Open Carry of Fixed Blades and 'Lawful Purpose' Clauses

nomad89

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Ok, before people send links to other threads I have done EXTENSIVE research both on this site and elsewhere about the legality of open carry of large knives.

I am aware that most states do not place restrictions on length for fixed blade knives carried openly as long as the blade is question is not a 'dirk, dagger, or stiletto' eg. a knife used for stabbing

The tricky part is how vague some of these laws are. For example Pennsylvania case law states that knives carried on one's person must have a 'common lawful purpose' which I feel is painfully subjective.
http://knife-expert.com/pa.txt

D.C. also places restrictions on knives without 'utility uses'
http://www.knifeup.com/knife-laws-in-washington-d-c/

I mean you could compare two very different knives such as a USMC Ka-Bar and a Mora or other similar camp knife. Most would consider both to be 'survival' knives with lawful or utility uses but under the framework of a law like that does a Ka-Bar have 'common lawful purpose' if it is only used lawfully or would it be illegal because it is a 'combat knife'? Really confused about what and what is not ok in areas with vague laws if anybody has personal any personal experience or can shed some light on the subject I would really appreciate it.
 

Wolfs Paw

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knives are illegal in NYC... just saying i had my hobo tool stolen by cops after being threatened. Wonder if i shoulda acted stupid and walked away and then defended myself and property if they tried to roll me lol PA - blade must be manual open and close with a locking mechanism and blade must not be more than the width of your palm. between thumb and index finger <--------> half way below pinky finger.
 
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Wolfs Paw

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Ok, before people send links to other threads I have done EXTENSIVE research both on this site and elsewhere about the legality of open carry of large knives.

I am aware that most states do not place restrictions on length for fixed blade knives carried openly as long as the blade is question is not a 'dirk, dagger, or stiletto' eg. a knife used for stabbing

The tricky part is how vague some of these laws are. For example Pennsylvania case law states that knives carried on one's person must have a 'common lawful purpose' which I feel is painfully subjective.
http://knife-expert.com/pa.txt

D.C. also places restrictions on knives without 'utility uses'
http://www.knifeup.com/knife-laws-in-washington-d-c/

I mean you could compare two very different knives such as a USMC Ka-Bar and a Mora or other similar camp knife. Most would consider both to be 'survival' knives with lawful or utility uses but under the framework of a law like that does a Ka-Bar have 'common lawful purpose' if it is only used lawfully or would it be illegal because it is a 'combat knife'? Really confused about what and what is not ok in areas with vague laws if anybody has personal any personal experience or can shed some light on the subject I would really appreciate it.

to choose your state or another click here http://www.knifeup.com/knife-laws/
 
OP
nomad89

nomad89

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Yeah I think in NY, at least according to the page on that site, fixed blades and un-assisted folding knives are legal as long as they are not intend to be used unlawfully against another person. As far as I can tell NY state does not place restrictions on blade length but that NYC's local ordinance limits blades to 4".

"Matter of Jamie D., 59 NY2d 589 (1983). Whether a “knife” is a “dangerous” knife may be determined on the basis of three alternative considerations: one, its own characteristics which show that it is primarily intended for use as a weapon; second, a modification, which converts what would otherwise be a utensil into a weapon; and third, the circumstances of the possession which may reveal that the possessor considers it a weapon and not a utilitarian tool."
http://tgace.com/2012/04/12/ny-knife-law/

My question more or less concerns the style of knife. For instance a KA-Bar by design is "primarily intended for use as a weapon" but could also be considered a utilitarian tool. I suppose a better question would be are combat knives legal as long as they are strictly used for utility purpose or if they would always be considered illegal inherently by it's design for use in combat? Perhaps with the clause that states if the "possessor considers it a weapon and not a utilitarian tool" would answer the question but maybe it would be at the discretion of the cops or a jury.

It's all quite confusing. I get the feeling that most states leave their laws intentionally vague to allow prosecutors free reign to put people away for blades that aren't specifically banned.
 

Wolfs Paw

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Yeah I think in NY, at least according to the page on that site, fixed blades and un-assisted folding knives are legal as long as they are not intend to be used unlawfully against another person. As far as I can tell NY state does not place restrictions on blade length but that NYC's local ordinance limits blades to 4".

"Matter of Jamie D., 59 NY2d 589 (1983). Whether a “knife” is a “dangerous” knife may be determined on the basis of three alternative considerations: one, its own characteristics which show that it is primarily intended for use as a weapon; second, a modification, which converts what would otherwise be a utensil into a weapon; and third, the circumstances of the possession which may reveal that the possessor considers it a weapon and not a utilitarian tool."
http://tgace.com/2012/04/12/ny-knife-law/

My question more or less concerns the style of knife. For instance a KA-Bar by design is "primarily intended for use as a weapon" but could also be considered a utilitarian tool. I suppose a better question would be are combat knives legal as long as they are strictly used for utility purpose or if they would always be considered illegal inherently by it's design for use in combat? Perhaps with the clause that states if the "possessor considers it a weapon and not a utilitarian tool" would answer the question but maybe it would be at the discretion of the cops or a jury.

It's all quite confusing. I get the feeling that most states leave their laws intentionally vague to allow prosecutors free reign to put people away for blades that aren't specifically banned.
This is what was illegally seized from me in NYC - http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail-Hobo-Tool/19718066 ... Weapon? Think not! It's a full compact eating utensil...
 
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nomad89

nomad89

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I used to have one of those! Pretty sure it was the exact same brand and everything.

Sucks they confiscated it, fucking pigs.
 
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Wolfs Paw

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blade was only 1.5 -2 inches long dafuq! he just wanted it cause it looked cool and he don't have one lawl
 
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nomad89

nomad89

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I could see that. If memory serves me right I got mine when this trustifarian kid left it at this house I was staying at. Funny that it retails for only $4, I thought it was part of some sort of fancy yuppie mess kit or something.
 

Ridire

Pilgrim
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Mar 27, 2014
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Providence
Any word on seaxes or langseaxes, or short swords? I have a straight 3 inch knife I use for religious purposes and replacing a large seax I use for woodwork and general utility. Both have a sheath.
 

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