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Knife law enforcement

Discussion in 'Knives' started by el_murdoque, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    How many of you do live in an area where there are laws that regulate what kind of knife is legal to wear and actually had a brush with law enforcement where your blade was inspected?

    No stories about the second cousin of the janitor from the sports club your wife's best friends' daughters boyfriend was a member of, only first hand experiences from you or people you know personally.

    I realize there is a lot of talk about what knife you are allowed to carry and what knife you are not allowed to carry, but I've had exactly zero encounters where the police actually searched my pockets and a knife was involved, which got me thinking. I still would not risk a $400+ handmade knife being taken from me, plus a hefty fine on top, but I feel that while these laws exist, they seem to be something that happens to others ...
     
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  2. Caveman
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Caveman Loaded Pockets

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    I have been waiting for this thread.
    Pulled over in front of my work place, of all places, for a sticker check.
    While I was standing there talking with him he noticed the clip on my pants and asked.
    I pulled it out and he laid it on his finger to measure. So I pulled out my small tape measure from my bag and handed it to him.:)
    Just a warning for the sticker.
    Knife was a ZT0550 3.5" blade / law states legal length 3.5"
    I have since started carrying 3" so there is no question with the finger measurement.
     
    Last edited by Caveman, Feb 19, 2018
    #2 Caveman, Feb 19, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
  3. nmpops

    nmpops Loaded Pockets

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    I spent 28 years in New Mexico LE and NM has some very vague and confusing knife laws. A simple SAK can be considered a Deadly Weapon under the right circumstancesand concealing a deadly weapon is illegal (CCW does not cover knives). That said there is no blade length law, no case law on whether a visible clip is concealed or not mostly because in all my experience I am not aware of a single case where anyone was charged with a crime for meerly carrying a knife. No NM cop I have ever met considers a knife as a weapon. It can be but so can a cane or baseball bat.
     
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  4. earthman

    earthman EDC Junkie!!!

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    Having a law aimed at blade length makes a bit more sense to me, well compared to the locking/non locking law we have on folding pocket knives in the UK.
     
  5. smokingfish

    smokingfish Loaded Pockets

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    I live in southern California, and am a sushi chef and have many police officers come to eat at my bar.
    We have discussed knives on many occasions,
    I'l even sharpen a few (they love benchmade).

    This part of Cali there is no length limit. I could have a 6 inch blade and still be ok.

    I cannot have a push button (auto) knife. Flippers are ok.
     
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  6. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I was on a job in Chicago a few years ago working in a crowded Sports Bar at lunchtime on the HDTV switching system when a Cop there asked about the "Tool" that I had clipped to my pocket.
    I told him it was a knife and he asked to see it and I made him extract it for himself,not about to pull out a knife for a Cop regardless of the circumstances and he checked it out and told me he wasn't going to do anything about it but it was likely not legal to carry there either!

    I was shocked about his interest and we talked about it for a few minutes and he said that since he didn't know me and I was moving all over the place but clearly working he just wanted to know for sure?
    Evidently Chicago is a danger zone for carrying a knife unless you are a thug I guess and keep it out of site intentionally?
    He agreed that it seems extreme but it is what it is too.

    I just didn't want him to take the knife a ZT 0566 and I went back to the Hotel that night and left it there for the rest of the trip.
    I went to Walmart and bought a Cryo G10 which was under the limit for Chicago and cheap enough that I didn't care as much.

    I do not like Chicago!
     
  7. DSRacing

    DSRacing Loaded Pockets

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    To clarify smokingfish's statement, he is correct that California does not have a length limit, but a fixed blade knife has to be openly carried and can not be concealed. A sheath is not considered to be concealment. As an example, if you have a fixed blade knife in a sheath attached to your belt and you have your t-shirt pulled over the top of the knife, most LE agencies will consider that to be concealed and hence illegal. The same knife with your shirt tucked in with the entire knife visible is legal.

    This state has the worst firearms laws in the country but you can openly carry a matchete..
     
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  8. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    As I gather it, EZDog 'got caught' by the police with a knife exceeding the legal length in public, but since he caught the officer on the right foot,
    there was no trouble, only the warning that he might want to leave it at home.

    Some laws are quite fuzzy and up to interpretation of the enforcing agent, while others are strict and clearly defined, but their prosecution is up to the agent.

    I my area, a locking blade that operates one handed is not allowed.
    This can include a Leatherman Wave, since it opens one handed and locks.
    But the Wave is also a multi tool. So if you were to carry it around for no apparent reason, you might get into trouble -
    while at the same time, if you were dressed like a carpenter and have it on your belt, there's no trouble. . . . Unless you really piss off the police.

    This got me wandering. I happen to own a wave which I bought not knowing that knife laws can apply to it.


    I was approached by the police only once while walking down a shady alley behind a train station in a big city, where people of the not so legal persuasion are often to be found. These policemen were interested about my going down said alley, where I came from and where I went.
    I was not exactly friendly by telling them that I lived only a short walk away and was on my way to do my private business. They inquired about my ID, which I told them was safely at home. We continued our unfriendly discussion where I was informed that the law requires me to have a valid ID and I informed them that my duty was to own such a thing, but not to keep it on my person at all times (which I guess they knew). They told me that they could arrest and hold me for up to 48 hours to clarify my ID and I told them that they could only do so with a valid reason. I asked them if that was all since I was trying to keep an appointment and walked away, which they let me do.
    All the other involuntary contacts with law enforcement were in my vehicle, where I was required to stay seated and produce the necessary paperwork, sometimes giving them proof of my sobriety. On any of these circumstances I could have carried a knife that is not a legal carry since my person was never searched.
     
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  9. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    You'd hate, absolutely hate, NYC, Boston, and Philly for the same reasons! As well as most of Europe. Which is why in most of those cities I usually carry a SAK - albeit one a bit larger like a Fieldmaster when I'm in those cities. Or sometimes one of the Spyderco slip joint knives (Pingo, Spy-DK, Chicago) These were specifically engineered for those restrictive environments; and SAK just don't seem to arouse the same feelings. Of course with the SAK, they're not visible -- they're sitting inside my pocket. And in the aforementioned cities, not even on the end of a P7! No need to arouse curiosity!

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
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  10. wordfool

    wordfool Loaded Pockets

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    At least NY last year finally killed off that stupid interpretation of "gravity knife", which the cops in NYC were interpreting to be pretty much any folding knife that can be deployed using a wrist flick aided by gravity (instead of only gravity). So now, in theory, up to 4" folders are legal carry in NYC AFAIK.
     
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  11. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    Glad to know the 'gravity knife' rule is history. But how does eliminating that allow for folders up to 4"? I thought that like Chicago, Boston, Philly, and I don't know how many other jurisdictions, NYC had a size limit of either 2.5" or 3"? Please enlighten me!

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
  12. Lateck

    Lateck Loaded Pockets

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    This thread makes me very happy I live in the state of Arizona!
    No different laws through out the state and everything is legal if over 21. :bounce::D

    Lateck,
     
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  13. earthman

    earthman EDC Junkie!!!

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    How big is the state of Arizona roughly? For those of us who live in other countries, how many miles is it from one end to the other? Don't you often drive/cross over into another state then??
     
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  14. Lateck

    Lateck Loaded Pockets

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    @earthman, good question. Here is the answer: What is the size of Arizona? This state is ranked sixth in the U.S. in terms of land area, which measures 295,254 square kilometers or 113,998 square miles. Its width measures 500 kilometers or 310 miles, while its length is 645 kilometers or 400 miles.
    So even though I live near California, I don't go there. Phoenix is our "Big" city. I think it is number 5 or 6 in the USA. So, I can avoid nanny state laws....
    Lateck,
     
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  15. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    This is a great question!
    I live in a city that is on the line between 2 states.
    Missouri which is like the wild west and Illinois which is one of the most restrictive.
    So in the course of any given day just doing my normal routine I can find myself in both without being able to plan for the Il. visit.

    Not pleasant outcomes sometimes for many who do the same.
     
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  16. MikeFromGermany

    MikeFromGermany Loaded Pockets

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    Here in Germany it's quite confusing.

    We are not allowed to carry what is called "one-hand-knives" by he law. That means any folding knife which has some aid to be opened with one hand (like Spyderhole, Thumbstud, Flipper and so on) and which at the same time locks when open. One of the two attributes is OK (one-hand-opening or locking) but not both of them together. This also applies to multitools like Leatherman.

    Fixed blades may be carried for no special reason as log as the blade (from tip to handle) is 12cm or shorter.

    For longer fixed blades or for "one-hand-knives" (see above) you need to have an "acceptable reason" to carry it. But the law does not clearly state what an acceptable reason is. So it's up to the police officer to confiscate the knife or let you walk along with it. If the officer decides to get involved the knife is not just confiscated but you normally will end up in a court. According to the law the fine for carrying such a knife may be up to several thousand euros.
     
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  17. earthman

    earthman EDC Junkie!!!

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    So which design of knife do most people choose to EDC over there would you say??
     
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  18. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    It comes down to personal taste. Some argue that they want the locking blade and choose one that does not open one handed, while others argue that with EDC tasks, you often already have the thing you want to cut in your hand and need the one handed operation, so they go for a slipjoint.
    Spyderco UKPK and Manly Comrade are two popular choices.

    Boker, being a German brand, offers some knives in a German legal version with the number 42 added to the name. This refers to ยง42a of the German weapons law, which specifies the rules for (folding) knives.

    Apart from the one hand OR locking rule and the 12cm for fixed blades, it forbids knives that are camouflaged as something else and to my knowledge also knives that are purely meant to be weapons.

    You are allowed to own knives that exceed the rules and you can carry them, when:
    1. You transport them in a locked box
    2. You need them for either your job, for sports, because of tradition or you have the aforementioned unspecified reason to do so
    3. You are an actor for theater or in a movie
     
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  19. garza

    garza Loaded Pockets

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    Cuomo vetoed the bill for the 2nd consecutive year which would overhauled the NYC gravity knife law. Was there a court decision to overturn the NYC interpretation of gravity knife?
     
  20. garza

    garza Loaded Pockets

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    I have started carrying an automatic knife in Texas. My son carries a butterfly knife.

    The law changed September 1, 2017 and preempted local ordinances. Several websites are out of date by listing the unenforceable San Antonio and Corpus Christi knife ordinances.