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California legal

Discussion in 'Knife Laws' started by abiggs, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. abiggs

    abiggs Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    I'm going to be spending some time in California, San Francisco area, coming up and am wondering what I need to know about knife laws there. Can anyone give me some ideas on blade length and locking blade restrictions? Thanks
  2. Sosa


    Feb 6, 2014
    Alameda county has a 3" limit on folders but I've never even heard of it enforced. Fixed can't be concealed.
  3. abiggs

    abiggs Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    Thanks Sosa! Any restriction on a locking blade?
  4. colubrid

    colubrid Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 26, 2005
    What about the rest of California? Do all counties in Calif have different laws for pocket knives?
    Charlie Mike likes this.
  5. Sosa


    Feb 6, 2014
    Locking blades are fine. The only 2 counties I know that have folder restrictions are alameda and la
    I've been searched and detained in alameda county and the cops always give my blades back. Now a concealed fixed blade is considered a dirk or dagger according to CA law. Double edge is ok unless its concealed but police can be ignorant of the law.
  6. SoCalEDC

    SoCalEDC Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 4, 2015
    I live in Los Angeles Co. and have never had a problem. I've even shown Sheriff's my knives. No problem.
    Only ones I would not carry are autos.
    Charlie Mike likes this.
  7. Zero_Time


    Dec 28, 2006
    LA county may have issues, but this nonsense about county level issues in Northern California is rubbish.


    That ordinance about dangerous weapons only has o do with furnishing minors in unincorporated areas, and I defy anyone to demonstrate it has more impact than that.

    What you're looking at is a ban on 3"+ in Oakland, Berkeley, and while loitering in San Francisco. Fixed blades must be open carried. There's no regulations on locking blades except on UC campuses- banned if you're not affiliated with the university.

    Charlie Mike and RichardBay like this.
  8. JDN


    Sep 10, 2002
    Regarding knives on UC campuses, they are NOT banned. Some have a length limit,
    but if you are not a student CA law prevails which means no limit on folders in folding position. Also the 3"
    Limit does not apply to LA County, only LA City. MOst of CA is actually quite reasonable
    re knives. There is no limit on blade length. Fixed blades of course cannot be concealed.
    bigsurbob likes this.
  9. bigsurbob


    Jun 10, 2016
    Per the penal code there is no length limit as long as it is carried openly. A knife carried in a sheath that is worn openly suspended from the waist of the wearer is considered open carry and is legal. Penal code section 20200. Carrying a concealed dirk or dagger is illegal pursuant to Penal Code Section 12020(a)(4).

    All folding knives are legal. California Penal Code Section 17235. As long as they are in the folded position they can be carried in a concealed manner. There is no blade length restriction per the penal code.
  10. CenobitePrime


    Apr 12, 2018
    Does anybody know if wearing a sword suspended at the hip by a baldric counts for purposes of open carry of a fixed blade?
  11. SoCalEDC

    SoCalEDC Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 4, 2015
    Exactly where are you planning on carrying this? Only reason Im asking is our law enforcement and local Government are scared of their own shadows..and will probably question everything.
    Legally, I think your good to go but, just keep in mind where you are at at all times. You are not in Arizona..where I hope to be some day away from this nonsense.
  12. James Y

    James Y

    Feb 18, 1999
    I'm a CA native, I'll be 55 next month, and have lived here all of my life, except the near-decade I spent in my 20s living in Taiwan. I have never had any legal problems related to my knives in CA, or ever been questioned about my knives by a cop. I will say I am discreet about it, but that only makes sense wherever you are.

    Seriously, you could go to any state in this country and find the types of people who are afraid of, or are against the idea of someone carrying a pocketknife, even in reportedly knife-friendly states like Arizona, Texas, Oregon, etc. The only thing I can't do here that I kinda wish I could is carry a Bali-song. Also keep in mind that most Californians are not CA-born and bred, but came here from other states (or countries). So the so-called 'anti-knife Californians' are actually more representative of certain cross-sections of people from out of state. I say this because MANY people love to gripe about how bad CA is regarding knives, when in fact there are enough places in other states that are far worse.

    mnhoj and Roamad like this.
  13. RichardBay


    Jul 13, 2014
    If you want to call me I can explain the knife laws out here. I live in the bay area I also know some cool Knife shops. If you want any info or if time allows on both our sides just reply here and I'll give you my number. I'll check this post everyday this week in case you do need info or want to meet up.
    bigsurbob likes this.
  14. Charlie Mike

    Charlie Mike Sober since 1-7-14 (still a Paranoid Nutjob) Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 1, 2000
    Fresno here... I carry a Busse TGLB or similar size fixed blade all day everyday.
  15. colubrid

    colubrid Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 26, 2005
    I live in GA. I can whip out my knife at McDonalds to cut my daughters hamburger and nobody bats an eye. I take out knife to cut stuff in front of people all the time.

    I think the thing that I would have most problems with in California is the ignorant reactions from people. If you are seriously scared about seeing a knife , then you should seriously SHUT UP about it if you are afraid of me. Get it?
  16. marcinek


    Jan 9, 2007
    And this has to do with the OP's question how exactly? :confused:
  17. bigsurbob


    Jun 10, 2016
    The law seems pretty clear to me. And I'm sure abiggs has long since come and gone from our great Golden State.
  18. Man with no name

    Man with no name

    Jun 24, 2015
    PART 6. CONTROL OF DEADLY WEAPONS [16000 - 34370]

    ( Part 6 added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 711, Sec. 6. )
    ( Title 1 added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 711, Sec. 6. )
    DIVISION 2. DEFINITIONS [16100 - 17360]
    ( Division 2 added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 711, Sec. 6. )
    As used in this part, “switchblade knife” means a knife having the appearance of a pocketknife and includes a spring-blade knife, snap-blade knife, gravity knife, or any other similar type knife, the blade or blades of which are two or more inches in length and which can be released automatically by a flick of a button, pressure on the handle, flip of the wrist or other mechanical device, or is released by the weight of the blade or by any type of mechanism whatsoever. “Switchblade knife” does not include a knife that opens with one hand utilizing thumb pressure applied solely to the blade of the knife or a thumb stud attached to the blade, provided that the knife has a detent or other mechanism that provides resistance that must be overcome in opening the blade, or that biases the blade back toward its closed position.

    (Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 711, Sec. 6. (SB 1080) Effective January 1, 2011. Operative January 1, 2012, by Sec. 10 of Ch. 711.)
  19. James Y

    James Y

    Feb 18, 1999
    How do you know you'd get that reaction in CA more than anywhere else? From personal experience in multiple CA locations? You can get negative reactions from people seeing your knife out in public in virtually ANY state, especially depending on how it's being brought out and used. If you whip a knife open in public with a dramatic flourish, if noticed, I might expect some odd stares in many places, in or out of CA. Especially with all that's been happening these days. Do that in front of the wrong person or people and someone might make a phone call without you even being aware of it.

    Having a chip on one's shoulder about one's knife rarely leads to a greater acceptance of it by others.

    WValtakis likes this.
  20. colubrid

    colubrid Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 26, 2005

    I am just saying I don't like California. I grew up there. I left for a reason. The people changed*. Not a good place anymore.

    *when I was school in California we were allowed to have pocket knives in school. Califonia changed. I don't think you can reverse the ignorance of "acception" when it already moved in the other direction from that.

    I don't have a problem here in GA. People open carry guns. Everybody feels safe.
    bigsurbob likes this.

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