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Clarify on Massachusetts/Boston knife laws?

Discussion in 'Knife Laws' started by deeveeflo, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. deeveeflo

    deeveeflo

    31
    Jan 3, 2012
    I've checked around the internet, the general laws of Mass and bladeforums, but I can't quite wrap my head around it.
    So what they're saying is if you get arrested and you have a knife on you, you're in trouble. But it's ok to carry a knife if you're carrying for an activity that requires a knife.

    I just wanted to see if anybody who lived in Boston or Mass would know. Because I'm going to a convention in April and was wondering if it was kosher to carry a Strider SNG in my pocket, if I wasn't being crazy or dangerous with it.
     
  2. glistam

    glistam

    Dec 27, 2004
    That's not entirely accurate, and really it's not that complicated.

    State law for Mass lists several types of knife that are illegal to carry regardless of why you are carrying them.
    http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartIV/TitleI/Chapter269/Section10
    Basically it means no switchblades and no double-edge blades. Yeah there's a few other types of knives in there but they are rather obscure (ballistic knife for example). It is notable that butterfly knives are not considered illegal, and folding knives have no length limits.

    Boston tightens down a bit. In short, it's illegal to sell or give any knife to a minor (under 18) unless the blade is a dinky 2 inches or less. The carry law goes like this:

     
  3. deeveeflo

    deeveeflo

    31
    Jan 3, 2012
    Thanks, I just wasn't sure about the carrying on your person etc.
    Ironic that their slogan is Spirit of America. HAH, what happened to my right to bear arms.
     
  4. TOM1960

    TOM1960

    653
    Nov 5, 2007
    Besides Boston, the cities of Cambridge, Revere, Lynn, Salem, Beverly, Worcester and Lawrence also have a 2.5" limit. I live in Dracut and travel through these cities on a regular basis. I carry a 4" lock-blade folder as my EDC, completely concealed (no pocket clip showing) and never had a problem. Just remember, the LEOs here in MA don't want to hear about your "right to bear arms" because as far as they are concerned, you don't have any such right. Your knife is always a tool; never a weapon.
     
  5. deeveeflo

    deeveeflo

    31
    Jan 3, 2012
    Probably one of the best knife advices I've heard.
     
  6. litetube

    litetube

    115
    Jul 15, 2009
    actually butterfly knives are illegal to carry in Mass. i do believe
     
  7. glistam

    glistam

    Dec 27, 2004
    Nope. I was as shocked as the next guy to see that the statutory language (at the state level at least) contains no such prohibition against anything that might describe a butterfly knife. I was equally surprised to see that carrying a baton or billy club is completely legal so long as you are not committing a crime or nor wanted on a warrant.
     
  8. fastcubesolver

    fastcubesolver

    31
    Aug 28, 2013
    I thought that butterfly knives were illegal in Mass. Period.
    Also, it's good to know how to carry knives through Boston, I have to go through the city to get home, and I have 6 knives going with me. Two hunting fixed blades, a butterfly trainer(technically not a knife, but it was still confiscated), a credit card knife, a key knife, and a Kershaw assisted folder. I'll just pack them away deep in my bag or backpack and make my way home.
     
  9. TOM1960

    TOM1960

    653
    Nov 5, 2007
    Why was it confiscated? Rule #1 for carrying is to keep all knives, firearms and anything else that can be considered a weapon completely concealed at all times while in public, especially here in MA. I carried knives all of my life and never had a problem with confiscation, LEO hassles, arrest, etc. The reason is because I perfected my concealed carry methods. Proper dress and grooming are also crucial. Blend in with your surroundings. I call it "urban camouflage".
     
  10. fastcubesolver

    fastcubesolver

    31
    Aug 28, 2013
    Even a little folding knife clipped on the pocket is better to have entirely in the pocket? Thanks for your help.
     
  11. MAKnifenut

    MAKnifenut

    292
    May 14, 2013
    carry anything you want outside of boston and just dont commit a crime. In boston only carry a fixed blade or a manual folder with a blade under 2.5 inches. Alot of cops dont care though so you can get away with more than that. Also, you are exempted from boston knife ordinances if you have a Class A LTC. Hope this helps.
     
  12. MAKnifenut

    MAKnifenut

    292
    May 14, 2013
    Im not sure about the rest, but worcester is 3.
     
  13. MAKnifenut

    MAKnifenut

    292
    May 14, 2013
    Under the wording of the law they are classified as gravity knives but case law has found them to be pocket knives so they're legal to carry. Bladelength is the only thing you have to worry about with them. That and cops who dont know the law.
     
  14. fastcubesolver

    fastcubesolver

    31
    Aug 28, 2013
    I have two hunting knives, each about 5-6 inches in blade length. I get home through Boston(public transportation). What do I do? I feel that I'd be fine with them wrapped up in the bottom of my bag. And I'll avoid committing any crimes as well.
     
  15. TOM1960

    TOM1960

    653
    Nov 5, 2007
    Sometimes, bags can be inspected by MBTA Transit Police. They usually announce bag searches, most often in response to terrorists threats. You can refuse the inspection but they will not allow you to board the subway trains.
     
  16. fastcubesolver

    fastcubesolver

    31
    Aug 28, 2013
    I can understand that. I've never been stopped before. I came home yesterday and I had a backpack with me, and no one batted an eye. I do understand that with the recent Boston Marathon bombing that they would be more uptight about stuff like this.
     
  17. MAKnifenut

    MAKnifenut

    292
    May 14, 2013
    As long as its not easily accesible youl be fine.
     
  18. fastcubesolver

    fastcubesolver

    31
    Aug 28, 2013
    Sounds good. Thanks guys! I think that next time I head home I'll be driven, so it won't even be that big of a problem.
     
  19. BladeRunner328

    BladeRunner328

    1
    Apr 18, 2015
    http://jamaicaplaingazette.com/2015/04/10/bpd-man-pulled-knife-on-fake-cop/

    My how times have changed. the impression I have taken is that I cannot use a knife to ward off a stranger impersonating an officer. I can see how the "suspect" continued the ordeal from inside the business and was seeking a "duel" of sorts. Read it and make sure you understand the "victim" "suspect" aspect. The guy who was approached by a complete stranger was arrested for the knife. Unless I am reading this incorrectly.
     
  20. glistam

    glistam

    Dec 27, 2004
    "ward off?" Alright I'm as strong a proponent of knife rights as anyone on this forum, and this is a terrible example. First, the person was not charged with knife carry, he was charged with assault. Second, the police impersonator did not attack, did not make any threats of violence, nor did he attempt to extort money or property. He simply said "you blew my cover" and nobody really knows why he did that. Sorry, but you do not get to justifiably stab people for simply lying to you and/or bothering you. All three news sources I have read on this case (also I have family in Jamaica Plains) do not even make it clear the man knew the impersonator was a fake, meaning he may have attacked him thinking he really was an undercover cop.
     

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