The best defensive carry in CA?

May 21, 1999
I know that in CA we can have folders, but I was wondering what else is out there that those in CA carry for protection (or would carry) legally. <and if your not from CA you can imagine so> I would carry my gun, but CCW is impossible and ASP batons are out of the question too. Oh, and does anyone know if you can carry fixed blade out here?

Buy only the best... you'll never be satisfied otherwise...
As a fellow Californian, I'd be interested too. Even my law enforcement friends can't seem to tell me what the law exactly is on knives.
You may carry a fixed blade openly in California, except in cities where there are local ordinances to the contrary. Los Angeles, Glendale, and Burbank are three such cities, and San Francisco, according to the jungle telegraph.

Wearing a weaponly looking fixed blade may get you unwanted attention from authority figures in any city where you would want it as a defensive weapon.

And never tell any authority figure who asks about your knife (with or without moving parts) that you are carrying it "for protection," or there's a good chance you'll be paying some expensive legal fees, even if you win because there really was no law against you doing what you were doing.

Also, do not carry any folder with a blade four or more inches long into a California "public building."

What exactly are the ordinances in San Francisco? I'll be there this Sunday. Should I leave my large Sebenza at home?

[This message has been edited by Tom S (edited 04 June 1999).]
In order to keep up with the California criminal element you need at least a high capacity automatic pistol. An Uzi would be better. Anything you could carry legally in California is not up to the challenge. Thirty years ago someone in San Francisco would merely roll you with a chunk of pipe (it happened to my wife as a teen going to a rock concert). These days guns are the tool of preference. When we moved to Colorado my son was amused that kids would pick fights at football games. Back in California you'd just get shot.

Many of California's concealed weapon's laws date back to Gold Rush days and were created for the crime in San Francisco. People used knives, clubs, and blackjack-like gadgets to mug people, frequently with fatal results. A favorite gadget was called a slung-shot with a lump of lead on a stick or a rope. One shot to the head and you could take whatever you wanted. And the guy would never identify you. The community invented a high powered predecessor to Neighborhood Watch "Committees of Vigilance" to handle the problem. In later years we called groups like these "vigilantees". Weapons that can quietly kill people were largely banned.

Just don't go places that seem at all dangerous. A gun is the only reasonable defense. Don't go anywhere that you think you would need that defense, it's stupid.

PS. Where I live any upstanding citizen who passes a safety test can get a concealed gun permit--no special justification needed. I never thought I'd get a chance to get a ticket like that, but now I don't need it. Many of my friends have them though.
"Defense against knife attack:
Option 1. If you have a gun shoot him."

[This message has been edited by Jeff Clark (edited 04 June 1999).]

[This message has been edited by Jeff Clark (edited 04 June 1999).]
Several points: SF technically has a blade length limit, but it's seldom enforced except on the homeless. Because state law allows concealing manual-open folders (except for butterflies) they'll never need see your large Sebenza or even my Cold Steel Vaquero Grande.

The biggest risk would be the potential loss of an open-carry fixed blade. Something like a Mad Dog or my Outsider ($400 worth) would be moderately risky in SF, borderline insanity in Berkeley with similar rules but far harsher PD attitudes. Oakland is about halfway between Berzerkley and somewhat laid back SF. Your personal attitude, appearance, age and unfortunately, race factor into your odds of harassment or confiscation.

Even in a worst case scenario, you're not facing felonies over local ordinances. I personally broke one and was charges with an infraction that the DA dropped, I recovered two swords. So far as I'm aware, you're even safe from misdemeanors although a lawyer's opinion would be nice on that.

The next post is on a different subject, so I'll break here.

Jim March
Now let's talk CCW.

It's not impossible.

Were you aware that any policy of total blanket "nobody gets one" is illegal? See also the Salute vs. Pitchess decision. Didja know that California's equal protection law is extremely tight, to the point where if they issue ANY, they cannot grant the "privilege or immunity" that is CCW on a biased basis?

If that wasn't enough, there's lots of rules about how the issuance process works that the PD Chiefs and Sheriffs routinely break.

If that wasn't enough, there's a potential "lever" in the form of City Attorneys. They care more about avoiding lawsuits than *anything* and because Chiefs are city employees, the city is liable for their misdeeds in a way NOBODY has over the elected Sheriffs. That's how I ended up settling my CCW lawsuit with my formerly zero-issuance suit against my Sheriff continues but I'm on friendly terms with my Chief and my CCW application is in progress, the first even considered in five years in Richmond.

COMPLETE details are at my website:

There's special "details of problems" for Contra Costa, Alameda and Sacramento counties. Between the three they provide good examples of the sorts of screwups that are being repeated across the state...although the racial redlining (partially fixed by my lawsuit) in issuance in Contra Costa may be unique for outrageousness.

Explicit data is *coming* for Marin soon, and EMail me for San Francisco and San Mateo tidbits. I've also got a link to some people in Orange County who know more about that rapidly-evolving situation.

Jim March
Go Jim... Go Jim... Go Jim...

Wow, that is incredible. I hadn't heard a thing about it. Excellent.