blade over 4 inches, certainly woulda got my 18-year-old, long-haired ass hauled off to jail, (in 1972 Sacramento, California).
    But it IS clearly a "pocket knife", (though, maybe, about the biggest pocket knife in the world, almost)--and would have tons of legitimately non-violent uses.
    So, now that i'm a 55-year-old, (graying-haired), Idaho good ol' boy,
    I guess THAT one would probably not get me arrested.

    But the stiletto, however,
    (2nd from top, if you don't count the machete),
    is PLAINLY only meant to run someone through.
    It's the only blade, there, that is a dedicated, purpose-built, dangerous weapon--and nothing else.
    The others all were made for various non-murderous uses,
    and then they maybe COULD become dangerous weapons,
    (like any fingernail or toothpick).
    But the stiletto was made to be deadly to humans, SPECIFICALLY,
    and then I imagine one would have a hell of a time prevailing before a judge
    trying to argue you were carrying it around to clean yer fingernails,
    or skin a fish with.
    So, maybe I better not be walking around town with THAT one concealed in my pocket


    (skin a fish?)
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010

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