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Thread: Virginia Knife Laws

  1. #1
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    Virginia Knife Laws


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    I searched for threads on this, but I can't find anything more recent than 2004, so I'll ask again.

    My son is in the Navy and his duty station was recently changed to Norfolk, VA. He wants to get a custom folder (Laconico), but he is not sure about VA knife law, and neither am I. To meet Navy restrictions, it will be just under 3" blade, either framelock or linerlock. Are there any laws in VA that would create problems with such a knife?
    Die Entropie der Welt strebt einem Maximum zu - R.J.E. Clausius

  2. #2
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    i have never had any problems with any knife i have
    i have lived in va my whole life and im 15 min out of norfolk

  3. #3
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    Perfectly legal.

  4. #4
    Its fine.

    The only things that are really an issue in va are autos, balisongs, and concealed fixed blades.

    Being mil he may even be ok on autos

  5. #5
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    I live in VA and it's pretty 'liberal' state regarding knives.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Followthehollow View Post
    Its fine.

    The only things that are really an issue in va are autos, balisongs, and concealed fixed blades.

    Being mil he may even be ok on autos
    I think you have to have a letter from your Commanding Officer stating you need the knife for duty use. Then only in uniform.
    “You won't find reasonable men on the tops of tall mountains.”
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  7. #7
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    Thanks.
    Die Entropie der Welt strebt einem Maximum zu - R.J.E. Clausius

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Followthehollow View Post
    Its fine.

    The only things that are really an issue in va are autos, balisongs, and concealed fixed blades.

    Being mil he may even be ok on autos
    As already pointed out, your son may need something from his Commanding Officer, but that's outside my expertise. However, there is no longer an issue with balisongs in VA (VA Supreme Court decision last year in Thompson v. Commonwealth). Most fixed blades can be carried openly or concealed, unless there's a local ordinance prohibiting.

  9. #9
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    Late to the party, I know.

    As far as auto's go, Ok for Mil, FF/EMS, and LEO in the course of their duties. I carry a Protech daily.

    Is there confirmation anywhere on the concealed fixed blade? I have a CWP, but was under the understanding that a 4" or so fixed blade is technically illegal when concealed.

    As an aside, I have never had an officer question any knive I've carried. I think as long as you don't appear to be a ne'er do well, and don't draw attention it won't be an issue.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4Truck View Post
    Is there confirmation anywhere on the concealed fixed blade? I have a CWP, but was under the understanding that a 4" or so fixed blade is technically illegal when concealed.
    Virginia issues a concealed handgun permit, not a concealed weapons permit. As to the "4" or so" fixed blade:
    § 18.2-308. Personal protection; carrying concealed weapons; when lawful to carry. A. If any person carries about his person, hidden from common observation, . . . (ii) any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, . . . or (v) any weapon of like kind as those enumerated in this subsection, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor

    The VA Supreme Court discussed what constitutes a dirk, bowie knife, or weapon of like kind in their decision in Thompson. So, no double edged daggers, no hunting knives with 10" - 15" blades, and no short swords. Otherwise, pretty much good to go.

  11. #11
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by dsvirsky View Post
    Virginia issues a concealed handgun permit, not a concealed weapons permit. As to the "4" or so" fixed blade:
    § 18.2-308. Personal protection; carrying concealed weapons; when lawful to carry. A. If any person carries about his person, hidden from common observation, . . . (ii) any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, . . . or (v) any weapon of like kind as those enumerated in this subsection, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor

    The VA Supreme Court discussed what constitutes a dirk, bowie knife, or weapon of like kind in their decision in Thompson. So, no double edged daggers, no hunting knives with 10" - 15" blades, and no short swords. Otherwise, pretty much good to go.
    There was a bill proposed in the last month or two to change VA to a Concealed Weapons permit. When I asked around about whether it would allow a permit holder to carry a "switchblade" I was told no, they were covered under another, seperate law. Any idea on how a concealed weapons permit (should the bill ever pass) would benefit Virginians over and above our current CHP?
    BCCI Lifetime Member # 2068
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  12. #12
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    Not a lawyer, but my best, educated guess is the concealed weapons permit would cover things like dirks/daggers and bowie knives, since they are otherwise legal to own and carry. On a practical basis, not much of a change, except for rendering the question of whether one's concealed knife could be considered a dagger, a moot point.

  13. #13
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    Thank you D
    BCCI Lifetime Member # 2068
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  14. #14
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    No crazy big or double edged fixed blades here. Probably be a scrapper 5 or a rodent solution.
    Have done it regularly in the past without issue, just wasn't sure if it was legal or not. i think it would still boil down more to your behavior. I don't really have any interaction with LE outside of work, don't look like a thug, and have no ill intentions. I never thought it would pose a problem.

    Thanks for the info!

  15. #15

    Balisongs in Virginia

    Be careful on saying that balisongs are ok since the Thompson vs. Commonwealth case.....the order in that case reads, in part:

    "While the butterfly knife's blade is four inches long and has a sharp point at the end of the blade, it contains only one sharp edge instead of two and has no protective guard between the blade and the handle. Without two sharp edges and a protective guard, we conclude that the butterfly knife is not designed for stabbing purposes like a dagger, but rather for cutting purposes.
    On the other hand, a sword's blade may be used for cutting or thrusting. However, one important feature of a sword is for the blade to be set in a hilt. Thompson's butterfly knife does not have a hilt. Instead, it is more akin to a pocketknife, in that the blade is movable from its handle, and it folds into itself."

    Sooooo, I would take that to mean that I'm ok if a balisong has 1 sharp edge, but might be in trouble if it has 2.......

    I'm just saying - and better check for yourself to be sure.....

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by bigasswiteboy View Post
    i have never had any problems with any knife i have
    i have lived in va my whole life
    Same here
    no problems so far in Va but dont carry an auto unless you has LE or Military ID

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