California knife laws

kIlL a KaRdAsHiAn

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#1
Cali seems to have a unique way of making understanding thier knife laws damn near impossible. Have looked online and the closest thing I found to making sense and not being contradictory was a lawyers site, which proceeded to tell me that different areas may enforce things differently. Wtf. I read assisted opening were banned but, the manufacturers site said front assisted opening are legal, didn't specify a state. Any knowledge regarding any regions laws/ enforcement is appretiated. Especially around slabs, as that will be where im starting off. I believe my blade lengths are legal @ 3". AZ is so much easier. Theirs hardly laws on knives and you don't even need a permit to open carry a gun... Crazy. I don't friggin know argh.
 
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#2
Yeah, it would be nice if the CA.gov penal code section didnt suck balls.

Basically no length limit outside of public or federal buildings. No concealed carry. No switch blades longer than 2 inches. No double edged knifes like daggers or bayonets. No disguised knives like belt knives or cane swords.

At the slabs? It’s basically anything goes unless the officer is feeling like being a dick. But outside slabs, even in niland I’ve had cops steal my freinds knife because it wasnt ‘legal’
 
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#3
This has been discussed before;
The knife laws in CA are pretty straightforward, the issue most people end up having is, that officers are usually unaware of, or blatantly disregard (at their discretion) the laws set in place.

Partly because they know some kid on the street, let alone anyone, isn't going to bring them to court for confiscating a $5-$50 knife regardless of its actual legality.

Not to mention most of those instances are concerning 'pocket knives' or small spring assisted knives which can can easily be 'construed' as being over the legal length (again, a measuring tape would be nice- but these are cops we're talking about here)

That being said- it's completely legal to open carry a sheathed fixed blade
So in my opinion: Walk softly, but carry a big knife.
 
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#4
For example: Johnny has a 4 1/2 inch folding pocket knife that he carries inside his pocket with the usual spring clip. It's not spring assisted but does have a thumb detent on the back of the blade to unfold it - technically illegal if it 'facilitates rapid opening' or some such nonsense- this totally falls within the discretion of the officer

If Johnny isn't a dumbass he'll probably never get questioned about his knife nor get it confiscated

However if Johnny decides to drink half gallons of whiskey and piss on passerby screaming 'fuck you pay me!' Then yeah he's probably gonna get his knife taken away

Ok that's an exaggeration, it could happen to anyone but the point remains- the more casual you are about it and respectful in general the likelihood of you having a police interaction result in confiscation of your blade drops significantly.
 

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#5
From my understanding, all 50 states allow for open carry of any fixed blade that is not SPECIFCALLY made to kill people (bayonets, stilettos, ect.) I havent found a length limit in all of the searching I've done. The exceptions would be in some larger cities, and Canada.

Also, why anyone would carry anything other than a good straight blade is beyond me.
 
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#6
From my understanding, all 50 states allow for open carry of any fixed blade that is not SPECIFCALLY made to kill people (bayonets, stilettos, ect.) I havent found a length limit in all of the searching I've done. The exceptions would be in some larger cities, and Canada.

Also, why anyone would carry anything other than a good straight blade is beyond me.
I have a small (~3.5") folding pocket knife pretty much on me at all times, mostly for cutting poor rigging or rat-nested lines and such but it also makes its way into pretty much every establishment that doesn't have a metal detector and fits easy enough in a boot to bypass general searches.
Call it the civilian duty knife if you will, also doubles as my peanut butter knife and it's so cheap I wouldn't cry if I tossed it or lost it.
The rest of the time, yeah I've got my fixed blade on my hip for just about everything else.
 
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#7
Also about the length thing: you can open carry a sword if you want provided it's sheathed, attached to your hip, and visible from 3 sides... Not saying you won't get attention but I mean.. It's legal.

The stipulation is that *in CA at least and probably, definitely, every other state* you can not carry ANY type of blade if you 'wish to do someone harm with it' so the second you offer to an officer that your blade is for 'self defense' you definitely entered a huge legal grey area that's completely dependent upon the officer
 
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#8
For example: Johnny has a 4 1/2 inch folding pocket knife that he carries inside his pocket with the usual spring clip. It's not spring assisted but does have a thumb detent on the back of the blade to unfold it - technically illegal if it 'facilitates rapid opening' or some such nonsense- this totally falls within the discretion of the officer

If Johnny isn't a dumbass he'll probably never get questioned about his knife nor get it confiscated

However if Johnny decides to drink half gallons of whiskey and piss on passerby screaming 'fuck you pay me!' Then yeah he's probably gonna get his knife taken away

Ok that's an exaggeration, it could happen to anyone but the point remains- the more casual you are about it and respectful in general the likelihood of you having a police interaction result in confiscation of your blade drops significantly.
Dude! I think I've met Johnny! Like a hundred times - loves to flick the knife (which is dull as fuck cheap steel) but it makes the click sound he likes... & LOVEs to piss on "tourists" when he's drunk, except it's invariably locals... & frequently in front of city hall, or a local court house....

You might have been exaggerating, but, I'm pretty damn sure I've met Johnny.
 
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#9
The legal area clouding this for people is Federal vs State vs Municipal laws.

"Right to bare arms" applies to blades too - guns were not as common place in colonial times. So there's fed, saying yes.
Different states have different laws - just as they do with guns... So there's state laws muddying crap.
Then different municipalities also pass different crap, depending on the issues their cities/counties have faced...
Then there's cops... And well, cops say pretty much whatever the fuck they please...

Cali officer ask if I had any weapons - i said, yes sir, right here. He asked me to keep my hands on the wheel and tell him what my weapon was and where it was located... Machete - no sheath, right beside my driver's seat... Also a very stabby tire iron under it, I Also have... "Guns ma'am, any fire arms?" No officer no guns.
Why a machete by my seat? Well officer, you can see I'm not from this state, and I'm traveling alone....

No problems...

But !! Not dunk, not schwilly, not tripping, and I'm POLITE!

Got more crap for my bumper stickers than the weapons i travel with....

Also carried the machete around cap hill area in Seattle, no sheath, and no probs...
Conversely, Spokane, ration of shit for a 5" pocket knife...
 
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kIlL a KaRdAsHiAn

kIlL a KaRdAsHiAn

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#10
Thanks everyone. Seems to make some sense now. I think I can now figure out how to carry without getting too much flak, and I don't plan on being an agro dick so, should be all good!
 
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#11
The legal area clouding this for people is Federal vs State vs Municipal laws.

"Right to bare arms" applies to blades too - guns were not as common place in colonial times. So there's fed, saying yes.
Different states have different laws - just as they do with guns... So there's state laws muddying crap.
Then different municipalities also pass different crap, depending on the issues their cities/counties have faced...
Then there's cops... And well, cops say pretty much whatever the fuck they please...

Cali officer ask if I had any weapons - i said, yes sir, right here. He asked me to keep my hands on the wheel and tell him what my weapon was and where it was located... Machete - no sheath, right beside my driver's seat... Also a very stabby tire iron under it, I Also have... "Guns ma'am, any fire arms?" No officer no guns.
Why a machete by my seat? Well officer, you can see I'm not from this state, and I'm traveling alone....

No problems...

But !! Not dunk, not schwilly, not tripping, and I'm POLITE!

Got more crap for my bumper stickers than the weapons i travel with....

Also carried the machete around cap hill area in Seattle, no sheath, and no probs...
Conversely, Spokane, ration of shit for a 5" pocket knife...
You don't ever need to declare a machete as a weapon during a traffic stop, it's widely considered a 'tool' and if you yourself treat it as such you'll receive a lot less attention about it when asked. That question is loaded, mostly for fishing info and while knives might be of some interest to Johnny law, that particular question is mostly aimed at firearms- they're really pretty much asking if you have firearms in the vehicle. (At least in the states)
 

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#12
You dont have to declare shit during a traffic stop, I've told cops "I dont believe I am required to answer that question" a few times. Because I usually have guns, and I dont want to go through that whole "take them out and I'll run them" BS. It's totally trampling your rights.

They get all upset that you might know what you are talking about, but if they have nothing on you they cant do shit.

Make sure to travel with those weapons unloaded though....
 

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#13
You dont have to declare shit during a traffic stop, I've told cops "I dont believe I am required to answer that question" a few times. Because I usually have guns, and I dont want to go through that whole "take them out and I'll run them" BS. It's totally trampling your rights.

They get all upset that you might know what you are talking about, but if they have nothing on you they cant do shit.

Make sure to travel with those weapons unloaded though....

This is incorrect. I can't speak as to how it relates to knives (if at all) but as for firearms there are several states where you legally have to inform them that you are carrying, even if they don't ask. The red states below are like this.
duty-to-inform-50-states-1024x665-png.46153_California knife laws_Weapons & Tools_Squat the Planet_1:54 PM

https://www.usacarry.com/duty-to-inform-laws/
In the yellow states, you may be legally required to answer them if they ask about it. The relevant state laws are at the bottom of that link.

Also FWIW: If you have a CCW/LTC/whatever permit, they will likely automatically find out when they run your plates. For example:


Of course, having a permit does not necessarily mean you are carrying, but it does mean they will likely ask you if you have any firearms in the car. If you lie about it and they find out, that opens you up to charges like obstruction of justice or providing false information.

Please understand that I'm not trying to attack you or tell you what to do. But what you are saying above sounds like "you can refuse to answer and you are legally in the clear", which is wrong in many states.
 
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#14
Unless they have a warrant... Blah blah blah, what I don't have is lawyers! Lol... I know I don't have to mention the machete - but, location raised questions when I didn't mention it ... & I wasn't at a traffic stop... But that's it's own story.

However, answering with a variant of "i don't have to tell you" automatically brings suspicion... & In my experience, more cops & 50/50 a Canine unit... Treating cops as an enemy, or hell, even trying to treat them like normal humans has rarely worked out well for most the people I know. & Being as I've been arrested a grand total of 3 times, ever, and have 1 misdemeanor that's more than 10 yrs old, inspite of hanging out with Johnny while he's yelling fuck you pay me & peeing on people (i still swear I know that guy!) - I'm not the one who gets busted... So, I'm going to keep playing my way.
 

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#15
This is incorrect. I can't speak as to how it relates to knives (if at all) but as for firearms there are several states where you legally have to inform them that you are carrying, even if they don't ask. The red states below are like this.
View attachment 46153
https://www.usacarry.com/duty-to-inform-laws/
In the yellow states, you may be legally required to answer them if they ask about it. The relevant state laws are at the bottom of that link.

Also FWIW: If you have a CCW/LTC/whatever permit, they will likely automatically find out when they run your plates. For example:




Of course, having a permit does not necessarily mean you are carrying, but it does mean they will likely ask you if you have any firearms in the car. If you lie about it and they find out, that opens you up to charges like obstruction of justice or providing false information.

Please understand that I'm not trying to attack you or tell you what to do. But what you are saying above sounds like "you can refuse to answer and you are legally in the clear", which is wrong in many states.
No offense, but did you even read that article you quoted?

Because "carrying" and "possessing" a firearm are two WAY different things.

I dont ever "carry" a firearm, I usually have them secured and unloaded in my vehicle. There are federal laws which require you to inform an officer if you are carrying a weapon on your person, due to obvious officer safety and pat down searches.

You are NOT, as far as I have ever heard of, required to tell officers if you have weapons of your vehicle, especially if they are not in the passenger compartment, or within reach of the driver.

If I ever have a weapon on me while stopped by police, I will inform them, and ask if they would like me to surrender it for the duration of the encounter, as it will make the stop go WAY better, and that will develop a sort of trust between the officer and myself.
 

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#16
"carrying" and "possessing" a firearm are two WAY different things.
Not necessarily. States laws on this vary wildly and can be really hard to track down. Here's a few that I found by looking at the red state laws:

Arkansas
See 3.2a at https://static.ark.org/eeuploads/as...un_carry_license_rules_effective_1-1-2018.pdf
"While in possession of a handgun, if a licensee is asked for identification (driver’s license or personal information, such as name and date of birth) by any law enforcement officer, the licensee shall present the original license, or an electronic copy in an acceptable electronic format, for inspection, along with an official form of photo identification. The licensee shall also notify the officer that he or she holds a concealed handgun carry license and that he or she has a handgun in his or her possession."
Ohio (though they do specify it being loaded)
See 2923.126A at http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2923.126
If a licensee is the driver or an occupant of a motor vehicle that is stopped as the result of a traffic stop or a stop for another law enforcement purpose and if the licensee is transporting or has a loaded handgun in the motor vehicle at that time, the licensee shall promptly inform any law enforcement officer who approaches the vehicle while stopped that the licensee has been issued a concealed handgun license and that the licensee currently possesses or has a loaded handgun;
Oklahoma
See 21-1290.8 at https://law.justia.com/codes/oklahoma/2016/title-21/section-21-1290.8/
It shall be unlawful for any person to fail or refuse to identify the fact that the person is in actual possession of a concealed or unconcealed handgun pursuant to the authority of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act when the person comes into contact with any law enforcement officer of this state or its political subdivisions or a federal law enforcement officer during the course of any arrest, detainment, or routine traffic stop
My main point is that your statement "You dont have to declare shit during a traffic stop" is a dangerous assumption to make, and I would rather err on the side of caution.

Anyway, sorry for derailing this thread, I know this is mostly unrelated.
 
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#17
You are NOT, as far as I have ever heard of, required to tell officers if you have weapons of your vehicle, especially if they are not in the passenger compartment, or within reach of the driver.
I can't say for other states but i have experience with this in Texas. If stopped by a leo you are not legally required to declare firearms anywhere in the vehicle as long as it can't be seen and you are not licensed to carry.

However, if you are licensed to carry you are legally required to declare a loaded firearm within reach if pulled over.
If you don't declare it and for some reason they find it... you will have your carry license revoked and will never be able to get another issued in Texas for life.


Also having a concealed carry license make traffic stops go a lot quicker, because to get it you have to go through all sorts of background check hoops that they wont have to run on you during the stop.
 
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#18
"not in reach" ... (Yes, machete, not gun) but that was the "issue" .... All I had to do to grab it was drop my left hand... Handle was easier to reach than the seat-tilt lever...

"Establishing trust" - EXACTLY! Declaring crap, i didn't have to, that could be a danger to that officer, puts them at ease... I also had a steak knife on my visor - plain sight if visor was down, but "concealed" if up - funny, I've never had to surrender weapons during traffic stops... Probably because I say where they are and don't appear threatening... Makes things smoother...
 
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#19
"not in reach" ... (Yes, machete, not gun) but that was the "issue" .... All I had to do to grab it was drop my left hand... Handle was easier to reach than the seat-tilt lever...

"Establishing trust" - EXACTLY! Declaring crap, i didn't have to, that could be a danger to that officer, puts them at ease... I also had a steak knife on my visor - plain sight if visor was down, but "concealed" if up - funny, I've never had to surrender weapons during traffic stops... Probably because I say where they are and don't appear threatening... Makes things smoother...
I'm sorry but WHY would you keep a machete within reach inside the cabin of a vehicle where you have no space to actually utilize a weapon that size.. Steak knife in the visor is a thousand times more practical.
 
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#20
I'm sorry but WHY would you keep a machete within reach inside the cabin of a vehicle where you have no space to actually utilize a weapon that size.. Steak knife in the visor is a thousand times more practical.
Small, agile female... #1 lots of people (idiots, granted) run if you "flash" big weapon. #2 yes, machete are most effective with plenty of room to swing them, but, me & it could be out my door/window quick as hell, meanwhile, #3 quite capable of cutting with it, if you were dumb enough to reach inside my car... If stupid enough to be trying to open the doors - #2, I'll meet you in the middle ...

No, not ideal for fighting inside the car - very true. LOTS of other less than obvious, but I knew where, stabbie, slicey, or bludgeoning, items stashed about.... It really was easier to declare the machete & start the list, then actually get the vehicle searched - Too much to repack. Just faster, "trust establishing", and less work all around....
 

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