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Thread: Indiana fixed blade knife laws?

  1. #1
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    Indiana fixed blade knife laws?


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    Ok so I called down to the Indiana state police station to see what the laws were on carrying a fixed blade. What I was told was nothing over 3 1/4" blade length is legal to carry. She then told me to look at the Indiana state constitution on www.In.gov I looked through it and I see no blade length restrictions whatsoever. The only few things I can find illegal are knives in school property, no Chinese throwing stars and the typical no switchblades. So can a cop or someone knowledgeable fill me in. I kinda like Edcing my Scrapper 5.

  2. #2
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    The state law is exactly as you stated: No switchblades, no ninja throwing stars, no taking knives to school unless authorized or provided by the school's administration.
    http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/cod.../ar47/ch5.html
    There are no other knife laws at the state level, and Indiana is known for being one of the most knife-friendly states in the US.

    However, your local officer's comments are cause for some concern, for one of two reasons:
    1. They are quoting a local county or city law. If you are in that county or city, you are obligated to follow that law, because Indiana's state law does not preempt knife laws for it's internal jurisdictions. Be sure to look into that, or if you need help, tell me where their station is located and I will help you find the local laws.
    2. They're ignorant, plain and simple. Not saying they're stupid, just that they are mistaken. Most cops have higher priorities in their daily duties than being knowledgeable of the details of knife laws. It only comes up when a given person does something to piss them off enough that they do a terry search or are already arresting you for another crime. Because a cop with a less-than-accurate understanding of knife law is a delicate matter, I urge you to read this essay. http://weaponlaws.wikidot.com/start It was vetted by an administrator of this forum, by another forum member who is a police officer, and by family friend of mine who is an attorney.

  3. #3
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    I am pretty positive that I called the Indianapolis State Police Station, which I though I read that Indianapolis does have some stricter laws on knives.

  4. #4
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    Good article as well thanks for that.

  5. #5
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    Law Enforcement is generally a poor resource for getting accurate info on laws; especially when it comes to guns and knives.

  6. #6
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    Ok, so Indianapolis and Marian County have a consolidated legislature (which means both have the same body of laws).

    Here is the statutory text:
    Sec. 451-1. - Sharp objects or instruments on the person.

    (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to carry around or have in his manual possession or control any ice pick or similar kind of sharp instrument, other than ordinary pocketknives, and such instruments described in subsection (b) of this section, unless the object is a necessary instrument of his lawful trade or occupation or for lawful use in his home, and is actually being carried and intended to be used for use in the performance of such trade or occupation, or for use in his home.

    (b) It shall be unlawful for any person to wear or carry in any public street or place, elevator, public vehicle or place of assemblage any hatpin, ornament or sharp or pointed object, which has an exposed point or edge of more than one-half (½) inch, unless the point or edge is protected with a guard so as to cover it and prevent injury to any person coming in contact therewith.
    http://library.municode.com/HTML/120...S451-1SHOBINPE

    Slightly less relevant but may be of interest:

    Sec. 451-5. - Unlawful disposition of dangerous weapons.

    No person shall sell, give, barter, exchange, lend or otherwise dispose of, or place in the possession of any known or suspected habitual user of narcotics or any known or suspected criminal or a person with criminal purpose, any type of machine gun, sawed-off shotgun, pistol or revolver, or ammunition therefor, or any knucks, billy, sandbag, dagger, dirk, bowie knife or stiletto, or any spring gun, sword cane or any other dangerous weapon of any similar character, which may be carried or concealed on or about the person and which are commonly used and fit to be used unlawfully to inflict harm on or to any person; or any tools, devices or jimmies commonly used for burglary. However, ordinary pocketknives with blades not exceeding five (5) inches in length and so known and sold in legitimate trade shall not be included in the terms of this section, and the provisions of this section shall not apply to any military forces, peace officers or other persons so excepted by law for the possession, use or disposal of any such things.
    http://library.municode.com/HTML/120...S451-5UNDIDAWE

    Note that pocketknives generally means folders.

    So, I don't know where the aforementioned officers are getting 3.5 inches from, but I'd wager it is little more than word-of-mouth speculation by the officers.

  7. #7
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    The language "ice pick or similar kind of sharp instrument, other than ordinary pocketknives" raises more questions than it answers. It would be as if the law prohibited carrying "a laser with power in excess of 5 mw, other than an ordinary flashlight."

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Linton View Post
    The language "ice pick or similar kind of sharp instrument, other than ordinary pocketknives" raises more questions than it answers."
    No, it's there only to close a loophole of somebody carrying an item that can be used as a knife well outside the legal definition of a knife as described. In other words, if you're carrying a sharpened awl, which makes an excellent stabbing weapon, you can't claim it's perfectly legal. It gives a police officer the discretion to confiscate the weapon or arrest someone for using it with the intent of using it as a weapon. It then becomes the state's attorney's job to determine whether the act of carrying it was legal or not.

    Pretty much all states have this loophole closure; Indiana's is just unusual that it calls out an icepick as its only example. But you can see that it covers all sorts of potentially dangerous weapons.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Watchful View Post
    No, it's there only to close a loophole of somebody carrying an item that can be used as a knife well outside the legal definition of a knife as described. In other words, if you're carrying a sharpened awl, which makes an excellent stabbing weapon, you can't claim it's perfectly legal. It gives a police officer the discretion to confiscate the weapon or arrest someone for using it with the intent of using it as a weapon. It then becomes the state's attorney's job to determine whether the act of carrying it was legal or not.

    Pretty much all states have this loophole closure; Indiana's is just unusual that it calls out an icepick as its only example. But you can see that it covers all sorts of potentially dangerous weapons.
    If an ice pick is "similar" to any knife, Indiana is a very knife-unfriendly state. It's law is pretty much like the UK in that you have to defend your carrying anything with a point or edge that is not what the State's Attorney thinks is not "ordinary.' (I would admit that many of my knives are not "ordinary. That's why I own them.) Further, under standards canons of construction of statutes, the listing of occupation, trade, or home use excludes a defense of carrying for any other use, such as your Second Amendment right to bear arms.

  10. #10
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    It's just Marian County guys, not the whole state.

  11. #11
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    Thats what I thought,only Indianapolis and Marian county have the ice pick law.

  12. #12
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    Road blocks on I80? ^___^

    In Cleveland, one cannot, in a "public place," possess or have access to a knife with a blade of 2.5" or longer (mandatory minimum sentence of 3 days in jail and $300 fine) . That ordinance seems to be a theory since there was a Remington store in Cleveland long after the ordinance was enacted that carried a full line of knives - and short swords. Note that "knife" is not otherwise defined. Anyone want to raid McD's? Those plastic knives have a "blade" over 2.5" Then there are the "knives" in every eatery. Wonderful that bans are typically written by those ignorant of the entire subject.

  13. #13
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    Here in the southern part of the state, you can carry whatever you want. I have several customers who are LEO that compliment my various large-ish fixed blade Himalayan Imports knives that I sport from day to day.
    Jake
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely_Gunz View Post
    Here in the southern part of the state, you can carry whatever you want. I have several customers who are LEO that compliment my various large-ish fixed blade Himalayan Imports knives that I sport from day to day.
    If Uncle Bill know you were sporting HI blades, he'd roll over in his grave . .




    have a beer and laugh.

  15. #15
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    I was reading one of the Indiana laws and it was talking about no throwing starts, and it mentioned throwing knives. If anyone can give me more information on that, itd be great, because I love to throw knives

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrew132 View Post
    I was reading one of the Indiana laws and it was talking about no throwing starts, and it mentioned throwing knives. If anyone can give me more information on that, itd be great, because I love to throw knives
    It applies only to multi-bladed throwing weapons. Quote:
    As used in this section, "Chinese throwing star" means a throwing-knife, throwing-iron, or other knife-like weapon with blades set at different angles.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by glistam View Post
    It applies only to multi-bladed throwing weapons. Quote:
    Oh ok, good. Ive been practicing throwing knives in my backyard for a while now

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrew132 View Post
    Oh ok, good. Ive been practicing throwing knives in my backyard for a while now
    Also keep in mind that in MOST parts of the state, officials haven't lost all common sense. There is a big difference in a guy throwing knives into an old stump in his backyard and a wannabe thug pulled over with a set of Untied throwers stuffed in his belt.
    Jake
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  19. #19
    Hello. I'm new to BladeForums and to knife making. I know this is an old thread but if anyone has any info or thoughts on legalities, etc of selling knives or daggers here in Indiana I'd be most appreciative. I'm sure there are folks who collect and deal in swords and such so there must be some proviso for them, right?

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