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RANGER295
04-01-2009, 11:11 AM
As far as I can tell, there is no exemption for LEO’s to PC.653K. Is this true? I looked through other sections of PC that deal with dangerous weapons and so fourth but did not see anything there either that would indicate an exemption that would allow a LEO to carry a switchblade/automatic knife with a blade 2” or longer on or off duty.

This question came up during a discussion with an off duty LEO. We were at a social event and in trying to make chit chat, I asked him what kind of knife he was carrying. He proudly pulled it out, pushed a button on the side and the blade snapped out. The blade was longer than my Kershaw with a 3.25” blade… I would guess about 3.75”-4”. I asked him if that was legal. He replied, “Probably not but they won’t do anything because I am a cop.” Is it legal or not? If there is one thing I hate, it is LEO’s that think they are above the law.

• 653k. Every person who possesses in the passenger's or driver's area of any motor vehicle in any public place or place open to the public, carries upon his or her person, and every person who sells, offers for sale, exposes for sale, loans, transfers, or gives to any other person a switchblade knife having a blade two or more inches in length is guilty of a misdemeanor. For the purposes of this section, "switchblade knife" means a knife having the appearance of a pocketknife, and includes a spring-blade knife, snap-blade knife, gravity knife or any other similar type knife, the blade or blades of which are two or more inches in length and which can be released automatically by a flick of a button, pressure on the handle, flip of the wrist or other mechanical device, or is released by the weight of the blade or by any type of mechanism whatsoever. "Switchblade knife" does not include a knife that opens with one hand utilizing thumb pressure applied solely to the blade of the knife or a thumb stud attached to the blade, provided that the knife has a detent or other mechanism that provides resistance that must be overcome in opening the blade, or that biases the blade back toward its closed position. For purposes of this section, "passenger's or driver's area" means that part of a motor vehicle which is designed to carry the driver and passengers, including any interior compartment or space therein.

Dr Rockso
04-01-2009, 11:52 AM
I asked him if that was legal. He replied, “Probably not but they won’t do anything because I am a cop.” Is it legal or not? If there is one thing I hate, it is LEO’s that think they are above the law.
Sad thing is he's probably right. It's a stupid BS law anyway, so I don't really care that he's breaking it, but it just sucks that the rest of us would get destroyed for it and just because he's LEO he likely wouldn't.

NiteQwill
04-01-2009, 11:52 AM
Yes, there is no exemption to LEOs or rescue personnel. But I can tell you from personal experience that many EMTs and firefighters carry switchblades during their duties.

ke6guj
04-01-2009, 11:56 AM
Yah, I'm not sure where the LEO exemption is in 653k. And to add to that, I've been to high-end knive shops that had 2.1+" autos in stock for LEO-sales. Where is the exemption for them to sell it to the LEO?

laguns
04-01-2009, 1:28 PM
There is no LEO exemption in CA for switchblades. They can't buy them or carry them here. Federal law allows one to be shipped to a cop once the proper form are filled out, but after that all they can do is have it at home just like the rest of us.

I think more cops should be prosecuted for offenses like illegally carrying switchblades, and in fact should get a harsher sentence if convicted. Maybe then they'd give a hoot about the crazy laws they feel they don't have to obey.

NiteQwill
04-01-2009, 1:37 PM
There is no LEO exemption in CA for switchblades. They can't buy them or carry them here. Federal law allows one to be shipped to a cop once the proper form are filled out, but after that all they can do is have it at home just like the rest of us.

I think more cops should be prosecuted for offenses like illegally carrying switchblades, and in fact should get a harsher sentence if convicted. Maybe then they'd give a hoot about the crazy laws they feel they don't have to obey.

You can't buy them here, but you can certainly have them shipped to you. Just don't be in possession of one when walking down the street. Benchmade (Oregon) sells to CA LEO, Military, Fire/EMT at discount prices, this includes their auto-axis line. Don't ask how I know:sleeping:

lioneaglegriffin
04-01-2009, 2:02 PM
There is no LEO exemption in CA for switchblades. They can't buy them or carry them here. Federal law allows one to be shipped to a cop once the proper form are filled out, but after that all they can do is have it at home just like the rest of us.

I think more cops should be prosecuted for offenses like illegally carrying switchblades, and in fact should get a harsher sentence if convicted. Maybe then they'd give a hoot about the crazy laws they feel they don't have to obey.

yes, this is form you would use buy an auto from knife center.

AUTOMATIC KNIFE ORDERING FORM
Please read the legal section below and print out and fill out the form. Then fax it to us at 301 486 0908 or mail it to us at:
The KnifeCenter of the Internet
PO Box 600
College Park, MD 20740
Our FAX number is: 301 486 0908
KnifeCenter of the Internet Automatic Knife Acknowledgment and Representations:
I,__________________________________ have read Sections 18 USC 1716 (G) (2) (1-4) and 15 USC 1244 (below) and fully will/do comply and agree to use knives in connection of duties as described in those sections.
Dated:______________, 20_____
Contact Phone Number:__________________________
Signed:________________________________________
18 USC 1716 (G) (2) (1-4) provides this summary: Switchblades knives can be shipped to civilian and armed forces supply or procurement officers and employees of the Federal government ordering or procuring or purchasing such knives in connection with activities in the Federal government; supply or procurement officers in the National Guard, the Air National Guard or militia of the state or territory of the District of Columbia ordering, procuring or purchasing such knives in connections with the activities of such organizations; to supply or procurement officers or employees of the municipal government of the District of Columbia or the government of any state or territory of any county, city or other political subdivision of a state or territory ordering, procuring or purchasing such knives in connection with the activities of such government.
5 USC 1244 provides in summary: Knives can be shipped by common carrier, that sale, transportation or distribution, possession or introduction into interstate commerce of switchblades knives is authorized if it is pursuant to a contract with the armed forces or any member or employee thereof acting in the performance of his or her duty may possess switchblade knives and may have them shipped to him and sold to him or her. The possession and transportation upon his or her person of a switchblade knife or a blade 3 inches or less is authorized to any handicapped individual who has the use of only one arm.
Police Officers and Armed Forces Personnel must fax a copy of their official identification material and government employees seeking to procure these items in their official capacity must enter the order on their government procurement forms.
Our FAX number is: 301 486 0908

Piper
04-01-2009, 10:48 PM
The fact of the matter is, I've never seen a decent switchblade, so while I think it's a stupid law, if they were legal, I probably wouldn't carry one anyway. I did find a very nice alternative to a switchblade and that's the CRKT M16-13Z. I bought it at Bass Pro for about 40 bucks and I think it's great. So, screw California and 653K. I have something better.

ke6guj
04-01-2009, 10:51 PM
The fact of the matter is, I've never seen a decent switchblade,.The high-end stuff is good, like Pro-Tech, Benchmade, Microtech, and others. Don't think of that cheap chinese stuff as represenative of all autos.

redneckshootist
04-01-2009, 10:55 PM
I hate that stupid BS law. I have a personal experience of getting arrested and charged for carrying a switchblade. I was carrying my cold steel ti-lite. I proved them wrong but it still cost me a lot of money:mad:

DDT
04-01-2009, 10:58 PM
Oh man. There are some beautiful handmade switchblades made here in CA.

I was fortunate enough to meet Lee one time.

http://customknifegallery.com/lreynolds1f.html

Piper
04-01-2009, 11:03 PM
The high-end stuff is good, like Pro-Tech, Benchmade, Microtech, and others. Don't think of that cheap chinese stuff as represenative of all autos.

Just curious, do they open faster than my nonswitchblade knife? Probably not. While California has this idiotic law, why risk jail when you can get something just as good. BTW, for those of you that may not realize it, if you truly want to carry one, it will literally cost you an arm. People who are handicapped because they only have one good arm are exempt from 653k. LEO's are not.

Piper
04-01-2009, 11:06 PM
Oh man. There are some beautiful handmade switchblades made here in CA.

I was fortunate enough to meet Lee one time.

http://customknifegallery.com/lreynolds1f.html

Yep, those are nice, but I like one that does double duty.

DDT
04-01-2009, 11:07 PM
Yep, those are nice, but I like one that does double duty.

Definitely NOT a utility knife! There are also a lot of guns that would be beautiful in my safe but not for regular use.

ke6guj
04-01-2009, 11:07 PM
Just curious, do they open faster than my nonswitchblade knife? Probably not. While California has this idiotic law, why risk jail when you can get something just as good. BTW, for those of you that may not realize it, if you truly want to carry one, it will literally cost you an arm. People who are handicapped because they only have one good arm are exempt from 653k. LEO's are not.I've heard about the one-armed man being exempt from 653k, but don't see in the code. Is it per case-law or something?

And my EDC is an auto. A CA-legal, CA-made 1.9" GT knive. So, CA legal per 653k, and no interstate traffic issues federal wise. I also have a couple CA-legal Pro-Techs I use as well.

Piper
04-01-2009, 11:15 PM
I've heard about the one-armed man being exempt from 653k, but don't see in the code. Is it per case-law or something?

And my EDC is an auto. A CA-legal, CA-made 1.9" GT knive. So, CA legal per 653k, and no interstate traffic issues federal wise. I also have a couple CA-legal Pro-Techs I use as well.

I think it may be listed as a "medical" device for the handicapped, but I havn't done any research on it. I'm aware that swichblades less than 2 inches are legal, but I personally don't see a use for it. That's not to say that I think that carrying one is stupid, I just don't have a use for something that small. As for a defensive weapon, I'm sure it will hurt a dirtbag if applied properly, but I have always been one for the intimidation factor first, and if the goof is still bent on hurting me, then it's his own damn fault if he goes to the morgue.

RANGER295
04-01-2009, 11:18 PM
That is what I thought. I just read the citizen’s arrest thread… too bad I can’t arrest him when he is off duty. I guess technically speaking I could… but it would not be worth the trouble it would probably cause me. Besides, everyone would think I did it for personal reasons due to certain circumstances.

Piper
04-01-2009, 11:21 PM
That is what I thought. I just read the citizen’s arrest thread… too bad I can’t arrest him when he is off duty. I guess technically speaking I could… but it would not be worth the trouble it would probably cause me. Besides, everyone would think I did it for personal reasons due to certain circumstances.

You could try filing it with the DA's office, but I have serious doubts it will go anywhere. Or you could go to the City Manager's office and let the $#!T roll down hill. Or if you want to create a real $#!T storm, go to the media and let them have a crack at them. Just some of my thoughts. ;)

lioneaglegriffin
04-01-2009, 11:30 PM
I think it may be listed as a "medical" device for the handicapped, but I havn't done any research on it. I'm aware that swichblades less than 2 inches are legal, but I personally don't see a use for it. That's not to say that I think that carrying one is stupid, I just don't have a use for something that small. As for a defensive weapon, I'm sure it will hurt a dirtbag if applied properly, but I have always been one for the intimidation factor first, and if the goof is still bent on hurting me, then it's his own damn fault if he goes to the morgue.

yea this REAL Imtimidating

http://www.covecutlery.com/graphics/BM3100%20LRG1.jpg

:D, hey but someone with krav maga skills could cut ya six times over before things get started.

DDT
04-01-2009, 11:32 PM
You should have asked if he also had an AR configured as an AW.

Deamer
04-01-2009, 11:40 PM
Guess my SOG Tac Auto can't leave the base.

Piper
04-01-2009, 11:48 PM
yea this REAL Imtimidating

http://www.covecutlery.com/graphics/BM3100%20LRG1.jpg

:D, hey but someone with krav maga skills could cut ya six times over before things get started.

The Celtic Knot design is kind of cool. :thumbsup:

RANGER295
04-01-2009, 11:48 PM
You could try filing it with the DA's office, but I have serious doubts it will go anywhere. Or you could go to the City Manager's office and let the $#!T roll down hill. Or if you want to create a real $#!T storm, go to the media and let them have a crack at them. Just some of my thoughts. ;)
True… I could do that, but like I said, it is not worth the trouble. Besides, we were both vying for a scarce resource and I was the victor;):cool:… there is no need to be an ungracious winner and rub salt in the wound.

You should have asked if he also had an AR configured as an AW.
Funny you should mention that. He told someone that he was getting a “machinegun”:rolleyes: and that they were illegal in CA but because he was a LEO he could register it but there was a year waiting list for it. Based on what the person told me about what he described, he was talking about an AR.

DDT
04-01-2009, 11:52 PM
Funny you should mention that. He told someone that he was getting a “machinegun”:rolleyes: and that they were illegal in CA but because he was a LEO he could register it but there was a year waiting list for it. Based on what the person told me about what he described, he was talking about an AR.

Based on his behavior and his need to make himself "better" than everyone else around him I can assume that the "scarce resource" was "better served" by you than he could have accomplished.

lioneaglegriffin
04-01-2009, 11:53 PM
The Celtic Knot design is kind of cool. :thumbsup:

yea but it doesn't exatly strike fear like my Rift: http://www.tactical-life.com/online/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/benchmade.gif

Piper
04-01-2009, 11:55 PM
True… I could do that, but like I said, it is not worth the trouble. Besides, we were both vying for a scarce resource and I was the victor;):cool:… there is no need to be an ungracious winner and rub salt in the wound.


Funny you should mention that. He told someone that he was getting a “machinegun”:rolleyes: and that they were illegal in CA but because he was a LEO he could register it but there was a year waiting list for it. Based on what the person told me about what he described, he was talking about an AR.

Yeah, I wouldn't mess with it. He's going to open his yap to the wrong person, and it's AMF for him. Besides, I would feel rather hypocritical if on the one hand I'm fighting for recovery of our 2A rights, and on the other hand trying to get someone dinged for it. However, if it was me and he told me one of his "real cool stories" about how he popped someone for the samething he's doing, standby because I would drop the heaviest dime on him that he has ever seen. But that's just me.

Piper
04-01-2009, 11:58 PM
yea but it doesn't exatly strike fear like my Rift: http://www.tactical-life.com/online/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/benchmade.gif

Nice! Probably too nice for me. I ding things up, and that looks like something I wouldn't want to ruin.

RANGER295
04-02-2009, 12:03 AM
Based on his behavior and his need to make himself "better" than everyone else around him I can assume that the "scarce resource" was "better served" by you than he could have accomplished.
I think we are on the same wavelength and I could not agree with you more:thumbsup:

Yeah, I wouldn't mess with it. He's going to open his yap to the wrong person, and it's AMF for him. Besides, I would feel rather hypocritical if on the one hand I'm fighting for recovery of our 2A rights, and on the other hand trying to get someone dinged for it. However, if it was me and he told me one of his "real cool stories" about how he popped someone for the samething he's doing, standby because I would drop the heaviest dime on him that he has ever seen. But that's just me.
This is one case where I would not feel hypocritical about it. I would not feel hypocritical about getting any LEO that thinks they are above the law/only LEO’s should be able to be armed popped for breaking the law. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. But I totally agree with where you are coming from. And I hope to never be in a situation to hear another of his “real cool stories”.

Piper
04-02-2009, 12:16 AM
I think we are on the same wavelength and I could not agree with you more:thumbsup:


This is one case where I would not feel hypocritical about it. I would not feel hypocritical about getting any LEO that thinks they are above the law/only LEO’s should be able to be armed popped for breaking the law. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. But I totally agree with where you are coming from. And I hope to never be in a situation to hear another of his “real cool stories”.

There you go. I think we're both on the same page. Anyway, I'm outa here. Tomorrow morning is going to come very fast and I have a date with a '67 VW decklid. I just hope the seller doesn't yank my chain. C ya.

lioneaglegriffin
04-02-2009, 12:18 AM
Nice! Probably too nice for me. I ding things up, and that looks like something I wouldn't want to ruin.
i have no such qualms mines has scratches from throwing it. (chalk it up to boredom) But i keep if sharp if not pretty.

DDT
04-02-2009, 12:21 AM
I just hope the seller doesn't yank my chain.

My mind just degenerates to the least common denominator this late at night but.....


Doesn't that depend on what she looks like?

cousinkix1953
04-02-2009, 5:31 AM
You can't buy them here, but you can certainly have them shipped to you. Just don't be in possession of one when walking down the street. Benchmade (Oregon) sells to CA LEO, Military, Fire/EMT at discount prices, this includes their auto-axis line. Don't ask how I know:sleeping:
Don't let the wrong cop even see one on your coffee table. I know a guy who lost his switchblade to a nit picky Santa Cruz cop, who noticed it while handling a different complaint. The guy probably kept it too.

I also know a deputy sheriff who owned an original German made Henckel switchblade made in 1938. Original Nazi war souvenirs are hardly the piece of junk brought home as a souvenir from Mexico. That same deputy did not bust his friends who owned switchblades. He not write them up for smoking marijuana either.

I saw no need to be a snitch; because he wasn't a hypocrite, or the kind of a--hole who violates the law and thinks that he's a special case...

Piper
04-02-2009, 6:54 AM
My mind just degenerates to the least common denominator this late at night but.....


Doesn't that depend on what she looks like?

Probably, but I'm not going to go there.

Piper
04-02-2009, 6:57 AM
Don't let the wrong cop even see one on your coffee table. I know a guy who lost his switchblade to a nit picky Santa Cruz cop, who noticed it while handling a different complaint. The guy probably kept it too.

I also know a deputy sheriff who owned an original German made Henckel switchblade made in 1938. Original Nazi war souvenirs are hardly the piece of junk brought home as a souvenir from Mexico. That same deputy did not bust his friends who owned switchblades. He not write them up for smoking marijuana either.

I saw no need to be a snitch; because he wasn't a hypocrite, or the kind of a--hole who violates the law and thinks that he's a special case...

You got that right. All of my once legal devices have a prominent place at the bottom of my foot locker. Perhaps one day before I die, California will regain their sanity and stupid laws will go away. But in the interim, I'm not going to hold my breath.

RoyBatty
04-02-2009, 9:00 AM
While there is no exemption specifically for the misd charge of 653K...LEOs are exempt from the felony charge of 12020 PC which includes dirks, daggers, batons, etc, etc...I could not see a DA charging a LEO for 653K

xLusi0n
04-02-2009, 10:33 AM
I don't see the allure in carrying an auto. I have carried my issued Benchmade Auto Stryker for years and don't think it opens any faster or easier than a properly designed folder. At home, I carry an Emerson Wave and love it. My only worry is if I need to deploy it one day I fumble it and end up throwing it 20 feet reward trying to open the blade :) (For those that have a Wave, you know what I'm talking about).

SteveH
04-02-2009, 10:41 AM
While there is no exemption specifically for the misd charge of 653K...LEOs are exempt from the felony charge of 12020 PC which includes dirks, daggers, batons, etc, etc...I could not see a DA charging a LEO for 653K

Depends on how much the cops agency has pissed off the DA recently. all it takes is a minor political rift between agency heads and DA's take it out on the street cops.

cousinkix1953
04-02-2009, 11:54 AM
While there is no exemption specifically for the misd charge of 653K...LEOs are exempt from the felony charge of 12020 PC which includes dirks, daggers, batons, etc, etc...I could not see a DA charging a LEO for 653K
Speaking of so-called daggers...

I wonder what the wrong cop might say about an antique British Lee-Medford bayonet? These were made between 1888-1903 making all of them 100+ years old. Then you have the 1903-1907 bayonet for the early No1 Mk3 SMLE rifles. Both variants have semi-sharpened blades (on top and bottom) and are almost 12 inches long.

I'm not sure, that I even wanna take a chance with the Swiss SIG 1957 bayonets made by Victoronix not too many years ago. Same type of dagger blade on them too...

ke6guj
04-02-2009, 12:04 PM
daggers aren't illegal, just the concealled carry of them.

12020. (a) Any person in this state who does any of the following is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or in the state prison:
(4) Carries concealed upon his or her person any dirk or dagger.
(c)(24) As used in this section, a "dirk" or "dagger" means a knife or other instrument with or without a handguard that is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or death. A nonlocking folding knife, a folding knife that is not prohibited by Section 653k, or a pocketknife is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or death only if the blade of the knife is exposed and locked into position.

Untamed1972
04-02-2009, 2:49 PM
I remember an SDSO Sgt. relating a story once about how in his early days, I wanna say like late 70's early 80's as I recall, that is was common for deputies to carry "wallet guns" in their back pocket as a backup weapon. Wallet guns are illegal, but they assumption was as LEOs they were exempt. Well somehow it came out the wallet guns were prohibited even for LEOs since there was no LEO exemption in that statute.....so the dept made them turn all of their wallet guns in.

So the same would apply for the switch blade....unless the statute specifies a LEO exemption, it is illegal for them to carry them as well.

I would say maybe no one on the dept. cares now, but what if he actually ended up using it in a defensive situation and the news got ahold of the fact that he killed someone on duty with an illegal weapon? Bet someone's chief would be asking for his resignation and bulletins goin' out to everyone in the dept, to get rid of any switchblades they have.

leelaw
04-02-2009, 7:21 PM
As already posted, there is no LEO exemption for switchblades beyond the legal length.

LEOs should lead by example and not try to use the "brass pass" to get around this arcane and silly law.

turbosbox
04-02-2009, 9:05 PM
+1 on the not worth it to pick a fight with the LEO and the switchblade. Would be more productive to give him FUD remover pamphlets to hand out at work or spread a positive gun rights attitude with co-workers.

I didn't know <2" was legal. I have to relook and measure some tiny handy ones I saw before that looked to be about 1.75" but I passed because I thought all of them were no-go.

cousinkix1953
04-02-2009, 11:32 PM
I remember an SDSO Sgt. relating a story once about how in his early days, I wanna say like late 70's early 80's as I recall, that is was common for deputies to carry "wallet guns" in their back pocket as a backup weapon. Wallet guns are illegal, but they assumption was as LEOs they were exempt. Well somehow it came out the wallet guns were prohibited even for LEOs since there was no LEO exemption in that statute.....so the dept made them turn all of their wallet guns in.

So the same would apply for the switch blade....unless the statute specifies a LEO exemption, it is illegal for them to carry them as well.

I would say maybe no one on the dept. cares now, but what if he actually ended up using it in a defensive situation and the news got ahold of the fact that he killed someone on duty with an illegal weapon? Bet someone's chief would be asking for his resignation and bulletins goin' out to everyone in the dept, to get rid of any switchblades they have.
Don't forget the lawsuits that will be filed by the relatives of a dead criminal. They'll go nuts just like they already do, when somebody shoots a dirtbag with hollow points, and those aren't even illegal...

cousinkix1953
04-03-2009, 8:12 PM
Seriously, don't you think that lawyers will file lawsuits if a LEO kills someboby with one of those illegal wallet guns? Expect the same if a switchblade is involved...

eltee
04-03-2009, 10:28 PM
The guns weren't/aren't illegal, the holsters were/are. I had one in my early days. We were all buying baby Berettas for 2ndary or Off-duty carry. We had these leather holsters that wrapped around the gun, snapped closed but had a cutout to access the trigger and the leather was cut to allow the action to function. The stated purpose was to prevent the gun from printing when carried in a hip pocket. When they were determined to be unlawful, we just started carrying our Berettas without a holster and used a slab of leather or a thin wallet behind it to prevent printing...and it made for a more effective draw since it wasn't encumbered by the "wallet." Somewhere later down the road it was determined that if the "wallet" style holster did not come out with the gun, it was somehow OK so they developed the pocket holster which IS legal. The pocket holster prevents printing of the gun against your pants, and allows a fast draw but it (holster) stays in the pocket.

On automatic knives, my dept. issued a written policy/procedure requiring members to only carry knives available to civilians. Many of us did not carry high dollar value knives anyway (which a high quality automatic would be) since they get beaten up, lost, etc. Most carry mid-value lock blades. If a member is found to be carrying an unlawful knife, he/she can face departmental discipline and I imagine could face charges although I have not heard of it ever happening. For many years I carried the basic Buck folder, now it is a Chris Reeve semi-custom which is still considered a mid-priced knife.

I never intend my knife to be used as a stabbing device, at least that is not the primary purpose.

I tell my subordinates to carry dept. issued ammo in their off-duty / 2ndary guns so that "killer rounds purchased by the officer for the sole purpose of killing my client..." isn't an issue. Besides, its also free.