La county laws on switchblades, bali's etc.

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Nov 13, 2004
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15
Hi, im very new to this forum, and ive been seeing listings on ebay for stiletto switchblades like so: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=475&item=2283914233

And Butterfly knives, or bali's like so: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=475&item=2283334925&rd=1

I was also looking at throwing knives, http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=20271&item=2284584509&rd=1

I dont have much experiece with knives other than using them to cut my steak. Let alone knife laws. I live in Alhambra, within LA county and i was wondering if having possession of any of these blades will get me in trouble. Im sorry for the extremely noobish question. I tried to search, but there was so much legal mumbo jumbo, i didnt know what was waht any more :confused: Im also left handed and i dont really have much practical uses for these knives, just for mess around with in the backyard or something.
 
But will i get in trouble for having something like that in posession? Thats what i want to know.
 
_In_California_, it's legal to carry an automatic knife with a blade under 2" long. According to Bernard Levine, LA has no additional restrictions.

-BUT-

Don't trust the eBay listings. Being based in Cali, eBay will only allow sales of auto knives and balisongs with blades under 2" long, so most eBay sellers lie about the blade length to avoid having their auctions taken down. Look at the photos--those are definitely not 5cm blades.

reason for edit: formatting error
 
Is is illegal to have posession within LA of blades over 5cm long? Or does that applies only to switchblades? I read the fixed blades dont have a lenght limit? Are butterfly knives considered an automatic?
 
mofo said:
Is is illegal to have posession within LA of blades over 5cm long? Or does that applies only to switchblades? I read the fixed blades dont have a lenght limit? Are butterfly knives considered an automatic?

If I read the LA code correctly (and IANAL), then you have a hard-and-fast three-inch limit on non-automatic knives (fixed and folding), and they must be concealed (no "open carry").

Again, check out that link.
 
All due respect to Grover, but California state law prohibits concealed carry of ANY LENGTH fixed blade. And a stricter state law trumps any local law. My interpretation of Los Angeles city law (also Burbank and Glendale) allows concealed carry of any length folder, but I wouldn't guarantee it. My recent post in the "ever been challenged" thread reflects my anxiety on these matters.

You can ask a dozen different cops, and call the D.A.'s office, and you'll get that many different answers. Sometimes I wish that some poor sad sack would get prosecuted for carrying a blade in the "grey zone" between clearly legal (Grandpa's little jigged-bone Barlow) and clearly illegal (Dalton Rung Sat). Then we would have "case law" to finally clarify the issue.
 
Lost Jaguar said:
All due respect to Grover, but California state law prohibits concealed carry of ANY LENGTH fixed blade.

Can you cite that? I could easily be misreading the law (or Mr. Levine's site may be incomplete), but I don't see that sentiment in what I'm reading.

"12020. (a) Any person in this state who does any
of the following is punishable by imprisonment in
a county jail not exceeding one year or in the
state prison:
(a)(4) Carries concealed upon his or her person any
dirk or dagger.
...
(d) Knives carried in sheaths which are worn openly
suspended from the waist of the wearer are not
concealed within the meaning of this section"

That's not to say that a cop isn't going to exceed his authority, but the law seems to allow the non-concealed carry of a fixed blade as long as the other requirements are met.
 
would an italian stiletto be legal within california? I would guess the lenght of an italian stiletto im looking at at about 6 inches or so, which folds and can flip out at the push of a button. Is that considered an automatic? I dont plan on carrying it very often, RARELY if any. I just want to keep it at home. Would it be illegal for POSESSION at home?
 
mofo said:
would an italian stiletto be legal within california?

To quote Mr. levine's site:
"Every person who possesses in the passenger's
or driver's area of any motor vehicle in any public
place or place open to the public, carries upon his
or her person, and every person who sells, offers
for sale, exposes for sale, loans, transfers, or
gives to any other person a switchblade knife having
a blade two or more inches in length is guilty of a
misdemeanor. "

So you're okay owning a stiletto, but not carrying it.

BTW, Jaguar, I think I see your point; the Cali law makes a big deal about knives that're "capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon", and seems to say that locking knives sheathed in the opened position are illegal for that reason. This would definitely _imply_ that fixed blades are prohibited, even if it doesn't say it outright.
 
An Italian "stilleto" that swings open when you push a button is a "switchblade" by California definition (and just about any other definition I can think of). Yes you will get into trouble if you are found with one (I know, I have been in that situation). If you are very lucky you will only get your knife confiscated. If you are not so lucky you can be arrested.
 
would i be even more in trouble if im a minor carrying one? I'm 15 and i dont know much about knife laws.
 
Grover_Cephas said:
Can you cite that? I could easily be misreading the law (or Mr. Levine's site may be incomplete), but I don't see that sentiment in what I'm reading.

"12020. (a) Any person in this state who does any
of the following is punishable by imprisonment in
a county jail not exceeding one year or in the
state prison:
(a)(4) Carries concealed upon his or her person any
dirk or dagger.
...
(d) Knives carried in sheaths which are worn openly
suspended from the waist of the wearer are not
concealed within the meaning of this section"

That's not to say that a cop isn't going to exceed his authority, but the law seems to allow the non-concealed carry of a fixed blade as long as the other requirements are met.
You have to understand that this:

"(c)(24) As used in this section, a
"dirk" or "dagger" means a knife or other
instrument with or without a handguard that is
capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that
may inflict great bodily injury or death.
A nonlocking folding knife, a folding knife that
is not prohibited by Section 653k [switchblade], or
a pocketknife is capable of ready use as a stabbing
weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or
death only if the blade of the knife is exposed
and locked into position. "

is the definition of dirk or dagger for california, and pretty much any sharp pointy fixed blade knife falls under it.
 
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