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Thread: Legal regulations for carrying a pocket knife in VA, USA

  1. #1
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Legal regulations for carrying a pocket knife in VA, USA

    I guess I dont have to tell you guys how great a small pocket knife is and how universal of a tool it is.

    Anyway, at a rehab center the regulations was that you can have a pocket knife if it was no more than 6 inches long open and blade was no more than 3 inches.

    Further investigation I discovered from a cop who worked as a security guard that if you carry a knife in your pocket its a consealed weapon. THerefore you must wear it on your belt in a case or on a keyring on your belt.

    Is this true? I have a nice leatherman with I think a 6 inch blade on a few of the arms and always stored it on the outside of my wheelchair when I used it to hopefully not get arrested for having a consealed weapon.

    Ive seen some nice single handed opening knives at walmart and dances sporting goods. Ive been tempted to buy one, but they must be a good 6 inches folded and 12 inches opened.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Unicorn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Legal regulations for carrying a pocket knife in VA, USA

    City and county laws differ, but as far as I know (and this is a from a few years ago) there are no length restrictions in Virginia. Of course when you as ka cop you are getting his opinion, or interpretation, right or wrong. Many seem to think that there was a blade lengh limit of 4 inches. One told me 5. I've never heard that part about a pocketknife being in your pocket making it a concealed weapon, but maybe things have changed, or maybe that's the city/county law, or maybe he's confused. You'll have to check the county laws and possibly do some research.

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    Flashaholic* powernoodle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Legal regulations for carrying a pocket knife in VA, USA

    One place to check is www.packing.org . Its more geared toward firearms, but may address your issue. Happy packin'!

    Edited to add: here is what they show regarding knife carry in VA -

    Knife carry law summary
    Date updated: Aug 27, 2005 @ 7:04 pm

    § 18.2-308. Personal protection; carrying concealed weapons; when lawful to carry.

    A. If any person carries about his person, hidden from common observation, (i) any pistol, revolver, or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind by action of an explosion of any combustible material; (ii) any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, razor, slingshot, spring stick, metal knucks, or blackjack; (iii) any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain; (iv) any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart; or (v) any weapon of like kind as those enumerated in this subsection, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    There is a canon of statutory construction stating that when something is not listed, it is excluded by implication. So, I would argue that a regular folding pocket knife is legal to conceal, assuming there is not some other statute addressing the question. There is a section at packing.org regarding blade length, so check it out.

    This is not legal advice.

    best regards
    Last edited by powernoodle; 09-20-2005 at 06:51 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Legal regulations for carrying a pocket knife in VA, USA

    Knife laws

    http://pweb.netcom.com/~brlevine/sta-law.htm

    VA

    http://pweb.netcom.com/~brlevine/va.txt


    same as above but with exceptions. (Bold is mine.)

    B. This section shall not apply to any person while in his own place of abode or the curtilage thereof.

    Except as provided in subsection J1, this section shall not apply to:

    1. Any person while in his own place of business;

    2. Any law-enforcement officer, wherever such law-enforcement officer may travel in the Commonwealth;

    3. Any regularly enrolled member of a target shooting organization who is at, or going to or from, an established shooting range, provided that the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported;

    4. Any regularly enrolled member of a weapons collecting organization who is at, or going to or from, a bona fide weapons exhibition, provided that the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported;

    5. Any person carrying such weapons between his place of abode and a place of purchase or repair, provided the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported;

    6. Any person actually engaged in lawful hunting, as authorized by the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries, under inclement weather conditions necessitating temporary protection of his firearm from those conditions, provided that possession of a handgun while engaged in lawful hunting shall not be construed as hunting with a handgun if the person hunting is carrying a valid concealed handgun permit.



    Knife laws are notoriously vague and open to interpretation. There's no definition of "hidden from common observation". Is a pocket clip that's visible good enough? What exactly is a dirk or a bowie? Because of this vagueness a lot is left to the individual interpretation of officers and judges.

    My guess would be that if you're not breaking any laws you probably won't get hassled. I would think that with a leatherman or a SAK you won't draw too much attention to yourself. Also get out your ruler and check. I don't recall leatherman making anything with a blade that large.

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    Flashaholic* zespectre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Legal regulations for carrying a pocket knife in VA, USA

    Disclaimer - I am NOT giving you legal advice. If you want legal advice call a lawyer.

    Having said that, I have several years as an LEO under my belt and can tell you that there are a large number of "excuse" laws in the old dominion. (Excuse laws being ones written to give the officer a legal excuse to investigate/detain a suspicious person who doesn't "appear" to be breaking any of the more common laws). Most of the carry concealed stuff (especially about knives) falls under that catagory.

    Basically if an officer were to search you then carrying a knife (of any sort) -could- be used as grounds to detain you. The odds of this actually happening are pretty slim and the only people I can ever recall using it on were serious falling-down-drunk-in-public types that I wanted to keep away from their vehicle. (This pre-dates the current drunk-in-public laws that let you detain, "back in the day" you couldn't do a thing if they weren't disorderly).

    I am no longer an LEO in VA, but I still carry a small (2" blade) folding knife everywhere I go.

    Ummm, let me correct that; I carry my handy pocket knife everywhere EXCEPT the Smithsonians where they ABSOLUTELY FREAKED a while ago...I'd probably be in jail if it werent for a Dept of Justice ID... sheesh, talk about overreacting!
    "Notorious collector of things that glow, shine, or blink"
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    Default Re: Legal regulations for carrying a pocket knife in VA, USA

    King County, Wa

    For what its worth I carey a farley large benchmade axces lock everywhere I go. Have been stoped and surched saverl times )kent, federal way, aubnrn and gigharbor) and never had a problem. I also have a CPL so that may help as they are not NEARLEY as intrested in the knife as they are outher "items" that are on my person.
    "When the world is at peace, a gentleman keeps his sword by his side" -ancient Chinese proverb

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    Flashaholic* Unicorn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Legal regulations for carrying a pocket knife in VA, USA

    Quote Originally Posted by KE7AYF
    King County, Wa

    For what its worth I carey a farley large benchmade axces lock everywhere I go. Have been stoped and surched saverl times )kent, federal way, aubnrn and gigharbor) and never had a problem. I also have a CPL so that may help as they are not NEARLEY as intrested in the knife as they are outher "items" that are on my person.
    Don't get caught in Seattle or Seatac (the city of Seatac, yes it's a city, separate from the airport of similar name. Just saying because I've met many people from the Seattle or and Tacoma areas who didn't know there was a city of Seatac) with a blade of over 3.5 inches. I'd read someplace that Seattle had a blade limit and checked their laws, then the places I was likely to be in. Tacoma also has the 3.5 inch blade limit.

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    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Legal regulations for carrying a pocket knife in VA, USA

    Thanks, think I will just get one of those belt holsters for a light and knife to save me the trouble. I do have a 2 inch buck on my keyring. Its like a bottle opener too.

    I do know back in 95 I went to the cehsterfield court house to research a civics assignment. I was stopped and searched as I had a folding pair of siccsors on my keyring. THey found nothing on me and I gave they the thing to get on with my project.

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    Flashaholic* knifebright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Legal regulations for carrying a pocket knife in VA, USA

    dont forget about pocket clips. Even in states with strick concealment laws, a pocket clip on a knife qualifies for visiblity. As long as the clip is visiable out of your pocket your all set. Also in the event that anyone breaks these "knife laws" and your being searched and your knife is found that is over the maximum acceptable lenth by .0012548 inches............ well i wish you luck with what your actually being searched for to begin with
    jimmy
    "the most common manifestation of hoplophobia is the idea that instruments possess a will of their own, apart from that of their user" Colonel Jeff Cooper >>>100% safe Queen Free!<<<

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