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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 5/24/2003 7:09:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/24/2003 7:10:34 PM EST by thehamr]
I was given a Boker Magnum "Automatic" knife earlier this week and was wondering if anyone knows the legality of such an item in AZ?

Pic of Knife


Link Posted: 5/24/2003 10:03:52 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/24/2003 10:13:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/24/2003 10:18:34 PM EST by LotBoy]
I think a blade length of 3 3/4" or less is considered a pocket knife.

I carry a Benchmade Mel Pardue model 3550 auto.
Link Posted: 5/24/2003 10:25:12 PM EST
copied from another site:
Answer: Arizona Law addresses these questions in ARS chapter 31, section 13. First, Arizona law (ARS 13-3101) defines deadly weapon as anything that is designed for lethal use. Second, ARS 13-3102 states that a person commits misconduct involving weapons if they carry a deadly weapon without a permit, except for a pocket knife concealed on his or her person. So, the answer to the first question is that it is legal to carry a pocket knife concealed on your person.

As to the matter of switchblade knives, there is nothing specifically making switchblade knives illegal in this state. As they are not commonly carried by sportsman or tradespersons, they would probably be considered fighting knives and, therefore, deadly weapons. While not specifically illegal to possess, they may have to be either carried visibly or, if concealed, the possessor must have a concealed weapons permit issued pursuant to ARS 13-3112.

Link Posted: 5/25/2003 8:40:17 AM EST
ARS gives no definition and there is no case law as to what makes a knife a deadly weapon. I've heard some LEOs say that they would cite anyone carrying a fixed blade knife concealed without a CCW permit.

I asked Alan Korwin the gunwriter/attorney the question and here is his reply and mine.

It's not a settled matter of law, there is no inch measurement in AZ (federal law has a 2-1/2 inch limit on knives in federal buildings, but that statute has been ignored in favor of the new standard - nothing knifelike allowed at all). If memory serves, CCW relates to concealed deadly weapons - a thing designed for lethal use; most knives do not qualify, they are dangerous objects - which can be deadly depending on use. Does any of that help?

Alan, thanks for your reply.

I did read the only case cited in the ARS Annotation Service.
"A double-edged hunting knife approximately six inches in length found under defendant's shirt qualified as a deadly weapon. State v. Clevidence, 153 Ariz. 295, 736 P.2d 379 (Ct. App. 1987).

I guess it's a gray area. This case gave no definition other than that particular knife being ruled a deadly weapon.

Thanks for your help,

Link Posted: 5/25/2003 11:15:11 PM EST
Generally, if its a folder, its a pocketknife. You're ok, but beware of certain cities that have city codes against such things.

I wouldnt worry about it however.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 11:28:25 PM EST
I think Yuma is the only city where it's illegal to possess a switchblade...Not positive.

The only thing illegal in Arizona, as far as weapons are concerned, are Nunchucks(sp) You can shoot em, stab em, beat them with a slapper or brass knucks, but you can't whoop em with nunchucks...
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 4:22:39 PM EST
Thanks everone for answering this post and relaying your knowledge on the matter. I can't believe that nunchucks are illegal here. Is that illegal to carry or illegal to own, cause I have about 25 pairs in my closet?
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 6:06:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/1/2003 6:09:35 PM EST by prebans]
The owner of Guns Plus, Ken Senft, told my (September 2002) ccw class that nunchucks are now legal in Arizona.

Link Posted: 6/1/2003 8:07:54 PM EST
Good to know, thanks!
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 4:47:17 AM EST

Originally Posted By prebans:
The owner of Guns Plus, Ken Senft, told my (September 2002) ccw class that nunchucks are now legal in Arizona.


Where did he get that info? I don't see any revisions to ARS 13-31 nor do I see any new case law.
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 4:52:45 AM EST
7. "Prohibited weapon" means, but does not include fireworks imported, distributed or used in compliance with state laws or local ordinances, any propellant, propellant actuated devices or propellant actuated industrial tools that are manufactured, imported or distributed for their intended purposes or a device that is commercially manufactured primarily for the purpose of illumination, including any of the following:

(e) Instrument, including a nunchaku, that consists of two or more sticks, clubs, bars or rods to be used as handles, connected by a rope, cord, wire or chain, in the design of a weapon used in connection with the practice of a system of self-defense.

Link Posted: 6/2/2003 8:01:42 PM EST

Originally Posted By innocent_bystander:

Originally Posted By prebans:
The owner of Guns Plus, Ken Senft, told my (September 2002) ccw class that nunchucks are now legal in Arizona.


Where did he get that info? I don't see any revisions to ARS 13-31 nor do I see any new case law.

You got me. That's just what he told my ccw class back in 10/02...

Link Posted: 6/3/2003 9:34:57 AM EST
I think the A.J. PD carries nunchucks. I saw an officer with some tucked in his belt.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 12:30:11 PM EST
cut and pasted from http://www.packing.org/state/index.jsp/arizona

Arizona Constitution Article 2 Sec 26: Bearing arms

The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the state shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain, or employ an armed body of men.

In Arizona the permit is truly a concealed weapon permit, so long as the weapon is not prohibited (e.g., nunchakus). Pocket knives may be carried out of sight without a permit but the Attorney General's opinion is that this only includes pocket knives with blades that do not exceed four inches in length. Arizona statutes do not address the issue of switchblades but, as a minimum, it is likely that the concealed carry of any switchblade with a blade longer than four inches would also require a concealed weapon permit.
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 9:30:37 AM EST
Arizona law does not mention auto knives, but last time I checked there was a federal law. I dont know the U.S. code number but it prohibited anyone from owning a auto knife unless they were military of law enforcement.
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 10:23:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/6/2003 10:25:29 AM EST by thehamr]
Hey guys,

I did a little research and according to this web site and the November 1998 issue of Tactical Knives, switchblades are not Federally regulated and in fact are quite legal in the State of AZ at any length. This site lists the legality of switchblades for all 50 states.


Let me know what you all think!
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 10:45:26 AM EST
The site is correct for AZ but I think it's wrong for AK. I was in Juneau last summer and auto knives were for sale at The Knife Shop there. They stated switchblades were legal to own there but had carry restrictions in the cities.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 2:45:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/12/2003 2:49:12 PM EST by Joe_Blacke]

13-3102.3 is the statute cited for violation of the "prohibited weapons", including nunchakus, as defined under ARS Title 13-31.

However, 13-3102.H is the defense for this charge. Specifically, nunchakus are legal when used: "for the purposes of preparing for, conducting or participating in lawful exhibitions, demonstrations, contests or athletic events involving the use of such weapon." This includes any type of martial arts training, or demonstrations. It is pretty much vague, in that you can qualify for this defense by simply claiming that they are used solely for training or demonstration/contest purposes. Of course, if they are used in the commission of any other offense, you are S.O.L.

This statute is not new. It is the same as when I first learned it over a decade ago.

Link Posted: 6/12/2003 5:34:29 PM EST
Understood, but I think possession without your gi is going to lead to trouble. I don't think that telling someone they are legal is quite appropriate.
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 5:15:11 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/13/2003 5:36:33 AM EST by Joe_Blacke]
Possession is quite legal. You do not need a gi, dobook, or any other martial art uniform or even participate in a martial art class.

You only need to be able to show that they are used for the purpose of training or competing in "athletic" events. By it's very nature, the statute is ambigious.

As I have seen, so far, most officers aren't even aware of the fact that they are "illegal". Not even the Title 13 instructors at ALEA knew that back in the day. It was quite funny when a rookie wanted to charge a gang banger who had them in his posession during a fight, and the FTO didn't believe him that it was a violation of the misconduct involving weapons statute. To this day, the only time I have seen a person charged with a prohibited weapons violation for nunchaku was when they were used in the commission of a crime. Even then the county attorney wouldn't press charges under the statute, but instead charged them with aggravated assualt.

I know the statute specifically names the nunchaku as being a prohibited weapon, but it clearly states that it no longer becomes a prohibited weapon when possessed for the purpose of "training" or "competition". This is similar to the open carry law. Title 13 states that it is illegal to carry a deadly weapon, but then later in the statute it provides a defense to this by saying "as long as the weapon is wholy or partially visiable". I'm sure that you would agree that AZ is an open carry state, would you not? To understand this, you need to look closely at the wording in the statute: "Subsection A, paragraph 3 of this section shall not apply to a weapon described in section 13-3101, paragraph 7, subdivision (e), if such weapon is possessed for the purposes of preparing for, conducting or participating in lawful exhibitions, demonstrations, contests or athletic events involving the use of such weapon." The use of the words "shall not apply" is the key here. This means that the criminal statute for nunchaku possession is UNENFORCEABLE when it is posessed under the vague conditions of the exemption. Presently, I cannot find any case law or statute that defines what is required for "training", "competing", or "atletic events. The burden of proving that the possession of such a device DOESN'T fall under such an exemption is the burden of the prosecution.

Now, to contrast this with other statutes which use similar, but different, approaches to defining illegal and legal behaviour. Look at the justification for use of force statutes. It clearly says that it is illegal to use deadly physical force. Rather than claiming the statute doesn't APPLY for self defense, it provides a legal defense for such conduct should you be charged. This will require that you show that your actions fall under the use of force defenses, not exemptions.

Many of our criminal statutes are like this. They specifically say something is illegal, then later say that there are exceptions to those illegalities.
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 5:27:08 AM EST
Good to know.
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