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Legal Length of Folding Knives in CA

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Smith, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. Smith

    Smith Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone,

    This question has been plaguing my mind for ages. Is there a blade length limit for folders in CA? I've heard that there wasn't a limit, I've heard that there was a limit (4 inches), I've heard that the limit is your palm width, I've heard that it's the cop's hand width, and I've heard that it depends on what city. Does anybody know what the real answer is?

  2. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie Well-Known Member

  3. JJE

    JJE Well-Known Member

    CA state law has no length limit for folders. However, some cities have limits in their municipal codes. For example, in Oakland, all knives have to have a blade less than 3 inches long.

    Basically, you have to decide which cities you care about and look up their muni code (all the larger cities are available on the Internet).
  4. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    You need to research the issue for your particular situation because while the state of CA has no blade length restrictions on standard folders the individual localities may.
  5. Smith

    Smith Well-Known Member

    Ok, thanks for all the informative answers everyone
  6. Mongrel

    Mongrel Well-Known Member

    If it's anything like NJ it is up to the discretion of the police officer involved.

    In other words, if you get pulled over and the officer believes the situation warrants it you can be charged with "possesion of a weapon for unlawful purposes" no matter what size knife it is. It could be a box cutter, a utility knife, a machete or a baseball bat.

    I have shown my full size Benchmade AFCK (4" blade) to several officers who looked at it and said "it's a pocket knife". However, that may easily change depending on the details.

    I was on a Grand Jury one time and a guy got into a fight in a bar. He was charged with possesion of a weapon because he had a linoleum knife in a holster on his hip. I argued that it was his occupation, it was after work, and he didn't pull it during the fight. I was shot down by a majority vote when I argued that the charge should have been dropped.
  7. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    My favorite folder has a 7" blade!

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