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Discussion Starter #1
So i live in Washington state and the knife laws are kinda up to interpretation. They issue a Concealed pistol license (which i have) so that you cannot conceal a knife. The laws say that the largest knife you can carry is a 3.5 inch blade. However all stores sell knifes with larger blades and i know many people that carry 4 and 5inch knifes. They always say "so i can carry a pistol but not a 4inch knife the cops not gonna care!" or "as long as your not waving it around your fine."

I dont really trust that because the law is the law whether it makes sense or not.

So my question is has anyone had any experience with LEO while carrying a knife that is possibly illegal? What happened?

Also does anyone know anything about carrying an ASP baton? Legal or not?
 

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From my point of view as an leo, I wanna know what you have that could hurt me. Better to be up front and honest about what you've got. I'd rather you tell me and be less suspiscios of you, than have you try to hide it and make me all excited when I happen to see it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
From my point of view as an leo, I wanna know what you have that could hurt me. Better to be up front and honest about what you've got. I'd rather you tell me and be less suspiscios of you, than have you try to hide it and make me all excited when I happen to see it.
I would never carry anything that i would have to hide from a LEO. Thats not what i was asking. I want to know if someone had a 3.75 inch knife and the cop gave him a felony weapons charge and lost his/her CPL. The RCW is vague about whats legal and whats not. i have also found out that each city may have different knife laws than the states laws.

For example Seattle and Spokane do not allow any fixed blades. And Bellevue doesnt allow tasers. I wish they would all follow the State guidelines i dont really wanna loose my CPL for carrying a little knife while passing through a city that has strict knife laws. There are hundreds of cities in the state and i dont think its reasonable to ask every citizen to check each cities web site before they leave the house.
 

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Hmm...if its illegal its illegal. That being said, as an leo it would come down officer discression. I would let a guy go here in Missouri as long as he was up front and honest.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hmm...if its illegal its illegal. That being said, as an leo it would come down officer discression. I would let a guy go here in Missouri as long as he was up front and honest.
Lets say he was upfront and told you he was carrying a concealed pistol. You ask if he has any other weapons and he says yes i have a pocket knife. Then you inspect it and it measures 3.75 inch. Are you required to confiscate that knife? Or can you just educate him?
 

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Personally...it depends upon the attitude. If he's arrogant and feeling entitled, I'll do what I feel is nessecary. (I.E. Confinscating) If he's cool, I'm cool.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just curious but during your LEO training did they go into detail on exactly what weapons are illegal or not?

For example size, type, assisted openers, etc

I am interested cas we have all seen many examples of LEO's not knowing the exact laws. I have even been on ride alongs and the LEO i was with had to ask the traffic cops more than once about specific laws (not weapon related).
 

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Yes they did give specific guidlines and training. That being said, I'm not positive whether the laws here are completely the same as the laws there. I can look up the RSMO if you'd like. It is extremely common for an officer not to know every word of every statute.

I'm just telling you how I'd personally handle the situation. This may not go for the next officer. Or you may get a new officer who is following every little thing to the T. It'd be better not to risk it.
 

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Washington
  • Summary: Anything over 3" is in a gray area.
  • Max length: 3"
  • Specifically illegal: switchblade, springblade knife, gravity (butterfly) knife, concealed dagger/dirk
  • Relevant laws: Statutes mentioning "knife"
This may help. I can provide a link to this page if you'd like. By "Gray area" they mean it is up to the officer's discression.
 

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As I see it, knife laws are just plain stupid. Why should a 3.5" knife be legal and a 4" knife be illegal? Is the extra 0.5" really that much more dangerous?

No.

The same goes for a 6" or 7" knife. Are they really that much more dangerous than a 3.5" knife?

Again, no.

A knife still requires you to be close to your opponent and that kind of proximity is just as dangerous for one guy with a knife as the other guy with a knife.

And if the guy has a knife and the guy he's trying to hurt has a concealed pistol, an extra 3" of knife blade doesn't really counter a 9mm round really well, does it? Also, the carotid artery, jugular vein, femoral artery and subclavian vein and artery are all far less than 3" under the skin. Severing any of those will lead to rapid and uncontrollable blood loss and death in just a minute or so. Most other wounds are painful and messy, but are typically survivable.

That's why South Dakota doesn't have a law concerning blade length. However, Aberdeen (bar only), Rapid City (concealed only) and Belle Fourche have local ordinances limiting knives to 3" or less.

http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/USKnife2.pdf
 

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As I see it, knife laws are just plain stupid. Why should a 3.5" knife be legal and a 4" knife be illegal? Is the extra 0.5" really that much more dangerous?

No.

The same goes for a 6" or 7" knife. Are they really that much more dangerous than a 3.5" knife?

Again, no.

A knife still requires you to be close to your opponent and that kind of proximity is just as dangerous for one guy with a knife as the other guy with a knife.

And if the guy has a knife and the guy he's trying to hurt has a concealed pistol, an extra 3" of knife blade doesn't really counter a 9mm round really well, does it? Also, the carotid artery, jugular vein, femoral artery and subclavian vein and artery are all far less than 3" under the skin. Severing any of those will lead to rapid and uncontrollable blood loss and death in just a minute or so. Most other wounds are painful and messy, but are typically survivable.

That's why South Dakota doesn't have a law concerning blade length. However, Aberdeen (bar only), Rapid City (concealed only) and Belle Fourche have local ordinances limiting knives to 3" or less.

http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/USKnife2.pdf
I agree that knife laws don't make much sense. I know several people (myself included) that could cause as much damage with a 3" blade as a 6 or 7" blade, it just depends on how you utilize it. I've practiced trappings and counters for both armed an unarmed fighting (but I'm a few years out of practice now) and the only real difference is that a 6" blade will penetrate deeper on a stab. They'll both sever arteries, tendons and muscle just the same. Though I guess the intimidation factor comes in to play with a larger knife too.
 

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I was looking at the new Cold Steel Resilience, 4.25" (depending on where you measure), and tried it and liked it more than my CS Tenacious.

Easier to cut certain meats, like a piece of ham, larger blocks of cheese.

So I'm gonna get it (only about $42 bucks) and make it my EDC. Since it's clipped to a pocket, it's not actually hidden.

Though my state has some laws concerning length, they're generally due to some city ordinances (see us knife laws pdf).

I was looking at knives they were selling at the gun show. Had balisongs and stuff and I said 'how can you sell these - they're illegal to carry?'. Also had auto-knives. So stupid to ban bali-songs which are really 'toys' and allow people to open carry sheath knives, fixed blades, especially when balisongs have a non-lethal option (pocket stick/yawara). I watch movies where they flip open the balisong now and laugh - "I could have pulled my fixed blade or Spyderco folder and cut that guy three ways from Sunday in the time it took Jeff Imada to open that balisong, hehe".
 
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