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Aleksandr Mravinsky
06-03-2011, 2:30 PM
In the PC it states that it is illegal to carry a knife with a locking blade or with a blade longer than 2.5 inches on a K-12 campus.

626.10. (a) Any person, except <snip>, 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, any instrument that expels a metallic projectile such as a BB or a pellet, through the force of air pressure, CO2 pressure, or spring action, or any spot marker gun, 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.

Now, my question is what exactly a folding knife with a blade that locks into place is. While I know something like a Kershaw Skyline (http://www.kapowwe.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/kershawskylinefold.jpg) would definitely qualify, and that something like a classic Victorionox (http://images.ifguk.co.uk/products/1791/1791-large1.jpg) would (should) definitely not qualify, I couldn't find a definition in the code and I was wondering if anybody here knew of any decisions that may clarify this.

Is a folding blade that locks into place a blade with a locking mechanism on it that keeps the blade immobilized or is it any blade that can be folded open to a point where it cannot be folded shut without taking some other action?

More specifically, I am wondering about a Leatherman Micra (http://www.moontrail.com/details/leatherman/micra/white_micra_diagram450.jpg). While there is no locking mechanism on the blade itself, it is possible to get the blade into a position where it cannot be simply folded back into place (like this (http://farm1.static.flickr.com/90/269342175_4531245625.jpg)).

socal-shooter
06-03-2011, 2:53 PM
after your question is answered i would like to know if my edc knife is legal

spyderco endura c10s

specs : length overall 8 3/4" (222 mm) blade length 3 7/8" (98 mm) blade steel VG-10
length closed 4 7/8" (124 mm) cutting edge 3 7/16" (87 mm) weight 5 5/8 oz. (161 g)
hole diameter 17/32" (13 mm) blade thickness 1/8" (3 mm) handle material Stainless Steel

http://www.spyderco.com/pix/products/large/C10_L.jpg

Aleksandr Mravinsky
06-03-2011, 3:09 PM
after your question is answered i would like to know if my edc knife is legal

I believe your knife would be legal as long as it is not carried on a k-12 campus, or on a university campus (although, side question, unis only legally ban 2 1/2" + fixed blade knives, not folders? They may have school rules against folding knives, but no laws, correct?). Also, I believe that it becomes a fixed blade knife for the purposes of concealment if the blade is opened and locked, correct?

You should be careful about local ordinance (I know that LA county has some laws regarding blade lengths, but I don't think very many others do).

Again, I would like some more experienced members to come along and verify.

MasterYong
06-03-2011, 3:13 PM
You'd probably get a better answer on a knife forum, but....

...sounds like a bad idea. In fact, unless you have permission, I'd venture it's a bad idea to have a knife on K-12 school grounds period, regardless of what the PC says, just in case. People go nuts over "weapons" and schools these days.

Me? I carried a Benchmade to high school every day and no one cared. I had no idea it was illegal (the blade was over 3.5"). I knew it was against school policy, but the principal himself told me he didn't care because I was a "good kid."

Ctwo
06-03-2011, 3:17 PM
I'm going to guess that the leatherman is ok as long as the blade is less than 2.5 inch and there is no physical lock. The blade will still partially fold under pressure, even if obscured by the other half of the handle. It's not locked.

The second knife has a blade longer than 2.5 inches...I don't think it needs to be a fixed blade to be disqualified.

I have a folding knife with a 2" locking blade, and it seems to be disqualified. I'll have to get a slightly longer fixed blade to make it legal...

this is just in respect to the cited code...

SilentPea
06-03-2011, 5:11 PM
Locking (from my understanding) means the blade requires more than one action to move the blade.

Liner lock = you have to move the liner out of the way before the blade will fold.
Frame lock = you press frame out of the way, then fold the blade.

Swiss Army Knife(SAK) = you press the blade and it folds.

Leatherman = I've seen some with a lock and some without. I would say that the handle on the micra doesn't constitute a lock by itself, plus it has the "multitool" leniency (it doesn't look scary). According to Britain though, that would be a locking knife.

My personal experience with the micra in a high-school was fine. No one cared and teachers often asked me to open things for them. The scissors were often more useful than the knife.
If you are a student, I would NOT recommend carrying anything other than a SAK pattern or Leatherman keychain tool, and even then I would be hesitant. NO fixed blades or folding knives.
It may not be illegal, but school policies can still get you expelled for carrying anything with an edge. (Some kids got suspensions in my year for having exacto/craft knifes for an art class)

The general idea is, don't be stupid.

Aleksandr Mravinsky
06-03-2011, 6:39 PM
The second knife has a blade longer than 2.5 inches...I don't think it needs to be a fixed blade to be disqualified.

I have a folding knife with a 2" locking blade, and it seems to be disqualified. I'll have to get a slightly longer fixed blade to make it legal...

this is just in respect to the cited code...

As per the cited code, fixed blade knives are already illegal (no matter how big) because;

(h) As used in this section, "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.

Of course, that definition is ludicrous because it also covers pens, knitting needles, et cetera. But it does definitely cover fixed blade knives. Also, fixed blade knives cannot be concealed on your person regardless of being at a school or not.

And yes, the second knife would be illegal to carry on a campus, but not to carry in general.


Locking (from my understanding) means the blade requires more than one action to move the blade.

Leatherman = I've seen some with a lock and some without. I would say that the handle on the micra doesn't constitute a lock by itself, plus it has the "multitool" leniency (it doesn't look scary). According to Britain though, that would be a locking knife.

It may not be illegal, but school policies can still get you expelled for carrying anything with an edge. (Some kids got suspensions in my year for having exacto/craft knifes for an art class)

The general idea is, don't be stupid.

About your definition, that is what I would think they would classify as a lock as well. However, I think that this being California it is probably safer to ask "What would Britain do?" when deciding if something is legal on a school campus.

And yes, those zero-tolerance policies are utter stupidity, but luckily my school was a private school that allowed leniency in the punishment- the deans got to decide a punishment varying from a simple detention to expulsion and police notification.

What got me wondering about all this was my reading an article about some schools loosening their zero-tolerance policies.

randian
06-03-2011, 8:31 PM
Locking (from my understanding) means the blade requires more than one action to move the blade.
By that definition an Axis lock would qualify as non-locking. I don't think a LEO would see it that way.

The sort of knife I've been contemplating carrying to satisfy these rules is the Spyderco Grasshopper (http://www.spyderco.com/catalog/details.php?product=460). 2-5/16" blade, non-locking.

One also hopes that, for purposes of measuring blade length, a LEO will take the manufacturer's specifications rather than trying (and possibly botching) to measure it himself.

atomicwedgy
06-03-2011, 8:54 PM
spyderco makes a full line of slip its and slip joint knives. no lock at all. it is in the construction of the pivot point. check em out. under 2.5 and non locking, completely legal on campus

Army
06-03-2011, 9:13 PM
Slightly off-topic; On Veterans Day, a Korea Vet and I visit a couple of local K-6 schools to speak about Veterans and why we must fight sometimes.

First school is public: I wear all my IBA, including side plates, knee and elbow pads, ACH, dust goggles, hard knuckle gloves, and full pocketed vest. When we inquired for permission to bring a rifle, pistol, bayonet, and practice type grenades to the campus...you would think I offered to rape their puppies. Literally white faced and the beginnings of a pretty good sweat in their reply.

Second school is a private Lutheran K-9: I wear all my IBA, including side plates, knee and elbow pads, ACH, dust goggles, hard knuckle gloves, and full pocketed vest. When inquired for permission to bring weapons on campus, we were not only encouraged to do so, but the Principal and the school secretary wanted to see us first to play with the gear. This presentation has grown from visiting two classrooms, to the entire school assembling in the Sanctuary to greet us.

And they worry about a 3" blade? Pathetic.

Aleksandr Mravinsky
06-03-2011, 9:20 PM
One also hopes that, for purposes of measuring blade length, a LEO will take the manufacturer's specifications rather than trying (and possibly botching) to measure it himself.

Thats another thing I've always wondered is where exactly they start measuring. Do they measure the sharpened portion? Do they start from the pivot and go to the tip? There are so many (well, maybe not) ways you can measure a blade and for some knives it's pretty borderline.

In the attachments, if measured as in 3930 my knife would be legal on a school campus, but if measured as in 3929, it would be illegal.

Do any of the more experienced members on this forum have any info on case law or memos from PDs or the DOJ on how a knife is to be measured or what a locking blade is?

And to Army: Yeah, I seem to notice (or rather, hear) that public schools are far more strict in their zero-tolerance policies than private schools (like the one I went to). Good thing, too, because I don't trust education from the government nearly as much as I trust a private school education, which says something because I don't even trust that too much either.

EDIT:

By that definition an Axis lock would qualify as non-locking. I don't think a LEO would see it that way.

Maybe a better definition would be "A blade that locks into place is any blade that requires an action other than pressing on the spine of the blade to close it."

But I must disagree with you on the Axis lock not meeting SilentPea's definition- I can't tell how the Axis lock is any different than a liner lock or a lockback design. The reason that it wouldn't be a non-locking knife is that you require one action (pushing the button) in addition to actually closing the blade to fold the knife.

EDIT:

I am also wondering about the legality of something like Kershaw's Speed Safe opening knives (like the Kershaw Clash). I am confused about what the penal code says about something like this. It seems to intentionally outlaw assisted opening blades (gravity or spring), but then exempts knives that are opened with direct pressure to the blade. So would the knife be legal because you open it with the blade and it has force that needs to be overcome to open it, or is it illegal because it is assisted opening?

Sorry to ask so many questions, but I figure that while I've already got a thread going I might as well ask any other questions I have.

tiko
06-03-2011, 10:42 PM
I talked to a LEO 30 years vet and know that they measure from tip to HANDLE, not only the sharpened blade. And non locking means that you can close by only press on the spine of the blade

chiselchst
06-03-2011, 10:55 PM
Jim March is THE Ca knife law expert...

Have you read this site?
http://www.ninehundred.com/~equalccw/knifelaw.html

SilentPea
06-04-2011, 10:35 AM
+1 on the link.

The speed safe is pretty fine legally. Kershaw has gotten a couple court cases in their favor if I remember correctly. The key thing is that the speed safe "[...] 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." (from the penal code)

In regards to the blade length, a safe way to measure is from the point all the way to any hand guard. This may be quite a bit longer than the length of the edge, but it is the measurement of "stab penetration" and likely the blade length that will be claimed if you end up in court.
Of course I've heard some ridiculous measurements up to and including from the tip of the blade to the pivot pin or the entire length of the blade's blank/tang.