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PA Knife Laws

This is a discussion on PA Knife Laws within the LEO Talk forums, part of the Protect & Serve category; Can someone tell me what the laws in PA are for carrying a knife? I have read the laws and it is really confussing? TS...


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Old 01-26-2004, 11:36 AM   #1
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PA Knife Laws

Can someone tell me what the laws in PA are for carrying a knife? I have read the laws and it is really confussing?

TS
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Old 01-27-2004, 06:05 AM   #2
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Re: PA Knife Laws

I also ask this question to a police officer/firearms instructer listed at the packing.org web site for PA under the people to ask questions and for those that might be interested his reply was:

"The only law PA has is Prohibited Offensive Weapons. That basically only prohibits Auto opening knives (Switchblades). Other then that its legal. The only other thing an officer could charge could be possessing instruments of crime, but would have to show that you had an unlawful purpose. For example you are caught breaking into cars and you possess a "slim Jim." That Slim jim would now be an instument of crime."

Just thought I would share what I did find out.
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Old 01-27-2004, 08:07 AM   #3
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Re: PA Knife Laws

My read of the law here in PA is that you can carry any sort of knife which could be used for a legal purpose e.g. a folding knife with which you could use as a letter opener, to cut the annoying sippy cup lids at work so you can actually drink coffee out of them, or to whittle. What you can't carry is something "offensive" like one of those Hibben fixed blades that would only be adequate for knife fighting and only really good at criminally intimidating citizens. Fixed bladed-ness doesn't make it illegal, just more dicy on the carrying for a purpose which is not illegal test.

These Q's were especially important to me in that I moved from IL where the closest thing to a self defense implement a citizen can carry is a knife to PA where gun laws are closer to the U.S. Constitution. I still always carry a knife, though I have my CCW permit I don't always carry a gun.
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Old 01-28-2004, 01:24 PM   #4
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Re: PA Knife Laws

Pennsylvania - Pa. C.S.A. 18.908. Prohibited offensive weapons.

(a) Offense defined.--A person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree if, except as authorized by law, he makes, repairs, sells, or otherwise deals in, uses, or possesses any offensive weapon.

(b) Exception.--it is a defense under this section for the defendant to prove by a preponderance of evidence that he possessed of dealt with the weapon solely as a curio or in a dramatic performance, or that he possessed it briefly in consequence of having found it or taken it from an aggressor, or under circumstances similarly negativing any intent or likelihood that the would be used unlawfully.

(c) Definition.--As used in this section "offensive weapon" means... any... dagger, knife, razor or cutting instrument, the blade of which is exposed in an automatic way by switch, push-button, spring mechanism, or otherwise... - also see 24 P.S. 13-1317.2. re: students bringing weapons on to school property.]

Pennsylvania case law: Where opening knife required lock to be released, and once lock was released blade could be exposed by flip of wrist, knife did not have blade which could be "exposed in an automatic way"... by "otherwise" legislature referred to knives that were opened by some sort of mechanism which is not a "switch," "push-button," or "spring" mechanism but still a mechanism... (1979)
If you care to learn about the laws in all the other states, please go here Knife Laws

This information is provided as an exercise of
the 1st Amendment. I am not a legal authority
nor do I practice law. I do carry a knife....or
two....or three on occasion.

Ed
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Old 01-29-2004, 12:27 PM   #5
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Re: PA Knife Laws

Generically speaking you would think that anyone w/a ccw permit should be able to carry a knife. If you could carry a firearm then why wouldn't you be able to carry a knife. After all i'm sure the legal system considers a knife less deadly(though often missguided).
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