Your knife doesn’t meet the legal definition of a switchblade; You didn’t know or realize you were carrying a switchblade on your person; Someone else had your switchblade, but you didn’t give it to him/her; The weapon was discovered during an illegal search and seizure; and/or. in a rude, angry, or threatening manner, or . Los Angeles Code §55.01 also makes it illegal to carry any weapon concealed on one’s person. California Code, Penal Code- PEN § 21510 say, “Every person who does any of the following with a switchblade knife having a blade two or more inches in length is guilty of a misdemeanor: It defines a “switchblade knife” as any knife having a blade which opens automatically by either: Under the federal switchblade law, it is a crime to: “Interstate commerce” means commerce between any State, Territory, possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia, and any place outside thereof.38. Subscribers all over the U.S. received their new copy of Woman’s Home Companion. California Penal Code 17235 ; California Penal Code 17235 ; Butterﬂy and Tekna knives are prohibited switchblades under Penal Code section 17235 [formerly section 653k]. Is carrying a pocket knife illegal? you have only one arm and the blade is three inches or less in length. Exceptions are crimes committed on some federally owned properties, such as: The federal switchblade statute is set forth in 15 USC 1241 – 44. The federal change was made after intense lobbying efforts by knife owners, retailers and manufacturers, who were concerned that prior restrictions on switchblade possession were making pocket knives, as well as work and hunting knives, illegal. Spring-blade knives, snap-blade knives, gravity knives and similar knives are also illegal switchblades under Penal Code 17235 PC. Penal Code 626.10(a)(1) – Any person, except a duly appointed peace officer as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2, a full-time paid peace officer of another state or the federal government who is carrying out official duties while in this state, a person summoned by any officer to assist in making arrests or preserving the peace while the person is actually engaged in assisting any officer, or a member of the military forces of this state or the United States who is engaged in the performance of his or her duties, who brings or possesses any dirk, dagger, ice pick, knife having a blade longer than 2 1/2 inches, folding knife with a blade that locks into place, razor with an unguarded blade, taser, or stun gun, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 244.5, any instrument that expels a metallic projectile such as a BB or a pellet, through the force of air pressure, CO2 pressure, or spring action, or any spot marker gun, upon the grounds of, or within, any public or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, is guilty of a public offense, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170. In response to such concerns, a 1996 amendment to California’s switchblade law — then Penal Code 653k — exempted from the definition of “switchblade knife” all knives designed to be opened with one hand via pressure on a thumb-stud or hole in the blade. Any knife or blade that is disguised so as to not look like a weapon is also illegal in California. This unfortunately makes butterfly knives illegal to carry in the State of California. Hopefully, this article will shed some light on the rules and inconsistencies in California knife laws. Penal Code 21510 PC10 makes it illegal to do any of the following: The “passenger’s or driver’s area” is the part of a motor vehicle designed to carry the driver and passengers, including any interior compartment or space therein.12. participation in counseling / treatment programs, and/or, that is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon, and. They are just illegal … Are folding knives legal in California? Colorado law permits citizens to legally own almost any knife, such as a switchblade or gravity knife, except a ballistic knife. In the 1968 case of People v. Bass, a man was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed folding knife. Violation of California's switchblade laws is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by either: Probation, and/or. . It is enough for you to have control over the switchblade, or the right to control it, either personally or through another person.15. A criminal record can affect job, immigration, licensing and even housing opportunities. Other knives that fall within the definition of switchblade include “balisong” or “batanga” knives, also called “butterfly” or “fan” knives.6 These are folding pocket knives with two handles that counter-rotate around the tang. The Senate Committee on Criminal Procedure for the 1995-96 regular session noted that the amendment was needed because: “Such knives are routinely used for hunting, fishing, climbing or any other activity where a knife is necessary, but two handed use is not possible or desirable. What does it mean “knowingly” to carry a switchblade? Penal Code 16470. Felony penalties include up to 3 years in county jail and/or up to a $10,000 fine. As you know, some cops look for any excuse to hassle bikers. Currently, the only country-wide law about switchblades is US Code Title 15, Chapter 29, and this law only controls the importation of these knives into the US, and the sale over state lines. It is illegal to own the following types of knives in California: Cane knives, lipstick knives, belt knives and any other knife that can be classified as misleading is illegal to own in California; Undetectable knives, like misleading knives, are also outlawed; Dirks; Daggers; Stillettos; Ballistic knives; Switchblades in California. In California, it is legal to buy, own, transport, and carry any knife that is not restricted. Sell, offer or expose for sale, or loan, transfer, or give the knife to anyone else. If you or a loved one is charged with Penal Code 17235 PC & 21510 PC carrying a switchblade and you are looking to hire a criminal defense attorney for representation, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group. Writing in support of SB 274, the American Knife and Tool Institute wrote: “The exception for one-handed opening knives was designed to decriminalize the legitimate use of these extremely functional tools by law-abiding citizens. Ex-NFL lineman unrecognizable following extreme weight loss. With those warnings out of the way, California laws covering many types of knives including switchblades, daggers, and disguised blades are discussed below. 15 USC 1241(b) – The term “switchblade knife” means any knife having a blade which opens automatically—. Penal Code 21510 PC makes it a crime to carry, possess in public, sell or give away a switchblade in California. Also, this article only covers California law. Penal Code 16965 PC – As used in this part, “passenger’s or driver’s area” means that part of a motor vehicle which is designed to carry the driver and passengers, including any interior compartment or space therein. On appeal, the defendant cited the Bass case, arguing that the city code was invalid. See, Bill Analysis by the Senate Committee on Criminal Procedure, 1995-96 Regular Session. https://vistacriminallaw.com/better-understanding-switchblade-knife-laws-in-ca Mautner v. Quattrone (1989) 211 Cal.App.3d 1389, 1395 [260 Cal.Rptr. Background to current switchblade laws, California law defines “great bodily injury”, California District Attorneys Association, “possession of a switchblade” laws in Colorado, People v. Plumlee (2008) 166 Cal.App.4th 935, People ex rel. other folding knives that don’t meet the definition of a switchblade. There are no blade length laws. imprisonment of not more than one (1) year. Is a pocket clip open carry? The best this to do is to check local ordinances before deciding to carry a knife or any other weapon in California. In the 1985 case of People v. Gerardoi, the defendant was charged with violating a local law of the City of Commerce that is nearly identical to the Los Angeles local law prohibiting carrying blades over 3″. These are my opinions and also did a little research about theories on why switchblades are illegal in a lot of the states in the u.s.a. Currently Bowie Knives are legal in California, as they have not been restricted by any existing regulation. Your knife doesn’t meet the legal definition of a switchblade. California Laws Regarding Private Gun Transfers, Bigamy, Incest, and Other “Marriage Crimes” in California. In re Gilbert R., G045929; However, the California Courts have determined that butterfly knives fit within the definition of switchblades. upon the grounds of, or within, any public or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12 . . See People ex rel. Penal Code 626.10(a)(1) PC makes it illegal to bring any of the following onto a public or private school instructing children in grades kindergarten to 12: Violation of Penal Code 626.10 is punishable by up to one (1) year in county jail. Federal switchblade law 15 USC 1241 – 44 and 18 USC 1716, 8. It is important to remember that state laws are not always the same as the local or federal laws. Cops routinely write tickets and make arrests for things they incorrectly think is illegal. Knives that are illegal to possess in California include:Cane knives.Air gauge knives.Lipstick knives.Bet buckle knives.Writing pen knives.Switchblades with a blade longer than 2”Ballistic knives. Thus having a switchblade in your jacket pocket or purse would count as carrying it on your person. . possess a switchblade on federal or Indian lands, or lands subject to federal jurisdiction; you are a member of the armed forces acting in the performance of his or her duty, or. Dirks, stilettos, and daggers are illegal. 6.1. G045929 (holding that a knife with a detent mechanism that had loosened to where it provided only 85 percent of the resistance it achieved when the knife was new, still provided enough resistance to bring it within the plain terms of the exemption, even though it could be opened with a wrist flip. What can a defense attorney do to fight the charges? However, they are illegal when the blade is longer than 2”. Even though Jane never had any intention of using the knife as a weapon, she gets charged with the crime of possession of a switchblade. Switchblades carefully regulated in California. 2. There does not appear to be any new regulations concerning Bowie knives coming up in the near future. Penal Code 16600 PC — As used in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 25100) of Division 4 of Title 4, “great bodily injury” means a significant or substantial physical injury. Better yet, think twice before carrying a knife. Any fixed blade knife can be a “dirk or dagger” under California law and should be carried openly in a sheath suspended from the waist. Penal Code 21310 PC provides, in relevant part – [A]ny person in this state who carries concealed upon the person any dirk or dagger is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170. For example, in the 2008 case of People v. Angel R., the Court of Appeals examined a conviction over a pocketknife that, as originally manufactured, had a hole in the back of the blade that prevented it from flicking open. A116300 (holding that the fact that a knife might be opened with the flick of a wrist does not, in and of itself, remove it from the exemption). ); People v. Lopez (2007) First Appellate District, Division One, No. The three most common types of knives — switchblades, folding knives, and fixed blade knives (also known as dirks and daggers) — have certain rules surrounding them and are explained in more detail below. 15 USC 1243 – Manufacture, sale, or possession within specific jurisdictions; penaltyWhoever, within any Territory or possession of the United States, within Indian country (as defined in section 1151 of title 18), or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States (as defined in section 7 of title 18), manufactures, sells, or possesses any switchblade knife, shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. 3 1 1. For example, in the City of Los Angeles, it is illegal to publicly carry, in plain view, any knife, dirk or dagger having a blade 3″ or more in length, any ice pick or similar sharp tool, any straight-edge razor or any razor blade fitted to a handle. Possess the knife in the passenger’s or driver’s area of any motor vehicle in any public place or place open to the public, Carry the switchblade upon your person, or. Carrying a Switchblade - Penal Code 21510 PC. 44]. Additionally, daggers and throwing knives are illegal. imprisonment of not more than five years. Very helpful with any questions and concerns and I can't thank them enough for the experience I had. Misdemeanor penalties include up to 1-year county jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine. Please complete the form below and we will contact you momentarily. Being found “not guilty” will not make up for the time and aggravation of getting arrested and missing work — not to mention the cost of hiring an attorney. i live in the Bay Area, California. There is nothing in the CA penal code outlawing possession. Blades that are undetectable to metal detectors (e.g., ceramic blades) are also illegal. In fact, because it opens so easily, she keeps the handles tied shut with a ribbon. a finding that you intended to use the switchblade as a weapon; and/or. This section to be updated as 2018 progresses. But just because you… or a police officer or a prosecutor… can open your knife with a wrist flick, that doesn’t automatically qualify the knife as a switchblade. For Colorado cases, see our page on “possession of a switchblade” laws in Colorado. A nonlocking folding knife, a folding knife that is not prohibited by Section 21510, or a pocketknife is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or death only if the blade of the knife is exposed and locked into position. In California, it is illegal to brandish any deadly weapon, including knives. certain types of knives considered to be “generally prohibited weapons,” including: a folding knife with a blade that locks into place, or, hand pressure applied to a button or other device in the handle of the knife, or. As a result, law enforcement or the courts have been compelled to return these dangerous weapons.”41, To plug up this hole, in 2001, then-state Senator Betty Karnette introduced California SB 274. Our attorneys explain the law, penalties and best defense strategies for every major crime in California. 4. Under Penal Code 17235, a “switchblade knife” is defined as a knife which: or which is/are released by the weight of the blade(s) or by any type of mechanism whatsoever. Penal Code 20200 PC — A knife carried in a sheath that is worn openly suspended from the waist of the wearer is not concealed within the meaning of Section 16140 [air gauge knife], 16340 [cane sword], Section 17350 [writing pen knife], or 21310 [dirks and daggers]. It is important to note that Penal Code § 626.10 has very broad exceptions for the 2 1/2″ blade length limit on school grounds for lawful uses such as food prep, eating, residences, and scope of employment. Possession of Knives on School Grounds – Penal Code § 626.10, It is illegal for any person to bring or possess “any dirk, dagger, ice pick, knife having a blade longer than 2 1/2 inches, folding knife with a blade that locks into place, [or] razor with an unguarded blade . No Fixed blade length: 2.5in. The trial court found, however, that the knife had been modified or damaged, and the resistance mechanism did not function so that the knife would open with a flick of the wrist. It proposed modifying Penal Code 653k by adding language stating that to be exempt from the definition of a switchblade, a knife must have a detent or mechanism giving the knife a “bias toward closure.”. Each of the above issues is discussed in greater detail below. Unlike some other knives, which may be carried on your person if closed or if openly worn, switchblades may not be carried at all, even if the blade is not exposed. (Pen C sec. This includes, cane swords, belt-buckle knives, lipstick case knives, air gauge knives, writing pen knives, etc. Penal Code 171b PC makes it a crime to bring or possesses within any state or local public building — or at any meeting required to be open to the public — any of the following: Violations of Penal Code 171b are punishable by up to one year in county jail as a misdemeanor, or up to 3 years in California state prison as a felony. See our related article on California’s laws on dirks and daggers. Penal Code 21510 – Every person who does any of the following with a switchblade knife having a blade two or more inches in length is guilty of a misdemeanor:(a) Possesses the knife in the passenger’s or driver’s area of any motor vehicle in any public place or place open to the public. To clarify the legislative intent behind the proposed amendment, Senator Karnette wrote a letter, dated July 18, 2001, which was read into the Senate’s official record. Local ordinances may also impact the legality of your knife. Switchblades are generally legal to possess under Nevada state knife laws, but local governments often restrict the length of the blade and where switchblades may be carried. SB 274 was signed into law by then-Governor Gray Davis signed in 2001. Subsection (b) of the statute provides that it is illegal for any person to bring or possess “any dirk, dagger, ice pick, or knife having a fixed blade longer than 2 1/2 inches upon the grounds of, or within, any [college or university].”. Switchblades are legal so long as the blade is less than 2 inches long. A switchblade is sometimes referred to as an automatic knife, pushbutton knife, ejector knife, switch knife, Sprenger or Springer knife, or flick knife. CALIFORNIA. *** This article is written for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. You must adhere to these conditions in order to avoid going to jail… or returning to jail. you knew you had a switchblade on your person or in your vehicle, AND. It’s legal for anyone over 21 to carry knives. The laws concerning butterfly knives are not specifically detailed in the California Statutes. Is it legal to carry automatic knives in California? i want to buy an italian stiletto switchblade knife [automatic knife]. Knives that are disguised as something else or intended to pass a metal detector are illegal. The short answer is yes, as long as the blade is under 2 inches. Are Spring Assisted Knives Legal In California com - the #1 chess community with +30 million members around the world. Various knives disguised as other objects are prohibited. Shop our selection that meet the legal knife length. Colorado Knife Laws. And if you carry a switchblade concealed on your person, you could be charged instead with a violation of Penal Code 21310, which prohibits carrying a concealed “dirk” or “dagger.”3 If you are convicted of carrying a concealed dirk or dagger, you could face up to 3 years in state prison. i would just want it to carry around ocasionally. “Dirks” and “daggers” – Penal Code 16470 and 21310, 6.2. Balisongs, Bowie knives, pocket knives, switchblades, and stilettos are legal. As a misdemeanor, carrying a concealed dirk or dagger carries possible penalties of: Under Penal Code 20200 – California’s “open-carry” knife law — you may carry a dirk or dagger on your person as long as it is: Folding knives that don’t meet the legal definition of a switchblade may also be concealed on your person, as long as they are carried in the folded position. As such, in Los Angeles, you can’t openly carry a blade over 3″, but you can’t carry such a weapon concealed, either. up to six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Are Switchblades Legal in California? The short answer is that any switchblade knife with a blade 2 or more inches long is illegal in California. air gauge knives [items that appear to be air gauges, but are actually knives]. Over time the definitions of “switchblade knife” were expanded, to the point where it was arguably a crime for law-abiding citizens to carry knives for legitimate purposes. We have local offices in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Long Beach, Orange County, Ventura, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and throughout California. Misleading knives include cane knives and zobi-tsues, belt knives, pen knives, air gauge knives, and lipstick knives. A similar concern was addressed in the 2009 amendment to the Switchblade Knife Act of 1958, 15 U.S.C.1241- 45. You were carrying a folding knife, but the blade wasn’t exposed; You were carrying an open folding knife, but the blade wasn’t locked into position; The knife you were carrying wasn’t a dirk or dagger because its characteristics substantially limited its effectiveness as a stabbing weapon (for example, a bread knife with a dull edge, a serrated edge and a rounded end). In addition to the general legal defenses set out above, other defenses to carrying a concealed dirk or dagger may include: Penalty for carrying a concealed dirk or dagger in California. . . 4 5. Penal Code 21310, which prohibits carrying a concealed “dirk” or “dagger.”. Schools are knife free zones. (b) Carries the knife upon the person. Why Switchblades are Illegal: The Toy that Kills This is the hyperbolic article that started it all. Switchblades and other spring-loaded knives in excess of 2″ length are illegal to possess on your person or in your vehicle in California, and are also not legal to sell, loan, or give away. California criminal defense attorney Neil Shouse explains what spring assisted knives are, and if they are legal in California. If you knew you were carrying a knife, but you didn’t know it had the characteristics of a switchblade. See, Bill Analysis by the Senate Committee on Public Safety, 2001-2002 Regular Session. Sometimes, however, people with legal folding knives are accused of carrying switchblades. In California, it is illegal to brandish any deadly weapon, including knives. Penal Code 21310 PC makes it a crime to carry a concealed “dirk” or “dagger” upon your person. In this section, we offer solutions for clearing up your prior record. It contained one of the most lurid examples of anti-knife muckraking to ever be written, an article titled, The Toy That Kills. Switchblades of 2” or less are legal to carry in California, as long as they are not concealed. that may inflict great bodily injury or death. Yes Are automatic/switchblades allowed? Why are butterfly knives illegal in California? 2502 for California jury instruction regarding switchblades. As used in this part, “dirk” or “dagger” means a knife or other instrument with or without a handguard that is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or death. When Jane’s grandfather died, he left her a small butterfly knife, with a 3″ blade, which he got in the Philippines during World War II. Fortunately, there are a number of legal defenses that a good criminal defense lawyer can present on your behalf. (See Restricted Knives below.) See our related article on California knife laws. A judge may be more likely to sentence you to jail time and/or a fine if (s)he finds aggravating factors that may include (but are not limited to): If you are sentenced to summary probation, the judge will impose a number of conditions. It’s illegal to not inform a police officer you are carrying a concealed knife when the knife is not a pocket knife. Penal Code 17235 PC defines a switchblade as a pocketknife with a blade of 2 or more inches that can be released by a flick of a button, pressure on the handle, flip of the wrist or another mechanical device. Where does all this information leave us? 18 USC § 1716 – Injurious articles as nonmailable. Only switchblades are illegal in California. However, you can still buy Balisong knives that are over 2 inches if you do not carry it in the driver or passenger seat or on you. “novelty” knives, such as belt buckle knives and cane swords. There are certainly things that are illegal: any switchblade with a blade 2″ or longer, or concealed possession of any knife with a fixed blade. Interestingly, the Courts have held that the Los Angeles law forbidding carrying a concealed weapon is invalid. California completely prohibits the possession, sale, manufacture or import of certain other types of knives, including: Possession, sale, manufacture or import of an undetectable knife is a misdemeanor. Such mechanisms ensure there is a measure of resistance (no matter how slight) that prevents the knife from being easily opened with a flick of the wrist. (c) Sells, offers for sale, exposes for sale, loans, transfers, or gives the knife to any other person. that biases the blade back toward its closed position. Note that you do not need actually to hold or touch a switchblade in order to possess it. 3. They were so pleasant and knowledgeable when I contacted them. Updated October 26, 2020 Under Penal Code 21510 PC, California law makes it a crime to carry, possess in public, sell or give away a switchblade. undetectable knives [made from materials that can’t be detected by metal detectors]. These knives serve an important utility to many knife users, as well as firefighters, EMT personnel, hunters, fishermen, and others.”43. 653k.) Usually it will be easy to tell whether your knife meets the legal definition. Generally, California criminal laws apply exclusively to crimes committed in California. The relevant law … But according to the California District Attorneys Association, the 1996 amendment: “created an unintended loophole for criminals to carry dangerous weapons. The state of California has ruled that a Balisong knife is a switchblade because of how easily it can be opened. It is legal to own a switchblade that is less than two inches or shorter. Also, certain municipalities have their own laws that may affect the legality of carrying a knife. a lack of cooperation with the police during your arrest. 16 months, or two or three years in county jail, and/or. Under Penal Code 17235, “switchblade knife” does not include any knife that opens with one hand utilizing either: provided that the knife has a detent or other mechanism that: A detent is a device — such as a catch, dog, or spring-operated ball — for positioning and holding one mechanical part in relation to another, in a manner such that the device can be released by force applied to one of the parts.8. 3d 1389 (1989). Penal Code 21510 PC – Every person who possesses in the passenger’s or driver’s area of any motor vehicle in any public place or place open to the public, carries upon his or her person, and every person who sells, offers for sale, exposes for sale, loans, transfers, or gives to any other person a switchblade knife having a blade two or more inches in length is guilty of a misdemeanor. The law in California allows most knives and has only some restrictions on concealed knives. What is prohibited under Penal Code 21510 PC? Bikers always seem to inquire about the knife carry laws in California. Switchblades and other spring-loaded knives in excess of 2″ length are illegal to possess on your person or in your vehicle in California, and are also not legal to sell, loan, or give away. What is even more interesting is that other, more recent cases completely contradict the decision in People v. Bass. After passage of the new law, law enforcement began finding imported knives possessed by criminals which appeared to meet the technical language of the exemption; namely switchblade knifes equipped with thumb studs which served no real purpose. These can include (but are not limited to): In California it is legal to carry some… but not all… other types of knives on your person if they are openly worn. California Penal Code section 16140 PC and 20310 PC. Violation of Penal Code 21510 PC is a misdemeanor under California law, that can be punished by as much as: Often, however, California misdemeanor violations are punished by misdemeanor (summary) probation, with little or no jail time. Fast-forward to November, 1950. Cane Swords and other Disguised Blades – Penal Code § 20200 et seq. What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident? to unlawfully use a deadly weapon.” This does not include use of such a weapon in self defense. If the laws above seem confusing, as the saying goes, “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” Local ordinances vary from city to city, and county to county. It has no effects on buying, owning or carrying switchblades. Penal Code 17235 PC defines a switchblade as a pocketknife with a blade of 2 or more inches that can be released by a flick of a button, pressure on the handle, flip of the wrist or another mechanical device. Easily, she keeps it with her at all times as a stabbing weapon, including.! Still on the enforceability of these local laws or two or three years in county jail, and/or that! Some cases, a man was arrested and charged with carrying a “! Completely contradict the decision in People v. Bass, and was therefore invalid any regulation... Complete the form below and we will contact you momentarily been inconsistent in ruling on the books ( 2012 California! Jacket pocket or purse would count as carrying it on your behalf 2012 ) California Court of upheld! 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