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Open knife carry in MI question

Discussion in 'Knife Laws' started by Jadex, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. Jadex


    Mar 7, 2015
    I've been researching the Michigan knife laws and the information is so bland and I can barely understand what's what. I currently reside in Detroit, Michigan and am a working man that sometimes ride the bus when my gf uses our car for work (W\we work different shifts). When I decide to ride the bus, I always encounter trouble and one time I was confronted at gun point while waiting for bus so I decided I needed to get a little protection. I recently bought this item and a couple others. I was wondering if I was allowed to open carry the knives which will be strapped to my left leg. It'll be very helpful if someone can help me understand the law since I know you cannot carry anything with intent to harm which sometimes confuses me as well. Thank you.
  2. thebrain

    thebrain Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    First let me say hello to a fellow knife guy from Michigan! I live in Lansing here we have a local (meaning city only) ordinance stating 3 inches of blade length is the limit. The next town to the east has a no fixed blades ordinance (no matter the length or carry style) so I would dare say you cannot legally carry the item in the link and possibly not even a decent folder. However in my many visits to Detroit I have always carried a decent size folder just as I always do. I know the wording in the state laws make anything carried for self defense illegal by definition but work tools or other useful items used in an emergency as a self defense item are often deemed ok by prosecutors . Sorry for the bleak outlook ,however Michigan has open carry for firearms but alas public transportation doesn't allow it so again at square one.
  3. Esav Benyamin

    Esav Benyamin MidniteSuperMod

    Apr 6, 2000
  4. SauerSig


    Dec 11, 2014
    Do yourself a favor, get yourself a pistol and a CPL. NEVER take a knife to a gun fight. Personally, I will never set foot in Detroit unarmed.
    But, I always have a knife on my person....whether it be a Kershaw Leek, or my Benchmade 300 Ball Axis flipper.
  5. SauerSig


    Dec 11, 2014
    The knife laws in Michigan are overly vague... it's very aggravating.
  6. Jadex


    Mar 7, 2015
    Thank you all for the answers and I have considered getting a pistol, just need to get a permit for conceal carry :p. Thanks to the comments, I have a better understanding.
  7. SauerSig


    Dec 11, 2014
    Getting a CPL in Michigan is fairy simple now. It only took 3 weeks from the time I turned it in to having it in my possession.
  8. Jason B.

    Jason B. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 13, 2007
    Knife laws are fairly clear in Michigan.

    Folders- restricted knife types are clearly listed and for blade length, keep it under 3in if you plan on using it for self defense. If you just want a utility knife you could carry a Cold Steel XL folder if you wanted. There is technically No restriction on blade length in MI until it is used in an unlawful manor.

    Fixed blades- Open carry only and you better be in the woods hunting otherwise you will probably go to jail. Just to make that clear, You CANNOT carry a fixed blade in Michigan unless you are hunting.
  9. SauerSig


    Dec 11, 2014
    One of the gray areas.....you have the burden of proof that you are carrying it for self defense and not to commit a crime.

    "Michigan -750.226... Carrying with unlawful intent
    Any person who, with intent to use the same unlawfully
    against the person of another, goes armed with a pistol
    or other firearm or dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, or
    knife having a blade over 3 inches in length, or any
    other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument, shall
    be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in
    the state prison for not more than 5 years or by a fine
    of not more than 2,500 dollars.

    - 750.226a. Pocket knife opened by mechanical device...
    Any person who shall sell or offer to sell, or
    any person who shall have in his possession any knife
    having the appearance of a pocket knife, the blade or
    blades of which can be opened by a flick of a button,
    pressure on a handle or other mechanical contrivance shall
    be guilty of a misdemeanor... [Also, concealed carry may
    be charged as a felony under 750.227.] The provisions of
    this section [750.226a] shall not apply to any one-armed
    person carrying a knife on his person in connection with
    his living requirements.

    - 750.227. (1) A person shall not carry a dagger, dirk,
    stiletto, a double-edged nonfolding stabbing instrument of
    any length, or any dangerous weapon, except a hunting
    knife adapted and carried as such, concealed on or about
    his or her person, or whether concealed or otherwise in
    any vehicle... except in his or her dwelling house [or]
    place of business... (3) A person who violates this
    section is guilty of a felony...

    - 750.222a Double-edged, nonfolding stabbing instrument defined.
    (1) As used in this chapter, 'doubled-edged, nonfolding
    stabbing instrument' does not include a knife, tool,
    implement, arrowhead, or artifact manufactured from stone by
    means of conchoidal fracturing.
    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an item being transported
    in a vehicle, unless the item is in a container and inaccessible
    to the driver.
    History: Add. 2000, Act 343, Imd. Eff. Dec. 27, 2000 .

    - 259.80f Possessing... certain items in sterile area of airport;
    (1) An individual shall not possess, carry, or attempt to possess
    or carry any of the following in a sterile area of a commercial airport:
    (a) Firearm.
    (b) Explosive.
    (c) Knife with a blade of any length.
    (d) Razor, box cutter, or item with a similar blade.
    (e) Dangerous weapon.
    (2) Except as provided in subsection (3), an individual who
    violates subsection (1) is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable
    by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more
    than $1,000.00, or both.
    (3) An individual who violates subsection (1) while doing any of
    the following is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for
    not more than 10 years or a fine of not more than $10,000.00, or both:
    (a) Getting on or attempting to get on an aircraft.
    (b) Placing, attempting to place, or attempting to have placed on an
    aircraft an item listed in subsection (1).
    (c) Committing or attempting to commit a felony.
    (4) [Exempts most officials]...
    (7) As used in this section:
    (a) 'Commercial airport' means an airport that has regularly
    scheduled commercial flights to and from other destinations.
    (c) 'Sterile area' means that term as defined in 14 C.F.R. 107.1.
    History: Add. 2001, Act 225, Eff. Apr. 1, 2002 .

    - 380.1313 Dangerous weapon found in possession of pupil...
    (1) If a dangerous weapon is found in the possession of a pupil
    while the pupil is in attendance at school or a school activity
    or while the pupil is enroute to or from school on a school bus,
    the superintendent of the school district or intermediate school
    district, or his or her designee, immediately shall report that
    finding to the pupil's parent or legal guardian and the local
    law enforcement agency.
    (2) If a school official finds that a dangerous weapon is in the
    possession of a pupil as described in subsection (1), the school
    official may confiscate the dangerous weapon or shall request a
    law enforcement agency to respond as soon as possible and to
    confiscate the dangerous weapon. If a school official confiscates
    a dangerous weapon under this subsection, the school official
    shall give the dangerous weapon to a law enforcement agency and
    shall not release the dangerous weapon to any other person,
    including the legal owner of the dangerous weapon. A school
    official who complies in good faith with this section is not
    civilly or criminally liable for that compliance...
    (4) As used in this section, 'dangerous weapon' means a firearm,
    dagger, dirk, stiletto, knife with a blade over 3 inches in length,
    pocket knife opened by a mechanical device, iron bar, or brass knuckles.
    History: Add. 1987, Act 211, Imd. Eff. Dec. 22, 1987 ;--Am. 1995,
    Act 76, Eff. Aug. 1, 1995 .
    Popular Name: Act 451"
  10. glistam


    Dec 27, 2004
    The sticky part of carrying for "self-defense" is that without specific statutory language being present, all use of a knife as a weapon is "unlawful" until proven otherwise in a court of law. Remember, self-defense is the reason you tell the judge you are not guilty of assault or murder (affirmative defense, i.e. "Yes I did it, but I had a legal reason"). Because the common law system doesn't recognize "self-defense" as an affirmative defense for carry/possession, it makes the court battle messy. This doesn't even begin to cover how cops view anyone who says they carry a knife for self-defense (which is often unreasonable, but try telling the man with the badge and gun that!).

    Besides the law, there's some practical matters about carrying a knife for self-defense. It has a lot of limitations and is only effective and legally justifiable force in very narrow circumstances. If your attacker has a gun, you die. If you both have knives, you both die. If your attacker is unarmed, he dies and you go to jail. Justifiable knife use in self-defense does happen, I have seen it and read several cases, but they are exceedingly rare. Besides a CHP (which is a fine idea), pepper spray should always be in the toolbox, especially a very good brand like UDAP.
  11. VVolVes


    Mar 6, 2018
    So, how is a bladesmith/knifemaker LEGALLY to transport fixed blades to gun and knife shows, affiliate vendors, sales deliveries, demos, or anything? Aren't fixed blades anywhere in vehicles considered concealed? Yet there's gun and knife shows where plenty of questionable legality knife "businesses" sell fixed blade knives, and cops often attend and purchase from (and drive home with) them? How do you take it home? I read that they're not allowed in vehicles... did I comprehend that correctly?

    Edit: I apologize, I will check dates in the future.

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