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Legality of Certain Knives?

6881 Views 21 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Bob K
Giz has been showing us photos of his little Tak Fukuta SD dagger on several threads. On one of those, someone mentioned that a knife with a blade sharpened on both sides is illegal in Texas - and that prompted me to view several of the various 'sites with individual state rules and regulations concerning knives. The regs. always seem to be written in wordy-but-vague legalese - each state having it's own set determined by blade length, blade type, method of opening, etc.

I'm an old fella who nearly always has some kind of small folding knife on my person, and I feel undressed unless one is in my pocket. I also seem to be a magnet for Barney Fife-type LEOs who are always looking for someone to make an example of - so I'd like to be knowledgable about knife NoNos.

I know about "automatics" and very large knives, but much of the other stuff is hazy. Does possession of a CHL mollify any of these knife regs. ? Do the regs. apply only to possession on your person, or also to possession in your residence?

Some of the state regs. specifically prohibit knives with both edges sharpened. This Ralph Bone camp knife has a clipped point 4 3/4" blade and the clipped edge is sharp - so would possession of it be illegal in those states? The letter of the law says it is in Texas.

All this seems vague and open to abuse by authorities with an bully agenda. Has anyone filtered through all of this and come to any simple conclusions?

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In Texas, you can buy and keep at home whatever you like. However there are State laws that regulate what you can carry on your person and in your vehicle. In addition, most cites/ towns will have some sort of city ordinance that will also regulate their carry status. So be sure and check your state and local ordinances prior to carry outside of your home. It is the possession " in a public place" that you have to be concerned with.
I would have thought in texas they wouldnt much care what you packed.They seem pretty laid back about guns.So I figured the same would apply to knives.I have no idea what the laws are on knives any where I have ever lived.
Here's the knife laws for Texas...

Texas - Health, Safety & Morals - 46.02. Unlawful carrying
weapons. (a) A person commits an offense if intentionally,
knowingly , or recklessly carries on or about his person a
handgun, illegal knife, or club. [Exceptions: official;
actor was own premises; was traveling; engaged in lawful
hunting, fishing, or other sporting activity; security
- 46.01. Definitions. (1) "Club"... includes... (D)
(6) "Illegal knife" means a:
(A) knife with a blade over five and one-half inches;
(B) hand instrument designed to cut or stab another by
being thrown;
(C) dagger, including but not limited to a dirk, stiletto,
and poniard;
(D) sword; or
(E) spear.
(7) "Knife" means any bladed hand instrument that is capable
of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by cutting or
stabbing a person with the instrument.
- 46.03. Places weapons prohibited.
(a) A person commits an offense if, with a firearm, illegal
knife, club, or prohibited weapon [includes switchblade
knives], he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly goes:
(1) on the physical premises of a school [or school bus];
(2) on the premises of a polling place...
[(3) a court; (4) a racetrack; (5) secured area of an
- 46.05. Prohibited Weapons. (a) A person commits and offense
if he intentionally or knowingly possesses, manufactures,
transports, repairs, or sells... (5) a switchblade
knife... (d) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution
under this section that the actor's conduct: (1) was
incidental to dealing with a switchblade knife,
springblade knife, or short-barrel firearm solely as an
antique or curio...
- 46.06. Unlawful transfer of certain weapons.
(a) A person commits an offense if he... (2)... sells...
gives... offers... to any child younger than 18 years any
firearm, or illegal knife [except with written parental

Texas Case Law:
- "A teacher could not carry weapons in his school room..."
- Broken switchblade knife was still a "switchblade knife"
within this section... (1986)
- "Defendant's contention that he took knife to school to
fight demons that plagued him did not defeat requisite
state of mind for conviction..." (1993)

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I read all that stuff, Giz, and I found no comfort or guarantee for any hope that I would be treated reasonably and fairly by some overly officious bureaucrat who hates knives and guns. :)

I'm thinking that someone carrying a gun with a CHL might fare a whole lot better with the Law than a someone simply carrying a legal self-defense knife. :?


I hear ya', my Amigo...and have to agree. The knife laws in Maine are fairly relaxed. They focus more on the intent of causing harm then on basic carrying rights.

If you want to be really concerned, you should read the laws in Mass., they are even more restrictive in the city of Boston.

For anyone wishing to check the laws in their own's a link.
Giz, Boy.....that doesn't surprise me! Being a resident of Mass., I'm used to hearing that most of what I have or do illegal in ths stupid state!!!! :roll: :lol: Bob
xtm, I know what you mean. It is hard here in Tx with all the small town laws in place on top of the state laws. I don't carry a blade over 4" or with a lock in San Antonio when I visit my parents. I have spoke to LEO's in SA and they don't really enforce that law but they will certainly tack it on with another offense or if you are not cooperating with them. One time before 9/11 I went into the Social Security office in downtown Austin with a Spyderco, oops. The guards put it in a plastic baggy and gave me a ticket to pick it up when I left the building. I would not want to try that again now. Don't put much hope in having a CHL to get you off the hook. It could do the opposite, a weapons charge from a knife could mean no more guns for you forever. I went to a gun store in Round Rock and the guy selling the auto-blades will not sell to the public, not a state law just an agreement he made with the companies that make them. It is to try to cut down on lawsuits I guess. I also heard they are looking into the assisted openers to be labeled as switch-blades. Good luck. James
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This thread is really an eye opener. I just realized that the knife I use for working in construction is technically enough to get me a 2.5 year minimum sentence in Mass, as I drive through Boston ~ if picked up by a Mountie that's have'n a bad day.

We all have been joking about Great Britain's knife laws....but who here carries a fixed blade knife that is less then 1.5"? Go look at the Mass laws in the link above.

Dang, I'm afraid to even look at California.... :eek:

Giz just made the point that I was hoping would emerge!

They already have enough knife statutes in place to have their way with those of us who innocently carry one as a necessary daily tool. All that is needed is the order from above to strictly enforce existing law... :|


Perfect example of the erosion of what we think we know...
They have backdoored our rights, and we have no clue what is going we are laughing, commiserating, and pointing fingers at the Brits, and all the while it is going on State by State here in the U.S....

I actually have one knife that has a blade under 2 1/2"......but the other blade is a 3". Does it that make me legal.......if I only use the short blade? It's the Sears Craftsman Barlow knife that is usually with me. The lock-back that I always as illegal as hell!!! See you guys in the big house!!! hijfO Bob (As if I don't have enough to worry about!!! :roll: )
That's 4 fingers length wise.....right John? :roll: Sideways it looks like 4" on my hand. That ain't the way they do it in Mass.! 2 1/2" is a penknife that you use for opening envelopes. :roll:
"That's not a knife......THIS is a knife!!!!" Crockodile Dundee
:lol: Bob

The way I read the CT laws, it looks like 4 inches sharpened along the blade...

NY knife laws are kinda funny.... no "dangerous knives" allowed!

I also can't have that ninja star I've had my eye on :cool:

Updated 7/18/2008 10/27/2005 3/15/06

New York - Penal Law Section 265.01. A person is guilty of
criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree when:
(1) He possesses any firearm, electronic dart gun, electronic stun
gun, gravity knife, switchblade knife, pilum ballistic knife, metal
knuckle knife, cane sword, billy, blackjack, bludgeon, metal knuckles,
chuka stick, sand bag, sandclub, wrist-brace type slingshot or
slungshot, shirken or "Kung Fu star"; or
(2) He possesses any dagger, dangerous knife, dirk, razor, stiletto,
imitation pistol, or any other dangerous or deadly instrument or weapon
with intent to use the same unlawfully against another; or
(5) He possesses any dangerous or deadly weapon and is not a
citizen of the United States...
Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree is a class A
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So how about crutches, canes or knitting needles... are they weapons of mass destruction also? How about shovels, axes and scissors? :rolleyes:
I know from distant personal experience that an entrenching tool (short folding shovel) is a formidable defensive weapon! We're DOOMED!

I know from distant personal experience that an entrenching tool (short folding shovel) is a formidable defensive weapon! We're DOOMED!

YEP!!!!! Its also why I keep one in both vehicles, but mine are the Cold Steel models.
No problems in Georgia. Routinely carry a Benchmade 5500 Presidio Auto Axis for work. On Sunday's I carry a nice little Benchmade Auto Benchmite 3100. The Benchmite has a blade that measured precisely 1.95 inches... just enough not to cause a problem if I should ever be so foolish as to blunder into krazfornia. Thank God for Georgia!
We are lucky here in NH. Just last year a State legislator, an EMT by profession, introduced a bill about knives and carry here, and the long and short of it is we now have the most freedom of the 50 States when it comes to knives. Everything here is legal now. Literally. There are no restrictions on blade lengths, edges sharpened, auto's, nothing.
The incidence of crimes committed with knives doesn't seem to be increasing.

Now what each of you need to do, is read up on our law, and start the same crusade in your own State.
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