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The Knife Law Pit
Knife Rights Update from Jeremy Bentham

Jeremy, after reading the annotated code of Maryland and all the knife case law I am of the opinion that the code is designed to enable law enforcement to incarcerate knife carriers at will. Knife carry is getting to be as risky as using a gun for home defense in Maryland. What is tyranny if not subjective law enforcement?

Interesting discussion on Ohio’s knife laws. Ohio, like many other states, has knife laws that are “very subjective”. “It is confusing and difficult both to obey and to enforce. “ So the question of whether you are carrying a knife legally or not is up to the interpretation of the arresting officer, as well as the court. One of the services to society that the lobbying group has been performing is to push for the reform of vague and confusing knife laws so that knife-carrying citizens will know exactly where they stand and won’t be subjected to arbitrary arrest.

There are some general principles to observe:

NEVER say that you are carrying a knife for ‘self-defense’. Especially not to the cops. Such an admission is all too likely to be interpreted by the authorities as a ‘premeditation toward violence’, an indication that you’re looking for trouble, of criminal intent. Every street thug who ever assaulted anyone claimed he was acting in self-defense after all. Some states even have laws that state that it is illegal to carry a knife, or any other implement, 'with the intent of harming another’ (Michigan, Minnesota and Oklahoma are examples). So saying you carry a knife for self-defense could get you arrested because you just admitted you plan to harm another. The only exception to this rule would be if your state issues a permit to carry a knife for self-defense.

ALWAYS call the knife you carry a ‘tool’ and not a ‘weapon’. Correct people if and when they do call it a weapon. Insist that ‘it’s a tool, not a weapon’. Tell the cops, or any one else who asks why you have a knife, that you use it for some completely prosaic, common, harmless and everyday purpose. Like opening boxes and packages, cutting string or rope, preparing your lunch, prying open containers, and so on. You can even tell people that you carry your knife as a rescue tool, to cut yourself or someone else free in the event hair or clothing becomes entangled in dangerous machinery. Like this horrific case in Montreal where a woman was strangled to death when her scarf and /or hijab became entangled in a mall escalator and nobody present had so much as a pen knife with which to cut her free. ; (Woman strangled when scarf got caught in escalator identified). If you are employed as a first responder or in security you should be carrying a knife, like a tactical folder for example, for just that reason. If you carry more than one knife, and someone asks you why, ask THEM why does Tiger Woods need more than one club to play golf? Why does he need 14? Because they are constructed for different purposes, of course.

If you are in a place that is unfriendly to civilian knife possession, especially a jurisdiction with vague and poorly defined knife laws, then the more the knife you’re carrying resembles grandpa’s old-fashioned pocket knife the less likely the authorities are to take issue with it.

New York City is a special case when it comes to being unfriendly to knives in the USA. Don’t carry your knife with the pocket clip exposed there. You will be stopped by police and charged with carrying a ‘gravity knife. (WARNING: New York City Administrative Code – Knives). In the UK it is illegal to carry a folding knife with a locking blade in public, so no Buck knives. It is still legal to carry a non-locking, slip-joint folding knife with a blade of less than 3 inches in Britain (so far).

Clearing Up the Confusion About Ohio’s Knife Laws

The Logic of Steel Paperback


Add Comment
JamieMay 25, 2018 7:42 PM UTC

There is a man in the UK facing four years in prison for having a potato peeler because it technically violates the length requirements.

Do you think that’s where we are headed?
responds:May 26, 2018 2:07 PM UTC

That is the destination chartered by our benign masters for our own protection.