California Knife Law

california state sealCalifornia has very friendly knife laws. Unlike other states who’s knife law is out of date, California’s is modern and up-to-date. This article will talk about what is legal, illegal, and in the gray area concerning knives in California.

Legal Knives 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.

Illegal Knives under California Knife Law

  • Misleading knives are illegal. These include: cane knives (and shobi-zues), lipstick knives, belt knives, pen knives, air gauge knives, and pen knives.
  • All undetectable knives are illegal. These include knives that won’t set off metal detectors.
  • Dirks, daggers, and stilettos are illegal.
  • Ballistic knives are illegal.

What the law is trying to get at are knives usually used by criminals to commit crimes. These are knives that don’t look like knives or don’t have a use as a tool. For example, you can’t do much with a dagger besides stab things.

Legality of Balisong Knives and Swithblades

21510. Every person who does any of the following with a switchblade knife having a blade two or more inches in length is guilty of a misdemeanor: (a) Possesses the knife in the passenger’s or driver’s area of any motor vehicle in any public place or place open to the public. (b) Carries the knife upon the person. (c) Sells, offers for sale, exposes for sale, loans, transfers, or gives the knife to any other person.

It is legal to own, sell, buy, and transport a switchblade as long as it is less than 2 inches. The state of California has ruled that a Balisong knife is a switchblade because of how easily it can be opened. However, you can still buy Balisong knives that are over 2 inches if you do not carry it in the driver or passenger seat or on you. Simply put, if you buy Balisongs to collect and leave it at home, it is 100% OK.

Conclusion on California Knife Law

If you are in California you can buy, own, transport, and carry any knife you want as long as it is not a forbidden knife. You can also collect Balisongs without worry.

Note that this is not legal advice and there is no client-attorney relationship.  You should talk to a California lawyer if you want a real legal opinion. If you have a question, leave it in the comment below. Some cities and municipals might have their own knife laws so check with your city. We are also looking for an attorney to do a quick interview about California knife laws.

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Comments

  1. Dirks and daggers are not legal. Keep them home in your collection. Best read the Ca. Penal code on CONCEALED weapons.

    1. They are most certainly legal under state law, county and city ordinances do vary wildly, and concealed carry isn’t legal for some knives, but open carry is.

  2. What about fixed blades in purse/ backpacks/fanny-packs? is that still considered a concealed dirk or dagger?

  3. Is a push knife legal if it is clipped on your pants (hence not concealed) and about four inches long blade?

  4. Are Karambit knives legal in the Komminist paradise of Kalifornia?

  5. Assisted Opening Knife / not a switchblade right? Can I conceal a folding knife that is assisted open? it uses a lever not a button. there is a difference but how is it viewed by the law here? I saw federal law trying to classify them by one hand open?

  6. It is not illegal to have a TAC-FORCE-Spring-Assisted-Opening-BLACK-TACTICAL-Pocket-Knife-Folding-Blade. I’ve got searched and that’s the same kind of knife I had on me when I got searched, and he didn’t question me about it. I was 17.

  7. Each city has its own length laws.
    Over rides County length law.
    Mostly 3″ knifes only within city limits
    So if your pocket folder is longer
    You are subject to arrest , confiscation or both.
    Guide for city knife lengths can be found online.

  8. No matter what, I cannot find the answer to my question. I want to know if it’s illegal to have TAC-FORCE-Spring-Assisted-Opening-BLACK-TACTICAL-Pocket-Knife-Folding-Blade? Overall Length : 9.00 inches

    Blade Length : 4 Inches

    1. Its only illegal if it 2 inches longer than your palm

  9. Can i legally own a spring assisted knife?
    (knife which you must push down a “lever” for it to open quickly)

    1. That would be a switchblade lol

  10. I love Liberal scum. They are worse than the pussies out there, and they are all arrogant, egocentric, self righteous, and weak.

  11. WTF WHY IS IT WHERE EVER I GO PEOPLE FIGHT RACE POLITICS ONE THING OR ANOTHER.THOUGHT WERE HERE TO SHARE LOVE IF BLADES MY BROTHERS! I GUESS THE RAGHEADS ARE FUCKING RIGHT WE ARE INFIDEL’S!
    REALJOHN MENDICINO COUNTY!
    NOONE IS BORN RACIST!

  12. me and my wife and dog live in our volkswagon camper van. We keep a hunting knife about 9 inches inside because it comes in handy and safety issues just incase someone were to break into our van while we were asleep. my issue is if its legal or not. cops would alreadly love to pick a chance to fuck with us because of our alternative lifestyle, i just wanna know how legal it is. i cant seem to find anywhere online that states california knife/car laws

    1. Its a legal blade fixed can be open carry any length Cali. Also in Cali your home campsite and to and from your business you own you can carry a concealed firearm

    1. I do because I don’t want to go to PRISON.

  13. Is there a limit to how many knives one can carry concealed or open there person

    1. No. I have carried 3 on me without any problems.

  14. What about swords? I’m asking because while I understand that any fixed blade over a certain length in this are identified as a knife yet I remain confused. The sword of which I speak would be a black wire hilt rapier with the total length being just over 40 inches, and entirely unsharpened (I’ll add the link for anyone who needs to see it to give their ideas) and it would entirely be for costume purposes, and afterwards for display within my apartment. The costume I have gathered so far does involve a large overcoat which would cover the scabbard approximately 18 inches in the middle, but both the tip of the scabbard and hilt would remain visible. If anyone has any suggestions on what to do please let me know. I have been told by others to just wear an empty scabbard with only a hilt attached to it but I always go all out with my costumes and believe the weight plays a role in how one carries themselves (I get too into it I realize).

    Thank you

    the link: http://www.medievalcollectibles.com/p-20559-black-wire-hilt-rapier.aspx

  15. My mom recently let me open my dad’s old footlocker from his career Army days …he’s been dead 29 years. Inside were some old knives. One I want to find out more about is about 10 inches and curved, the entire knife is 14 inches and 16 with the ornate sheath……and there are two little bitty 3 inch knives that are “hidden” behind the sheath…………….so, if I want to take it to a dealer or historian to find out more about it………how do I take it, legally, from my car to the store? Any help greatly appreciated.

    1. I think that is a kukri knife. Kukris are used by the Ghurka people, and the Ghurka are still famed for their prowess in combat, both with knives or guns. Keep in mind that I am not a historian so what I say should be taken with a grain of salt.

    2. As long as it is single edged (meaning only one side of the blade is sharpened) and it is open carried. But you should be ok if you are just going to an antiques dealer in a bag or something. Just use common sense.

  16. There’s something very disturbing about the idea that anyone in America can buy a gun yet there is an issue with auto knives?

    1. An auto knife, or a switchblade knife is a knife where a button or switch is pressed to automatically deploy the knife.

      The difference between that and an assisted opening knife is that pressure needs to be applied to the actual blade of an assisted opening knife and opened about 15 – 20 degrees in order for the spring to kick in, whereas a switchblade only requires the press of a button.

    2. It’s also very disturbing that people believe than anyone can buy a gun in America.

      Ask these people sometime:

      Persons under indictment for, or convicted of, any crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding on year;
      Fugitives from justice;
      Persons who are unlawful users of, or addicted to, any controlled substance;
      Persons who have been declared by a court as mental defectives or have been committed to a mental institution;
      Illegal aliens, or aliens who were admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa;
      Persons who have been dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces;
      Persons who have renounced their United States citizenship;
      Persons subject to certain types of restraining orders; and
      Persons who have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
      Persons under eighteen years of age are prohibited from purchasing handguns.

    3. The reason is knives are more dangerous than guns. Semper Fi

  17. ive got a fixed blade kbar knife that the blade is 2 5/16 ” is that legal to carry conceal?

    1. All fixed blades must be open carry, and sheathed. Only folded knives can be concealed carry.

  18. So are medieval dirks and such illegal to own or just carry? Is there a special permit for swords and other weapons?

    1. No age restrictions. I am 14, i have been edcing for almost 2 years. Yes you can keep legal stuff at home. if its illegal you cant keepi t at home (there are some exceptions)

  19. California Knife Laws (a former D.A. explains)

    What knives are always illegal to carry? What knives may be carried, but
    only openly on a sheath? And what knives may be possessed openly or
    concealed? What are the penalties — misdemeanor or felony — if you get
    arrested and charged with unlawful knife possession?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoD1pzCj5lM

  20. I don’t get why they banned Balisong knives, could someone explain this to me?

    1. because they are scary and stuff. there is no reason.
      California’s laws are written to ban knives that are “used by criminals” or what ever.

    1. yes. but you cant bring one into the state, make one in the state, or carry one. essentially if you already had one or majically get one in then sure keep it at home.

  21. California knife laws will probably surprise anyone who hasn’t taken the time to read the penal code. In California it is perfectly legal to carry a fixed blade knife, of any length, around the waist — if sheathed. This includes hunting knives, kitchen knives, swords, etc. You could literally walk around with a 27 inch Katana sheathed around your waist if you wanted to — and it would be perfectly 100% legal to do so.

    The exceptions to this rule are: Can’t open carry on school or college/university grounds, can’t open carry in government owned buildings, can’t open carry during government official meetings — such as a town hall meeting or otherwise. That’s it.

    The only city which does not allow this is Los Angeles. In LA you can’t open carry anything greater than 3 inches. I was too freaking excited when I learned of the Knife laws in California. I’m going to buy a sword from Japan and walk around town with it around my waist, and I’m going to learn how to use it by taking Iaido and Kenjutsu classes. I’m pretty excited (note, I probably can’t afford a real folded steel Katana — those swords go for $600 – $10,000, but hey, I can dream right?).

    1. LOVE MY BLACKED OUT COLD STEEL RAJAH 2 MY COLD STEEL SPARTAN AND MY COLD STEEL 1917 FRONTIER BOWIE! NEXT MONTH ORDERING ANOTHER RAJAH 2 BLACKED OUT VERSION LOVE THE FAST OPENING FEATURES! WANT ONE FOR EACH FRONT POCKET.CAN ALREADY DRAW OPEN BOTH SPARTAN RAJAH 2 AT SAME TIME FROM BOTH FRONT POCKETS! COLD STEEL # 1 FOR SURE

    2. They’re good for cheap katana’s but not for more medieval ones. I do like how cheap their clothing is compared to some other sites that sell the same items, so thanks!

    3. Does the LA municipal code include LA County, or would State law have jurisdiction? Our state law seems to be great, but if you have to worry about every little city, we are screwed.

  22. You piece of white trash I told you all whites do is lie. Who has a home that big and stay in apartments. You caveman you belong in the desert that way all you incest can’t spread your germs. Just like I said coward keep hiding behind your computers. When you see one of us you lock yo car doors. Ha Ha I’m sure you’ve slept with your sister right. Cunt!

  23. I carry a Bowie with me everywhere I go, but obviously don’t brandish it or threaten anyone unless they foolishly threaten me first (which has not happened yet). Had a guy tell me it was illegal to carry a Bowie in California, and I just laughed and told him…..let them try to take it from me sir. It is a utility knife, and I am surprised by how many people tell me they are intimidated by it. I never want to intimidate anyone, but quite a few women have said they feel intimidated by it. I would protect them and anyone else in a heartbeat if it was needed, but I am getting tired of people saying I somehow should not be able to protect myself or carry a utility knife. Thoughts? Comments? Yes. I carry a Bowie knife to church.

    1. My Bowie knife isn’t a joke.
      It speaks so loudly, I can’t hear your minority nonsense.

    2. Stick it in your a$$ Coward! Just like your ancestors were common Cowards.

    3. My ancestors are Russians motherfucker.The put the first people in space, are very intelligent, while your……ancestors…..ran away from lions and got eaten, while selling one another to whites and into slavery.

    4. oh no. I would much rather gut you with it you ever say coward again.

    5. You gotta admit…doesn’t it suck to be a nigger? You are ugly, stupid, look like apes, and even you don’t like your own women.

    6. Oh by the way Coward the white men are furious because we screw your flat A$$ women, take your hard earned money from them and send their flat A$$es back home to you. And you embrace them with open arms. Ha Ha

    7. Also, I love how you just write it off that “all races kill each other.” I guess that is a fact, but why is it blacks kill each other, have more out of wedlock children,and depend on welfare more than any other race? Sorry, but blacks are a scourge that we would be better off without. What do they contribute besides crime, welfare, lower earnings, poor test scores, lower intelligence, and basically cause trouble? Even the country the US made for them to relocate to for slaves is a failed country. Nothing good comes out of Africa; that is the joke. Africa…..yeah…..I am so glad I am not a negro. I’d just off myself.

    8. Last I check buddy. (According to the U.S. Census) whites are leading in the polls of being on welfare. If it wasn’t for the military to give Poor whites an escape route they’d be in trouble. All they do is smoke meth have sex with their own kids and ride around on motorcycles with them silly jackets on looking to kill each other for no reason. It’s the greed of the white trash of this country that’s ruining it. White trash has been the biggest manipulators, liars and cunts to put this country at odds with everyone else and hide like you’re doing. Coward!

    9. Oh…..and how many winners come out of Africa? White Americans built this country, and you should be grateful to have come here as slaves. You have it better than you did in Africa. Coward? Really? Tell that to my knife. Sure, by numbers maybe whites have more people on welfare, but you have to look at per capita. Blacks are by far more likely to have out of wedlock children, and be on welfare. Your IQ’s are also a full standard deviation below that of whites, which is why you never see anything creative coming from the ghetto or Africa. Europeans actually made the world we live in, and Africa just has child soldiers and losers. I am not a coward; I carry a damn Bowie knife. Look up James Bowie and the sandbar fight,and you will find the exact opposite paragon of a coward.

    10. Listen COWARD like I said it’s more whites on welfare than blacks. Do your research idiot! As far as kids out of wedlock, whites have incest children. Every time you look up a white man is molesting his own kids or siblings. You’ve been doing it and that’s why a lot of you are born fk’ed up. Scums of the earth. You’re like the dirt on the bottom of my shoe. And PUNK as far as you stating you carry a Bowie knife who cares? Stick it in your A$$ Coward. History has shown Black Men has ALWAYS dominated you white sissy ass men a$$es in ALL ways. You Cowards call the pigs every time one of you get smacked in the mouth. Punks like you will lock your car door when you see a Black man. COWARD!

    11. oh, I have done my research; have a master’s degree and am an aerospace engineer…..COWARD!

    12. Oh yeah Coward. By the way you’re the first Aerospace Engineer with a Master’s degree that lives in a freakin apartment. I told you all you White pieces of garbage don’t do nothing but lie and manipulate the system. From your writing whatever school you graduated from must of passed you for attendance vs learning.

    13. coward! you like that word don’t you nigger? I also have a 5 bedroom, 2.5 bath home while I am building spaceships in the desert….COWARD! I throw that in because it illustrates how fucking stupid you are. Coward Kowhard! Oh yeah nigger; which is what you are. A worthless fucking nigger. No, niggers lie and manipulate the system because they have below average intellect and cannot/will not actually work for a living, which is why no one wants them. Ok, I am done talking to you, because you are a (COWARD! COWARD!) good lord. No, that fucker came into my home and I took him down and now he is “goodified” and serving life without parole, which is what every negro should be doing.

    14. I don’t lock my door. I reload, and actually took down a black serial rapist in my apartment. He is serving life without parole because I took him down. COWARD! COWARD!

    15. COWARD! Geez…..I can tell you really are an ignorant nigger. Yep. I said it. I reach for my Bowie and my gun when I see any of your kind. That is why you keep getting killed. Stupid fuckers keep thinking you have the upper hand, but your intellect isn’t even what my dogs have, so you just think you ‘gamin the system whitey’ but guess what. We are smarter than you are, so you will NEVER get ahead. Coward.

    16. hhhhhahahahahahaha really? Blacks dominated whites? Ah, so the whole slavery thing was a scheme for blacks to overcome whites?

    17. You really are stupid. IQ of possibly 85 if you are lucky. I am surprised you can spell coward.

  24. May I buy a training balisong knife? and keep it at home and try to learn it and not get arrested?

    1. yes. its essentially a toy. it does classify as a replica weapon.

  25. niggers are fucking stupid and smell like shit fuck niggers fuck porch monkeys

    1. You lousy piece of shit. Go Fk yourself with these racial Azzz comments. It’s people like you that has the world in uproar. You COWARD these individuals you’re talking about probably took your lunch money. You worthless trash!

    2. It is true though. Blacks have lower IQ’s and every bad thing that comes with it. Sad but true. You go live in a black neighborhood and come back in a year to tell me how colorblind you are. It is a fact.

    3. I never understood the mindset of you Caucasian Cowards. You say nasty things about Blacks but then when one beat yo ass then you deem them as violent or crazy. Every last one of you bigots stay hiding behind your computers or a badge. I never seen a bunch of cowards that can’t say the things on their minds in the faces of those they hate. You see history shows us that the black man is stronger and will defend hisself accordingly and victoriously again the Caucasian cowards. You see what happen to that pig in Texas the other day. Black Lives Matter!

    4. Of course black lives matter. All life matters. So, why is it blacks kill more blacks than anyone else?

    5. Everyone wants to magnify why blacks kill other blacks? Be realistic about it. ALL races kill each other. The white biker gangs been killing each other for years! Those guys ride around looking for other bars and rival biker gangs to shoot no matter where they are.The hispanics has been killing and slaughtering each other at an alarming rate. They kill entire families in Mexico. So what are you talking about Aaron Hartford? Are you blind to these facts or just looking for something stupid to say?

    6. Don’t bother with imbeciles like this because he’s as misinformed as he is stupid, and doesn’t know nearly as much about science as he likes to think he does. Science has proven that the diversity of human societies has zero to do with race and everything to do with environment. Just to give you an idea, you can have tribe of polynesians split in two, like the Maori and Moriori. The Moriori were confined to the Chathams islands, and the Maori populated New Zealand. 500 years later they had two completely different cultures that resulted entirely from the different environments. The Maori and Moriori are the same race of Polynesian, yet the Moriori developed into a peaceful tranquil culture, and the Maori became a violent conquering culture.When they found out the Moriori had no weapons and did not know how to fight, 900 Maori went over there and destroyed them so they could steel their resources..

    7. You’re wrong about this too. In a society ruled by banks and capitalism, no one’s life matters, only profits matter.

    8. The most confusing day for a black child is fathers day.
      Fact

    9. Each racial or cultural group kills each other more than any other group. That’s just how tribalism goes. Whites kill more Whites than anyone else.

    10. I’m your huckleberry! Where are you, lets meet and chat about cowards.

      Moreover, does anyone know what day is the most confusing time for a child in South Central L.A. ?

      Father’s day.
      Talk about cowards, stop fucking every whore welfare recipient, getting them pregnant and
      pumping out more black lives that really do end up not mattering. Starts with the father.
      Save the BS for the news.

      So, where ya at?

    11. fag where are you? Stop hiding behind your computer and come out sissy. You talk a good one but know that you aint going to do nothing but type words. Go have sex with your mother…

    12. Where are you idiot. Be realistic and reveal who you really are. Don’t have time to play computer games with you. Go get your mama for that punk. I bet you’re an incest baby.

    13. When you shave a chimp or a baboon, his skin color is caucasian. Its only his hairs that are black. Once had my apartment burglarised and trashed beyond belief. They practically took everything I owned and it ended up the perpetrators were a couple of white guys. So what’s your point? You don’t have one. Your hate makes you stupid because you left this moronic comment on a site that’s about knife making, craftsmanship, and skills, that you very likely don’t have. Where did you learn to speak english? In a barn?

    14. ↑ ↑ SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU RACIST COCK SUCKING ASS MONKEY!!

    15. Bro stop saying crap about black people and you think you have a hard life look around you. Look at the homeless people. They have nothing and you have a roof over your head andthey live in boxes or under bridges

  26. My girlfriend recently got me the Schrade 13 Fixed Blade Knife i wanted with a 3.7 inch blade , its legal to carry it openly on my belt correct ?. I usually carry my spyderco tenacious openly on my pocket & have no problems . California, Los Angeles

    1. The City of LA does not allow fixed blade knives to be open carried at this time.

      Btw, it is legal to conceal carry your Tenacious.

  27. Isn’t there no length limit on a folding knife as long as it’s concealed? I plan to buy a kershaw cryo 2 that has a framelock is more than 3 inches length is that CA legal?

    1. I’m sure its legal. justread over the legality of the balisongs and switchblades section

    2. There is no length limit to fixed blades that are openly carried except in the City of Los Angeles, any School, College or University grounds, within any public owned property, or any property being used for the purposes of a public or official meeting (like a town hall meeting). Otherwise, you are good to go. I’d go online and print out the Penal code and keep a copy in your wallet for when you get stopped by the Police who didn’t read the penal code before taking an oath.

  28. If i have a bottle opener that looks like a balisong
    knife when its closed can i carry it on my belt in a holster in california?

    1. It doesn’t have a blade, so long as you do your part in letting Law Enforcement Officers know this in any situation involving them, you should be fine. Just don’t try to threaten people with it and you’ll be OK.

    2. conceal it, it isnt a knife. its as good as a toy or regular bottle opener

  29. So I recently bought a fixed blade thats 5.05 inches can i carry it openly?

    1. Yes. No restriction on size. It says in the beginning paragraph of the article.

  30. could i carry a balisong knife in public with me if it is in a backpack?

    1. This depends on where you are, generally NO
      You can if you are going directly to yours or a friend’s motor vehicle or privately owned boat, at which point it is ‘ok.’
      I’d avoid it though if you can.

  31. who wrote this? WHO’S is misused; should be whose. What’s a Swithblade? Pen knives are so super important they’re named twice.

    1. A switchblade is any mind of knife woth a switch on the blade itself so.when younpush it down the blade comes out

  32. I am interested in shipping letter openers that are concealed in a pen to California. (It’s a usable pen and you can also remove an end to reveal the letter opener). Would this fall under the hidden weapon category? Thank you!

  33. I have a credit card sized multi tool knife. Is it legal to carry it in my pocket? The blade sheaths in the tool discretely, but it has other tools on it. (compass, bottle opener, tweezers, etc.)

  34. I have a Swiss Army knife which I carry in my purse for self protection. I would carry it, folded, in my hand in places where I might perceive possible danger. I live in CA. Legal? I would have no hesitation in stabbing someone who attacked me.

    1. If you want self protection a Swiss Army knife isn’t the way to go

    2. But what if she suddenly is approached by a masked stranger that says he’ll kill her if she doesn’t remove the cork from his bottle of wine? A lock blade isn’t going to save her then!

    3. 1. does the blade lock? swiss blades usually don’t but yours may
      2. how long is the blade? Knife laws are dependent on blade length

    4. I dont recommend using a knife for defense in cali.

  35. For those of you wondering about open carrying your fixed blade knife. I live in Riverside county (one of the stricter counties) and for my EDC i go out with no less than my SOG SEAL Pup, my SOG Trident, a small 2 inch Winchester pocket knife, and a SOG Snarl. I carry the SEAL Pup on my belt out in the open and the rest of the knives I carry concealed about my person. Been stopped many times (for the Pup) and been asked to remove all of my weapons. Not one of those knives is illegal to carry in CA and i am always let go once the officer makes sure all of the blades are legal. When you open carry a fixed blade remember these 3 things:

    1. It has to be recognizable as a knife (cant be disguised)

    2. It must be in a sheath of some sort

    3. The full length of the knife must be visible (your shirt cant be pulled down over the handle i tuck my shirt in behind it)

    Also to save yourself some trouble print up a copy of the laws that apply to your carry and keep it on your person. That way if the officer in question is “confused” about your legal right to carry a knife, you can provide proof to set him straight.

    1. This is some good info. Does anyone know a website that has the laws pertaining to knives available to print?

    2. Again, what about LA County, or all of the other cities?

    3. Pretty sure it’s just the city of L.A. When I go down to SoCal, I use a rule of thumb to not carry something that will instantly scare liberals. Living in Sacramento County, I can go around with a neck knife around my neck, but I wouldn’t dare try that when I go to L.A. Hope this helps.

    4. You carry tpnmany knifes with you thats why they stop you

  36. FYI: per 626.10 CA Penal Code, regarding school grounds (kindergarten through 12th grade): any lock blades are illegal; and the same for any non locking folder (ie slip joint) with a blade longer than 2 1/2″.

    Exceptions are staff & emergency personnel in course of duty.

    This is either a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the individual circumstances of each case.

  37. So this site says you can have a fixed blade out in the open of any size no restrictions but you can only have a switch blade no longer than 2 inches??

  38. I own a folding, single edged, 6 inch blade Cold Steel Ti-Lite. The blade is long and thin like a stiletto, but as it’s single edged and folding, is it still legally a prohibited weapon to carry concealed/at all? under state law? Thank you…

  39. I have a balisong butterfly knife it’s more than 2 inches long and I live in ca. Can I sell it out of state shipping via ups/FedEx

  40. I want to buy a. Balisong knife (Butterfly knife) and its the blade is 5 inches. Im not planing on carrying around with me but i want to make sure its legal to have one.

  41. I have a 3 inch non-auto or assisted knife. Can I carry it around town in my pocket?

  42. I would like to know if I can carry a 7 inch T-bar marine knife carrying on on my side when I’m riding my motorcycle is that legally in California -city of inland empire and if it is with cities in the surrounding areas have a problem with it and can I get a permit to carry it

  43. Under California law a concealed handgun can legally be transported with a motor vehicle without a permit only by carrying it: 1) unloaded; and 2) locked in the vehicle’s trunk or in a separate locked container other than the utility or glove compartment. If the vehicle does not have a trunk, it must be carried in a “locked container” separate from the utility or glove compartment.

    Ammunition cannot be attached to the handgun in any manner. Under most circumstances, a firearm is considered loaded when there is a live round of ammunition “…in, or attached in any manner to, the firearm, including, but not limited to: in the firing chamber, magazine or clip thereof attached to the firearm…” For example, a semi-automatic handgun with an empty firing chamber and a loaded magazine inserted in the magazine well is considered loaded. There is no prohibition in the state codes against also carrying ammunition within the same motor vehicle or compartment in the vehicle, as long as the firearms are not loaded and ammunition is not attached in any manner to the firearm. – Penal Code Sections 12025, 12026, 12031.

    Penal Code Section 12026.2 states that carrying a handgun in your car even in a locked container is only for the purpose of transporting from one specific location to another (going to the range, going hunting, etc.). It is illegal to carry a firearm without a permit, even in a locked container in your car, for general purposes such as self-defense.

    While it is legal in California to carry an unloaded handgun in plain sight in the passenger compartment, it is not advised. It can lead to unfavorable attention and an encounter with the police. If the gun slips between the seats or otherwise out of sight, it is no longer “in plain sight” and therefore illegal.

    Switchblades are legal to own in CA. You just can’t carry them on your person, or in your vehicle in the passenger compartment or buy. sell, trade, give one away, etc. So yes, you can have one legally IN YOUR HOME.

    ANY knife that has a fixed blade including a pocket knife in the open position, is considered a dirk or dagger.

    Ok folks? Hope this answers ya’ll’s questions.

  44. So even owning a “switchblade” with a blade over 2 inches is forbidden in California? You cant even have one in a display case in your home?

  45. Might explore the medical implications of knife fightng, wounds, and real-life survival /wounding with various defense methods/ systems. Probably a lose-lose. And medical bills? Good luck.

  46. The issue with California, while the law may state one thing, and be the prevailing law, it doesn’t matter if the officer interprets it differently. And there are MANY officers who have ill-informed concepts of what the laws actually are! Then there are the various city & county laws to deal with. This resource, while nice is also misleading and can most certainly get people into trouble. As ignorance of the law is no excuse, and a cop being ignorant, can get you shot!

    1. meh, just remain calm and co-operate with the cop and if you get cited or arrested then present your defense to the judge. but make absolutely certain your are following all state and local rules before you carry.

  47. gemcrazy,

    Not sure when this happened to you, but the courts have ruled that an unloaded gun is just that, unloaded. If there are no bullets in the gun, it is unloaded. You can have a loaded magazine next to the gun, but the magazine is not a gun. I have great respect for the CHP, but the commandant of the CHP often oversteps his authority on defining the law. Take the California motorcycle helmet law a number of years back. He decided that a certain helmet type was not safe and orders his officers to ticket them, even though the helmets met the requirement of the law. Another case that will come to a head is giving Ham radio operators tickets for not using hands free. Ham radios are NOT wireless telephones, as specified in the law. Same happened with the loaded gun law.

  48. Having spent several hours being searched, questioned,detained and terrorized by the CHP at the Cordillia Weigh Station I can assure you that the way CHP defines their law is different than what is presented here. I was pulled in for vehicle inspection as is quite common at all CA weigh stations.
    I had an M-7 bayonet in the map pocket in my truck which was clearly visible when I opened my door. The officer asked the obvious “What is that” My reply was “A knife” Next came “are there any more weapons in the truck” weeeeellll “Yep there is a pistol in the sleeper”
    Three hours later I’m free to go because…. The knife was in the vehicle Not on my person Had it been on my belt…BAD BAD BAD. Pistol was returned with industrial sized Zip tie through mag well/ejection port. Mag was emptied and ammo placed in stapled shut bag. I was told it was illegal to carry a loaded gun in a vehicle in CA. If the gun was in the passenger compartment then the ammo had to be in a separate compartment that could not be reached. I only got my gun back because where I lived and was licensed at the time I could carry exposed in any location. Ca has since changed their laws to prohibit that exception as well.

  49. Jay,

    I point out that the violent crime rate and the murder rate of Arizona is about the same as California (murder rate was a little higher in Arizona in 2011, last year I have reliable stats for). Also, in AZ you are in trouble carrying any knife, even a pocket knife on a keychain, in a school. In California you can carry small blade knives in a school, at least. Also, CCW holders can carry guns in schools. And in bars. In fact, CCW holders have less restrictions in CA than AZ…it is just that it is harder to get a CCW, and you guys permit far broader unlicensed carry.

    One thing to bear in mind is that unlike firearms, where CA has preemption (one dying act of the GOP before we went blue), knife laws vary. There is a limit on length in some cities. LA, SF and Oakland limit blade length to 3″, e.g.

  50. The CA law info posted in the article above is not exactly accurate. State law prohibits concealing a “dirk or dagger,” and then goes on to define “dirk or dagger” as any fixed blade knife. So, other than the limit on autos and balisongs, the only thing state law prohibits is concealing a fixed blade. There are no length limits in state law (other than school grounds), and it doesn’t matter whether the knife has one edge or two.

  51. The only knives prohibited by state law at public universities that are legal elsewhere are fixed blades over 2.5″. Which means that, per state law, fixed blade knives under 2.5″ and folding knives (of any length) are legal on university property. Check your city/county laws for other restrictions. Violating university policy will get you kicked out, but not arrested. (The CSU system used to have a 5″ blade length limit, but that could have changed)

  52. While California has made headway in recent years in repealing or defeating some repressive laws, I believe it a reach to think that CA is “modern and up to date” in regards to it’s knife laws. Any state that restricts or forbids law abiding citizens from possessing a knife simply because of an antiquated “chicken-little” mindset cannot pretend to be a friendly state to knife owners. The length or style of a blade as a determining factor of legality, ie. switchblades limited to under 2″ or the determination that a dagger can only be used for nefarious purposes, is both repressive and moronic.
    If you wish to be a true Knife Friendly state maybe you should look to your eastern border. Arizona continues to prove itself as a true knife friendly progressive state. We have drastically lower violent crime rates for the simple fact that we allow our citizens to live as our forefathers intended; without redundant or repressive laws that restrict the rights of the people to own, possess or carry almost any weapon, including any knife, switchblade, out the front automatic knife, dirk, dagger, sword, swordcane or penknife they desire. Be it for self defense or collecting purposes.
    The point is, there should be no restrictions put upon the law abiding populace of a free state. The belief by most in California that you can reduce or eradicate crime by restricting ownership of an inanimate object by the law abiding populace is pure ignorance.
    I look forward to seeing California continue it’s fight against the repressive laws which you live under as well as those that continue to be brought against you every day. Good luck.

  53. I just bought a 16 inch Bowie and I wanted to know if I can carry it around here in California?

    1. Depends where you are as some cities/counties do have blade length restrictions.

      Try this web site for more accurate info: http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/USKnife.pdf

      This web site here seems to be doing more harm than good.
      Best thing to do is to check your city and county laws as well as cities/counties that you travel to and thru on a regular basis.
      Example; my city doesn’t have a blade length restriction, but in a nearby city where my g/f lives, they have a 3″ or longer limit so when I visit her, I carry a 2.875″ Spyderco Byrd Hawkbill.
      But in my city, I can carry my older model Cold Steel Vaquero Grandé with the 6″ serrated VG-1 blade, which is about 13″ with the blade deployed and is longer than your forearm.

      What is legal in one city may be illegal in another.
      SF, OAK, SAC, LA all have blade restrictions of 3″ or longer as do other cities while others don’t.

      I’d hate to see someone get rung up for reading something on this web site thinking that the knife they carry is legal when it isn’t and some liberal gun-hating, knife-hating DA sends you to County for a Year based on misinformation.

      There are length restrictions. The trick is to find out which Counties/Cities.
      The link I posted above should be of help and if there is still confusion or questions, they can check their LOCAL laws which supercede State laws.

      Hope this helps.

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