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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Knife Laws



Here's a useful little site about the knife laws in the United States. There's a state by state breakdown.

Growing up in New Hampshire I was unaware that there laws against knives. After all, with our unrestrictive laws about guns, why bother with a knife as a weapon?

I always thought of knives as really useful tools. You aren't properly dressed unless you have some sort of pocket knife on you. These days I carry multi-tools or if doing a lot of rope work, a rigger's knife with a marlin spike on the back. A machete is a great tool for camping. I think I've four or five of those things around the house. Of course, I've a whole collection of hunting knives suitable for processing game.

A few years back I met a guy from England who was on a dive trip to the Florida Keys. He was all kinds of excited about his diving knife and had to show it to me. It looked useful: sharp, good quality stainless steel, maybe a bit bigger than necessary but to each his own. Apparently it was totally illegal in a number of ways back in England. That's why he was so excited about being able to carry one in the US.

So it might be worth checking out the laws where you are or plan to travel to. Especially if you grew up like I did and didn't even realize there were laws.

-Sixbears

17 comments:

  1. Every boy and half the girls carried knives at school when I was a kid, not because we were "rough,' but because it was just something that country kids did. Can you imagine that today?

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    1. Times have changed, and not for the better.

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  2. Clean hankie? Check
    Cell phone? Check
    Pocket knife? Check
    Never leave home without 'em.

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  3. Can't imagine not having at least a pocket knife with me. I would feel nacked without one!

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    1. Humans are tool using animals and what's more useful than a knife?

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  4. always some law to make some honest person a criminal...

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  5. Anything with a fixed blade can get you arrested and acquire a criminal record in the UK. Even if the blade is 1/2" long, and if you haven't got a legitimate reason to carry, let's say you are working and the knife is for that purpose. The exception are folding, non-lockable pocket knives with a cutting edge of less that 3", ie, a friction folder for example, Swiss army knife etc. Mind you if the copper decide to be arsy or got up the wrong side of the bed, he could give you a lot of grief. Except I know the relevant bit of british law probably better than the majority of them do! So I often carry a friction folder with a just a smidgen under 3" cutting edge in my pocket.

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    1. Dang Joel, I couldn't live there. Think I will stay in Texas and vote Republican.

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    2. Joel I don't need to give a reason to carry any sort of knife at all. Glad to still have that freedom. Of course, even in the US it varies a lot by state.

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  6. "knives as really useful tools" pretty well sums it all up. ANY tool can be used as a 'weapon' - don't forget that more folks are murdered with blunt objects (bats, tire irons etc) every year than with rifles of all types. Honest, responsible Citizens generally use any and all tools for what they are designed for. The restrictive laws come about because criminals don't.

    OTB MCPO sends

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    1. Once again the laws only disarm the honest.

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  7. Actually the diver is quite entitled to carry a knife whilst diving under British law as he has a specific purpose for doing so. Precisely the same as a gardener carrying a machete whilst working. If the diver were to tuck it into his belt and wander down the street with it then that would bea ddifferent matter.
    Several cases have revolved around this issue with one of the most notable being a gardener prosecuted for carrying a scythe and a machete in the front ofhis van not secured in the back. The judge ruled that these were necessary tools for the tasks he was undertaking and therefore not offensive weapons.
    A butcher was stopped on the way home from work carrying all his knives to sharpen them on a water stone at home. Again the judge ruled in his favour. Had he been on his way to the pub to get legless then obviously it is different.
    British police are largely clueless of the law and at one time we had arrestable offences and non arrestable offences. A few years ago all offences became arrestable as the vast bulk of the police knew so little law that many cases collapsed on this technicality alone.
    The UKs laws are riddled with inconsistencies particularly in the realm of self defence, weapons and firearms.

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    1. I guess the guy was excited that he could carry it around the campground and no one would even look at him funny.

      The fact that all those people were arrested in the first place has a huge chilling effect. How much better to not have to worry about some cop deciding to arrest you.

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    2. It depends a lot where you live. Most of these cases were brought in urban areas. In rural Wales where I live the police are far less aggressive in their interpretation of the law. After all locking up every farmer, hiker, hunter and so on would rapidly exhaust their resources, gaol space and patience of the locals. I suspect US police in urban areas are considerably more vigilant as well!

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    3. Perhaps they are -another reason I tend to stay out of cities.

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