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Thread: Los Angeles County, CA law that I just recently came across

  1. #1
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    Los Angeles County, CA law that I just recently came across


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    So I was reading through the knife laws in California and was trying to get more acquainted with it and I ran into this.

    Los Angeles Codes online

    http://www.amlegal.com/los_angeles_ca/

    Los Angeles Municipal Code

    SEC. 55.10. CARRY KNIVES OR DAGGERS IN PLAIN VIEW PROHIBITED.
    (Added by Ord. No. 162,995, Eff. 1/7/88.)

    (a) As used in this section, the term knife or dagger shall include any knife, dirk or dagger having a blade 3 inches or more in length, any ice pick or similar sharp tool, any straight edge razor or any razor blade fitted to a handle.

    (b) No person shall wear or carry in plain view any knife or dagger upon any public street or other public place or in any place open to the public.

    (c) The prohibitions of this section shall not apply where a person is wearing or carrying a knife or dagger for use in a lawful occupation, for lawful recreational purposes, or as a recognized religious practice, or while the person is traveling to or returning from participation in such activity.
    Section (b) (in bold and underlined) says I can't have a knife in plain view of the public.

    I just recently bought a messenger bag and I clipped a liner locking knife with a 3.25 inch blade on the outside MOLLE threading.

    Am I missing something or is that really illegal?

    Any input would be great. I just want to clarify all the laws before I get in trouble.

    Many thanks,
    -Chris

  2. #2
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    Well, you're half-right. To explain, you need to read (a), (b) and (c) together, which in short means you cannot have any knife in plain view unless the blade is under 3 inches long OR if you are using said knife for a lawful occupation (e.g. chef, construction worker, fishmonger) a lawful recreational use (making food, hunting, sailing) or religious practice (Sikhism, Wicca, etc).

    Now, your knife has a blade longer than 3 inches, so yes technically speaking you are violating the law by carrying on the outside of your bag like that. I would chalk up the fact that you have not be stopped and questioned to the fact that it may not be worth a police officer's time. Your knife is close to 3 inches and a cop seeing it may not feel it's necessary to actually go to the trouble of measuring it to be sure, unless you do something else suspicious first. But it's still technically illegal. So just put it inside your bag instead of on the outside.
    Last edited by glistam; 05-10-2010 at 12:49 PM.

  3. #3
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    Oh, I totally missed that! Thanks a lot glistam for clarifying.

  4. #4
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    and that is the city law, but the county code is virtually identical.

    the difference would be who is typically enforcing the section.

    city=lapd
    county=laso

  5. #5
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    I tried looking for the county law and couldn't find it. You say it's virtually identical though; do you happen to know the legal length and where I can find this info?
    Last edited by c.joe; 06-27-2010 at 03:09 AM.

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    the legal length for la county is 3"
    -Matt
    "Rock is not the devil's work. It's magical and rad." -JB
    ~Carpe diem, vita brevis~

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    Quote Originally Posted by c.joe View Post
    I tried looking for the county law and couldn't find it. You say it's virtual identical though; do you happen to know the legal length and where I can find this info?
    13.62.010 Knives and daggers defined.

    As used in this chapter, the terms “knives and daggers” shall include any knife having a blade of three inches or more in length; any spring-blade, switch-blade or snap-blade knife; any knife any blade of which is automatically released by a spring mechanism or other mechanical device; any ice pick or similar sharp stabbing tool; any straight-edge razor or any razor blade fitted to a handle. (Ord. 11915 § 1, 1979.)

    13.62.020 Carrying knives and daggers in plain view prohibited.

    It is unlawful for any person to carry on his person, in plain view, any knife or dagger. (Ord. 11915 § 2, 1979.)

    13.62.030 Exemptions to chapter applicability.

    The foregoing restrictions shall not be deemed to prohibit the carrying of ordinary tools or equipment for use in a lawful occupation or for the purpose of lawful recreation, or where the carrying of a knife or dagger is a recognized religious practice. (Ord. 11915 § 3, 1979.)

    13.62.040 Violation--Penalty.

    Any person violating this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not exceeding $500.00 or by imprisonment in the County Jail for a period not exceeding six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. (Ord. 11915 § 4, 1979.)
    Last edited by MORIMOTOM; 05-11-2010 at 09:56 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MORIMOTOM View Post
    13.62.010 Knives and daggers defined.

    As used in this chapter, the terms “knives and daggers” shall include any knife having a blade of three inches or more in length; any spring-blade, switch-blade or snap-blade knife; any knife any blade of which is automatically released by a spring mechanism or other mechanical device; any ice pick or similar sharp stabbing tool; any straight-edge razor or any razor blade fitted to a handle. (Ord. 11915 § 1, 1979.)
    When it says "spring blade" does that mean spring assisted knives?

    I appreciate the responses.

  9. #9
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    I also have a question on CA laws.

    I have a 5" texas toothpick slip joint. Is this legal to carry in the pocket?

    I may be relocating to Lemoore (NAS Lemoore).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rankor View Post
    I also have a question on CA laws.

    I have a 5" texas toothpick slip joint. Is this legal to carry in the pocket?

    I may be relocating to Lemoore (NAS Lemoore).
    There is no blade length restriction in the state of California however the county laws are the laws that set the blade length restrictions. Here in the LA county it's 4 inches or less for us civilians. (some may tell you your blade needs to be smaller than your four fingers put together if measured perpendicular to them; but that's bogus. I had Big 5 and Sports Chalet tell me those exact same words.) So what does it mean when there's no specific blade length restriction in CA? That means you can take any size of a pocket knife up to the mountains for recreational use or where ever county laws don't apply.

    Anyways my question still stands.
    When it says "spring blade" does that mean spring assisted knives?

    Thanks
    -Chris

  11. #11
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    I've never heard of a 4" restriction on folders. Do you have he code # on that so I can verify? I've been carrying a 5.5 for 6 months and it would suck to find put I'm not in complience "the hard way".

  12. #12
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    i was under the impression it was 3 inches.
    -Matt
    "Rock is not the devil's work. It's magical and rad." -JB
    ~Carpe diem, vita brevis~

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    Quote Originally Posted by c.joe View Post
    When it says "spring blade" does that mean spring assisted knives?

    I appreciate the responses.

    that would have been a reference to autos. assisted knives were not around when the law was drafted.

    however, this does not mean it could not be applied today for assisted openers. but i am not aware of the section being applied that way.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundude73 View Post
    i was under the impression it was 3 inches.

    http://www.ninehundred.net/~equalccw....html#Overview

    Section 4.

    Los Angeles and a few other SoCal cities have a town ordinance banning the carry of knives over 3". In SOME cases, it's phrased as a ban on big stuff of any sort carried openly, so that excludes fixed-blades and the open-carry of big folders, but you can still conceal (and LEAVE concealed until needed to save a life) a large folding knife.
    I was always told 4 inches by my local knife shop as the county length limit.

    Couldn't find a reference though.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MORIMOTOM View Post
    that would have been a reference to autos. assisted knives were not around when the law was drafted.

    however, this does not mean it could not be applied today for assisted openers. but i am not aware of the section being applied that way.
    Thanks a lot MORIMOTOM. You have been very helpful and I appreciate it very much.

  16. #16
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    So all this time I thought I could carry any length fixed blade as long as it was showing I was wrong? Is a folder clipped to your pocket (showing) also subject to the 3" rule? 4" rule? I think I've been so wrong for so long! Thanks for bringing this up.

    "It's not what you don't know that gets you into trouble- it's what you know that isn't so" -or something like that.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MVF View Post
    So all this time I thought I could carry any length fixed blade as long as it was showing I was wrong? Is a folder clipped to your pocket (showing) also subject to the 3" rule? 4" rule? I think I've been so wrong for so long! Thanks for bringing this up.

    "It's not what you don't know that gets you into trouble- it's what you know that isn't so" -or something like that.
    depends where you are. in los angeles city or county, the length limit applies.

    the state has set no blade length restrictions.

    a folder of any size may be carried concealed.

  18. #18
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    as an aside, the city/county laws are normally dispositioned with citations (tickets), not bookings. the property will be booked as evidence, and within the city you should get a receipt for property taken.

    this is not a guarantee, as the offense is bookable.


    i believe these laws were the result of manson family members who were openly carrying large fixed blade knives outside the temple courthouse during the trials of those arrested in connection with the tate and labianca murders.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MORIMOTOM View Post
    depends where you are. in los angeles city or county, the length limit applies.

    the state has set no blade length restrictions.

    a folder of any size may be carried concealed.
    I'm quoting this as a thank you, and as an emphasis to others who may be reading. because you still did not divide the three primary knife types. (Fixed blades, Folders and "Switch" Blades).

    The 3" length limit applies to FIXED BLADES. Fixed blades must be carried openly on the belt, and no other place on the body. LA puts the limit on fixed blade open carry at 3". CA, including LA, does not allow concealed carry of fixed blade knives, and by the same token, you may not carry a folder concealed while it is locked open.

    Folders, however, may be of ANY LENGTH so long as they follow these rules:

    1) It's NOT A SWITCHBLADE, balisong or gravity knife. Meaning, it is not opened or operated by a button or lever that is not a part of the blade itself. There are a couple of other definitions, but this gets to the meat of the matter: no flicking the thing open without touching a part of the blade itself. EDIT - the fact is, switchblades are actually legal UNDER 2". so you'll see all kinds of 1.9" keychain and other switchblade type knives sold here.)

    2) It must be CONCEALED. If you can see a part of it, like a pocket clip or a handle, or it has a belt carry sheath, guess what, you are likely limited to 3". If you keep it inside your pocket or inside your jacket, if you keep it inside the flap or your bag instead of outside on the strap, you can carry pretty much any size folder. (Not that you'd want a monster 7" in the crotch of your pants. )

    3) It must remain CLOSED while on your person (unless you are actually using it in a reasonable and lawful manner).

    So knowing all of this, know that spring assisted knives are A-OK so long as you follow the rules. Keep it hidden. "Unhide" it only when it NEEDS to be unhidden.

    Here's an idea of sheer practicality: Don't whip your knife out to "impress" people, in which case, the type of knife is not really the issue anymore. That issue has changed to getting "crazy knife guy" off the street. Keep your knives out of view if you are in restaurants, bars, stores and any other public place where people can get freaked out. If you actually need to use a knife, well, go ahead. Just use the right kind of knife. Buddy of mine got in all kinds of hassle when he pulled out a push dagger to eat his steak at a fancy steak joint. His carry of the push dagger was perfectly legal. Hip sheath, not concealed, under 3", using it for preparing food at a dinner table. By law, he was all good.

    But that thing looked evil (push daggers are designed for concealing and then stabbing people, after all) and it freaked out the waitress who called the police. DON'T LET THIS BE YOU.

    Random closing: in my opinion, LA knife laws are extremely generous compared to other cities like Chicago and New York.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for all the info, guys.

    If I am going to Cali, I sure am going to miss Texas

    Trying to decide either Lemoore, Hanford, Visalia, etc.

    Also trying to find out w/c county has a better chance to grant ccw? Kings or Tulare?

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