I checked the FAQ here and at Bladeforums, and couldn't find an relavent information.
I was under the impression that a blade of a carry knife could be as along as 4". A friend of mine (literally, he's a person who is not me), stumbled across a law stating that a "dangerous knife" must have a blade shorter than 3.5". I understood from following definitions that it was limited to fixed blades and that folders are exempt; he is sorrowfully convinced otherwise, and would like to know he's wrong, since he just bought a Buck Model 110 Folding Hunter with a 3.75" blade.
I will post the contents of that law as soon as I find a postable copy. Don't bother wondering about it until I ETA the text, unless you have definite information. The conversion from .doc didn't work out too well, and all the words were split into individual letters, listed entirely on the left side.
ETA: here is the text of the law.
Washington Crimes and Punishments
Dangerous weapons -- Penalty.
Every person who:
(1) Manufactures, sells, or disposes of or possesses
any instrument or weapon of the kind usually known as
slung shot, sand club, or metal knuckles, or spring
blade knife, or any knife the blade of which is
automatically released by a spring mechanism or other
mechanical device, or any knife having a blade which
opens, or falls, or is ejected into position by the
force of gravity, or by an outward, downward, or
centrifugal thrust or movement;
(2) Furtively carries with intent to conceal any dagger,
dirk, pistol, or other dangerous weapon; or
(3) Uses any contrivance or device for suppressing the
noise of any firearm,
is guilty of a gross misdemeanor punishable under
chapter 9A.20 RCW.
Effective date -- 1994
Weapons apparently capable of producing bodily harm --
Unlawful carrying or handling -- Penalty -- Exceptions.
(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit,
display, or draw any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other
cutting or stabbing instrument, club, or any other weapon
apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner,
under circumstances, and at a time and place that either
manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants
alarm for the safety of other persons.
(2) Any person violating the provisions of subsection (1)
above shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor. If any person
is convicted of a violation of subsection (1) of this section,
the person shall lose his or her concealed pistol license,
if any. The court shall send notice of the revocation to the
department of licensing, and the city, town, or county which
issued the license.
(3) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to or affect
(a) Any act committed by a person while in his or her place of
abode or fixed place of business;
(b) Any person who by virtue of his or her office or public
employment is vested by law with a duty to preserve public
safety, maintain public order, or to make arrests for offenses,
while in the performance of such duty;
(c) Any person acting for the purpose of protecting himself or
herself against the use of presently threatened unlawful force
by another, or for the purpose of protecting another against the
use of such unlawful force by a third person;
(d) Any person making or assisting in making a lawful arrest for
the commission of a felony; or
(e) Any person engaged in military activities sponsored by the
federal or state governments.
Effective date -- 1994
Seattle Municipal Code
Information retrieved February 7, 2001
SMC 12A.14.010 Definitions.
The following definitions apply in this chapter:
A. "Dangerous knife" means any fixed-blade knife and any other
knife having a blade more than three and one-half inches (31/2")
B. "Fixed-blade knife" means any knife, regardless of blade
length, with a blade which is permanently open and does not fold,
retract or slide into the handle of the knife, and includes any
dagger, sword, bayonet, bolo knife, hatchet, axe, straight-edged
razor, or razor blade not in a package, dispenser or shaving
C. "Firearm" means a weapon or device from which a projectile
may be fired by an explosive such as gunpowder.
D. "Personal protection spray device" means a commercially
available dispensing device designed and intended for use in
self-defense and containing a nonlethal sternutator or lacrimator
agent, including but not limited to:
1. Tear gas, the active ingredient of which is either
chloracetophenone (CN) or O-chlorobenzylidene malonotrile (CS);
2. Other agent commonly known as mace, pepper mace, or pepper
E. "Switchblade knife" means any knife having a blade that
opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring
mechanism, or other device, or a blade that opens, falls or is
ejected into position by force of gravity or by an outward,
downward, or centrifugal thrust or movement.
(Ord. 117157 Section 2, 1994: Ord. 116872 Section 11, 1993: Ord.
113547 Section 1, 1987: Ord. 112103 Section 1, 1985:
Ord. 110785 Section 1, 1982: Ord. 110462 Section 1, 1982: Ord.
103472 Section 1, 1974: Ord. 102843 Section 12A.17.010 , 1973.)
This prohibits the carry of "dangerous knives.
SMC 12A.14.080 Unlawful use of weapons.
It is unlawful for a person knowingly to:
A. Sell, manufacture, purchase, possess or carry any blackjack,
sand-club, metal knuckles, switchblade knife, chako sticks, or
throwing stars; or
B. Carry concealed or unconcealed on his or her person any
dangerous knife, or carry concealed on his or her person any
deadly weapon other than a firearm; or
C. Possess a firearm in any stadium or convention center
operated by a city, county or other municipality, except that
such restriction shall not apply to:
1. Any pistol in the possession of a person licensed under
RCW 9.41.070 or exempt from the licensing requirement by
RCW 9.41.060, or
2. Any showing, demonstration or lecture involving the
exhibition of firearms.
D. Sell or give away to any person under eighteen (18) years of
age any dangerous knife or deadly weapon other than a firearm, or
for any person under eighteen (18) years of age to purchase any
dangerous knife or deadly weapon other than a firearm, or for any
person under eighteen (18) years of age to possess any dangerous
knife or deadly weapon other than a firearm except when under the
direct supervision of an adult.
(Ord. 117157 Section 5, 1994: Ord. 116872 Section 14, 1993:
Ord. 113547 Section 3, 1987: Ord. 110785 Section 2, 1982:
Ord. 110462 Section 2, 1982: Ord. 110179 Section 2, 1981:
Ord. 109674 Section 12, 1981: Ord. 108814 Section 3, 1980:
Ord. 102843 Section 12A.17.140 , 1973.)
Subsection B regulating the carrying of certain knives is
a reasonable restriction of the right to bear arms.
Seattle v. Riggins, 63 Wn.Ap.313, 818 P.2d 1100 (1991).
A citation as "carrying a concealed weapon" with the code
section number is sufficient to charge a violation of
SMC 12A.14.080 B. Seattle v. Hall, 60 Wn.App. 645, 806 P.2d 1246 (1991).
The prohibition of knowing possessing of chako sticks does
not conflict with state law and is not preempted by the
state Juvenile Justice Act. State v. Rabon, 45 Wn.App. 832, 727 P.2d 995 (1986).
Woah. Didn't realize it was that long. Sorry 'bout that.
According to the documents you posted, all fixed-blade knives are considered "dangerous weapons." Also, *ANY* knife with a blade longer than 3.5" is also considered a "dangerous weapon" whether it is fixed or a folder or whatever.
Just what I'm reading from the information you posted... I'm not a lawyer! HTH!
ETA: Seattle Codes are more restrictive than the state laws. The state says it is illegal to carry concealed, but Seattle says it is illegal to carry concealed or in the open.
Does that mean that carrying a pocket knife clipped to one's pocket in Seattle is illegal?
I presume his best bet would be to check with UW campus police.
Thanks for the reply.
Like I said, I'm no lawyer, but the language of the law is pretty plain. Since you mention that your friend is on the UW campus, they may have even more restrictive guidelines for the carry of knives while on campus. He should check with them anyways.
From the UW website "(f) Possession or use of firearms, explosives, dangerous chemicals or other dangerous weapons or instrumentalities on the University campus, except for authorized University purposes, unless prior written approval has been obtained from the Vice President for Student Affairs, or any other person designated by the President of the University (see WAC 478-124-020 (2)(e)) (legal defense sprays are not covered by this section)"
In Seattle, there is no carry of any fixed blade knives. You can only carry a folder that is 3.5" or less, either concealed or in the open. HTH.
good luck with that! I tried, the guy just sits in a conference with you and acts like he doesn't understand how you could possibly be so mentally deffective as to want to carry anything for defensive purposes on this wonderful peaceful campus. Glad I got out of there in June.