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louderthangod
06-07-2011, 11:25 AM
I've been getting into folding knives lately and while the state law seems pretty clear, it's the local ones that seem messy. I haven't been able to find one but, is there a site that clearly states the specific laws relating to city/county laws? I've looked up some of the laws and many people seem to come to many conclusions even law enforcement.

I also have a question about use and this I haven't seen mentioned. I've seen a few people mentioning the legal concealment of folders and being discreet around law enforcement. The other day I was in SF with my girlfriend and she asked me to open something in one of those annoying vacuum sealed, plastic containers. I took out my knife and easily opened it but I didn't consider if it was legal or not. It seems like if you're allowed to have something like a knife then you should be allowed to safely use it for a practical purpose but you can never tell with matters of the law.

Thanks in advance!

Decoligny
06-07-2011, 11:53 AM
You pretty much have to find the ordinances for each and every city and county in which you wish to carry a knife. There is no other way to know exactly whether or not you are complying with the law.

From what I have seen, most cities that have ordinances deal only with the carrying of knives in plain view if they are over a certain size.

Legal use of the knife as a cutting tool, i.e. opening that package, or cutting some rope, is usually addressed in the ordinances where they state "Does not apply to knives used in lawful business purposes, recreational purposes, religious purposes, etc.." or statements to that effect.

Sub95
06-07-2011, 12:11 PM
I was in sacramento two weeks ago and the the women and child wanted to stop by the state capitol and go inside. i forgot to leave my folding knives (2) in the car, well we get in and there you have to go through a metal detector so i put both knives in the tray and told them, hey there are knives in there, they all looked at me funny, cop comes over with a bag, me, hmm, he asks me to write my name and phone # on it, and puts the knives in the bag and said make sure to come back and get them. I was sure they would just take them and not give them back.

I have seen cops with huge folding knives.

I think it all comes down to as long as everyone can see the knive you are ok. mine are clipped on my pocket, but cant tell if its a knive or not as you only see the clip and i have never had a problem.

SPaikmos
06-07-2011, 12:14 PM
My general rules of carry are:

1) 4" folder or less.
2) Keep the clip visible from outside.
3) Don't do anything stupid.

That last one is the most important. If you're going to carry a knife, you need to be responsible about it.

I know that some areas I've carried in require less than 4", and so forth, but every cop I've asked can't quote what's legal or not, and many of them have flat out told me that they don't really care unless you're doing stupid sh*t. Like, don't start stabbing people or brandishing it.

Oh, and don't forget some establishments and private properties might have a no weapons policy (schools and colleges come to mind, as well as some workplaces). I've always felt that's kind of vague, since a knife is a tool in my book, and a book, hammer, or any blunt object for that matter could be used as a weapon... but I digress.

IANAL, YMMV, don't try this at home, etc.

Decoligny
06-07-2011, 12:31 PM
My general rules of carry are:

1) 4" folder or less.
2) Keep the clip visible from outside.
3) Don't do anything stupid.

That last one is the most important. If you're going to carry a knife, you need to be responsible about it.

I know that some areas I've carried in require less than 4", and so forth, but every cop I've asked can't quote what's legal or not, and many of them have flat out told me that they don't really care unless you're doing stupid sh*t. Like, don't start stabbing people or brandishing it.

Oh, and don't forget some establishments and private properties might have a no weapons policy (schools and colleges come to mind, as well as some workplaces). I've always felt that's kind of vague, since a knife is a tool in my book, and a book, hammer, or any blunt object for that matter could be used as a weapon... but I digress.

IANAL, YMMV, don't try this at home, etc.

Those right there could get you a misdemeanor charge in Los Angeles County or Los Angeles City.

Both the City and County have an ordinance against the exposed carry of any knife with a blade 3 inches or longer.

Wearing the knife with the clip exposed can easily be considered carrying the knife exposed. Seeing the knife exposed, a cop can probably get an idea as to the size of the knife just from looking at the size of the clip. This give him the probable cause to detain you and measure the knife.

To the best of my knowledge, there are no ordinances anywhere in CA the limit the carry of a folding knife of any size so long as it is completely concealed.

sandman21
06-07-2011, 12:34 PM
You pretty much have to find the ordinances for each and every city and county in which you wish to carry a knife. There is no other way to know exactly whether or not you are complying with the law.


ask and ye shall receive...

US Knife Laws PDF (http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/USKnife.pdf)

CA Knife laws (http://www.ninehundred.com/~equalccw/knifelaw.html)

Those right there could get you a misdemeanor charge in Los Angeles County or Los Angeles City.

Both the City and County have an ordinance against the exposed carry of any knife with a blade 3 inches or longer.

Wearing the knife with the clip exposed can easily be considered carrying the knife exposed. Seeing the knife exposed, a cop can probably get an idea as to the size of the knife just from looking at the size of the clip. This give him the probable cause to detain you and measure the knife.

To the best of my knowledge, there are no ordinances anywhere in CA the limit the carry of a folding knife of any size so long as it is completely concealed.

Partial concealment is concealed, a clip is just a clip, could be a pen or light, etc.

Decoligny
06-07-2011, 1:38 PM
ask and ye shall receive...

US Knife Laws PDF (http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/USKnife.pdf)

CA Knife laws (http://www.ninehundred.com/~equalccw/knifelaw.html)



Partial concealment is concealed, a clip is just a clip, could be a pen or light, etc.

When dealing with concealed versus exposed, this is not always the case. It tends to be looked at based on which law is being enforced.

If it is illegal to conceal a fixed blade knife, then partially concealed has been ruled in court to be considered the equivalent of totally concealed.

In cases dealing with it being illegal to expose something, it is usually ruled that partially exposed it the equivalent of totally exposed.

Almost every clip knife that I have encountered actually exposes the very top portion of the knife also. There aren't many cops who would not know or have "reasonable suspiscion" from seeing just the clip that it was actually a knife, and they can usually tell from the size of the clip if it is a sizable knife, or a tiny knife.

Aleksandr Mravinsky
06-07-2011, 1:49 PM
My general rules of carry are:

1) 4" folder or less.
2) Keep the clip visible from outside.
3) Don't do anything stupid.

That last one is the most important. If you're going to carry a knife, you need to be responsible about it.

I follow the first when I'm carrying and (try to follow) the third all the time. I know that there is a state prohibition on 4"+ blades in public buildings:

171b. (a) Any person who brings or possesses within any state or
local public building or at any meeting required to be open to the
public pursuant to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part
1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of, or Article 9 (commencing with Section
11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of, the
Government Code, any of the following is guilty of a public offense
punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one
year, or in the state prison:
(1) Any firearm.
(2) Any deadly weapon described in Section 653k or 12020.
(3) Any knife with a blade length in excess of four inches, the
blade of which is fixed or is capable of being fixed in an unguarded
position by the use of one or two hands.
(4) Any unauthorized tear gas weapon.
(5) Any taser or stun gun, as defined in Section 244.5.
(6) Any instrument that expels a metallic projectile, such as a BB
or pellet, through the force of air pressure, CO2 pressure, or
spring action, or any spot marker gun or paint gun.

That's why I limit potential knives to about 3.5" blades (since I've been told police measure to the handle, not just the sharp cutty bits); not to mention that 4" blades are unnecessarily large and heavy for what I use them for.

And I know that there are some local prohibitions on length (LA County in particular, and someone told me that Orange County had something similar, but I don't believe so. Correct me if I'm wrong).

Decoligny
06-07-2011, 2:01 PM
I follow the first when I'm carrying and (try to follow) the third all the time. I know that there is a state prohibition on 4"+ blades in public buildings:



That's why I limit potential knives to about 3.5" blades (since I've been told police measure to the handle, not just the sharp cutty bits); not to mention that 4" blades are unnecessarily large and heavy for what I use them for.

And I know that there are some local prohibitions on length (LA County in particular, and someone told me that Orange County had something similar, but I don't believe so. Correct me if I'm wrong).

Did the research on Orange County in a thread in 2009. Did not find anything in the OC Ordinances.

The OC ordinances are available here: http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientID=11378&stateID=5&statename=California

SPaikmos
06-07-2011, 2:20 PM
Those right there could get you a misdemeanor charge in Los Angeles County or Los Angeles City.

Both the City and County have an ordinance against the exposed carry of any knife with a blade 3 inches or longer.

Wearing the knife with the clip exposed can easily be considered carrying the knife exposed. Seeing the knife exposed, a cop can probably get an idea as to the size of the knife just from looking at the size of the clip. This give him the probable cause to detain you and measure the knife.

To the best of my knowledge, there are no ordinances anywhere in CA the limit the carry of a folding knife of any size so long as it is completely concealed.

Have either of those been prosecuted for solely that? I mean, not in addition to any other shenanigans going on?

I've heard a lot about different knife ordinances, and it seems you can never truly stay on top of all of them. I mean, looking up every city, county, and municipality you might be in... this could be almost as difficult as trying to stay up to date on where every GFSZ starts and ends...

IME, I've had my knife (Spyderco Police) inspected and measured a couple of times by police in MA and NYC while entering buildings. Both times they just shrugged and held it while I did my business, and I got it back when I left.

It may not be right, but my guess is that if you don't look like you're up to no good, and you're generally acting normal, nobody is going to hassle you for exposing a clip. Now, if you were drunk in a bar and acting like an a-hole, then they might bust your balls. I long for the days when people could apply common sense and leave people alone.

Aleksandr Mravinsky
06-07-2011, 2:32 PM
Did the research on Orange County in a thread in 2009. Did not find anything in the OC Ordinances.

The OC ordinances are available here: http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientID=11378&stateID=5&statename=California

Thanks. That's what I thought too, and I checked a few places myself.

Also, looking in the US Knife Laws PDF (http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/USKnife.pdf) posted by sandman21, I notice that it says that folders are prohibited in Sacramento County, but looking on MCC's website (http://www.municode.com/library/ClientListing.aspx?stateID=5), I couldn't find Sacramento County to verify information from the PDF. So I went here (http://qcode.us/codes/sacramento/), and all I found seemed to say that knives over 3" were considered dangerous weapons, and that it was illegal to take them certain places, have them in your car, and to loiter with them. But that is city code, not county code.

Could someone with more expertise tell me if I am correct in saying that knives under 3" are generally legal in Sacramento City, or tell/point me to the code for Sacramento County that describes prohibitions on knives?

Thanks.

johndoe2150
06-07-2011, 2:53 PM
Wow, I was just looking this up today looking for a new work knife (emt). It seems pretty lame that Los Angeles county dosnt clearly define what open means in relation to the clip. From personal experience police dont care as long *** your not causing problems. But it seems like you cannot carry a 3 in knife unless your going to/from legal recreational use, work, or religious use.

Decoligny
06-07-2011, 3:23 PM
Wow, I was just looking this up today looking for a new work knife (emt). It seems pretty lame that Los Angeles county dosnt clearly define what open means in relation to the clip. From personal experience police dont care as long *** your not causing problems. But it seems like you cannot carry a 3 in knife unless your going to/from legal recreational use, work, or religious use.

You can also carry during recreational use, work, or religious use.

So, if it is a work knife, it doesn't matter if it is a 9" folder carried exposed.

chaseface
06-07-2011, 3:24 PM
Snip: Oh, and don't forget some establishments and private properties might have a no weapons policy (schools and colleges come to mind, as well as some workplaces).

I'm taking a couple firefighter classes at a local JC and there is a guy in a couple of my classes that comes to school with a bayonet attached to his backpack every day:eek:. I told him a couple times that he's taking a big chance with that, but he didn't seem to care. He never had an issue with it either. A agree with what your saying though. I wouldn't ever bring a displayed knife to my classes.

Decoligny
06-07-2011, 3:29 PM
Thanks. That's what I thought too, and I checked a few places myself.

Also, looking in the US Knife Laws PDF (http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/USKnife.pdf) posted by sandman21, I notice that it says that folders are prohibited in Sacramento County, but looking on MCC's website (http://www.municode.com/library/ClientListing.aspx?stateID=5), I couldn't find Sacramento County to verify information from the PDF. So I went here (http://qcode.us/codes/sacramento/), and all I found seemed to say that knives over 3" were considered dangerous weapons, and that it was illegal to take them certain places, have them in your car, and to loiter with them. But that is city code, not county code.

Could someone with more expertise tell me if I am correct in saying that knives under 3" are generally legal in Sacramento City, or tell/point me to the code for Sacramento County that describes prohibitions on knives?

Thanks.

The code section referrred to in the first link 9.42.20, does not currently exist in the Sacremento County Ordinances.

I would assume that they revoked that section.

The dangerous weapon section only deals with concealed knives over 3" or knives over 3" in your car.

The portion that deals with cars has an exclusion. My knife is carried in good faith for uses of honest work, trade or business. I cannot begin to tell you how many boxes I have cut open with my 4" folder.

9.32.050 Dangerous or deadly weapons prohibited in cars.
It is unlawful for any person to have in his or her possession, in any automobile, any dangerous or deadly weapon, but this restriction shall not be deemed to prohibit the carrying of ordinary tools or equipment carried in good faith for uses of honest work, trade or business or for the purpose of legitimate sport or recreation. (Prior code 48.01.005)

Aleksandr Mravinsky
06-07-2011, 3:56 PM
Thank you again, Dicoligny. I just have one more (silly, unnecessary) question.

In 12020, it says:

(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.

That means that you cannot conceal an open and locked folding knife because it would be a dirk or a dagger, correct? But you can concealed carry an open non-locking folder or a non-locked but still open locking folder, right? What about an opened and locked folder that has a sheath in it? Would the blade be "exposed"?

Yes, I realize that this is a silly question; I just like to pick apart the wording of certain (, equally silly) laws.

Decoligny
06-07-2011, 4:12 PM
This is where the law gets into the gray area.

If you have an open Swiss Army Knife (non-locking) tucked into your boot (hopefully in such a way that it doesn't cut you), and a police officer finds it, chances are you will be arrested for carrying a concealed dirk or dagger.

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.

Since this states that a nonlocking folding knife can have the blade exposed and locked into position, it can be assumed that they simply mean any folding knife can "lock" into the open position.

I would not conceal any knife at all with the blade open. Even if you beat it in court, you will still go to jail initially, have to pay bail, have to get a lawyer, have to spend time away from work to go to court. Too much of a risk for too little return.

Rumline
06-07-2011, 4:13 PM
What about fixed-blade knives like a ka-bar? What are the legal issues one may encounter when carrying for camping / backpacking? Say I'm in a public campground using the knife at my campsite. Or, say I'm backpacking in a National Forest and the knife is concealed in my pack. Is concealed in the pack OK or do I need to strap the sheath to the outside of the pack?

Aleksandr Mravinsky
06-07-2011, 4:25 PM
I would not conceal any knife at all with the blade open. Even if you beat it in court, you will still go to jail initially, have to pay bail, have to get a lawyer, have to spend time away from work to go to court. Too much of a risk for too little return.

Neither would I. Just wondering about ambiguous wording (that could have to be remedied to comply with the Constitution, ;) ).

What about fixed-blade knives like a ka-bar? What are the legal issues one may encounter when carrying for camping / backpacking? Say I'm in a public campground using the knife at my campsite. Or, say I'm backpacking in a National Forest and the knife is concealed in my pack. Is concealed in the pack OK or do I need to strap the sheath to the outside of the pack?

I don't know of any exemptions for backpacking, camping, hiking, et cetera, so you would have to openly carry it. I'm sure somebody will come by to confirm/ correct what I have said.

GettoPhilosopher
06-07-2011, 4:45 PM
Those right there could get you a misdemeanor charge in Los Angeles County or Los Angeles City.

Both the City and County have an ordinance against the exposed carry of any knife with a blade 3 inches or longer.

I had a cop tell me about that once. First he said "it's only an ordinance", then he explained "it's basically to keep bangers from carrying K Bars", and finally ended by him explaining that no one would ever hassle "someone like you" (I assume he meant a clean cut white guy) over it. :p

Not that I'd mess around with it, obviously, but I found it hilarious that he freely admitted it was a discriminatory law meant for harassing people. :p

Sent from my HERO200 using Tapatalk

green grunt
06-07-2011, 5:35 PM
this stuff is hard to follow , I belive the law on knives is made to be that ...hard to follow ......and know whats GTG or not.....
so......what i get out of reading this (great info by the way!) and it sounds dumb....
i can carry my cold Steel Ti-Lite with a 6" blade (closed) as long as its "not exposed" in any way...but if i took my SAK and had it open in my pocket....I'm goin' to jail.....

hard to follow seems to be an understatment.................IMHO.....Semper-Fi

Aleksandr Mravinsky
06-07-2011, 6:09 PM
i can carry my cold Steel Ti-Lite with a 6" blade (closed) as long as its "not exposed" in any way...but if i took my SAK and had it open in my pocket....I'm goin' to jail.....

That sounds about right, but you might be going to jail for the 6" blade anyway if you're in a place that prohibits blades over 4".

The weapons laws in this state are meant to be confusing and nonsensical- people are discouraged from carrying weapons not just because they might go to jail but because they are afraid and confused about what exactly might get them in jail.

green grunt
06-07-2011, 6:28 PM
"That sounds about right, but you might be going to jail for the 6" blade anyway if you're in a place that prohibits blades over 4".

you are right about that....but...state law says GTG , only the city and county laws differ..correct ?

Aleksandr Mravinsky
06-07-2011, 6:43 PM
"That sounds about right, but you might be going to jail for the 6" blade anyway if you're in a place that prohibits blades over 4".

you are right about that....but...state law says GTG , only the city and county laws differ..correct ?

171b prohibits 4"+ knives "within any state or local public building or at any meeting required to be open to the public pursuant to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of, or Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of, the Government Code".

But that is the only state law I know of that restricts length. Besides, of course, the laws for carry on campuses and switchblades.

I do have another question, though. Do the knives that have a hole (just one) for the index finger constitute metal knuckles? Like this (http://www.dumptoko.nl/res/00201/img_user/productimages/crkt/crkt_bearclaw_2515.jpg).

johndoe2150
06-07-2011, 7:24 PM
My issue was I wanted a 3.5 in blade in LA county primarily for work, but also for edc...I was assuming that carrying it around out side of recreational/work use coulda get you busted

Sam .223
06-07-2011, 8:55 PM
a little off topic here but when did double edge knives get banned, and was there a grandfathering of existing knives?

Librarian
06-07-2011, 9:02 PM
a little off topic here but when did double edge knives get banned, and was there a grandfathering of existing knives?

They are not banned.

Some people seem to believe double-edged == dirk or dagger, but ownership and use of 'dirk or dagger' is not illegal, either. Carrying one concealed is.

Decoligny
06-07-2011, 11:08 PM
What about fixed-blade knives like a ka-bar? What are the legal issues one may encounter when carrying for camping / backpacking? Say I'm in a public campground using the knife at my campsite. Or, say I'm backpacking in a National Forest and the knife is concealed in my pack. Is concealed in the pack OK or do I need to strap the sheath to the outside of the pack?

Carrying any fixed blade knife concealed (even in a baxkpack) could land you in jail with a felony charge.

Decoligny
06-07-2011, 11:11 PM
a little off topic here but when did double edge knives get banned, and was there a grandfathering of existing knives?

Double edged knives are perfectly legal in CA.

Nothing in PC states otherwise.

Rude Robert
06-07-2011, 11:42 PM
Imperial m7 survival knife. I have one of these, in 1989 or so, I was parked by the river bottom talking on the cb I had in my truck. I had a kicker on it and often times parked on hills and or river bottom to stay away from peoples homes. When I spoke on it, it would cause the the Tv's and radios problems. The Tv's would go black and my voice would be transmitted on the radios. While at the river bottom, cops came up on me. I turned the light inside my truck turned down the cb, kept my hands on the wheel. I told them right off that I had the knife, they asked me what i was doing and told them about the cb. They told me it was a dangerous area, I told them that I had the knife for protection lol. They took the knife and were going to keep it. I told them, that If the local cigar/knife store sold it how can it be illegal? They followed me home to give me the knife back. Now, years later, My family walked a lot when I came home from work. A lot of times, big dogs would run the street, a lot of them were pits. Worried about My little girls I called the Riverside police, got the person name I was talking to. I told her the situation, the knife and asked if it was legal for me to defend my family and me. She told me after asking someone, if I didn't conceal it, I could kill the dogs if that situation came up. A person with a pit had their gate open and came at us to the fence but not to the opened gate. Fearing the dog would harm my kid, I pulled the knife, they didn't speak English and this wasn't the first time the dog came at us. I was yelling at the dog, they came out seeing the open gate and my knife clearly exposed and ready. They grab their dog and we never seen it again. True story.

Librarian
06-08-2011, 1:17 AM
Imperial m7 survival knife.
...
I pulled the knife, ...

And so long as not carried concealed, legal to have and carry.

Rumline
06-08-2011, 1:44 PM
And so long as [fixed-blade knife is] not carried concealed, legal to have and carry.
Great, thanks!

Sam .223
06-08-2011, 3:33 PM
thats why i thought i'd ask here, i was told by a retired LE i ran into at a range a few weeks ago that double edged knives were illegal to carry in Ca, i just wanted to double check since sometimes LEOs aren't 100% correct.

lazyworm
06-08-2011, 5:49 PM
So let's say I go to the mall and buy a new kitchen/chef knife and carry that
around in a shopping bag.

Based on PC 12020, that's essentially a felony carrying a concealed
fixed blade isn't it?

I'm sure no cops will line up outside Macy's waiting to pop kitchen utensil buyers.
But could this be grounds to get some better clarifications on concealed carry
of weapons?

spareparts
06-08-2011, 6:04 PM
I'm going to guess that there has to be some kind of "intent" to conceal. The same situation could I guess apply if you purchase a firearm and carry it out to your car in the manufacturers packaging.

Ctwo
06-08-2011, 6:09 PM
So, when I go to Big 5 and buy that survival knife on sale, I should remove it from the bag, unbox the knife, and strap it to the string on my sweat pants before I leave the store?

Maybe I better lock it in the trunk on the way home...

What about when I go to Macy's at the mall and buy a nice kitchen knife set?

Liberty1
06-08-2011, 6:11 PM
Technically a violation IMO, but it is an area of law where common sense some how still prevails with CA LE . But I would not take it out of its pachaging until home unless you like wearing kitchen knives exposed on your belt. :)

Honey, I'm out of belt space for this ginsu set you bought. Can you go buy a belt in JC Pennys and wear some of these home?

http://www.google.com/m/products/detail?gl=us&client=ms-android-verizon&q=ginsu+blades&hl=en&bl=/m?hl%3Den%26gl%3Dus%26client%3Dms-android-verizon%26source%3Dandroid-browser-type%26action%3Ddevloc%26q%3Dginsu%2Bblades&source=search&channel=products&cid=5933597005088110737&ptab=c&ei=uyDwTcjbLaLAqwPHrcmEAw&ved=0CBsQ8wIwAQ

baz152
06-08-2011, 6:17 PM
Intent has to be there. If you carry it around in a place that is easily accessible to you and you state that you carry it for "Offence or defence" then that would fulfill the 12020PC statute. Spirit of the 12020 law pertains to a person carrying the knife on their person or in a way where you usually do not need a knife (Driving a car) now letter of the law still needs intent so if you make a statement about it you would be hurt.

cbn620
06-08-2011, 6:20 PM
This is the area of law we are dealing with:

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.

I do not believe 12020 would apply to knives you have just purchased from a store that are still packaged and being carried in a shopping bag.

For one, you are not concealing a dirk or dagger on your person by purchasing it and carrying it out of the store in a shopping bag. For another, under 12020 a dirk or dagger is a weapon capable of being readily used. For the purposes of the section I do not believe a utensil that is in closed packaging would be considered a dirk or dagger capable of ready use.

(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.

I do not believe a sealed package with a knife inside of it meets this definition. It is incapable of harming anyone.

This is the full PC 12020:
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=pen&group=12001-13000&file=12020-12040

I'm not a lawyer, but this is my opinion on the matter.

Sam .223
06-08-2011, 6:25 PM
i believe there needs to be an intent to conceal, you should be ok if you have it in a shopping bag or box it comes in. i wouldn't put it in a back pack or anything like that.

cbn620
06-08-2011, 6:27 PM
Here is a source for looking up municipal codes and county level laws:

http://www.municode.com/

It is not 100% complete but it is the best source online I've seen for reading codified law from counties and cities.

BayAreaShooter
06-08-2011, 6:32 PM
I was reading another thread it got me thinking and as I did not want to thread jack I figured I would post it here. Is it legal to carry a fixed blade in your car either openly on a seat or in a glove box or any other concealed compartment. I was also wondering if you can carry a fixed blade in a backpack concealed? Thank you in advance.

lazyworm
06-08-2011, 6:36 PM
Well... intent can be argued. I could be a crazy person going to Macy's to get a knife to
start a blood bath.

And not all knives are sold in sealed packages. They could be just wrapped
with wrapping paper or lose in a simple card board box.

Or flipping this around. Would putting the knife in a box or wrapping of somekind
be an out to conceal carry a fixed blade? Along the line of LUCC?

Glock22Fan
06-08-2011, 6:44 PM
I've bought knives before in specialist kitchen stores where the store clerk has solidly wrapped the knife, for example: rolling it up inside several layers of corrugated cardboard and then copious rounds of parcel tape around that.

Maybe overkill, but I'm guessing a large kitchen knife in a flimsy bag might upset some cops in ambiguous circumstances. Solid wrapping indicates a solid lack of intent to do immediate harm, even if the reverse is not true.

Probably depends a lot on your appearance and attitude, as do so many other things that could go sour.

Cokebottle
06-08-2011, 6:49 PM
now letter of the law still needs intent so if you make a statement about it you would be hurt.
Cite please?

It's not there.


Someone asked about this in the LEO forum a couple of months ago. The context was a fixed blade in a rucksack.
Couple of LEOs commented that if it was "buried" they would not bother with it, but if it were situated in a way that made it readily accessible, then they would arrest.

But they stated that EITHER would indeed be an arrestable violation.
As mentioned above, cops still use common sense in dealing with the situation.

Cokebottle
06-08-2011, 6:50 PM
The same situation could I guess apply if you purchase a firearm and carry it out to your car in the manufacturers packaging.
Everyone does it, but it is still illegal.

It must be in a secure locked container for any kind of concealed carry or transport.

cbn620
06-08-2011, 7:09 PM
Well... intent can be argued. I could be a crazy person going to Macy's to get a knife to
start a blood bath.

And not all knives are sold in sealed packages. They could be just wrapped
with wrapping paper or lose in a simple card board box.

Or flipping this around. Would putting the knife in a box or wrapping of somekind
be an out to conceal carry a fixed blade? Along the line of LUCC?

I get what you're saying, there always these potentialities. But intent is not mentioned in 12020 and intent to commit a crime of any sort would probably never be argued against you for simply going and buying a knife at Macy's as part of a shopping trip. And I believe most packaging at stores is suitable enough to render the knife a piece of inert packaged merchandise and not a weapon in ready use. I don't believe there is any case law on this subject which is at least some indication that this specific issue has never gone to court. Take that as a good sign, and never consent to a search even when you think you're innocent, and you should be good to go.

cbn620
06-08-2011, 7:11 PM
Everyone does it, but it is still illegal.

It must be in a secure locked container for any kind of concealed carry or transport.

I believe that only applies to handguns.

dantodd
06-08-2011, 7:13 PM
So, if we aren't talking about a kitchen knife, what about a bayonet purchased at a gun show? Do you have to open carry it home?

Librarian
06-08-2011, 7:13 PM
See http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showpost.php?p=2289918&postcount=6

In a backpack is concealed.

In your car? Nothing wrong with that at state level, but local - for example, Marin County - might be an issue.

Librarian
06-08-2011, 7:15 PM
Here is a source for looking up municipal codes and county level laws:

http://www.municode.com/

It is not 100% complete but it is the best source online I've seen for reading codified law from counties and cities.

You need to see the rest of them:
http://www.qcode.us/codes.htm
http://www.amlegal.com/library/ca/index.shtml

And most cities and counties have direct links from their individual web sites.

A-Ron
06-08-2011, 7:33 PM
Good to know. I removed a fixed blade from my wife's console, to be on the safe side - I'll put it back in.

Cokebottle
06-08-2011, 7:43 PM
And so long as not carried concealed, legal to have and carry.
Great, thanks!
You are in LA... different laws for you.

LA city and LA county prohibit open carry of a fixed blade knife over 3" long.

Which Way Out
06-08-2011, 7:49 PM
See http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showpost.php?p=2289918&postcount=6

In a backpack is concealed.

In your car? Nothing wrong with that at state level, but local - for example, Marin County - might be an issue.


In a backpack is concealed.

So when I am fishing and have a pack pack on with my tackle and other assorted gear, including my fillet knife. A 7" blade inside my pack pack would be illegal ?
There's places to attach it to on the outside, but the type I have is an old Rapala style that does not have a catch on it to keep the knife in.

Help me clear this up please.
Tnx

redcliff
06-08-2011, 8:02 PM
What if you're carrying the back-pack instead of wearing it?

What if instead of a back-pack you have it in a fishing tackle box and are carrying it?

I'm just wonderring if having a fishing knife in your tackle box is a violation of California law.

Helpful_Cub
06-08-2011, 8:02 PM
In a backpack is concealed.

So when I am fishing and have a pack pack on with my tackle and other assorted gear, including my fillet knife. A 7" blade inside my pack pack would be illegal ?
There's places to attach it to on the outside, but the type I have is an old Rapala style that does not have a catch on it to keep the knife in.

Help me clear this up please.
Tnx

You could put it in a sheath and attach the sheath to your waist. I know, this state is really messed up.

IrishPirate
06-08-2011, 8:03 PM
I have a fillet knife in my fishing bag too.....but i think so do 99% of fishermen. Might technically be breaking the law, but i think you'd be hard pressed to find a DA who would charge someone carrying a bunch of fishing gear with a concealed weapon charge on a fixed blade knife when that person has the right to carry a loaded gun concealed...maybe there's something like 12027 which makes it so licensed hunters/fishermen aren't affected by 12020????

Aleksandr Mravinsky
06-08-2011, 8:17 PM
LA city and LA county prohibit open carry of a fixed blade knife over 3" long.

Any knife- not just fixed blade.

EDIT: I have another rather silly question with regards to federal switch blade laws. I know that in California, the possession of a switch blade is illegal, however, at the federal level it is only illegal to participate in the interstate sale of switch blades, correct? So could one produce, say, the mechanism for a switch blade and sell a blade separately across state lines as long as the two are not assembled?

Librarian
06-08-2011, 9:08 PM
What if you're carrying the back-pack instead of wearing it?

What if instead of a back-pack you have it in a fishing tackle box and are carrying it?

I'm just wonderring if having a fishing knife in your tackle box is a violation of California law.

It could be.

Case law on concealed includes things you are carrying; that's explicitly why I quit carrying a fixed-blade in my commute bag. It made perfect sense to have one if I thought I would need to walk back to Concord from Oakland or Alameda after an earthquake - that's why I had a bag convertible to a backpack - but I decided a folder would do pretty much anything I needed done without the added complications.

Librarian
06-08-2011, 9:10 PM
Merged the 3 knife threads - roughly the same questions in each.

Anonymous Coward
06-08-2011, 9:12 PM
The thing is that the fixed blade concealed carry prohibition is virtually the same as the concealed firearm one:

12025
(a) A person is guilty of carrying a concealed firearm when he or she does any of the following:
(2) Carries concealed upon his or her person any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.

Note: The locked container exemption is in 12026.1, but that doesn't exist for knives.

So if you think a fixed blade in a backpag or shopping bag would be legal, then so would be a concealed firearm.

It does make even less sense since dirk/dagger applies to a lot of common household items.

I've been toying with the thought of writing a letter to Macy's and Sears asking how I can carry a chef knife home without committing a felony. Not sure if that will hurt or do good.

ubet
06-08-2011, 9:31 PM
To the switchblade question, it is not illegal to OWN a switchblade in Ca, it is illegal, to buy, sell, transport in the PASSENGER part of a vehicle, offer to buy, offer to sell etc. It is perfectly legal to have a 30" swithcblade, butterfly knife etc in your HOUSE.

Also you can have a switchblade in Ca that is 2">

Jake71
06-08-2011, 10:24 PM
If you look like a douche and act like a douche... they could get you for having a hangnail and a bad attitude and breaking wind in public.

i also think common sense rules the day...

do you NEED a giant machete strapped to your side or stuffed in your pocket? Are you looking for trouble/look like trouble?

I carry a folder normally.. no idea how long it is. I know 3 others at my law office that carry folding knives at work... no one cares.

they have seen my full sized tanto ka-bar at work... no one cares. (stuffed in my backpack right next to the BP cuff and stethoscope/bandages/wraps)

Now if I was a douchebag walking down the street with it strapped to my leg.. i might get stopped.

Honestly noone is going to hassle you if you look like a human being and not some pants around his ankels douchebag. Concealed or not.

luckystrike
06-09-2011, 1:58 AM
ca knife laws are worse than their gun laws.

Seeker
06-09-2011, 3:27 AM
Carrying any fixed blade knife concealed (even in a baxkpack) could land you in jail with a felony charge.

Well how in hell would I transport my 6" inch KaBar?

I live in Los Angeles and Los Angeles has a municipal code that says you CANNOT carry ANY knife over 3" inches in length in plain view and the California law says that you can only carry a fixed knife if its in plain view.

This is confusing.:excl:

Liberty1
06-09-2011, 6:51 AM
Well how in hell would I transport my 6" inch KaBar?

I live in Los Angeles and Los Angeles has a municipal code that says you CANNOT carry ANY knife over 3" inches in length in plain view and the California law says that you can only carry a fixed knife if its in plain view.

This is confusing.:excl:

In the case of exposed fixed blades, I believe local laws which conflict with what state law allows/requires (fixed blades exposed) are constitutionally preempted. I thought there was already case law on this knife/state constitutional preemption issue posted about 6 months ago???

Liberty1
06-09-2011, 7:18 AM
Not what I was looking for but it is still a good read: http://www.shouselaw.com/dirk-dagger.html

BayAreaShooter
06-09-2011, 10:16 AM
Soooooo I can carry a fixed blade concealed anywhere in my car and it not be a problem. Right?

Which Way Out
06-09-2011, 10:26 AM
You could put it in a sheath and attach the sheath to your waist. I know, this state is really messed up.

Thanks.
The knife in question has a sheath but no way of securing it in and no way to attach it to a belt of any kind. Just a simple wood handled fillet knife with a leather sheath. I usually have it in the large pocket of my back pack while I have waders on and I am fishing in the ocean surf. We stand quite far into the water, so much so that I've had my plastic water bottles float out of the side pockets. I don't want the same thing to happen to my knife.

Then there's always the beach goers that watch us. I can see it now, someone calls LE and says there's guys on the beach with knifes. Next thing you know well get swarmed and checked out. I don't want or need the hassle and I am sure the LEOs don't either. But you never know these days. One rookie shows up and next thing you know were in cuffs.
I would like to hear what any LEOs think about this. Please don't think I don't understand the realities of a criminal with a knife and the danger they can be. I do.

I think fish and game wardens have the right to look into coolers, buckets, bags for catch limits and the like. Say he finds a knife in a back pack that is #1 on your person. Or #2 laying on the beach, not on your person. How do you think this would play out ?

One more thing.
Would we contact Calguns on an arrest in this case as we would in a Gun arrest?

Ctwo
06-09-2011, 12:21 PM
The American Gestapo is alive and well...

randian
06-09-2011, 12:26 PM
Say he finds a knife in a back pack that is #1 on your person. Or #2 laying on the beach, not on your person. How do you think this would play out?
Unfortunately, it highly depends on what LEO you get, which is exactly the problem.

Wouldn't carrying a kitchen knife in a cooler (to cut sandwiches or fruit carried in said cooler) be illegal concealed carry of a fixed-blade knife? I suspect millions of Californians are unknowing criminals every time they go to a weekend cookout.

Librarian
06-09-2011, 2:05 PM
Soooooo I can carry a fixed blade concealed anywhere in my car and it not be a problem. Right?
So far as the state is concerned, yes. Local laws are known to differ, and state pre-empts nothing related to (non-switchblade) knives.

Unfortunately, it highly depends on what LEO you get, which is exactly the problem.

Wouldn't carrying a kitchen knife in a cooler (to cut sandwiches or fruit carried in said cooler) be illegal concealed carry of a fixed-blade knife? I suspect millions of Californians are unknowing criminals every time they go to a weekend cookout.

Indeed, that's a possibility.

In a kinder world, one could expect good judgement. Unfortunately, this is California - we have learned to our dismay that good judgement is often in short supply.

Which Way Out
06-09-2011, 3:19 PM
Unfortunately, it highly depends on what LEO you get, which is exactly the problem.

Wouldn't carrying a kitchen knife in a cooler (to cut sandwiches or fruit carried in said cooler) be illegal concealed carry of a fixed-blade knife? I suspect millions of Californians are unknowing criminals every time they go to a weekend cookout.

This SUCKS.

I have always heard that LE could always find a way to bust you for something.

All the more reason to not talk to them I guess. And that SUCKS as well. Not all LEOs are out to get you for something, but unless you know the LEO personally its best to STFU

Anonymous Coward
06-09-2011, 5:35 PM
Not what I was looking for but it is still a good read: http://www.shouselaw.com/dirk-dagger.html

This is interesting, because this lawyer says intent does not matter.

louderthangod
06-27-2011, 8:54 PM
Any issues with carrying a knife fixed or folded in a car?

fleegman
06-27-2011, 9:12 PM
Until this state permits me to lawfully carry a loaded concealed pistol, I carry my 4.25 inch Applegate-Fairbairn combat folder EVERYWHERE I go, with the exception of the obvious places (Gov't buildings, schools, and such). I haven't a care about those pesky "local" ordinances. I even have a shoulder rig to carry it, but haven't found a need to use that thus far. And why would someone carry a folder open, it's begging for a self-injury.

The speed with which I can deploy the Applegate gives me some peace of mind.