Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Knife Laws in Pennsylvania

  1. #1

    Knife Laws in Pennsylvania


    ADVERTISEMENT
    Oops, after posting I realized that this should have been posted in the Knife Laws forum. mea culpa

    I grew up in Pennsylvania but after college I moved to the DC area for about 20 years before returning to Pittsburgh. Around 1980 I researched the knife laws in Pennsylvania and at that time any knife was legal providing it wasn't being used in "an offensive manner."

    It seems that the Pa. Legislature changed the laws in my absence. While in Maryland, I bought my Kershaw assisted opening knife which were sold at knife shops and gun shows. Now I am wondering if I am going astray of the law by carrying my Kershaw.

    Pa. prohibits possession of "offensive weapons" and defines them as "any... dagger, knife, razor or cutting instrument, the blade of which is exposed in an automatic way by switch, push-button, spring mechanism, . . ."

    On the face, it would seem that my Kershaw falls into that category since it opens with a spring.

    Anyone here have any knowledge or experience with Pennsylvania laws?
    Last edited by Scout Guy; 01-18-2006 at 07:58 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Rochester, Minnesota
    Posts
    1,714
    It'll probably get moved.

    Check out Bernard Levine for full text. I believe assisted opening knives are generally considered not switchblades for legal purposes, however, you're right, that nebulous spring mechanism clause worries me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,473
    Not an attorney, but the term "exposed in an automatic way" is the issue here. The fact that you have to MANUALLY move the blade "should" keep an assisted opener out of the automatic knife definition. My final answer....it depends.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 1998
    Location
    The 7 Seas
    Posts
    51,898

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 1998
    Location
    The 7 Seas
    Posts
    51,898
    That dork got kicked overboard a minute ago (see http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...=1#post3494604 for details) but he's not the only knife knut in Pennsylvania, so please carry on.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,473
    Cougar,

    I like your style.

    As a former PA resident, but current PA property owner and frequent visitor there, I am interested in the responses also.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    498
    Does anyone know about shipping/purchasing laws, also? As in, are there laws against owning or purchasing say, an 8" bowie and getting it shipped into a location within the city?

    I EDC a waved Endura which I thought would be legal b/c it's a shade under 4" but if they count the wave as "automatic opening" ....

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ThreeWorlds
    Does anyone know about shipping/purchasing laws, also? As in, are there laws against owning or purchasing say, an 8" bowie and getting it shipped into a location within the city?
    In the commonwealth of Pennsylvania I am 99% sure you can own any type of knife not matter style, size, opening method etc. Though I don't know the regulations on blade length to be carried. Also because you live in Philadelphia I would check with your local municipality to see the laws regarding owning knives in the vicinity of the city limits.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThreeWorlds
    I EDC a waved Endura which I thought would be legal b/c it's a shade under 4" but if they count the wave as "automatic opening" ....
    I wouldn't believe ,though again I am not sure, that the wave feature would be considered an automatic opening method because it can just as easily be opened manually without engage the blade while taking it out of your pocket.

    Hope this helps,

    JamEs

  9. #9
    I know that my knife is legal to possess, but can anyone tell me about legality of concealed carry? Also, just wondering, what's the status of knife possession for minors? I can't find any of this stuff on google, only the law dealing with automatic knives.

    Thanks so much in advance.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    62
    Sorry to bring back an older topic, but I have a question that isn't really answered by the law. My girlfriend is moving to Philly over the summer and I want to get her a mini grip before she goes. My question is in two parts:

    1) I didn't see a blade length limit for legal carry. The mini grip is just under 3 inches so it should be legal, but I'd like to make sure.

    2) The part about unlocking the blade and it opening with a wrist flick sounded dangerously close to how an axis lock works. Does anybody have any idea if that would fly or not?

    I'm not dead set on getting her the mini grip, so if it turns out to be too questionable (or outright illegal, you never know) that isn't a problem, there are plenty of other knives that I can get her. I'm just a bit partial to the grips.

    Thanks.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    498
    Quote Originally Posted by nitroice0069
    In the commonwealth of Pennsylvania I am 99% sure you can own any type of knife not matter style, size, opening method etc. Though I don't know the regulations on blade length to be carried. Also because you live in Philadelphia I would check with your local municipality to see the laws regarding owning knives in the vicinity of the city limits.
    Yeah ... I kind of forgot about this thread for a while ... Thanks James for the tips. How does one go about checking with the municipality about knife laws? There is a police station down the street but I'm not sure how well it would go over if I were to walk in and ask them to tell me what are the knife and concealed carry laws for the city

    I did google search for laws but while it's fairly easy to find NYC laws online, Philadelphia laws are much harder.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Sinking Spring, PA
    Posts
    1,208
    DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A LAWER!

    That being said, I know of no reason why a mini-grip would present a problem inside the city limits, provided your GF doesn't go running around opening and closing it, or brandishing it in a threatening manner on the corner of Broad and Market Streets! The key to PA knife law is the term "offensive weapon", although in MANY municipalities and counties there are blade length limits, and I think it may be 3"-4" for a concealed folder in Philly. The bottom line is, unless you are doing something,... well STUPID ... no one is going to bother you for carrying a knife. How would they know first off? Presumably if a knife came into play in a given situation, your GF would be DEFENDING herself correct?

    Trust me, Philly cops have MANY more things to worry about instead of trying to hassle someone carrying a legal tool or knife with a 3" blade. In the 7 years I carried concealed in Philly DAILY, I never once had an issue with the Philadelphia Police, and that was during the time when Philadelphia was hardly ever issuing CCW permits, and the rumor was that a CCW permits issued in another county (Montgomery, Bucks, whatever) was "not valid in the city limits."

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    498
    Thanks marcangel.

    The only reason I was concerned was because I live on university campus, and I have heard stories of people being harassed by campus police at other universities about the knives they carry.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Sinking Spring, PA
    Posts
    1,208
    That's a different kettle of fish. If your GF is living on campus, and I presume at the University of Penssylvania (since you referred to "university campus") that may present an issue if there are campus regulations regarding knives (and knowing Penn, there probably are)! But you need to find out what any policies are, and whether or not the GF is willing to risk breaking that policy. Unfortunately, the University regs suporcede the city ordinance on campus. They can't arrest you, but they can boot you off campus or possibly even expel you.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,473
    Quote Originally Posted by marcangel
    (and knowing Penn, there probably are)! But you need to find out what any policies are, and whether or not the GF is willing to risk breaking that policy. Unfortunately, the University regs suporcede the city ordinance on campus. They can't arrest you, but they can boot you off campus or possibly even expel you.
    I went to Penn for grad school, but thankfully did not live on campus or off campus in West Philly. If I did, I'd be carrying a gun, regs or not. That's a scary place.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Sinking Spring, PA
    Posts
    1,208
    Not nearly as scary as North Philly (Temple) or Camden (Lourdes and Cooper)!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    498
    That's very true. It's funny that Columbia (Harlem) gets such a bad rep when really it's been cleaned up a lot since then 90's and there is actually a lot of interesting culture & life stuff going on there. I think 'Spanish Harlem' still has some problems, but the area around Columbia is SO much safer than West Philly .... which is safer than both North Philly and Camden

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •