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Thread: Connecticut Knife Law?

  1. #1

    Connecticut Knife Law?


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    Just curious as to the law with using those 13" Knives while camping or for recreational use. Also would i be able to keep it in my car, secured while traveling?

    I tried reading the law but i didnt understand most of it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Connecticut
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    1,117
    The short answer would be that you can carry a 13" knife while you are fishing or hunting, provided you have a valid hunting or fishing license. "Camping or recreational use" are not listed as exemptions in the statute but the reality is that if you are out in the middle of the woods with your pup tent you are unlikely to encounter any law enforcement officers.

    Connecticut General Statute 29-38 deals with Weapons In Vehicles. It says in part:
    Sec. 29-38. Weapons in vehicles. (a) Any person who knowingly has, in any vehicle owned, operated or occupied by such person, any weapon, ... ...and the presence of any such weapon... ...in any vehicle shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section by the owner, operator and each occupant thereof. The word "weapon", as used in this section, means any... ...any dirk knife or switch knife, any knife having an automatic spring release device by which a blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches in length, any stiletto, any knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or over in length... ...or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument.

    Subsection (b) reads in part:
    The provisions of this section shall not apply to: ...(F) any person holding a valid hunting, fishing or trapping license issued pursuant to chapter 490 or any salt water fisherman while having such knife in a vehicle for lawful hunting, fishing or trapping activities...

    The other statute of importance to you would be Sec. 53-206. Carrying of dangerous weapons prohibited. It deals with carry weapons on your person and contains language similar to that i section 29-38.

    Theses statutes contain some exemptions from the prohibition of carrying otherwise illegal knives around in your car, however, there is no generalized exemption that would allow you to carry one at all times. Common sense tells you that if you lock up your knife in your trunk, tell no one it's there, never give the Police permission to search it, and commit no other crime, your chances of being caught are next to zero. However, you have to decide for yourself whether it's worth the risk.

    See these threads for additional information on CT knife laws:

    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=386111

    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...ht=chris+meyer

    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=455604

    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=412608

  3. #3
    Chris Meyer will probably come along eventually, and he can explain things to you a lot better than I can- he's an LEO (IIRC) and helped clarify it for me. Also, if you look through my previous posts under knife laws, you can find replies to some of my previous questions.

    But the basics:

    Section 53-206 Connecticut General Statutes: Carrying of Dangerous Weapons Prohibited
    http://cga.ct.gov/2005/pub/Chap943.htm#Sec53-206.htm
    Knives Classified as dangerous weapons is as follows:
    • A knife haveing a blade, the edged portion of the blade being at or over 4"
    • A dagger
    • A dirk
    • A stilleto
    • A switch knife
    • Any knife where the blade can be released from the handle by spring action and having a blade over 1.5" in length

    You should take notice that the sub 4" edged max does not specify straight line length or measuring along the belly of the blade. I keep mine under 4" on both to avoid any problems. Also, note that daggers/dirks are not defined. According to Chris, current training for LEO's is that any double edged knife is a dagger/dirk. However, in the past he has told me that spear point blades (that have a false edge) are not considered double edge and should be ok.

    Violation of 53-206 is a Class D Felony.
    If convicted the penalty scheme is as follows:
    • The weapon "shall be forfeited to the municipality wherein such person was apprehended, notwithstanding any failure of the judgment of conviction to expressly impose such forfeiture"
    • A fine of not more than $500
    • A term of imprisonment not to exceed 3 years
    • A term of imprisonment not to exceed 3 years AND a fine not greater than $500
    • AND ALL THE OTHER BENEFITS OF BEING A CONVICTED FELON, SUCH AS BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE REVOCATION OF FIREARMS POSESSION RIGHTS, INELIGBILITY FOR CERTAIN JOBS/OCCUPATIONS, ETC....


    It is not a violation to carry a knife that has a blade that is 4" edged or greater if you meet the following conditions:
    • Hold a hunting, fishing, or trapping license
    • Are carrying the knife for purposes of LEGAL hunting, fishing, or trapping activities
    • legal salt water fishing activities


    Also refer to Section 29-38 of the Connecticut General Statutes: Weapons in Vehicles. http://www.cga.ct.gov/2006/sup/Chap529.htm#Sec29-38.htm
    It is another seperate and distinct charge to have a dangerous weapon in a motor vehicle.

    Also, refer to State v. Harris, 258 A.2d 319 , which held that the 4" limit was strict and could not be lowered to determine that a knife is a dangerous weapn. Similar text, cited from caselaw to 53-206 sats
    Cited. 5 Conn. Cir. Ct. 313. Knife not coming within description of statute cannot be included as "any other dangerous or deadly weapon" and is not with prohibition of this section. Id., 551.
    However, the courts have allowed seemingly permissible knives to be considered dangerous weapons if they are used against another person. Refer to the 1987 State v. Holoway ruling, 528 A.2d 1176, where the use of a 3.5' knife for self defense was determined to be prosecutable.
    Last edited by mp510; 03-29-2007 at 04:59 PM.

  4. #4
    Looks like Chris got his up before I did

    Chris- I do have one question. The system used on the new Leatherman folders wouldn't be considered a "switch knife", right? There's no spring action mechanism, just a lever that when pivoted can push the blade open. There's a graphic on the Leatherman website that demonstartes the systems operation.
    http://www.leatherman.com/products/k...01/default.asp
    Last edited by mp510; 03-29-2007 at 02:37 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,117
    mp510, I watched the little video on the Leatherman site. In my opinion no reasonable person could construe that knife as being a "switch knife" or having and "automatic spring release". I do not see any problem with carrying it in CT.

    By the way, you posted an outstanding response to loneviking's question. There is, however, one small clarification that needs to be made. You listed among the prohibited knives "A knife haveing a blade, the edged portion of the blade being over 4" ". Just keep in mind that the statute also prohibits knives with edged portions that are exactly 4 inches long, not just over 4 inches (barring any of the mentioned exceptions.) The text reads "any knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or over in length."



    It seems my previous link to CT General Statute 29-39 is not working reliably. In case anyone is having a problem viewing it, I am posting the entire statute below.
    Sec. 29-38. Weapons in vehicles. (a) Any person who knowingly has, in any vehicle owned, operated or occupied by such person, any weapon, any pistol or revolver for which a proper permit has not been issued as provided in section 29-28 or any machine gun which has not been registered as required by section 53-202, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years or both, and the presence of any such weapon, pistol or revolver, or machine gun in any vehicle shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section by the owner, operator and each occupant thereof. The word "weapon", as used in this section, means any BB. gun, any blackjack, any metal or brass knuckles, any police baton or nightstick, any dirk knife or switch knife, any knife having an automatic spring release device by which a blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches in length, any stiletto, any knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or over in length, any martial arts weapon or electronic defense weapon, as defined in section 53a-3, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument.

    (b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to: (1) Any officer charged with the preservation of the public peace while engaged in the pursuit of such officer's official duties; (2) any security guard having a baton or nightstick in a vehicle while engaged in the pursuit of such guard's official duties; (3) any person enrolled in and currently attending a martial arts school, with official verification of such enrollment and attendance, or any certified martial arts instructor, having any such martial arts weapon in a vehicle while traveling to or from such school or to or from an authorized event or competition; (4) any person having a BB. gun in a vehicle provided such weapon is unloaded and stored in the trunk of such vehicle or in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console; and (5) any person having a knife, the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or over in length, in a vehicle if such person is (A) any member of the armed forces of the United States, as defined in section 27-103, or any reserve component thereof, or of the armed forces of this state, as defined in section 27-2, when on duty or going to or from duty, (B) any member of any military organization when on parade or when going to or from any place of assembly, (C) any person while transporting such knife as merchandise or for display at an authorized gun or knife show, (D) any person while lawfully removing such person's household goods or effects from one place to another, or from one residence to another, (E) any person while actually and peaceably engaged in carrying any such knife from such person's place of abode or business to a place or person where or by whom such knife is to be repaired, or while actually and peaceably returning to such person's place of abode or business with such knife after the same has been repaired, (F) any person holding a valid hunting, fishing or trapping license issued pursuant to chapter 490 or any salt water fisherman while having such knife in a vehicle for lawful hunting, fishing or trapping activities, or (G) any person participating in an authorized historic reenactment.

    (1949 Rev., S. 4169; 1953, S. 2133d; P.A. 86-280, S. 1; P.A. 87-220, S. 2; P.A. 98-129, S. 11; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 98-1, S. 120, 121; P.A. 99-212, S. 14.)

    History: P.A. 86-280 included martial arts weapons in definition of weapon and added exception for persons enrolled in and attending a martial arts school while traveling to and from such school; P.A. 87-220 made technical changes and deleted provision including "nunchaku and chinese stars" within meaning of a martial arts weapon since weapons are already included in referenced definition of Sec. 53a-3; P.A. 98-129 deleted reference to a permit for a weapon issued pursuant to Sec. 53-206, redefined "weapon" to add BB. gun and electronic defense weapon and exclude sand bag and slung shot and added exception permitting certain individuals to have a knife with a blade of four inches or more in a vehicle; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 98-1 repealed Sec. 11 of P.A. 98-129, thereby nullifying the changes in P.A. 98-129, effective June 24, 1998; P.A. 99-212 inserted Subsec. indicators, amended Subsec. (a) to delete reference to a permit for a weapon issued pursuant to Sec. 53-206, redefined "weapon" to add BB. gun, police baton or nightstick and electronic defense weapon and delete slung shot and sand bag, rephrased and repositioned provisions and made provisions gender neutral and amended Subsec. (b) to add Subdiv. (1) re exception for officer charged with preservation of public peace, add Subdiv. (2) re exception for security guard having a baton or nightstick in vehicle, designate existing exception for martial arts students as Subdiv. (3) and amend said Subdiv. to include any certified martial arts instructor and include having martial arts weapon in vehicle while traveling to or from an authorized event or competition, add Subdiv. (4) re exception for any person having BB. gun that is unloaded and secured in vehicle and add Subdiv. (5) re exception for certain persons having knife with a blade of four inches or more in vehicle under certain circumstances.

    After defendant's loaded revolver was removed from his waistband while he was seated in his car after midnight in a high crime area, officer justified in seizure and arrest of defendant under the circumstances of speedy information by informant. 157 C. 114. Search of defendant's car, upon his arrest for breach of the peace, which yielded weapon was incidental to his arrest and properly made. Id., 222. Cited. 163 C. 176. This section has the effect of placing the burden of proof on alleged violators constituting a denial of due process and is therefore invalid. 165 C. 577, 597. Cited. 170 C. 81, 85, 92, 93. State must prove beyond reasonable doubt that proper permit had not been issued, since that is essential element of the crime. Id., 234. Cited. 172 C. 21. Cited. Id., 94, 95, 100, 103. Cited. 174 C. 22, 23. Cited. Id., 405, 406. Cited. 178 C. 534, 536; 179 C. 516, 520, 521. Cited. 183 C. 148, 149, 151. Cited. 188 C. 406, 407. Cited. 189 C. 35, 36. Cited. 190 C. 259, 260. Cited. 193 C. 7, 8, 12. Cited. 195 C. 668, 672, 673, 676. Cited. 197 C. 358, 359. Cited. 201 C. 190, 191. Cited. 205 C. 262, 264. Cited. Id., 370, 372-374, 384, 385. Cited. 207 C. 565, 567. Cited. 209 C. 98, 99, 124. Cited. 211 C. 258, 260, 262, 272-276. Cited. 217 C. 73, 93. Cited. 222 C. 718, 720. Cited. 225 C. 650, 652. Cited. 227 C. 363, 365. Cited. 233 C. 215, 217. Cited. 237 C. 348, 352, 359, 363. Cited. 239 C. 56. Cited. 240 C. 489.

    Cited. 7 CA 95, 98. Cited. 9 CA 169-171, 175, 176; judgment reversed, see 205 C. 370, 385. Cited. Id., 330, 331, 337- 340. Cited. 10 CA 395, 403. Cited. 11 CA 11, 14, 19, 20. Cited. Id., 251. Cited. Id., 621-624. Cited. 12 CA 268, 269. Cited. 13 CA 76-78, 86, 87. Cited. Id., 288-290. Cited. 15 CA 305. Cited. 17 CA 243, 245, 246. Cited. Id., 556, 558, 560-562. Cited. 19 CA 48, 51, 59. Cited. 21 CA 299, 306. Cited. 23 CA 602, 604. Cited. 25 CA 181, 182, 186, 187; Id., 433, 434, 445. Cited. 30 CA 9, 10. Cited. Id., 232, 234. Cited. 38 CA 434, 435, 444. Cited. 45 CA 110. Elements discussed. 47 CA 586. Statute does not require state to prove that defendant possessed the knife in the vehicle; it is sufficient for state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant knew the knife was in the vehicle. 63 CA 228. Is not a crime to have a hammer in a motor vehicle unless it is intended to be used as a dangerous instrument or for some other illicit purpose. 70 CA 855.

    Separate and distinct crime from the carrying of dangerous weapons on the person. 10 CS 272. Cited. 22 CS 173; id., 201; 23 CS 82. Cited. 35 CS 659, 661.

    Cited. 5 Conn. Cir. Ct. 119.
    Last edited by Chris Meyer; 03-29-2007 at 04:35 PM.

  6. #6
    It's such bull$h!t. I am licensed to cary handguns of any caliber in CT but I cant be trusted to carry a knife that opens with a button. I guess that precludes any assisted opening knives like the kershaws or apparitions.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by z282z06 View Post
    It's such bull$h!t. I am licensed to cary handguns of any caliber in CT but I cant be trusted to carry a knife that opens with a button. I guess that precludes any assisted opening knives like the kershaws or apparitions.
    Chris and I have previously discussed the A/O legality in CT.
    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=412608
    I own 1 Kershaw A/O, that I picked up at Wal-Mart on clearance. I wanted one, pretty much as a mucheanical curiosity more than anything. I don't really need an A/O for EDC and if I want a blade that opens quick I already have folders that do such.

    Anyhow, what Chris said and I since realized (given that I have one know) is that opening an A/O isn't the magical spring release of a switchblade. You literally are moving the blade out of the handle before the spring asists. I'll shoot a little video clip for you to help you better understand later on.

    BTW, we are allowed auto knves- the blade just needs to be under 1.5" for carry or transport (read 53-206 and 29-38).

  8. #8
    I put together a brief video exhibiting what I was describing in my previous post.

    The audio didn't come out to good by credits to my brother for helping me get it online.

    It was just posted, and should be available shortly:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OmeAPe-yFA

  9. #9
    As a CT resident, I'd like to purchase the knife in the link below for camping purposes only. According to the CT statutes, will I be able to transport it to/from a campground in packed luggage?

    http://www.oregonknifeshop.com/fallk...est-knife.html



    Below is the Statute for Connecticut as of 2006. According to the statute, the edged portion of the blade has to be less than 4 inches. Now, can I argue that transporting a 5 inch knife from my house residence to my tent/campground residence is within the Statute? (Note, by definition a person can have multiple residences but only one domicile - and domicile was not the language used).

    It would be great if there was a clear exception for camping and transport in closed and/or locked luggage to/from home and campsite but there is not.



    Sec. 53-206. Carrying of dangerous weapons prohibited. (a) Any person who carries upon his or her person any BB. gun, blackjack, metal or brass knuckles, or any dirk knife, or any switch knife, or any knife having an automatic spring release device by which a blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches in length, or stiletto, or any knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or over in length, any police baton or nightstick, or any martial arts weapon or electronic defense weapon, as defined in section 53a-3, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than three years or both. Whenever any person is found guilty of a violation of this section, any weapon or other instrument within the provisions of this section, found upon the body of such person, shall be forfeited to the municipality wherein such person was apprehended, notwithstanding any failure of the judgment of conviction to expressly impose such forfeiture.

    (b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to (1) any officer charged with the preservation of the public peace while engaged in the pursuit of such officer's official duties; (2) the carrying of a baton or nightstick by a security guard while engaged in the pursuit of such guard's official duties; (3) the carrying of a knife, the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or over in length, by (A) any member of the armed forces of the United States, as defined in section 27-103, or any reserve component thereof, or of the armed forces of this state, as defined in section 27-2, when on duty or going to or from duty, (B) any member of any military organization when on parade or when going to or from any place of assembly, (C) any person while transporting such knife as merchandise or for display at an authorized gun or knife show, (D) any person who is found with any such knife concealed upon one's person while lawfully removing such person's household goods or effects from one place to another, or from one residence to another, (E) any person while actually and peaceably engaged in carrying any such knife from such person's place of abode or business to a place or person where or by whom such knife is to be repaired, or while actually and peaceably returning to such person's place of abode or business with such knife after the same has been repaired, (F) any person holding a valid hunting, fishing or trapping license issued pursuant to chapter 490 or any salt water fisherman carrying such knife for lawful hunting, fishing or trapping activities, or (G) any person while participating in an authorized historic reenactment; (4) the carrying by any person enrolled in or currently attending, or an instructor at, a martial arts school of a martial arts weapon while in a class or at an authorized event or competition or while transporting such weapon to or from such class, event or competition; (5) the carrying of a BB. gun by any person taking part in a supervised event or competition of the Boy Scouts of America or the Girl Scouts of America or in any other authorized event or competition while taking part in such event or competition or while transporting such weapon to or from such event or competition; and (6) the carrying of a BB. gun by any person upon such person's own property or the property of another person provided such other person has authorized the carrying of such weapon on such property, and the transporting of such weapon to or from such property.
    Last edited by RCS; 08-01-2011 at 10:20 AM.

  10. #10
    What about the exclusion in Section 53-206 (b)(3)(D) regarding transport from home residence to/from campsite residence?



    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Meyer View Post
    The short answer would be that you can carry a 13" knife while you are fishing or hunting, provided you have a valid hunting or fishing license. "Camping or recreational use" are not listed as exemptions in the statute but the reality is that if you are out in the middle of the woods with your pup tent you are unlikely to encounter any law enforcement officers.

    Connecticut General Statute 29-38 deals with Weapons In Vehicles. It says in part:
    Sec. 29-38. Weapons in vehicles. (a) Any person who knowingly has, in any vehicle owned, operated or occupied by such person, any weapon, ... ...and the presence of any such weapon... ...in any vehicle shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section by the owner, operator and each occupant thereof. The word "weapon", as used in this section, means any... ...any dirk knife or switch knife, any knife having an automatic spring release device by which a blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches in length, any stiletto, any knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or over in length... ...or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument.

    Subsection (b) reads in part:
    The provisions of this section shall not apply to: ...(F) any person holding a valid hunting, fishing or trapping license issued pursuant to chapter 490 or any salt water fisherman while having such knife in a vehicle for lawful hunting, fishing or trapping activities...

    The other statute of importance to you would be Sec. 53-206. Carrying of dangerous weapons prohibited. It deals with carry weapons on your person and contains language similar to that i section 29-38.

    Theses statutes contain some exemptions from the prohibition of carrying otherwise illegal knives around in your car, however, there is no generalized exemption that would allow you to carry one at all times. Common sense tells you that if you lock up your knife in your trunk, tell no one it's there, never give the Police permission to search it, and commit no other crime, your chances of being caught are next to zero. However, you have to decide for yourself whether it's worth the risk.

    See these threads for additional information on CT knife laws:

    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=386111

    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...ht=chris+meyer

    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=455604

    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=412608

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