View Full Version : Please help me cut through my knife law confusion...

12-08-2013, 5:28 AM
Hi all. Before I get slammed for not searching, etc, I assure you I have. I searched both this site and generally via Google search. I read the knife law sticky and I am still perplexed. Yikes, I thought gun laws were confusing! I have a few questions about legality of my potential EDC. Pease help! I understand that each municipality has their own rules, I have read through Oakland's. My questions are below and pertain to folding blades, concealed carry. And yes, I do need some spoon feeding, I can be dense. Thanks in advance for your help.

My current knives (If these don't fly I will be looking for another):



Does a "blade capable of locking" mean that any mechanism that locks the blade open, i.e. "Auto-Lawks" mechanism, make the knife illegal?

Am I limited to blades 3" or less or Under 3", or other length?

I read in another thread (see below) that an "illegal knife is a felony". Great. Lose my gun rights over a knife. Is that correct?

I suppose I need info like this: A knife of X size can be carried in X manner, i.e. concealed in a pocket, clipped onto top of pocket (is there a difference here? I read in another thread that if you can see it at all it is not concealed), in a sheath in pocket, etc.


12-08-2013, 1:55 PM
In California, state law allows concealed or open carry of a folded folder, any length. It also prohibits concealed carry of a fixed blade knife, any blade length.

There are special rules for schools.

There are 58 counties and about 400 cities; that makes it effectively impossible to completely cover all the local jurisdictions.

02-15-2014, 6:24 AM
So, in essence, if I'm reading the P.C. right, that I may walk down the street with a tanto strapped to my belt and NOT be hassled????

02-15-2014, 8:47 AM
As long as that sheath knife on your belt is not covered by a jacket or long shirt. For the most part, if you don't cause trouble you get left alone.

02-25-2014, 10:33 PM
Just buy a knife you like, and worry about legalities when the time comes.

Wee Gussie
04-03-2014, 8:46 PM
Librarian's Knife Stickie is the best place to start, then use the site below.
The City of Oakland does have a length restriction.

City of Oakland Municiple Code
Codified through Ordinance No. 13200 passed November 19, 2013.
(Supp. No. 62)


Specific Code of Ordinance:
Oakland, California, Code of Ordinances >>
Chapter 9.36 - WEAPONS >>
Article I. Dangerous Weapons

9.36.010 Dangerous weapon defined.

As used in this article, "dangerous weapon" means and includes, but is not limited to:

A. Any knife having a blade three inches or more in length, or any snap-blade or spring-blade knife regardless of the length of the blade;

and then:

9.36.020 Carrying dangerous weapon.

It is unlawful for any person to carry upon his or her person or to have in his or her possession or under his or her control any dangerous weapon; provided that it shall be a defense to any prosecution for a violation of this section if, at the time of the alleged violation, the instrument or device alleged to be a dangerous weapon was in good faith carried upon the person of the accused or was in good faith in his or her possession or control for use in his or her lawful occupation or employment or for the purpose of lawful recreation; and provided, further, that the provisions of this section shall not apply to the commission of any act which is made a public offense by any law of this state.

I do have more to add, but I need to get up early for the salt mines. I'll post more tomorrow.

Short advice: Carry within the law if it will be EDC. Any advice to contrary is either a poor attempt at humour, a poor attempt at advice or both. If you look like, well ... a Librarian, you probably won't get hassled. Resemble Kurt Cobain or Jay-Z, or some street "thug", biker, etc, it would be used as additional charges when they roust you. When I travel to Oakland, I don't carry anything larger than my Leek. Cheers.

Wee Gussie
04-08-2014, 2:00 AM
I apologise, I've been unwell the last few days and was not able to post before now.

The two knives that you own are perfectly legal for carry anywhere, but where you currently live, because Oakland has a 3" limit in length. Legally, you can't EDC them. To meself, it's a Jim Crow law to keep the coloureds from having any attempt at arming themselves. But I suppose that's my own opinion.

Me? I have personally, never carried a knife for self-defence and I have been carrying for forty-two years now, both here and abroad. The few times I needed a weapon, it would have been bringing a knife to a gun fight. (Chicago '83 & Oakland '88) Otherwise, fisticuffs were fine and I'm missing some teeth, but that's what dentists are for. Anyhow ...

Your "auto-lawks" mech is perfectly legal within the state regs as you can regulate how severe the mechanism can hold your blade ... some background can be found here under Bill SB 274 authored by California State Senator Betty Karnette.

An illegal knife is not a felony, unless there are extenuating circumstances or you are carrying a "said" knife that is considered a felony under California state law.

Again, I would caution you against carrying anything outside of the law. As stated in Librarians stickie, it will be additional charge to anything that LEO can find on you. I do not give advice should you choose to flout the law. IMHO, knives should be carried surreptitiously and used judiciously.

And my Leek has the tip ground, so it is not a 3" blade and perfectly legal under Oakland regs.

04-08-2014, 1:02 PM
Here are the Oakland laws


They are stricter than any code I have looked at before. Los Angeles has a 3" rule, but only if in plain view, concealed is fine. SF connects it with loitering.

I like my SOG mini-auto-clip for a short blade