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California 2nd Amend. Political Discussion & Activism Discuss gun rights activism and 2A related political topics here. All advice given is NOT legal counsel.

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  #1  
Old 04-08-2009, 2:02 PM
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Default Knife flowchart?

I got to thinking the other day about CA knife laws and how they vary from place to place, and then it occurred to me that a flowchart might be useful for them too. While this is calGUNS, not CalKNIVES, it is arguably somewhat on-topic because (1) many people carry a folder because they can't legally carry a gun, (2) the 2A is about "arms," not "firearms," and (3) Calguns already has expertise in dissecting these sorts of laws and summarizing them in easy-to-read flowcharts (even if I don't). Lots of gun owners like knives anyway, at least if gun shows are any indication.

I was thinking of trying to include at least some local laws in the major urban areas such as LA, because as far as I know there is no preemption for knives and thus your ability to carry knives varies far more than it does for guns.

Any interest?

7x57
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Old 04-08-2009, 2:25 PM
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I'd be interested. I don't carry a knife for self defense or because I can't carry a gun, I carry a knife because I find it a useful tool for work and other misc. day to day tasks.

I'd like to avoid any LEO hassles.

We can start with PC section 626.10

Quote:
(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,
any instrument that expels a metallic projectile such as a BB or a
pellet, through the force of air pressure, CO 2 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.
(b) 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, or
knife having a fixed blade longer than 21/2 inches upon the grounds
of, or within, any private university, the University of California,
the California State University, or the California Community Colleges
is guilty of a public offense, punishable by imprisonment in a
county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment in the state
prison.
(c) Subdivisions (a) and (b) do not apply to any person who brings
or possesses a knife having a blade longer than 21/2 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.
(d) Subdivisions (a) and (b) do not apply to any person who brings
or possesses an ice pick, a knife having a blade longer than 21/2
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 for a lawful
purpose within the scope of the person's employment.
(e) Subdivision (b) does not apply to any person who brings or
possesses an ice pick or a knife having a fixed blade longer than
21/2 inches upon the grounds of, or within, any private university,
state university, or community college for lawful use in or around a
residence or residential facility located upon those grounds or for
lawful use in food preparation or consumption.
(f) Subdivision (a) does not apply to any person who brings an
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, a
public or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or any
of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, if the person has the written
permission of the school principal or his or her designee.
(g) Any certificated or classified employee or school peace
officer of a public or private school providing instruction in
kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, may seize any of
the weapons described in subdivision (a), and any certificated or
classified employee or school peace officer of any private
university, state university, or community college may seize any of
the weapons described in subdivision (b), from the possession of any
person upon the grounds of, or within, the school if he or she knows,
or has reasonable cause to know, the person is prohibited from
bringing or possessing the weapon upon the grounds of, or within, the
school.
(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.
(i) Any person who, without the written permission of the college
or university president or chancellor or his or her designee, brings
or possesses a less lethal weapon, as defined in Section 12601, or a
stun gun, as defined in Section 12650, upon the grounds of or within,
a public or private college or university campus is guilty of a
misdemeanor.
  #3  
Old 04-08-2009, 2:27 PM
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That'd be more like a scatter-chart, wouldn't it?

State is not too complicated - no concealed dirks-or-daggers, folded folders are NOT dirks-or-daggers.

Switchblades LT 2" blade.

K-12 length limit (PC) different from UC (CCR) different from CSUS and community colleges.

But then major jurisdictions? Too messy - consider, for example Concord/Walnut Creek/Pleasant Hill. It's trivial to cross from one city boundary into another city and back again while travelling in a straight line on the same road.

Best advice? Don't make officials notice you. Go about your business, do what must be done, move along.
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Old 04-08-2009, 2:58 PM
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7x57, here's something to quench the thirst for a good flowchart.

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Old 04-08-2009, 3:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildhawker View Post
7x57, here's something to quench the thirst for a good flowchart.

wow i read the whole thing is should be reading communist manefesto fo PHI 101.
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Old 04-08-2009, 5:05 PM
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=== UPDATED 4/19/13 with info on 'carry on your person ===

So, here are the State level knife laws.

As noted, there is no state pre-emption here - local jurisdictions are free to create their own regs. But further note that cities and counties can create only infractions and misdemeanors. (Government Code 25132(a), 36900).

CONCEALED FIXED BLADE KNIVES on your person, any length, are ALWAYS ILLEGAL, as ‘dirks or daggers’ – Penal Code 21310 (was 12020(a)(4)).
Quote:
Except as provided in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section
17700) of Division 2 of Title 2, any person in this state who carries
concealed upon the person any dirk or dagger is punishable by
imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or in the state
prison.
In a bag or briefcase that you carry is 'on your person'.See the CA Court of appeals case Pellecer 4/17/2013 where the court says 'no' to that.

In your car is NOT 'on your person'. Concealed in your car is not 'concealed on your person'.

On-duty LEO seem to be exempt from this:
Quote:
12020(b)(12) The sale to, possession of, or purchase of any weapon, device, or ammunition, other than a short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun, by any federal, state, county, city and county, or city agency that is charged with the enforcement of any law for use in the discharge of their official duties,

or the possession of any weapon, device, or ammunition, other than a short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun, by peace officers thereof when on duty and the use is authorized by the agency and is within the course and scope of their duties.
UN-CONCEALED FIXED BLADE KNIVES may be legal, depending on where you are.

A NON-LOCKING FOLDING KNIFE, or a closed FOLDING KNIFE, any length, is not a ‘dirk or dagger’ – PC 16470 (was 12020(c)(24))
Quote:
As used in this part, "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 21510, 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.
SWITCH BLADE KNIVES, blade length greater than 2 inches, are ILLEGAL TO CARRY – Penal Code 21510 (was 653k):
Quote:
Every person who does any of the following with a
switchblade knife having a blade two or more inches in length is
guilty of a misdemeanor:
(a) Possesses the knife in the passenger's or driver's area of any
motor vehicle in any public place or place open to the public.
(b) Carries the knife upon the person.
(c) Sells, offers for sale, exposes for sale, loans, transfers, or
gives the knife to any other person.
PC 17235
Quote:
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.
In public (government) buildings or at public meetings, fixed or folder with 4"+ blade is a wobbler:
Quote:
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 ... 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:
...
(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.
On K-12 school grounds, it is illegal to bring most knives: PC 626.10
Quote:
(a) Any person, … 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,

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.
NON-LOCKING FOLDERS with a blade 2 ˝ inches or smaller are not illegal.

Colleges and universities restrict fixed-blades, but not folders, and impose no length limit on folders PC 626.10:
Quote:
(b) Any person, … who brings or possesses any dirk, dagger, ice pick, or

knife having a fixed blade longer than 2 1/2 inches

upon the grounds of, or within,
any private university, the University of California, the California State University, or the California Community Colleges

is guilty of a public offense, punishable by imprisonment in a
county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment in the state
prison.
EXCEPT University of California, which is now like K-12 for non-students/employees – 5 CCR § 100015
Quote:
[[5 CCR § 100000]] Violation of regulations promulgated under section 92440.5 is punishable as a misdemeanor. Pursuant to section 92440.5, these regulations do not apply to the conduct of students, officers, or employees of the University; their conduct is governed by other University regulations.

[[Misdemeanor to carry or possess]]
B. Any knife having a blade two and one-half inches or more in length.
C. Any folding knife with a blade that locks into place.
EXCEPTIONS from PC 626.10
Quote:
(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.

(d) Subdivisions (a) and (b) do not apply to any person who brings
or possesses an ice pick, a knife having a blade longer than 21/2
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

for a lawful purpose within the scope of the person's employment.

(e) Subdivision (b) does not apply to any person who brings or
possesses an ice pick or a knife having a fixed blade longer than
21/2 inches upon the grounds of, or within, any private university,
state university, or community college

for lawful use in or around a residence or residential facility located upon those grounds or

for lawful use in food preparation or consumption.
I'll leave out the prohibition of dirks/daggers from those in prison ...

==============================================

new member wrdavis, in this thread adds a link to http://handgunlaw.us/documents/USKnife.pdf.

Some nice person has produced a list, with links to the municipal or county codes, of the local knife restrictions he/she could find.

For example, Marin County actually does prohibit some blades concealed in vehicles:
Quote:
6.52.010 - Carrying prohibited—Penalty—Exceptions.

Every person who within the unincorporated territory of the county of Marin carries concealed upon his person, or concealed within any vehicle which is under his control or direction, any knife with a blade three inches or more in length; and snap-blade knife, regardless of the length of the blade; any springblade knife, regardless of the length of the blade; any ice pick or similar sharp stabbing tool; any straight-edge razor; any razor blade fitted to a handle; or any cutting, stabbing or bludgeoning weapon or device capable of inflicting grievous bodily harm, is guilty of a misdemeanor ...
and they make no distinctions between fixed or folder. Open carry evidently is OK.

City of Oakland has a three-inch limit at Code of Ordinances 9.36.010.

=== Social Engineering and Enforcement ===

The bulk of anecdotes suggests that enforcement is more like 'arrest for something, find something to charge, oh, look, a knife!'.

We don't regularly hear about hikers arrested for "dirk or dagger", nor picnickers, nor cooking school students with a roll of chef's knives.

ETA 8/28/12 In fact, People v Mitchell, COURT OF APPEAL, FOURTH APPELLATE DISTRICT DIVISION ONE (Super. Ct. No. SCD229968) 2012 says
Quote:
In addition to incorporating a knowledge element, the California Supreme Court has generally recognized that when a defendant is charged with an offense that penalizes possession of an instrument that is ordinarily usable for peaceful purposes, the defendant may justify the possession by showing the possession was "in accordance with [the instrument's] ordinary legitimate design." (People v. Grubb (1965) 63 Cal.2d 614, 621, fn. 9; see Rubalcava, supra, 23 Cal.4th at p. 329 ["the surrounding circumstances of possession—including defendant's intended use—were relevant to the issue of whether the [object] was a prohibited weapon"].) Consistent with this principle, the standard CALCRIM instruction for the offense of carrying a concealed dirk or dagger directs that when the instrument may have innocent uses, the jury should be given an instruction stating: "When deciding whether the defendant knew the object . . . could be used as a
stabbing weapon, consider all the surrounding circumstances, including the time and place of possession. Consider also the destination of the defendant, the alteration of the object from standard form, and other facts, if any." (CALCRIM No. 2501, parentheses and bracketed punctuation omitted; see also CALJIC 12.41 [the "mental state with which a knife or other instrument is carried may be inferred from the evidence, including the attendant circumstances, the time, place, destination of the possessor . . . and any other relevant facts established by the evidence"].)

...

In Rubalcava, supra, 23 Cal.4th at page 333, the California Supreme Court acknowledged that the statute "may seem overbroad as a matter of common sense" if it was applied to such innocuous circumstances as a tailor who places a pair of scissors in his jacket, a shopper who walks out of a store with a recently purchased steak knife in his pocket, or a parent who wraps a sharp knife in a paper towel and places it in his coat to take to a PTA potluck dinner. (Id. at pp. 331, 333.) However, the court concluded that it would not find the statute "unconstitutionally overbroad without some concrete impairment of constitutionally protected conduct." (Id. at p. 333.)
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Last edited by Librarian; 04-19-2013 at 6:34 PM.. Reason: update PC references
  #7  
Old 04-08-2009, 5:29 PM
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And a moderately amusing post-script.

It's a 'public offense' to bring a knife with a blade GT 2 1/2 inches long onto a K-12 campus.

But
Quote:
Education Code
48915. (a) Except as provided in subdivisions (c) and (e), the
principal or the superintendent of schools shall recommend the
expulsion of a pupil for any of the following acts committed at
school or at a school activity off school grounds, unless the
principal or superintendent finds that expulsion is inappropriate,
due to the particular circumstance:
(1) Causing serious physical injury to another person, except in
self-defense.
(2) Possession of any knife or other dangerous object of no
reasonable use to the pupil.

(c) The principal or superintendent of schools shall immediately
suspend, pursuant to Section 48911, and shall recommend expulsion of
a pupil that he or she determines has committed any of the following
acts at school or at a school activity off school grounds:
(1) Possessing, selling, or otherwise furnishing a firearm. This
subdivision does not apply to an act of possessing a firearm if the
pupil had obtained prior written permission to possess the firearm
from a certificated school employee, which is concurred in by the
principal or the designee of the principal. This subdivision applies
to an act of possessing a firearm only if the possession is verified
by an employee of a school district.
(2) Brandishing a knife at another person.

...

(g) As used in this section, "knife" means any dirk, dagger, or
other weapon with a fixed, sharpened blade fitted primarily for
stabbing, a weapon with a blade fitted primarily for stabbing, a
weapon with a blade longer than 3 1/2 inches, a folding knife with a
blade that locks into place, or a razor with an unguarded blade.
... the principal doesn't have to suspend or expell a kid unless the knife is GT 3 1/2 inches long.
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Last edited by Librarian; 04-08-2009 at 5:34 PM..
  #8  
Old 04-15-2009, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
So, here are the State level knife laws. Just a consolidation and a re-arranging of things already posted, this thread and others. Emphasis added with spacing and underlining.
What with the new baby and all, I didn't follow up on this. Good show.

That sounds like a hunting knife in the bag you carry your hunting rig in is a concealed dagger. I think I do need the flow chart....

No preemption sucks.

7x57
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Originally Posted by bulgron View Post
I know every chance I get I'm going to accuse 7x57 of being a shill for LCAV. Because I can.
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:36 PM
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Obeygiant kindly offered to draw up a flowchart, but I'm kind of skeptical that that would work.

I wrote --

Perhaps I fail in imagination, but I can't see the knife stuff fitting that model. It's too simple on the one hand, and impossibly complex on the other, because we cannot know the little twitches put on it by every little local jurisdiction.

It's waaay easier to provide an approximate algorithm:
1) don't ever carry a switchblade
2) don't ever carry a fixed blade concealed
3) don't ever try to carry any knife into a courthouse, a jail or an airport sterile area
4) on school property, carry only a pen-knife
5) everywhere else, any folded folder should be fine, if the carrier is smart enough to blend in.

The exceptions simply are not interesting enough to worry about, IMHO.

So,
Quote:
That sounds like a hunting knife in the bag you carry your hunting rig in is a concealed dagger.
could be right, but if you're just off hiking or hunting, (a) who would give you a hard time and (b) in many cases, wouldn't you wear it on your belt?

Now, if you were arrested for something, that'd be different; I suspect DDAs make a game out of 'how many charges can we add?' and the concealed dirk would be an excellent candidate. That's why I quit carrying a fixed-blade in my commute bag.

In the ordinary course of events (whatever those are), I expect that LEO just won't much care about a knife unless one's behavior is such that they need to pay attention to you.

I could be wrong in the generalization, but it fits my personal experience, and matches what I've been told by the very few LEO I have known socially over the years.
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Old 07-12-2009, 8:57 PM
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Uh oh...

So that fixed blade knife in the sheath mounted on my jeep roll bar is illegal?

Bummer!
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Old 07-12-2009, 9:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodsman View Post
Uh oh...

So that fixed blade knife in the sheath mounted on my jeep roll bar is illegal?

Bummer!
What makes you think that?

Unless you take it someplace where it may be prohibited, a fixed blade is illegal only if (a) it is on your person or carried in some thing you are carrying, such as a backpack and (b) it's concealed.

You have that rollbar installed across both your scapulae and wear a shirt over it?
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Old 07-12-2009, 9:40 PM
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Sorry, I stand corrected.

So the SOG I carry in my hiking back pack is illegal and the kbar on my roll bar is legal?

LIke wise as long as it's in my back pack and I am not carrying my back pack then I am legal?

These laws must follow tax law logic.
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Old 07-12-2009, 9:41 PM
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BTW - I want an evil space gun as well!!!
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"The Right Of The People To
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Old 07-12-2009, 9:52 PM
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So the SOG I carry in my hiking back pack is illegal
Carrying it that way could be. If you're hiking, very unlikely to be an issue; if you're riding BART, might be different.

And you'd have to somehow be noticed by a LEO who happened to have time to be thoughtful about it.
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LIke wise as long as it's in my back pack and I am not carrying my back pack then I am legal?
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Old 07-12-2009, 9:55 PM
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Thanks for the replies!!
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:04 PM
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Great topic. How much of a fixed blade knife has to be exposed? Would the bottom point of the sheath hanging below your shirt work? If you wear a "necklace knife" would the exposed necklace part on your neck be enough?
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Blue View Post
Great topic. How much of a fixed blade knife has to be exposed? Would the bottom point of the sheath hanging below your shirt work? If you wear a "necklace knife" would the exposed necklace part on your neck be enough?
How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

I don't think that level of detail has been established, and actually I don't think I want it to be.

It seems just a whole bunch simpler to do things with no ambiguity at all. Allowing any interpretation means there will be 37 million interpretations in California alone. They'd probably concentrate on a few variations, fewer than ten perhaps, but without guidance any of the interpretations is just as good as any other.

We probably can confidently extend the 'a handgun in a holster worn openly on the belt is not concealed' to include knives, and that being in a sheath is not 'concealed'. If it's much different from this:
then it's not obvious enough - I don't care to leave that up to the whims of someone else.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:59 PM
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How do you get home legally with the new kitchen knife set concealed in your shopping bags from a Gottschalks sale?

Last edited by porkchop; 07-13-2009 at 12:05 AM..
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Old 07-13-2009, 1:16 AM
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Always wondered about that aspect of the law. Carrying your new knives from a store in a bag would be a crime? really?
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Old 07-13-2009, 1:28 AM
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About 8 years ago I was pulled over and forgot I had a kitchen knife in my center console. While I was taking out my insurance card and registration I pulled the knife out and the officer asked me why I was carrying the knife in the car. I told him that I was using it to cut wires for my stereo and must have forgot to put it back which was the truth. I asked if he wanted it he said no put it back but it would be wise not to carry the knife in my car I told him I was just using it to cut wires and when I get home I will put it away. Then he just looked at my DL and said have a good night.
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Old 07-13-2009, 1:30 AM
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LOL so apparently I shouldn't have brought my knife with me when I stayed at my friend's dorm at UCSC?? Whoops.

I guess when new students move in to the dorms, and have their kitchen utensils in bags, they can't bring knives? I wonder if butter knives count as "dirks or daggers".
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Old 07-13-2009, 1:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian View Post

We probably can confidently extend the 'a handgun in a holster worn openly on the belt is not concealed' to include knives, and that being in a sheath is not 'concealed'. .
We can confidently say that per 12020(d), "Knives carried in sheaths which are worn openly suspended from the waist of the wearer are not concealed within the meaning of this section."

And to take it further, Jim March had the following to say on his CA Knife Law page

Quote:
Part 25(d) applies to "dirks or daggers" that must be open carried. It is VERY confusing in that it is an example of legal open carry, but not the only possible "recipe".

I know of one case in which a guy was at a public event in costume, and was legally open carrying a bunch of cutlery as part of the costume. Without going into details, let me say that the circumstances were appropriate and nobody was threatened in any way. He had a legally-open-carry sword, another belt knife, a belt pouch, and due to the type of jacket worn he ran out of open-carry belt "real estate". So he specially mounted his last double-edge dagger on his ankle, completely visible (not shoved down the boot or up under the pants cuff). For this, he was charged with felony concealed carry of a dirk or dagger.

The DA tried to paint 25(d) as a "waist area requirement" - but as I pointed out to his public defender, it's an example of what's legal but not a strict requirement. As a result, this guy was fully acquitted at a jury trial and has no criminal record to this day.
So, stray from the norm and you may still be legal, but you may have to defend it in front of a judge/jury.
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Old 07-13-2009, 4:59 PM
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Does anyone here see the irony in the knife laws?

No dirks or daggers. Consider you are atacked and stabbed or hit with a bat or just tackled really hard, are injured and can fight back but not at 100%. Having access to a dirk or dagger would make it that much easier to defend yourself esp if your strong hand/arm was broken or seriously injured.

I know that a quality folder is easy to open but a dirk or dagger is better in that situation. How many of you have ever been mugged or cold cocked? It's not nearly the same as an argument that turns into a fight and possibly could impair you from getting that folder open with all hell breaking loose and all.

Just another law that gives the edge to the criminals. Who writes these laws, the few criminals who had their #@$ handed to them during an attack where the mark was armed?

What is the so called "reasoning" for the no dirk or dagger or fixed blade law?
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Old 07-13-2009, 5:29 PM
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Should we also open up a Knife Discussion Forum and Gallery? I'm not opposed to that. We'll see if it's more lively than the shotgun forum.
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Old 07-13-2009, 6:00 PM
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I have a pretty good page on Cali knife law:

http://www.ninehundred.com/~equalccw/knifelaw.html

Among other things it's the only source of Sen. Karnette's letter of legislative intent regarding switchblade law.

I also have a one-page flyer I did for a public defender in Placer County recently - see attached. It shows how to identify a "bias towards closure" or "detent" in a given knife; using an earlier draft of this, he sent an investigator over to the sheriff's evidence room and found that the knife carried by a farmworker DID have a detent despite being a cheapo...in other words, this was a completely improper arrest and felony charge.

One of a number of similar charges filed in Placer County recently, all against legal Latino farmworkers.

Attached Files
File Type: pdf detent or bias towards closure.pdf (141.3 KB, 25 views)
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Old 07-13-2009, 6:28 PM
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What is the so called "reasoning" for the no dirk or dagger or fixed blade law?
If you read the law there is nothing illegal about open carrying a fix blade knives(there might be local limits on length of the blade like LA city). I have done it but i am not sure its idea to open carry a large Rambo knife(for me that is more of a hiking carry TOOL) in the mall but i have open carried a smaller black knives in the mall with no problems...
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The same way they enforce all the rest of the BS laws. Only criminals are exempt, while the honest obey.
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Old 07-13-2009, 6:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
As noted, there is no state pre-emption here - local jurisdictions are free to create their own regs. But further note that cities and counties can create only infractions and misdemeanors. (Government Code 25132(a), 36900).
Since the NRA defends our 2nd A RKBA, and knives clearly fall under the original meaning of "arms," might the NRA/CalNRA be willing to fight for state preemption of local knife laws?

Might Heller-Nordyke get us knife law preemption or its equivalent?

If not, do "the right people" have any idea how much resistance there would be to getting it via Sacto?
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Old 07-13-2009, 9:33 PM
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Originally Posted by tombinghamthegreat View Post
If you read the law there is nothing illegal about open carrying a fix blade knives(there might be local limits on length of the blade like LA city). I have done it but i am not sure its idea to open carry a large Rambo knife(for me that is more of a hiking carry TOOL) in the mall but i have open carried a smaller black knives in the mall with no problems...
I did read that and you said exactly what I was thinking. I would like to be able to conceal a dirk or dagger. The same reason many prefer CCW to LOC if both are available.
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Old 07-14-2009, 8:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paladin View Post
Since the NRA defends our 2nd A RKBA, and knives clearly fall under the original meaning of "arms," might the NRA/CalNRA be willing to fight for state preemption of local knife laws?

Might Heller-Nordyke get us knife law preemption or its equivalent?
So far as I can tell, there is an enormous advantage in staying within judges' comfort zones right now, and that means the culturally understood personal arms. Even anti-gun judges seem to at least recognize that a handgun is a common, sensible choice for self-defense. Probably the same is true of shotguns with wood furniture. Blades--not so much, in spite of how extremely common they really are. The original motivation for knife control seems to have been to disarm poor blacks who couldn't afford an expensive gun, the same as the "Saturday Night Special" laws. So blades seem to have more of a squirm factor and perhaps trigger some deep class prejudices.

But at some future time, I certainly hope we are in court litigating the full meaning of "arms." Winning on firearms probably helps, as shall-issue and OC make restrictions on knives rather pointless even to many non-2A people.

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Old 07-14-2009, 1:17 PM
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Lots of traps here for sport fencers.

Recent fencing competition at UCSD, held by a private org - "sponsored by the school"?? Not obviously so....

Fencers carry their gear concealed in bags...concealed dirk/dagger...

Stupid @$$ legislators....
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Old 07-14-2009, 1:42 PM
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Originally Posted by GuyW View Post
Lots of traps here for sport fencers.

Recent fencing competition at UCSD, held by a private org - "sponsored by the school"?? Not obviously so....

Fencers carry their gear concealed in bags...concealed dirk/dagger...

Stupid @$$ legislators....
.
Can"t argue with the last sentiment, but there are no points or edges on fencing weapons. (Until one breaks.)

'course, I was lamenting the dearth of common sense in a post just above. I think I just saw something about TSA not wanting fencing gear in airplane cabins, but I think TSA is trying to be idiotic by policy.
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Old 07-14-2009, 2:19 PM
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Can"t argue with the last sentiment, but there are no points or edges on fencing weapons. (Until one breaks.)

'course, I was lamenting the dearth of common sense in a post just above. I think I just saw something about TSA not wanting fencing gear in airplane cabins, but I think TSA is trying to be idiotic by policy.
Somewhere I read recently about a public high school school play that involved sword play sans protective gear....one moron managed to poke the other thru the eye, all the way to the back of the skull (with epee)...

...sounds like causing serious personal injury to me...

BTW - why is the use of protective gear mandated? 'cause its freakin' dangerous....

...in any case, any of the fencing swords are pointy enuff to invoke the criminally-vague definition of dirk/dagger...

Last edited by GuyW; 07-14-2009 at 2:27 PM..
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Old 07-14-2009, 5:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue View Post
Great topic. How much of a fixed blade knife has to be exposed? Would the bottom point of the sheath hanging below your shirt work? If you wear a "necklace knife" would the exposed necklace part on your neck be enough?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

I don't think that level of detail has been established, and actually I don't think I want it to be.
That level of detail is established in the PC. Read Jim March's page, and it explains it.
If I may quote Mr. March:
Quote:
25(d) Knives carried in sheaths which are worn openly suspended from the waist of the wearer are not concealed within the meaning of this section...
Part 25(d) applies to "dirks or daggers" that must be open carried. It is VERY confusing in that it is an example of legal open carry, but not the only possible "recipe".
Where "Openly suspended" means hanging from your waist not covered by clothing.

So Blue, just having the end of the sheath poking out would be considered carrying it concealed. For it to be open, you need the entire sheath and handle of the knife out in the open without your shirt hanging over either. And carrying a neck knife under your shirt (unless it's a folder) would be considered a felony "concealed dirk or dagger" violation.

Last edited by Turo; 07-14-2009 at 5:50 PM..
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Old 07-14-2009, 7:23 PM
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As my main page explains, the "openly suspended from the waist" language is a "serving suggestion" rather than a mandate.

I know of a case where a guy was charged with concealed carry for having a dagger openly strapped to his ankle after he ran out of "belt real estate" at a costume wedding. He got off after I briefed his public defender on the "suspended from the waist" language being an example rather than a mandate. Contra Costa courts system, Richmond branch, roughly 1998, People v. Terrence Terry if you need to look it up. Copies of the wedding photos complete with sword arch should be in there and yeah, I'm in 'em .

Fun fact: this law used to read "suspended from the belt" until somebody realized some folks don't wear belts.

The change MAY be connected to Sikh Kirpans, which are typically 4" daggers worn suspended from a sort of cord.
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:55 PM
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never had a problem with knives. never had any desire to conceal my fixed blades. i actually enjoy wearing them openly. especially the big bowies and the gerber mkI. daily carry is a decent size rigid usa folder. in a belt sheath, it's way too heavy for pocket carry.
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turo View Post
That level of detail is established in the PC. Read Jim March's page, and it explains it.
If I may quote Mr. March:


Where "Openly suspended" means hanging from your waist not covered by clothing.

So Blue, just having the end of the sheath poking out would be considered carrying it concealed. For it to be open, you need the entire sheath and handle of the knife out in the open without your shirt hanging over either. And carrying a neck knife under your shirt (unless it's a folder) would be considered a felony "concealed dirk or dagger" violation.
Elsewhere, someone posted the BAJI instructions related to amount of concealment allowed for an OC handgun on the belt. IIRC, it said concealed = "substantial" coverage....

.
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by 1JimMarch View Post
Fun fact: this law used to read "suspended from the belt" until somebody realized some folks don't wear belts.
Bad english - a holster can certainly be suspended from a belt....suspending one from the waist could be painful....

.
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:57 PM
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Can"t argue with the last sentiment, but there are no points or edges on fencing weapons. (Until one breaks.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyW View Post
Somewhere I read recently about a public high school school play that involved sword play sans protective gear....one moron managed to poke the other thru the eye, all the way to the back of the skull (with epee)...
What I remember from talking to classical fencers:

While the point that any of the 3 modern "weapons" may be covered by this vague law (if a screwdriver can be a dagger, how can there be doubt that the law may also cover the fencing weapons?) and certainly are dangerous enough without the tip protector, speaking of them all as being roughly equivalent is incorrect. The sport sabre and the foil are designed as practice weapons. The sabre, while allowing scoring with the (theoretical) edge, is a whippy piece of wire having almost nothing to do in construction or technique to a real saber, which had the mass and cleaving edge to easily separate you from just about any of your body parts when handled correctly. The fencing sabre would make a vicious whip, and without the tip could poke your eye out in the same way a piece of wire could, but it is not designed to be a real weapon.

The foil is also a whippy piece of wire, but designed and scored to train for light thrusting weapons so there are no edge hits and there are rigid scoring rules to enforce the habits to be trained (such as right-of-way, which crudely speaking prevents you from scoring if you do not defend yourself before counterattacking). Again it could hurt you very badly if mishandled, but that is not it's design purpose.

The epee is a very different animal. The blade, while still very slender, is much heavier and has a cross-section designed to give great rigidity compared to its weight. That makes little sense from a safety point of view, but it was not designed as a safe toy; take the tip off and you have essentially the European dueling sword, the successor of the smallsword. Essentially, it really *is* a weapon, just with a rebated tip. It was designed to have the rigidity to pierce all the way through the human body, and certainly can do so.

The epee replaced the smallsword roughly in the time frame of our Revolution, so I would have to do some checking to see precisely what they would have carried on the field of honor.

7x57
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  #39  
Old 07-21-2009, 4:10 AM
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Originally Posted by 1JimMarch View Post
I have a pretty good page on Cali knife law:

http://www.ninehundred.com/~equalccw/knifelaw.html

Among other things it's the only source of Sen. Karnette's letter of legislative intent regarding switchblade law.

I also have a one-page flyer I did for a public defender in Placer County recently - see attached. It shows how to identify a "bias towards closure" or "detent" in a given knife; using an earlier draft of this, he sent an investigator over to the sheriff's evidence room and found that the knife carried by a farmworker DID have a detent despite being a cheapo...in other words, this was a completely improper arrest and felony charge.

One of a number of similar charges filed in Placer County recently, all against legal Latino farmworkers.

You should update your email on your website pages
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Old 07-21-2009, 6:21 AM
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I'm sorry, and I'm not trying to hijack this thread but I have a question which has no obvious answer to me.

Why are LEO's exempt from so many laws?

I can see exempting them from laws that prohibit or restrict their capabilities or resources while they work. I just don't see how them being exempt from the knife law makes their job easier. A 2 1/2 inch knife will cut a seatbelt as easily as a 6" blade.
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