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

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
    Fixed blades must be carried openly on the belt, and no other place on the body.
    Is this a specific law for LA? Normally the "must carry on belt openly" is only an example and not a specific requirement when stated in the section. The fixed blade just has to be carried openly.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by rankor View Post
    If I am going to Cali, I sure am going to miss Texas
    You'll really enjoy it here in California. The weather here will compensate for everything that you have left behind in Texas. Don't sweat about it.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by c.joe View Post
    Is this a specific law for LA? Normally the "must carry on belt openly" is only an example and not a specific requirement when stated in the section. The fixed blade just has to be carried openly.
    That's a state requirement for all "dirks and daggers" and applies everywhere in the state. Fixed blade knives are covered under the definition of dirks and daggers.

  4. #24
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    About the 3 inches, is that from handle to tip, or just the cutting edge? As an example, Sypdie Paramilitary, 3 3/32 tip to handle, the cutting edge is about 2 7/8. If it is the handle to tip, then it should be concealed, no pocket clip showing. If it is the cutting edge, then having the pocket clip showing is okay.

  5. #25
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    Thanks guys

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
    That's a state requirement for all "dirks and daggers" and applies everywhere in the state. Fixed blade knives are covered under the definition of dirks and daggers.
    No, what I meant was, I know it's a statewide law and that carrying a fixed blade on the belt is optional because the section implied the belt carry is only an example of open carry and not a specific law.

    So my question was, is it mandatory to carry your fixed blade on your belt in LA or is that just another example that was stated in the section? Many people misinterpret that part and assume it's mandatory to do so.

    Chevy_racin, normally it's tip to handle.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by chevy_racin View Post
    About the 3 inches, is that from handle to tip, or just the cutting edge? As an example, Sypdie Paramilitary, 3 3/32 tip to handle, the cutting edge is about 2 7/8. If it is the handle to tip, then it should be concealed, no pocket clip showing. If it is the cutting edge, then having the pocket clip showing is okay.
    This is not legal advice, this is just a common sense interpretation by nobody other than me:

    If you were in court over it, the prosecutor would demand an interpretation of handle to tip. That's the standard, because it is the most stringent. But if their case against you is depending on this detail, they don't really have a case. Most attorneys can just tell them where to "stick it" if all they have on you is a quarter inch of ricasso with no other crime. In other words, you had to be doing a number of other bad things for a marginal unlawful carry charge to be included. At which point, you'll be worried about bigger legal problems.

    But when it comes to dealing with enforcement, like if an LEO stops you and asks to see whats in that sheath, being within a quarter inch either way isn't going to matter much. The LEO is not going to measure the thing with a ruler. They will likely just look at it and maybe even ask you how big it is. They will also ask you why you are carrying a knife in a sheath. Your answer should always be "3 inches, sir (or ma'am). I use it for work." "OK, we're good, but why don't you leave it in your car until you are on the job." might be a response you'll hear. Again, this isn't them telling you the law, this is them giving you advice you how to avoid attention in the future.

    If you have a wicked looking knife like that crazy huge spyderco serrated folder, they might make you sit for 20 minutes to see if you get nervous or freaked out. If you start acting crazy or upset, they are definitely taking your knife away from you whether it was legal carry or not. They're doing this to get the blade out of the hands of an unstable person.

    This is all common sense stuff. In Los Angeles, carry any size folder you want but make sure it's concealed and only revealed for reasonable, practical use.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by c.joe View Post
    No, what I meant was, I know it's a statewide law and that carrying a fixed blade on the belt is optional because the section implied the belt carry is only an example of open carry and not a specific law.

    So my question was, is it mandatory to carry your fixed blade on your belt in LA or is that just another example that was stated in the section? Many people misinterpret that part and assume it's mandatory to do so.

    Chevy_racin, normally it's tip to handle.
    Considering the number of people prosecuted for boot carry, I recommend you keep it on your belt.

    EDIT - this isn't about law interpretation, this is about common sense ways to stay off the radar.
    Last edited by Los Angeles; 05-12-2010 at 04:37 PM.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
    This is not legal advice, this is just a common sense interpretation by nobody other than me:

    If you were in court over it, the prosecutor would demand an interpretation of handle to tip. That's the standard, because it is the most stringent. But if their case against you is depending on this detail, they don't really have a case. Most attorneys can just tell them where to "stick it" if all they have on you is a quarter inch of ricasso with no other crime. In other words, you had to be doing a number of other bad things for a marginal unlawful carry charge to be included. At which point, you'll be worried about bigger legal problems.

    But when it comes to dealing with enforcement, like if an LEO stops you and asks to see whats in that sheath, being within a quarter inch either way isn't going to matter much. The LEO is not going to measure the thing with a ruler. They will likely just look at it and maybe even ask you how big it is. They will also ask you why you are carrying a knife in a sheath. Your answer should always be "3 inches, sir (or ma'am). I use it for work." "OK, we're good, but why don't you leave it in your car until you are on the job." might be a response you'll hear. Again, this isn't them telling you the law, this is them giving you advice you how to avoid attention in the future.

    If you have a wicked looking knife like that crazy huge spyderco serrated folder, they might make you sit for 20 minutes to see if you get nervous or freaked out. If you start acting crazy or upset, they are definitely taking your knife away from you whether it was legal carry or not. They're doing this to get the blade out of the hands of an unstable person.

    This is all common sense stuff. In Los Angeles, carry any size folder you want but make sure it's concealed and only revealed for reasonable, practical use.
    Thanks for the feedback. I just heard both ways, edge and the whole blade. Makes sense, if you aren't using it, leave it in the pocket. I don't plan on giving a LEO a reason to ask.

  10. #30
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    Okay, this is confusing I remember reading a penal code having the same provisions as the open carrying of a unloaded firearm suspended from the waistband is legal same as any 'hunting fixed blade" carried openly.

  11. #31
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    I just realized this recently too and it seems the legal limit really is 3" open carry for folders for LA. I'm just going to be carrying anything over 3" concealed now with a lanyard attached.

  12. #32
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    Good idea bud, I mean use like green, orange bright friendly color lanyards to cover any ideas of tactical use.

  13. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
    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.
    Great post, but have there been any changes to the law in 2012 - i heard that there were.

    ...would an AXIS or ARC lock be legal in LA? Because the blade can be deployed by sliding the button and flicking it, or just flicking it without using the sliding button at all, but requires more flicking force. Sliding the button nudges the blade out to get it started for a soft flick.

    ...does a dagger have to be sharpened on both sides to be classified as a dagger?

    I'd love to carry my 5" Pentagon Elite, but i can't figure out if it's legal ??? Its a dagger blade, but only sharpened on one side BUT the tip is sharpened from the factory a quarter inch on the top side (shark tooth tip)...and it has an ARC lock (similar to AXIS lock).

    Or should i just leave it at home because its too controversial?..which in that case I can just carry my spine lock fold with 6" blade

  14. #34
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    Hey BDP,

    Axis and ARC locks are legally considered to be legal folding knives.
    A "dagger" or "dirk or dagger" means "fixed blade" - doesn't matter how it's sharpened.
    Penatgon Elite is a folder, no matter how it's sharpened. Just keep it concealed if you're in LA.

  15. #35
    ...it just worries me that it can be considered a gravity knife, because upon pressing the arc lock, the blade drops just like a gravity knife and can also be closed like a gravity knife. Although if the blades screw has adequate tension it wont drop open or closed.

  16. #36
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    i've been between LA and SD and never had a problem with pocket carrying. I can't speak for carrying a fixed blade. But i've worked on the ASW base, and in coronado, and no MP or local officers have ever said anything, and i always had a clip in the front of back pocket sticking out. Working in coronado, the chief of police came often as well as local officers, which i took care of. Being that they're sitting down, i'm sure my clipped knife was visible, but no one had ever said anything. I've also let managers use my knife because the steak knives were trash at cutting.

    As long as you're not twirling it around like a baton, or acting a fool, i feel like you won't get much gruf. Again i can't speak for large fixed blade outside carry. Enjoy california, and make sure to stop by Plaza Cutlery in Orange County, Dan and the rest of the people there are really nice folks
    ~we weep for the cry of the birds, but not the blood of the fish. blessed are those who have voice~
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