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New Jersey Knife Law

Discussion in 'Knife Laws' started by vr6glx96, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. vr6glx96


    Aug 20, 2010
    I figures i would post this for fellow citizens of Jersey (this is a copy/paste)

    New Jersey - Code of Criminal Justice

    - 2C:39-3 Prohibited Weapons and Devices...

    e. Certain weapons. Any person who knowingly has in his
    possession any gravity knife, switchblade knife, dagger,
    dirk, stiletto, billy, blackjack, metal knuckle, sandclub,
    slingshot, cestus or similar leather band studded with
    metal filings or razor blades imbedded in wood, ballistic
    knife, without any explainable lawful purpose, is guilty
    of a crime of the fourth degree.

    - 2C:39-1 h. "Gravity knife" means any knife which has a
    blade which is released from the handle or sheath thereof
    by the force of gravity or the application of centrifugal
    force... p. "Switchblade knife" means any knife or similar
    device which has blade which opens automatically by hand
    pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in
    the handle of the knife... u. "Ballistic knife" means any
    weapon or other device capable of lethal use and which can
    propel a knife blade.

    - 2C:39-4. Possession of weapons for unlawful purposes...
    d. Other weapons. Any person who has in his possession any
    weapon, except a firearm, with a purpose to use it
    unlawfully against the person or property of another is
    guilty of a crime of the third degree.

    - 2C:39-5. Unlawful Possession of Weapons... d. Other weapons.
    Any person who knowingly has in his possession any other
    weapon under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for
    such lawful uses as it may have is guilty of a crime of
    the fourth degree.
    - - e. Firearms or other weapons in educational institutions...
    (2)Any person who knowingly possesses any weapon enumerated
    in paragraphs (3) and (4) of subsection r. of N.J.S.2C:39-1
    or any components which can readily be assembled into a
    firearm or other weapon enumerated in subsection r. of
    N.J.S.2C:39-1 or any other weapon under circumstances not
    manifestly appropriate for such lawful use as it may have,
    while in or upon any part of the buildings or grounds of any
    school, college, university or other educational institution
    without the written authorization of the governing officer
    of the institution is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

    - 2C:39-6. f. Nothing in subsections b., c. and d. of N.J.S.2C:39-5
    shall be construed to prevent... (2) A person carrying a firearm
    or knife in the woods or fields or upon the waters of this State
    for the purpose of hunting, target practice or fishing, provided
    that the firearm or knife is legal and appropriate for hunting
    or fishing purposes in this State and he has in his possession
    a valid hunting license, or, with respect to fresh water fishing,
    a valid fishing license;

    (3) A person transporting any firearm or knife while traveling:
    (a) Directly to or from any place for the purpose of hunting or
    fishing, provided the person has in his possession a valid
    hunting or fishing license; or

    - 2C:39-9. d. Weapons. Any person who manufactures, causes to
    be manufactured, transports, ships, sells or disposes of
    any weapon including gravity knives, switchblade knives,
    daggers, dirks, stilettos... is guilty of a crime of the
    fourth degree.

    - 2C:39-9.1... Any person who sells any hunting, fishing,
    combat or survival knife having a blade length of five
    inches or more or an overall length of 10 inches or more
    to a person under 18 years of age commits a crime of the
    fourth degree...

    New Jersey Case Law:
    - "Concealment was not a necessary element of the offense of
    carrying a dangerous knife." (1973)
    - "Concealment of weapon at time of incident constituted
    important factor of offense of possession of dangerous
    knife." (1971)
  2. paperairplane


    Nov 6, 2008
    I have never regretted moving out of the Garden State.
  3. vr6glx96


    Aug 20, 2010
    lol....true that. I cant wait to get out (if i ever do). they denied me a gun permit because of a non violent disorderly persons offense. rediculous
  4. netjamer


    Apr 18, 2010
    Seems the gray area is "explainable lawfull purpose".. I suppose one could make a number of arguments there. (self-defense,utility,nail cleaner,box opener etcc..). Is there any mention of a size or blade length anywhere? Great post btw... I live here, so I can say it- NJ is a big pain in the butt state.
  5. vr6glx96


    Aug 20, 2010
    What i have gathered in terms of size is the blade has to be less than 5" and the overall length has to be less than 10". the largest blade i would ever try to carry on my person would be the esee rc-4 and that im sure would get me in trouble even though its of leagal length. according to the law i cant leagally carry any assisted opener, my junglas in the woods or even my rc 6 (without a purpose of hunting and or fishing and without a permit for what i am doing). leagally i cant go into the woods to just have fun with my blades. what a joke
  6. Esav Benyamin

    Esav Benyamin MidniteSuperMod Staff Member Super Mod

    Apr 6, 2000
    One argument you cannot make is self-defense because that's admiting you carry it as a weapon. You can claim you use it on the job.

    The only blade length restriction that I know of is what's noted in the original post: 5" blade or 10" overall cannot be sold to an under-18-year-old.

    I moved here from NYC in 1997. I have never had a problem or question here, while New York has gone from reasonable to impossible.

    Of course, New Hampshire just repealed all its knife laws, and forbid local jurisdictions from establishing any. That is the Gold Standard we should look for in weapons laws: none.

    See http://www.kniferights.org/ for the way to fight back legally and effectively.
  7. quackSH


    Dec 1, 2010
    I'm 17, can I legally posses a knife with a blade length of more than 5" or an overall length of 10"? It seems to be legal, but I know I would have any knife taken away just for being a minor, especially a knife that is large. Literally every person I've talked to in my area follows the "four finger rule". That's ridiculous because everyone has differently sized fingers and it has NO legal backing. I can't wait to leave this state.
  8. Shipwrecked


    Oct 16, 2010
    The knife laws here havent really given me an trouble. The gun laws on the other hand are an entirely different monster.
  9. TOM1960


    Nov 5, 2007
    I am sure that you can legally possess such a knife in your home, if someone will sell it to you. In anti-weapon, anti-self-defense states like Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey, many knife dealers will not sell to anyone under the age of 18. I suppose you could do an Internet order, but what if the UPS or FedEx package arrives with an "adult signature (over 18) only" stipulation? That "four finger" rule is a crock of B.S. that has no legal standing; you are certainly correct about that. For someone under 18, a small locking folder such as a SAK would make a lot of sense. Under no circumstances should you carry it to your school or to any school-sponsored events.
  10. dougshoe


    Mar 15, 2011
    What is a dagger? Do they define the term "dagger" in the law? If not, then why can't any knife or any knife-like object (like a pointy rock) be considered a dagger? Therefore anyone carrying a Swiss Army folding knife, a kitchen knife, or any knife could be arrested for a "crime of the fourth degree." God forbid some grandmother guys a set of knives at WallyWorld or BigMart and then tries to drive home with them. She's goin' to do hard time!

    What is a "dirk"? I will tell you. I dirk is a Scottish knife worn here in the states by people who wish to celebrate their heritage. What does the state of NJ have against our race (the Scots)? I DARE the NJ police to arrest me for wearing a dirk. Any law that singles out a certain race is highly illegal. If they want to challenge that in court, be my guest. Since no one has the guts to enforce discriminating laws against white people, I don't think it will be a problem for me. However, laws like this should not be on the books because next the state might pass laws against black people, jewish people, or other minorities.

    What the heck is a "cestus"? I don't think those have been seen since the time of the Roman Empire. Just how many people in NJ are being killed by marauding gladiators? I thought Sparticus was dead, but maybe he's on the road with Elvis. Just how much of a panic was needed in NJ to pass such a silly law?
  11. WvHiker


    Aug 27, 2009
    Here in WV we have a 3.5" limit on knives, fixed or folding, except if hunting or some other outdoor activity. So I technically can't carry my Endura around, but they have no problem letting me carry around pistols (with ccw permit.) Silly.
  12. dougshoe


    Mar 15, 2011
    Most steak knives (I think almost all) have a blade over 3.5". What if granny goes to WallyWorld, buys a set, and tries to go home with them? If she gets stopped, she'll be arrested and sent to jail. Let a few murderers and rapists out on the streets to make room for granny. It wouldn't surprise me since they did put Martha Stewart in jail. We all know that Martha was a menace.
  13. Esav Benyamin

    Esav Benyamin MidniteSuperMod Staff Member Super Mod

    Apr 6, 2000
    Please keep the discussion on knife laws, not on wild hypothetical scenarios. Martha Stewart was not charged with carrying a steak knife. Granny is not in prison.
  14. softrockrenegade


    May 27, 2009
    I have never had any problems here but I dont wave it around like a jackass and use it as a tool in and out of work . I also live in a rural area so it's not uncommon to see pocket clips around everyday !
    Iv always went by the 5" blade rule !
  15. dougshoe


    Mar 15, 2011
    You forgot to mention the cestus. Just how many people in NJ are being hurt or killed each year by cestus? I haven't done the research, but I would guess that (in round numbers) it is approximately 0 people per year. Zero is a pretty round number, after all, and I also believe that it is accurate. So why are people in NJ so afraid of the cestus? This IS on topic because their fears about the dreaded dagger or dirk (mentioned in the same law) are from the realms of fantasy as well, not real life. To my knowlege, NJ law does not define the dagger. The English language defines a dagger as a knife. Specifically we could say that a dagger is a knife with a point. Since a Swiss Army knife has a "spear blade" with point, and since steak knives have a point, they could both be considered daggers. Therefore a 90 year old grandmother could be arrested on her way home from buying a kitchen knife at WallyBigMart. That is NOT wild speculation on my part. If anything is wild, silly, or ridiculous it is the NJ law which potentially makes any NJ citizen or any visitor to their state a "criminal" though they do nothing morally wrong. Such laws must go. Cheers. Doug
  16. Esav Benyamin

    Esav Benyamin MidniteSuperMod Staff Member Super Mod

    Apr 6, 2000
    Laws are not defined in terms of a pocket dictionary, but in terms of older laws, from which they take their subject matter. Laws copy laws, passing on previous elements and adding the new ones that inspired the new or updated laws.

    Calling for their abrogation because some elements are outdated is like calling for the elimination of English because "whom" is rarely used, and then, often incorrectly.
  17. dougshoe


    Mar 15, 2011
    What earlier "dagger" laws are you referring to?

    What earlier "dirk" laws are you referring to?
    The NH dirk law was recently thrown out (in part) because of illegal discrimination against Scottish people.
  18. Esav Benyamin

    Esav Benyamin MidniteSuperMod Staff Member Super Mod

    Apr 6, 2000
    NH threw out all of its knife laws. Any comments about which parts of the old laws were problematical are of minimal interest in this context.
  19. orchunter93


    Oct 4, 2010
    I talked to a cop a little while ago, asking him the legal limit for folding knives. he said that the blade length legal limit is 4 inches. However, he also included that the smaller the blade, the better. Of course, if one is an EMS or Firefighter, then its more explainable/ acceptable.
  20. dougshoe


    Mar 15, 2011
    Perhaps vr6glx96 is interested in having the unconstitutional NJ laws thrown out, too.

    A few years ago, one of my friends wanted to start carrying a fixed blade, but didn't know what was legal. He asked a bunch of friends, but wasn't satisfied with any of their answers. Nobody seemed to know. A few people mentioned a "four finger rule" which was no where in NH law. New Hampshire Bike Week was not long after that. There is always all kinds of cops at Bike Week, and he started asking them what kind of knife was legal. I found it interesting, so I listened in. The police officers all gave him an authoritative - sounding answer, but none of them matched. Even the cops didn't know what kind of knife was illegal or legal.

    You would think if the undefined "dagger" laws were cut and dry that at least the police officers would be able to know what they mean. If the professionals don't understand the vague knife laws, then what chance does an ordinary citizen have? It would be much better to have defined knife laws or no knife laws at all. As it is "dagger" can be stretched to mean any knife (and possibly ice picks, screwdrivers, and other objects). Since every citizen has these, the law potentially makes every citizen a criminal. Hence, the police have the power to arrest anyone, anywhere, for no reason. Such laws are incompatible with basic human rights and are void.

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