jskit nailed it better than I did.
Someone recently posted some sites that have information on knife laws. I read one source that said that any knife on a college campus would be illegal in NC, and this vague statement means that even a Spyderco Kopa with a small 2 7/16" blade would fit this classification. Of course, real weapons would be innappropriate and illegal.
According to this interpretation of the law, you couldn't walk down a street on the edge of the campus, like Franklin Street, with a small pocket knife in your pocket without violating the law.
I don't carry anything that I would think of as a weapon, and usually have something small in my pocket, like a Spyderco Chaparral or lately, a Fallkniven FH9 BH, and that is even smaller.
Is this an accurate reading of NC law?
Does anyone know?
jskit nailed it better than I did.
NC has pretty vague knife laws, but I've always carried a knife in my pocket, both as a student and as an employee of a 4 year university. I've carried everything from a little Buck Deuce to the Kershaw Tremor (on me today).
§ 14‑269 (d) excludes an "ordinary pocket knife" as a weapon, so by default I would assume said "ordinary pocket knife" would not be considered a weapon on educational grounds, but § 14‑269.2 (d) says it's a Class 1 misdemeanor to possess "any sharp‑pointed or edged instrument except instructional supplies, unaltered nail files and clips and tools used solely for preparation of food, instruction, and maintenance, on educational property". That's beyond the section's list of non-firearms, but § 14‑269.2 doesn't list an "ordinary pocket knife" though it could be covered under "sharp‑pointed or edged instrument".
- Read the laws yourself and use your own judgment.
- If you do decide to carry, don't wave it around or carry it to show and tell.
- If folks are getting stabbed everyday on your campus, I'd leave the knife at home.
- If someone says something about it, you can always tell them its for peeling apples (tools used solely for preparation of food).
- You could always find someone who practices or at least knows how to read those riddles we call statutes and get their interpretation.
I've had one clipped to the side of my pocket for 5+ years and haven't had the first problem if that means anything to you.
Thanks for your feedback. I thought the law was weird and vague, and that was why I asked. NC is a state that has concealed carry, but not on school grounds.
I wouldn't think of a small knife as a weapon, but I suspect that the law exists and is written the way it is to help state attorneys to prosecute someone
who has already done something unlawful. This activity may not even involve a small knife, or any knife.
The law isn't necessarily written to help prosecute anyone, but to define what is lawful and unlawful. It's then up to the courts to interpret that law. Once a ruling has been made, by say the state supreme court, the law could be amended by the legislature to reflect that ruling and help further define the law.
So, If a court ruled that a knife that's blade was 3.5" or less was "an ordinary pocket knife", that ruling could be referred to to help argue a case or the legislature could add that definition to the law to make it cut-and-dry.
I think that's how it goes anyway.
For now, I say keep calm and carry on(e) - or two.
Yea, our knife laws here in North Carolina. I have no idea if it was legal or not. But when I went through a course here to become a mechanic, everyone at the shop, both teachers and students, all had a folder on them. We never had a problem there as the knife was being used a tool and would have likely fell under "unaltered nail files and clips and tools used solely for preparation of food, instruction, and maintenance, on educational property." This would likely full under this as in this case a knife was a needed and necessary tool.
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