Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (2022)

  1. 06-02-2010,02:41 PM #1

    Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (1)

    Junior Member

    Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (2) Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: California

    I'm new to the forum. Hi everyone. I have an interesting question on the topic of knife laws in San Francisco. A friend of mine in San Francisco has purchased a very nice folding knife with a blade of 5" for his knife collection and asked me if it is legal to carry out in public (non school or public buildings).

    From what I read California law (PC 653K) there is a 3-inch blade limitation on folding knives carried in the pocket, or concealed carry. There are also limitation on knives deemed as illegal (switchblade, daggers, gravity knives, etc). There are also local ordinances in San Francisco as well that states there is to be a blade length limitation of 3-inches or 2.5 inches around public schools for a concealed folding knife while there is no actual length limitation on a fixed blade carried open carry.

    My assumption is that if a fixed blade can be carried open carry, so then can a folding knife. From my observation, most people will carry a knife tucked in the pocket in plain view with the knife clip sticking out of their pocket which is no obscured by any piece of clothing. Must it be carried in a sheath or on the belt or will a pocket suffice? If a fixed blade can be carried in this manner, might so a folding knife carried in a sheath worn on the belt? Does open carry mean he must hang the knife from his pocket with the knife facing outwards with the clip on the inside of his pocket?

    I have even contacted all of the police stations in San Francisco, with each officer giving me a different answer. I have checked online for answers to this but have come up with nothing in written law which clarifies any of this. Does anyone have any information that can clarify this? I'm having a hard finding anything in person or online. Thanks guys =)

  2. 06-02-2010,04:10 PM #2

    Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (3)

    Senior Member

    Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (4) Re: Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco California

    I used to be on the Board of this organization...
    http://akti.org/

    I've been out of the biz so have not kept up on the laws. They should be able to point you in the right direction.

    (Video) LAWYER EXPLAINS CALIFORNIA KNIFE LAWS!!!
  3. 06-03-2010,07:13 AM #3

    Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (5)

    Junior Member

    Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (6) Re: Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco California

    Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (7) Quoting 525601minutes

    I used to be on the Board of this organization...
    http://akti.org/

    I've been out of the biz so have not kept up on the laws. They should be able to point you in the right direction.

    Hey thanks, this site looks interesting. I'll check them out, thanks. Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (9)
  4. 06-03-2010,10:04 AM #4

    Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (10)

    Senior Member

    Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (11) Re: Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco California

    You will find the laws here:

    http://library.municode.com/index.as...ame=California

    Section 1291 through 1293 cover the knife laws. If you are an adult, the relevant section should be 1291 which concerns loitering while in possession of a dangerous weapon:

    SEC. 1291. - PROHIBITING LOITERING WHILE CARRYING CONCEALED WEAPONS.

    (a)
    As used in this Section, but in no wise limited thereto, "dangerous or deadly weapon" shall mean: any knife with a blade three inches or more in length; any spring-blade, switch-blade, or snap-blade or other similar type knife; any knife any blade of which is automatically released by a spring mechanism or other mechanical device; any ice pick, or similar sharp, stabbing tool; any straight edge razor or any razor blade fitted to a handle; any cutting, stabbing, bludgeoning weapon or device capable of inflicting grievous bodily harm.
    (b)
    It shall be unlawful for any person, while carrying concealed upon his person any dangerous or deadly weapon, to loaf or loiter upon any public street, sidewalk, or alley, or to wander about from place to place, with no lawful business thereby to perform, or to hide, lurk, loiter upon or about the premises of another.
    (c)
    It shall be unlawful for any person who has concealed upon his person or who has in his immediate physical possession any dangerous or deadly weapon to engage in any fight or to participate in any other rough or disorderly conduct upon any public place or way or upon the premises of another.
    (d)
    It shall be unlawful for any person who has concealed upon his person any dangerous or deadly weapon to loiter about any place where intoxicating liquors are sold or any other place of public resort.
    (e)
    The foregoing restrictions shall not be deemed to prohibit the carrying of ordinary tools or equipment carried in good faith for uses of honest work, trade or business or for the purpose of legitimate recreation.

    (Video) California knife carry laws
    So, do not loiter. And unless you have a concealed fixed blade knife, you should be okay.

    Why is this such an issue for you? Please do not say that you intend to utilize a knife for self defense ... Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (12)

  5. 06-07-2010,09:46 AM #5

    Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (13)

    Junior Member

    Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (14) Re: Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco California

    Well my friend brought this up to me and it was an interesting issue that I couldn't find where an "open carry knife" was legal defined in text. What exactly is open carry, I had a hard time finding it online. My girl friend also carries a knife "for self defense purposes" (she gets off late at night in a bad neighborhood and just feels more safe with it). I just thought it was an interesting legal issue and could be used as a defensive argument if anyone on the forum was interested. I thought it was even more amusing most of the law enforcement officers I spoke with did not know the exact law when dealing with knives in San Francisco.
  6. 06-07-2010,10:04 AM #6

    Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (15)

    Senior Member

    Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (16) Re: Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California

    Open carry is easy ... if it NOT concealed, it is in the open.

    And, carrying a knife for "self defense" is absolutely foolish unless one is trained in the use of knives for combat. If she is not, she is more likely to harm herself or use it inappropriately than to actually protect herself for it.

  7. 06-07-2010,12:10 PM #7

    Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (17)

    Senior Member

    Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (18) Re: Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California

    Seriously - suggest your girl friend get some pepper spray and krav maga classes.
    (Video) California Knife Laws
  8. 06-09-2010,06:57 PM #8

    Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (19)

    Junior Member

    Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (20) Re: Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California

    Yes, she has taken an advanced knife to knife sparring and tactical knife defense classes so I guess he just feels more confident with a knife. Might be over board, but hey, whatever floats her boat.

    However upon further investigation it looks like most people consider open carry to mean the pocket clip showing without anything blocking it (this is how almost all manufactures expect their customers to carry their knives as well). However speaking with peace officers they believe it should be the opposite way with the knife on the outside and the clip on the inside. Obviously this is so they can see the everything. (although there are some sheaths out there that cover the whole knife in a boxy pocket looking thing or gun holsters which conceal part of the gun). Does this mean people must hang their knife or guns from a string around belt buckle so 100% of it is visible? (joke) =)

  9. 06-09-2010,07:05 PM #9

    Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (21)

    Senior Member

    Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (22) Re: Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California

    The way most women's clothes are made, you can't fit a good sized knife in your pocket anyway. I used to clip an Emerson to the side of my bag... but since I wasn't going to use it for close quarters defense, it didn't really matter to me that it was easily accessed by the bad guys. The knife was worth more than my purse anywayOpen Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (23)
  10. 06-09-2010,11:25 PM #10

    Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (24)

    Senior Member

    Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California (25) Re: Open Carry Knife Law in San Francisco, California

    A FOLDED knife can be concealed in the pocket ... provided the blade is not open. So, clipping it on is just fine. For other knives with fixed blades, they had best be readily visible lest an officer claim the knife in question was concealed.
    (Video) San Francisco's "City & County" Knife Ordinance 2012 ( Knife Laws )
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FAQs

Can you open-carry a knife in San Francisco? ›

Want to carry a knife? Here's the legal stuff you need to know: Under California state law, non-switchblade pocketknives of any length in the closed position can be legally carried, concealed, or open-carry (though it's best to show the clip on your pants pocket). Fixed blades (like The General) must be openly carried.

Can I open-carry a knife in CA? ›

California law, though, has an “open-carry” law for these knives. This means that a person may carry a dirk or dagger openly in public provided that: the knife is contained within a sheath, and. the sheath is worn suspended from the person's waist.

What are the rules for carrying a knife in California? ›

This includes a “pocketknife” or “Swiss army knife,” box cutter, or “utility knife.” According to California Penal Code Section 17235, all folding knives are legal in the state and may be concealed as long as they are in the folded position. There is also no restriction on the blade length of a folding knife.

How big of a fixed blade knife can you carry in California? ›

It is illegal to carry any knife that has a blade that is 2 inches or longer on school grounds. Possession of a fixed-blade knife with a blade longer than 2 ½ inches on any college or university grounds is illegal.

Can you open carry a Bowie knife in California? ›

Bowie knives are legal. Large knives are legal (no restrictions in size). Carrying knives in the open is legal in California. Carrying knives concealed is legal in California for most knives.

What happens if you get caught with a 30 round magazine in California? ›

The possession of a large-capacity magazine is a wobblette offense, meaning that it can be punished as either a California infraction or a misdemeanor. If charged as an infraction, the crime is punishable by a fine not to exceed $100 for each magazine.

Can you have a knife in your car? ›

In most states – including New South Wales, Victoria, Northern Territory, and South Australia – it is illegal to carry a weapon, even for self-defense. This includes knives, which states consider dangerous articles or prohibited weapons.

Can you open carry a sword in California? ›

Swords – California

In California, any fixed blade must be sheathed. But not only is it legal to openly carry a sheathed sword, it's the law. Any kind of concealment for bladed weapons is a misdemeanor.

Can I carry a machete in California? ›

Knife Open Carrying Laws in California

All legal fixed blade knives must be worn in plain view, except knives classified as dirks or daggers, which must be carried openly, on a sheath around your waist. There is no open carry limits on size for legal knives, so you can openly carry a sword or machete.

Is it illegal to carry a knife in California Reddit? ›

In Ca. no switchblades or butterfly knives. You can carry any size folder.

Is it legal to carry an AXE in California? ›

Most states allow the ownership of fixed blades, such as tomahawks or hatchets. Here are some examples of how laws can vary: In California, the ownership of such weapons or tools is only allowed without necessary permits if you are doing it for purposes of re-enactments.

What is the punishment for carrying a knife? ›

Of those sent to prison for possessing a knife, most - 82% - serve at least three months behind bars. This proportion has risen from 51% from 10 years ago. The average prison term for those jailed has also gone up from almost five months to well over eight months, over the last 10 years.

Are OTF knives legal in CA? ›

This is our selection of California legal out-the-front knives. These knives are compact, but there's nothing “little” about the action on these OTFs. With great action and a travel-friendly size, you can't go wrong with a Cali-legal OTF.

Are fixed blade knives legal in California? ›

Any fixed blade knife can be a “dirk or dagger” under California law and should be carried openly in a sheath suspended from the waist. Various knives disguised as other objects are prohibited.

Is it legal to carry a knife in California under 18? ›

It is currently legal for a minor to carry a knife in California so long as that knife follows the other laws in the state. No part of the California penal code explicitly prevents minors (people under the age of 18) from carrying a knife.

Is it legal to carry a pocket knife in LA? ›

California law permits individuals to openly carry most knives. You can carry a “dirk” or “dagger”—a straight-blade knife with or without a hand guard that can be used as a stabbing weapon and which can cause serious or fatal physical injuries—openly, in a sheath that is suspended from your waist.

What is considered a dirk or dagger in California? ›

A dirk or dagger is 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. Most pocketknives and folding knives are not considered to be dirks or daggers unless the blade of the knife is exposed and locked into position.

Can I own a switchblade in California? ›

California Penal Code 21510 PC makes it a crime to carry, possess in public, sell or give away a switchblade. A conviction is a misdemeanor punishable by probation, fines of up to $1000.00, and up to 6 months in county jail.

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