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Maine knife laws

Discussion in 'Knife Laws' started by forestnomad, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. forestnomad

    forestnomad

    226
    Jan 9, 2009
    Maine knife laws mostly deal with illegal weapons such as switchblades and the like, but I was wondering if anyone knew the policy on the open carry of fixed blades. A section of the law addresses the carry of knives for hunting, fishing, or trapping, but doesn't elaborate any further. Mine is small (RAT Izula, 2.88 inch blade), but I'd rather not get hassled by cops for it.
     
  2. glistam

    glistam

    Dec 27, 2004
    Maine addresses knives in two ways: Threatening Display and Concealment.

    http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/25/title25sec2001-A.html

    It is illegal to brandish in a threatening manner a "bowie knife, dirk, stiletto or other dangerous or deadly weapon usually employed in the attack on or defense of a person." (Part A)

    It is also illegal to conceal the aforementioned. (Part B)

    Open belt carry is neither threatening nor concealment. And a "Knives used to hunt, fish or trap as defined in Title 12, section 10001" are exempt from concealment restrictions.

    The RAT Izula could be considered a bowie, but more likely it could be be argued effectively as a hunting/fishing knife due to it's small size and utilitarian appearance.

    :DOk I couldn't resist bringing this up. Fishing in Maine is defined as:
     
  3. RayseM

    RayseM Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Here is the exact MAINE STATE Statute updated August 2010:

    §2001-A. Threatening display of or carrying concealed weapon

    1. Display or carrying prohibited. A person may not, unless excepted by a provision of law:
    A. Display in a threatening manner a firearm, slungshot, knuckles, bowie knife, dirk, stiletto or other dangerous or deadly weapon usually employed in the attack on or defense of a person; or [2003, c. 452, Pt. N, §2 (NEW); 2003, c. 452, Pt. X, §2 (AFF).]
    B. Wear under the person's clothes or conceal about the person's person a firearm, slungshot, knuckles, bowie knife, dirk, stiletto or other dangerous or deadly weapon usually employed in the attack on or defense of a person. [2003, c. 452, Pt. N, §2 (NEW); 2003, c. 452, Pt. X, §2 (AFF).]
    [ 2003, c. 452, Pt. N, §2 (NEW); 2003, c. 452, Pt. X, §2 (AFF) .]


    2. Exceptions. The provisions of this section concerning the carrying of concealed weapons do not apply to:

    (I have eliminated the text for firearms as not relevant to this thread. RayseM.)

    C. Knives used to hunt, fish or trap as defined in Title 12, section 10001; [2003, c. 452, Pt. N, §2 (NEW); 2003, c. 452, Pt. X, §2 (AFF).]

    So, not being an attorney - I think "threatening manner" & "Wear under the person's clothes or conceal about the person's person" are the key phrases. I have not found any notation about knife blade length being a consideration. If you carry a hunting license - I think (my experience supports this) - you will be left alone during various hunting seasons if you are visibly wearing a sheathed knife having breakfast at a diner, but would likely run into trouble wearing the same rig while having dinner at a restaurant in Portland, hunting license notwithstanding. I'd like to say that common sense should prevail, but I also think that the wrong cop in the wrong mood could make your life miserable as regards knife carry. I think the only way to be more clear on this topic is to discuss the issue with a state trooper or game warden. Likely get 2 interpretations. I need to have such a discussion some day. I'll get back to you if I do.
     
  4. Kid Couteau

    Kid Couteau

    317
    Nov 21, 2000
    Hi

    I live in Northern Maine. Way up by Canada

    The law may state one thing but you will still be asked by local LEOs if you have a big knife on your hip. Most wont give a second glance to grand dads hunting knife.

    A lot of it has to do with how you are dressed and your age as well as the way you handle yourself.

    Act like a punk and expect trouble. Act like a hiker no worries.

    Southern Maine keep it hidden

    HTH
    Kid Couteau
     
  5. Christopher67

    Christopher67

    5
    Feb 23, 2013
  6. Christopher67

    Christopher67

    5
    Feb 23, 2013
  7. glistam

    glistam

    Dec 27, 2004
    The TDI is designed specifically to be used as a weapon against other humans. Yes it was designed for lawful defensive use by police officers, but like nearly every weapon law in the US, it doesn't care about that, only that it's designed as a weapon at all. Open carry only, no concealed carry.
     
  8. Christopher67

    Christopher67

    5
    Feb 23, 2013

    Awesome, thanks for the reply.
     
  9. Brandonb1

    Brandonb1

    3
    Feb 2, 2016
    Ok so its 2016 and with the recent change/removal of law pertaining to knifes im left with little to no reliable info. im looking to carry my cold steel tanto for utility and self defense purposes. for the most part im fairly certain im in the clear. except for one part. the knife im looking to carry has a D-frame hand guard. which looks similar to brass knuckles. but on the official site AKA cold steel its advertised as a D-frame hand guard. now im a hard worker, im not thuggish, or roaming the streets looking for trouble. and i dont like to tiptoe on what dose seem like a gray area. but choice of word will get you a long way and im wondering with how this knife is advertised. do you think im in the clear
     
  10. glistam

    glistam

    Dec 27, 2004
    The only thing the new law passed last Fall does, with regards to knives, is that the switchblade ban was repealed. Prior to this, it was illegal to even so much as own a switchblade. The other laws outlined above in this thread have not changed.

    An important matter regarding the law is that it's all about the design of the knife rather than the situation. This is different from other states, mind you. There was a new piece of case law in 2012 called State v. Jones, where the high court stated that it didn't matter that the suspect was a thuggish parolee out at 2am with two folding knives. The two folding knives are not specifically designed as weapons, so Jones was acquitted.

    The Cold Steel Chaos Tanto that you want to carry is a very obviously a weaponized knife. No cop of judge is going to buy that it's a for fishing or work. You may carry this openly, unless prohibited by local city or county ordinance. But if you carry it concealed, you will likely face a concealed weapon charge if you're ever caught.
     

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