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Posted: 5/21/2020 8:10:20 PM EDT
I've been in state for a week and looked up knife laws on a whim and found it it's kinda weird here. I've been carrying my Benchmade 940 everywhere and am wondering if that would fall under a "Common pocket knife" or a deadly weapon. I mean I've always just used it as a utility knife and see it as such, but I know this is up to a jury and judge here. Is it better to just stick with a swiss army knife instead, or would most cops in the vero beach area likely not care? It'll likely be a couple of months before I can get a CWP just because I won't have a permanent residence for a while (actually my VA license expires at the end of June, so if I don't have proof of residency to change it to FL by then, I'm really going to have some problems), so that's not a route I can immediately go.
Link Posted: 5/21/2020 8:30:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/22/2020 8:34:48 PM EDT by TitleII]
Originally Posted By odiedodi:
I've been in state for a week and looked up knife laws on a whim and found it it's kinda weird here. I've been carrying my Benchmade 940 everywhere and am wondering if that would fall under a "Common pocket knife" or a deadly weapon. I mean I've always just used it as a utility knife and see it as such, but I know this is up to a jury and judge here. Is it better to just stick with a swiss army knife instead, or would most cops in the vero beach area likely not care? It'll likely be a couple of months before I can get a CWP just because I won't have a permanent residence for a while (actually my VA license expires at the end of June, so if I don't have proof of residency to change it to FL by then, I'm really going to have some problems), so that's not a route I can immediately go.
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Per case law a "common pocket knife" is a folding knife with a blade under 4 inches.  Or maybe a blade 4 inches or less.  Yes it is that complicated.  As you may know, the state preemption on firearms does not apply to knifes.

I hope that helps a little but I'm afraid that it just confuses things. IIRC the blade of which you speak is about 3.5 inches so you shroud be GTG.

Anyone can apply for a FLCWFL.  No residency is required.

ETA: the case law suggests "four inches or less."

In 1997, the Florida Supreme Court interpreted the meaning of the "common pocketknife" exception for the first time. In L. B. v. State, 700 So. 2d 370, 373 (per curiam), the court determined that a pocketknife with a blade of 3¾ inches "plainly falls within the statutory exception to the definition of `weapon' found in section 790.001(13)." The complete analysis of the Florida Supreme Court on this issue was as follows: "In 1951, the Attorney General of Florida opined that a pocketknife with a blade of four inches in length or less was a `common pocketknife.' The knife appellant carried, which had a 3¾-inch blade, clearly fell within this range." Ibid. (citation omitted). The Florida Supreme Court accordingly vacated the conviction in L. B. because the "knife in question was a `common pocketknife' under any intended definition of that term." Ibid. Justice Grimes, joined by Justice Wells, wrote an opinion agreeing with the majority's resolution of the case "[i]n view of the Attorney General's opinion and the absence of a more definitive description of a common pocketknife." Ibid.
Link Posted: 5/22/2020 6:36:30 AM EDT
And here we go.
About state law.

Any knife over 4 inches needs a concealed license to conceal.
You can open carry any size knife.
Switch blades are an attack knife and therefore illegal.

About County law.

All the counties have different vague knife laws and no one can understand them. Not even cops.
Link Posted: 5/22/2020 8:11:21 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Iamhere:
And here we go.
About state law.

Any knife over 4 inches needs a concealed license to conceal.
You can open carry any size knife.
Switch blades are an attack knife and therefore illegal.

About County law.

All the counties have different vague knife laws and no one can understand them. Not even cops.
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You sure about that, was under the impression with a ccw they were gtg unless some odd ball county law forbids like dade county.
Link Posted: 5/22/2020 8:16:39 AM EDT
You're in Vero. Indian River County SO, Vero PD, Sebastian PD, and Fellsmere PD Officers wont give a crap about your knife if it has a 4.25 inch blade. You're good to go. Its not the Gestapo down here! Just be cool. IF you come in contact with LE, remain calm, avoid direct eye contact, and NEVER show your teeth! Its a sign of aggression.
Wait, that is for gorillas. Nevermind.
Seriously, if you get pulled over, just be cool. Let them know that you do in fact have a pocket knife. No biggie.
Link Posted: 5/22/2020 10:26:35 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Iamhere:
And here we go.
About state law.

Any knife over 4 inches needs a concealed license to conceal.
You can open carry any size knife.
Switch blades are an attack knife and therefore illegal.

About County law.

All the counties have different vague knife laws and no one can understand them. Not even cops.
View Quote


Switchblades are not illegal. Ballistic knives, where the blade leaves the handle, are.
Link Posted: 5/22/2020 10:30:32 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By GreatDane:


Switchblades are not illegal. Ballistic knives, where the blade leaves the handle, are.
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This is my understanding as well.
Link Posted: 5/22/2020 4:35:23 PM EDT
Florida Carry says switch blades are illegal.

Scroll down to b.
Link Posted: 5/22/2020 4:43:20 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/22/2020 5:58:40 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By osprey21:

I think that only applies to MiamiDade.
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Found where switch blades are legal. Thanks osprey21.

Link Posted: 5/22/2020 8:41:16 PM EDT
Not really much of a concern. I have carried a normal tactical style folder for 10 years. In Miami, in Broward, in Palm beach.  Never had an issue.
Link Posted: 5/23/2020 7:26:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/23/2020 7:32:17 PM EDT by odiedodi]
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Originally Posted By CarterPewterschmidt:

Seriously, if you get pulled over, just be cool. Let them know that you do in fact have a pocket knife. No biggie.
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If I get pulled, I'd hope it doesn't escalate to the point that I'm being searched to begin with. This area seems pretty right leaning so I kinda figured it wouldn't be a big deal. I just figured I'd ask before opening a box at work in front of the wrong retired new yorker and having the cops called on me.

ETA: As far as switchblades go I didn't really plan on carrying one anyway. I break knife springs like they're going out of style, which is why I don't buy assisted opening knives anymore either. Don't care if other folks carry them though. I'm still bummed that there's no OC here (It was relatively common in my area of VA), but I don't want to be that guy that moves states and tells people they're doing everything wrong. I know there are some fishing groups in the state that carry though, but I'm not big into fishing.
Link Posted: 5/24/2020 6:50:06 AM EDT
Never had a cop ask to check my pocketknife.

My feelz are hurt.
Link Posted: 5/26/2020 8:13:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/26/2020 8:15:28 AM EDT by H8train375]
I am an LEO in the Vero Beach / Indian River area.  I also work St Lucie and Okee.  I will not jam you up on a pocket knife.

State knife laws are vague and I'm not jamming up a nice, reasonable person over some stupid shit.

However, I dont know of any local ordinances for knives since I am a State LEO and do not enforce local ordinances.    

Link Posted: 5/26/2020 8:23:55 AM EDT
A little off topic but if you're willing to travel there is a great knife store in Saint Cloud off of US192.  They dont carry junk and have a damm good selection.  Prices aren't bad either.
Link Posted: 5/26/2020 9:19:37 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By H8train375:
I am an LEO in the Vero Beach / Indian River area.  I also work St Lucie and Okee.  I will not jam you up on a pocket knife.

State knife laws are vague and I'm not jamming up a nice, reasonable person over some stupid shit.

However, I dont know of any local ordinances for knives since I am a State LEO and do not enforce local ordinances.    

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@H8train375 - Can i ask a question - unofficially of course?
I have been told conflicting things on what concealed carry actually means. One officer told me the pocket clip wasn't enough (had to be plainly obvious it was a knife), but two others i asked said a clip sufficed. How do you generally feel with a clip making/not making a knife concealed?
Link Posted: 5/26/2020 11:09:14 AM EDT
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0790/Sections/0790.001.html

790.001 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, except where the context otherwise requires:

(3)(a) “Concealed weapon” means any dirk, metallic knuckles, billie, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapon carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal the weapon from the ordinary sight of another person.


(13) “Weapon” means any dirk, knife, metallic knuckles, slungshot, billie, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapon except a firearm or a common pocketknife, plastic knife, or blunt-bladed table knife.

Note: case law holds that a folding knife, with a blade 4 inches or less, is a common pocket knife.
Link Posted: 5/26/2020 2:45:42 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Madcat207:

@H8train375 - Can i ask a question - unofficially of course?
I have been told conflicting things on what concealed carry actually means. One officer told me the pocket clip wasn't enough (had to be plainly obvious it was a knife), but two others i asked said a clip sufficed. How do you generally feel with a clip making/not making a knife concealed?
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Its not specified in state law

I'm perfectly fine with a pocket clip classifying it as open carry.  But they could be speaking from county and city ordinances classifying it as such.  Again, us state Leos dont enforce county or city ordinances
Link Posted: 5/31/2020 1:26:27 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By JaxJim:


This is my understanding as well.
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Originally Posted By JaxJim:
Originally Posted By GreatDane:


Switchblades are not illegal. Ballistic knives, where the blade leaves the handle, are.


This is my understanding as well.
Switchblades aren't illegal. They sell them all over the place.
Link Posted: 5/31/2020 1:27:20 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By fuzzy03cls:
Not really much of a concern. I have carried a normal tactical style folder for 10 years. In Miami, in Broward, in Palm beach.  Never had an issue.
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Same here. Never had a cop even look twice at it hooked on my pocket with the typical pocket clip exposed.
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