PDA

View Full Version : Legality of this Knife


SMOKEYMOUNTAIN
10-03-2011, 4:24 PM
My buddy wants to know if this knife is legal to own in CA.

My quick reply was no, its illegal. The blade is a folding blade, but is over 3.5 inches and is capable of being opened with one hand.

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/steel-manual-release-folding-knife-with-sawtooth-and-clip-26-7cm-full-length-35062

Comments?

Librarian
10-03-2011, 4:29 PM
My buddy wants to know if this knife is legal to own in CA.

My quick reply was no, its illegal. The blade is a folding blade, but is over 3.5 inches and is capable of being opened with one hand.

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/steel-manual-release-folding-knife-with-sawtooth-and-clip-26-7cm-full-length-35062

Comments?

Video suggests that's probably a switch-blade for California. See below for knife laws link.

mej16489
10-03-2011, 4:29 PM
The length is a non-issue as far as state law is concerned.

Open-able with one hand is also a non-issue provided that it has a 'propensity to stay closed'

wash
10-03-2011, 4:31 PM
It looks like an assisted opener with a flipper and a thumb stud.

That should be perfectly legal.

As long as the blade bias is closed and you press on the actual blade (the flipper) or a thumb stud to open it, it is not considered a switchblade.

Depending where he goes there may be local ordinances but on the state level it looks OK to me.

Connor P Price
10-03-2011, 4:32 PM
My quick reply was no, its illegal. The blade is a folding blade, but is over 3.5 inches and is capable of being opened with one hand.


There is no basis in law for this assertion. There is no language in the Penal Code regarding knives being over 3.5 inches or being capable of being opened with one hand. The knife is legal.

My best guess is that your thinking of illegal switchblades. A switchblade would be a knife with a length of over 2 inches that is operated by spring or other automated mechanism to open the knife. Since this knife uses a stud on the blade which the user moves in order to open it does not run afoul of switchblade laws.

ETA: I still stand by my assertion that its legal, but now looking at the video it does seem slightly less certain.

wash
10-03-2011, 4:32 PM
I didn't watch a video so if it functions different than it looks, I could be wrong.

SMOKEYMOUNTAIN
10-03-2011, 4:39 PM
SWITCH BLADE KNIVES, blade length greater than 2 inches, are ILLEGAL TO CARRY – Penal Code 653k:
Quote:
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.


Holy Crap that is vague! :facepalm:

Connor P Price
10-03-2011, 4:41 PM
Video suggests that's probably a switch-blade for California. See below for knife laws link.

I'm not sure that's right.

"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.

In the videos I see the knife being opened either by the thumb stud, or the protrusion from the back of the blade. In either case the pressure is being applied to blade in order to overcome the biased toward closure before the knife opens.

SMOKEYMOUNTAIN
10-03-2011, 4:45 PM
I've played with it in person over the weekend. It has a thumb stud/protrusion on the bottom right of the blade near the joint mechanism.

It flips open with minimal pressure and comes out like a switchblade. But there is no spring or anything automatic about it. That's why I told him it was questionable.

IMHO, the bottom line is that its definitely manufactured in the grey area of the law and can be argued forcefully on both sides as to its legality.

wash
10-03-2011, 4:48 PM
It's a legal assisted opener then.

626Tony
10-03-2011, 4:56 PM
just pay a lil more and get a SOG trident !

Connor P Price
10-03-2011, 4:57 PM
I've played with it in person over the weekend. It has a thumb stud/protrusion on the bottom right of the blade near the joint mechanism.

It flips open with minimal pressure and comes out like a switchblade. But there is no spring or anything automatic about it. That's why I told him it was questionable.

IMHO, the bottom line is that its definitely manufactured in the grey area of the law and can be argued forcefully on both sides as to its legality.

As long as the opening of the knife has to be started manually by pressure on the blade or a protrusion from the blade to overcome a bias toward closure its legal. The assistance can take over completely after that point to open the knife the rest of the way.

gun toting monkeyboy
10-03-2011, 5:12 PM
It is legal. For it to be a swtichblade, you would have to push something other than the blade to open it. Since it is very clear in the videos that you can either push on the protrusion of the rear of the blade, or on the knob that is part of the blade to open it, it is definately NOT a switchblade. Nor is it a gravity knife, as the blade is kept in place by the torsion spring inside the handle. Knife laws here in California are surprisingly liberal. If you can come up with a folding Katana or broadsword, you could carry it everywhere except some government buildings, K-12 schools, and a handful of other places. Concealed or not. There may be a few local laws in your area, but for the most part, folding knives are far easier to carry than just about any other weapon. I have a Kershaw Scallion that is an assisted opener like the one in that video (though not as goofy and mall ninja-ish) that I have carried into city hall here in San Diego. It has a blade under 2.5 inches, and the security guards look at it, and hand it back once I am through the metal detectors.

-Mb

And just for the record, it is NOT a grey area. The laws on folding knives are very clear. That knife is just fine here in California.

chris12
10-03-2011, 5:30 PM
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.
Clearly it meets this criteria, so it is a switchblade knife and thus illegal UNLESS it meets exclusion in the next portion.

"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.

Does the knife have a detent that provides resistance that must be overcome? (In a worst case scenario, if the screw came lose in your pocket or an officer's trunk, would it still provide resistance? Some loctite might be in order here.)

Does the knife have a bias toward closing? IMHO, most quality knives have one, many cheap ones don't. I can't tell from the videos if that knife has one. Basically, if you opened it a tiny bit, would it snap closed or not?

gun toting monkeyboy
10-03-2011, 5:46 PM
Clearly it meets this criteria, so it is a switchblade knife and thus illegal UNLESS it meets exclusion in the next portion.

:facepalm: No, clearly it does NOT meet the criteria.


Does the knife have a detent that provides resistance that must be overcome? (In a worst case scenario, if the screw came lose in your pocket or an officer's trunk, would it still provide resistance? Some loctite might be in order here.)


Does the knife have a bias toward closing? IMHO, most quality knives have one, many cheap ones don't. I can't tell from the videos if that knife has one. Basically, if you opened it a tiny bit, would it snap closed or not?

The knife has to have pressure applied to either the back of the blade where it sticks out, or on the thumb stud. That is very clear in the videos. If it didn't need this, it would pop open as soon as you closed it. There is not grey area or ambiguity here. Don't over-complicate things or spread FUD. That knife is perfectly legal here in California. Period. It is ugly and probably holds an edge like warm butter, but it is legal.



-Mb

Anchors
10-03-2011, 5:47 PM
If you must apply pressure to the flipper or thumb stud at first AND the blade has a bias towards closing, then it is legal.

The only way it would become illegal is if it was so loose that you could simply "flick" it out of the handle without using your thumb (this becomes a gravity knife AKA switchblade to them). Gravity knives are also too loose to bias toward closure.

Anchors
10-03-2011, 5:49 PM
I have an assisted opening Kershaw Blur and actually prefer that mechanism to the switchblades I've had (in Arizona). Include my completely automatic open and automatic close OTF switchblade.

chris12
10-03-2011, 6:11 PM
The knife has to have pressure applied to either the back of the blade where it sticks out, or on the thumb stud. That is very clear in the videos.

"switchblade knife" means a knife ... which can be released automatically by ...flip of the wrist or other mechanical device, or is released by ... any type of mechanism whatsoever.

1) I take back my clearly meets this criteria statement.

For my own learning:
2) How can you tell from the videos that it can't be opened by the flip of the wrist?
3) 'released by any type of mechanism whatsoever' is pretty broad, do you have a reference that it does not include the back of the blade or thumb stud?

dantodd
10-03-2011, 6:25 PM
As others have said it is perfectly legal as described. I wouldn't bother using something of such poor quality though. Also, if you read the reviews others have said the screws are a problem area. screws coming loose or a poorly wearing spring can turn any knife into a gravity knife (opens with just the flick of the wrist)

I'd spend the money on a decent knife, plenty to be had under $50.

Kid Stanislaus
10-03-2011, 8:02 PM
As others have said it is perfectly legal as described. I wouldn't bother using something of such poor quality though.



^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^

targetarcher
10-03-2011, 8:21 PM
They say it comes with a clip... Don't they mean magazine??? :D

Legal, but ugly enough that it shouldn't be.

Ubermcoupe
10-03-2011, 8:21 PM
Looks like an "assisted opening" knife to me, similar to a kershaw I have.

JHermsen
10-03-2011, 8:21 PM
I was under the impression that a folding bladed knife must have a blade length of less than four inches, or it was illegal; I thought it becomes a felony concealed weapon.

wash
10-03-2011, 8:31 PM
California does not have a blade length law for folders.

Some citys, schools and maybe parks have restrictions but California itself does not have any.

gun toting monkeyboy
10-03-2011, 10:07 PM
California does not have a blade length law for folders.

Some citys, schools and maybe parks have restrictions but California itself does not have any.

^This^

There is a lot of FUD out there about knives. Google California Knife Laws. There is a really good write up out there that was done by a Calgunner for another board. He shows up on here fairly often, but I forget his name. And yes, some of the laws are very vague. But on a whole, there is enough case law and letters of intention (IIRC that is what they are called) out there to clarify it some. Short of getting caught by some oddball local law, you can go wandering around in public with a sword on your hip, and folding knives tucked into every pocket. Fixed blade knives will sometimes be more of a problem than swords or folders, but with a little bit of research, you can carry them openly in far more places than you would believe. Know your local laws, and you will be fine.

Markus
10-03-2011, 11:52 PM
knife kind of looks like a cheap pos though.... I highly recommend the sog trident its and awesome knife and makes me wish i never bought my hissatsu...

Munk
10-04-2011, 1:27 AM
The knife's legal due to the exceptions made in the language. I don't even see it being questionable.

knife kind of looks like a cheap pos though.... I highly recommend the sog trident its and awesome knife and makes me wish i never bought my hissatsu...

Yeah. After reading these reviews, i'd rather have a Buck (which I do) or one of the other great knives mentioned by people here.

ocmsrzr
10-04-2011, 8:08 AM
Dude...educate your friend or buy him a decent knife and Gibb slap him. Friends don't let friends carry crappy knives...well not at least without mocking them mercilessly.

SMOKEYMOUNTAIN
10-04-2011, 10:09 AM
Thanks for the input guys. My friend is cheap. All he cares about is the bottom line. Penny wise. Pound foolish.

Glock22Fan
10-04-2011, 10:17 AM
^This^

There is a lot of FUD out there about knives. Google California Knife Laws. There is a really good write up out there that was done by a Calgunner for another board. He shows up on here fairly often, but I forget his name. And yes, some of the laws are very vague. But on a whole, there is enough case law and letters of intention (IIRC that is what they are called) out there to clarify it some. Short of getting caught by some oddball local law, you can go wandering around in public with a sword on your hip, and folding knives tucked into every pocket. Fixed blade knives will sometimes be more of a problem than swords or folders, but with a little bit of research, you can carry them openly in far more places than you would believe. Know your local laws, and you will be fine.

You are probably thinking of Jim March. His knife laws page (http://www.ninehundred.com/~equalccw/knifelaw.html)is here.

Decoligny
10-04-2011, 10:18 AM
I was under the impression that a folding bladed knife must have a blade length of less than four inches, or it was illegal; I thought it becomes a felony concealed weapon.

There are state laws on where you can't carry knives over a certain length, like on school property, etc., but there is no state law restricting the length of a knife carried in the general public.

There are certain localities, like LA (County and City) that restrict the length of any knife carried exposed. In LA it is illegal to carry exposed, any knife three inches in length or over. That means that it is illegal in LA to carry any fixed blade knife that is three inches or longer. You can't carry any fixed blade concealed.

You can in LA however, carry any length closed folder knife so long as it is completely concealed.

Knife laws in CA are a little more complicated that gun laws in the fact that every single city and county can have its own ordinance concerning knives, and you can go from legal to illegal just by crossing a street and entering a different city.

SMOKEYMOUNTAIN
10-04-2011, 1:34 PM
There are state laws on where you can't carry knives over a certain length, like on school property, etc., but there is no state law restricting the length of a knife carried in the general public.

There are certain localities, like LA (County and City) that restrict the length of any knife carried exposed. In LA it is illegal to carry exposed, any knife three inches in length or over. That means that it is illegal in LA to carry any fixed blade knife that is three inches or longer. You can't carry any fixed blade concealed.

You can in LA however, carry any length closed folder knife so long as it is completely concealed.

Knife laws in CA are a little more complicated that gun laws in the fact that every single city and county can have its own ordinance concerning knives, and you can go from legal to illegal just by crossing a street and entering a different city.

Good info. Do you have a link to the LA Municipal Code Section?

gun toting monkeyboy
10-04-2011, 9:48 PM
You are probably thinking of Jim March. His knife laws page (http://www.ninehundred.com/~equalccw/knifelaw.html)is here.

Yes! Thank you. And his page is great. As is the work he has done on the laws at a state level. :D

Librarian
10-04-2011, 10:12 PM
Good info. Do you have a link to the LA Municipal Code Section?

Start here: http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll?f=templates&fn=default.htm&vid=amlegal:lamc_ca

AIMSMALL
10-04-2011, 10:22 PM
It looks like an assisted opener with a flipper and a thumb stud.

That should be perfectly legal.

As long as the blade bias is closed and you press on the actual blade (the flipper) or a thumb stud to open it, it is not considered a switchblade.

Depending where he goes there may be local ordinances but on the state level it looks OK to me.

This is correct, it is NOT a "switchblade" according to CA law. I have several knives like this and in fact you can buy them at walmart :)

SMOKEYMOUNTAIN
10-05-2011, 11:14 AM
Start here: http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll?f=templates&fn=default.htm&vid=amlegal:lamc_ca

Thank you sir!

Los Angeles Municipal Code:

SEC. 55.10. CARRY KNIVES OR DAGGERS IN PLAIN VIEW PROHIBITED.

(Added by Ord. No. 162,995, Eff. 1/7/88.)

(a) As used in this section, the term “knife” or “dagger” shall include any knife, dirk or dagger having a blade 3 inches or more in length, any ice pick or similar sharp tool, any straight edge razor or any razor blade fitted to a handle.

(b) No person shall wear or carry in plain view any knife or dagger upon any public street or other public place or in any place open to the public.

(c) The prohibitions of this section shall not apply where a person is wearing or carrying a knife or dagger for use in a lawful occupation, for lawful recreational purposes, or as a recognized religious practice, or while the person is traveling to or returning from participation in such activity.

pnkssbtz
10-05-2011, 5:03 PM
Be careful, some PD's like Orange County PD will arrest and charge for possession of a switchblade despite the knife being legal. They will ignore the exemptions under PC 653(k).

corrupt
10-05-2011, 5:37 PM
Looks like a very low-quality (hints: price and unnamed steel) California legal knife to me.

PS, you're better off with a Kershaw tremor for $30 if you want a cheap knife with better imported steel.

Rhythm of Life
10-05-2011, 5:43 PM
Be careful, some PD's like Orange County PD will arrest and charge for possession of a switchblade despite the knife being legal. They will ignore the exemptions under PC 653(k).

Then how come Big 5's in the area sell CRKT knives that use the same operation?