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vandal
09-08-2009, 2:12 PM
Here's a complicated legal problem:

I'm helping to develop a security plan and team for our church. Our church operates a private K-12 school on the premises. There are classrooms in the main sanctuary building (which is also the church office), plus several adjacent buildings. The school operates Monday - Friday. I believe the buildings are all officially owned by the church, which operates the school in the buildings during the week, and uses the buildings for worship & Sunday School on Sundays.

My reading of 626.10 suggests that a locking folder on a non-LEO in the worship service is a misdemeanor violation.

626.10. (a) Any person, except a duly appointed peace officer as
defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of
Part 2, a full-time paid peace officer of another state or the
federal government who is carrying out official duties while in this
state, a person summoned by any officer to assist in making arrests
or preserving the peace while the person is actually engaged in
assisting any officer, or a member of the military forces of this
state or the United States who is engaged in the performance of his
or her duties, who brings or possesses any dirk, dagger, ice pick,
knife having a blade longer than 2 1/2 inches, folding knife with a
blade that locks into place, a razor with an unguarded blade, a
taser, or a stun gun, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 244.5,
[etc etc], upon the grounds of, or within, any
public or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or any
of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, is guilty of a public offense,
punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year,
or by imprisonment in the state prison.

However, if school principal were to direct someone to carry a >2.5" knife as part of a school-sponsored activity (ie security), by my reading of 626.10(c) that would be kosher:

(c) Subdivisions (a) and (b) do not apply to any person who brings or possesses a knife having a blade longer than 2 1/2 inches or a razor with an unguarded blade upon the grounds of, or within, a public or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, or any private university, state university, or community college at the direction of a faculty member of the private university, state university, or community college, or a certificated or classified employee of the school for use in a private university, state university, community college, or school-sponsored activity or class.

It seems to me quite strange that it would take the school principal to sponsor an activity that takes place when school is not in session, although I suppose some schools may have 24/7 security. The flip side of the argument could be that on Sundays when in church, a person is not upon the grounds of, or within, any public or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, since the school is not providing instruction (although the rooms are being used by the church for Sunday School.) So maybe it could be argued that on Sundays it is not a school but a church?

Do you see any traction on either of these approaches?

Casual Observer
09-08-2009, 6:49 PM
Just my $.02

Why would you want to have volunteers providing security armed with 2.5"+ knives? Even if it were legal (which is not quite clear), use of said weapon would like result in a civil lawsuit.

I'd recommend finding an alternative tool for the job, or find some cops in the congregation that carry off-duty. As them if they'd be inclined to help provide security.

Quiet
09-08-2009, 7:35 PM
Tasers?

vandal
09-08-2009, 9:49 PM
Tasers are also covered in 626... similar restrictions.
Tasers?

locosway
09-08-2009, 9:54 PM
Knives are great tools, and he didn't say he wanted to use them for defensive purposes. Everyone should be allowed to carry a knife.

vandal
09-08-2009, 10:00 PM
We do intend to involve off-duty cops, but there are not enough to go around.

You raise a legitimate question about the knife. There was a recent case (not at our church) where a church security volunteer used a knife to defend himself when assaulted by someone in the course of his duties. It was seen as questionable/too much force. Nobody wants to have a knifing in church, it's just ugly. That said, it beats the hell out of just empty hand skills if presented with a lethal threat at close proximity and a lawsuit beats dieing.

OC could be good for some things, but deploying it in a crowd with old people & kids could also go badly.

I have never heard someone complain about having too many tools/options available, and given the restrictive laws there really aren't too many options to start with.

Just my $.02

Why would you want to have volunteers providing security armed with 2.5"+ knives? Even if it were legal (which is not quite clear), use of said weapon would like result in a civil lawsuit.

I'd recommend finding an alternative tool for the job, or find some cops in the congregation that carry off-duty. As them if they'd be inclined to help provide security.

dantodd
09-08-2009, 10:22 PM
hmmmm.... looks like I'll have to start taking my pocket knife out when I drop my son off at school.

vandal
09-08-2009, 10:43 PM
Thank you, we'll all feel safer and breathe a sigh of relief. :rolleyes:
hmmmm.... looks like I'll have to start taking my pocket knife out when I drop my son off at school.

dantodd
09-08-2009, 10:50 PM
Thank you, we'll all feel safer and breathe a sigh of relief. :rolleyes:

Small school populated by VERY active Democrat party fundraisers so I'm sure if they knew the knife was illegal they would ask me to not carry it, I will save them the trouble.