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Page Hometown » Ohio
Posted: 8/7/2011 6:34:37 PM EDT
Let me preface my question with the statement that I am very much the "law-abiding citizen". Not at all interested in fooling around with grey areas.

However, I have been wondering about the legalities of auto knives. I had a Gerber spring assisted knife that was great and lasted me two or three years but got lost some time back and I have started looking at other options for a replacement.
Maybe some LEO's can chime in here. I have plenty of friends or acquaintances that have owned auto knives but they didnt seem to care about the law as much as I would. The knife would just be a "pocket" knife, not looking for something large but in reality the only reason I carry it is for defense, and maybe the occasional stubborn cardboard box.

Can I legally posses an auto knife in Ohio?

If yes, would it be legal for me to use the weapon is self defense? Would I put myself in a bad position, legally speaking, if the weapon was used in self defense?

Thanks for the answers. I did read some Ohio code but it was QUITE vague .
Link Posted: 8/7/2011 6:35:36 PM EDT
I believe the short answer is No, but I could be wrong.






TAG for clarification.



Link Posted: 8/7/2011 6:52:41 PM EDT
I was pulled over for speeding in '09.  Cop had me get out for whatever reason - my CCW is by reciprocity, I don't have an Ohio, but maybe a few stickers were a tip-off.  I wasn't carrying a pistol at the time but told him I had my knife on me.  Push-button auto-folder, Gerber Emerson Alliance.  He took it out of my pocket for me and held it during our convo but other than that had no problem with it.



Lost that fucker later that year.  Wish I still had it, loved it.    Did you happen to find yours in NE OH?



Obviously, one officer's propensity to be reasonable is certainly not a statement of the letter of the law, but if it was expressly forbidden I'm guessing I would have had a bigger problem.
Link Posted: 8/7/2011 6:56:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 0PSEC:
I was pulled over for speeding in '09.  Cop had me get out for whatever reason - my CCW is by reciprocity, I don't have an Ohio, but maybe a few stickers were a tip-off.  I wasn't carrying a pistol at the time but told him I had my knife on me.  Push-button auto-folder, Gerber Emerson Alliance.  He took it out of my pocket for me and held it during our convo but other than that had no problem with it.

Lost that fucker later that year.  Wish I still had it, loved it.    Did you happen to find yours in NE OH?

Obviously, one officer's propensity to be reasonable is certainly not a statement of the letter of the law, but if it was expressly forbidden I'm guessing I would have had a bigger problem.


Well that sounds like a positive experience. I would just like to be sure that Im within the law on this one as my career kind of depends on a lack of weapons charges

Link Posted: 8/7/2011 8:14:03 PM EDT
According to this link http://knife-expert.com/oh.txt it's only illegal to possess them for sale. Otherwise appears to be good to go for carry. Ballistic knives that actually shoot the blade off the handle are not permitted. Some municipalities have laws against it(Cleveland in particular).
Link Posted: 8/8/2011 12:48:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Top_Secret:
According to this link http://knife-expert.com/oh.txt it's only illegal to possess them for sale. Otherwise appears to be good to go for carry. Ballistic knives that actually shoot the blade off the handle are not permitted. Some municipalities have laws against it(Cleveland in particular).


this is my understanding too. it's legal to own but commerce is illegal.
Link Posted: 8/8/2011 3:04:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/8/2011 3:04:39 AM EDT by LMT45039]
when it says "NO Person shall Manufacture, possess for sale, sell, or furnish to any person other than a law enforcement agency for authorized use in police work" it means its illegal for them to sell it to you thats why when you get on some of the knife websites they will ask for Police ID or Millitary ID. Now does that mean its illegal fo you to have it? I dont know. I think it would fall into that grey area. I have always heard EMS, Millitary, Police, and someone with limited use or no use of One hand or arm can have them no one else.
Link Posted: 8/8/2011 6:32:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/8/2011 6:33:02 AM EDT by fiver]
I carry whatever the fuck I want and if a cop wants to make an issue out of it, he can go right ahead.  





Then again I'm not in the habit of having contact with law enforcement and I haven't been frisked in probably 15 years.  That was when I was young and dumb, I expect I can go the rest of my natural life without a pat down from Uncle Leo, really if your shit is straight why are you going to get searched?  Ever?
In Ohio auto's are OK to posses and carry (as long as not carried "as a weapon") but you can't sell them.  Me?  I've never bought an auto knife.  Found them all while I was walking in the woods.  

 
Link Posted: 8/8/2011 6:33:49 AM EDT
It is a CATCH 22.
Most of the knives we all carry, could get you arrested.
Do they look for them? Only Deputy Barney Fife would!
But others may, that is what the CATCH 22 is: If they want you, they got you!
I worked with a guy who was stop at a ball game, at the Old Stadium.
(Way before 911)
For having a 2 plus inch knife opened. (he was cleaning his nails)
The older cop let him go. Told him to keep it out of sight.

PITA45

My #1 rule is: All ways have a knife!!!
Link Posted: 8/8/2011 8:22:22 AM EDT
I bought this knife at one of the biggest gun stores in the state.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_766107_-1_757864_757853_757837_ProductDisplayErrorView_N

I carry it every day.
Link Posted: 8/8/2011 8:57:51 AM EDT
I think what it comes down to is you CAN carry what ever you want but should you have to use it to defend yourself it could cause some problems. kinda like having a stolen handgun that you know is stolen then shooting someone with it.
Link Posted: 8/8/2011 3:18:35 PM EDT
My issue is not getting searched. My issue is that if I am in a situaion where someone is hurt or killed by me and my "grey area" knife (in self defense), is that going to be somethig that a scumbag lawyer uses to put me in jail, even in the ideal self defense scenario (with no question about whether or not deadly force was necesarry. )
An auto knife would be nice, but my 100% legal no grey area spring assisted knife worked fine and it would not be worth the risk if the auto opener meant a chance I would be made into the bag guy.
Link Posted: 8/8/2011 6:29:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By rcb1586:
I bought this knife at one of the biggest gun stores in the state.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_766107_-1_757864_757853_757837_ProductDisplayErrorView_N

I carry it every day.


I believe your knife is assisted opening, which is legal in Ohio and almost everywhere.

Link Posted: 8/8/2011 6:50:22 PM EDT
Ohio has fuzzy knife laws compared to a lot of other states.

Assisted opening knives are good enough these days to easily fool a lot of folks.

It's late or I would rummage up some ORC for you.  Short answer automatic knives are legal to own in Ohio,  however I don't think you can carry them legally.   Remember that's just off the top of my head and someone will have to dig for a formal answer.
Link Posted: 8/8/2011 8:45:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/8/2011 8:45:53 PM EDT by ADaughen]
Originally Posted By benny429:
Originally Posted By rcb1586:
I bought this knife at one of the biggest gun stores in the state.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_766107_-1_757864_757853_757837_ProductDisplayErrorView_N

I carry it every day.


I believe your knife is assisted opening, which is legal in Ohio and almost everywhere.




Yep, I carry a CRKT with a similar mechanism...

Also features the side safety M.A.G.I.C. assisted opening system



Originally Posted By Multi-G:
Ohio has fuzzy knife laws compared to a lot of other states.

Assisted opening knives are good enough these days to easily fool a lot of folks.

It's late or I would rummage up some ORC for you.  Short answer automatic knives are legal to own in Ohio,  however I don't think you can carry them legally.   Remember that's just off the top of my head and someone will have to dig for a formal answer.



I was told a long time ago that they were legal to own in Ohio, but not to carry; UNLESS you were handicap (amputee, limited dexterity, etc) or needed the one handed opening for your job (electrician, EMT, etc).  I don't know how much of that was local city/LEO mandate and how much was steaming dog poo.  

I could not find anything other than what is already posted in the ORC.
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:00:00 AM EDT
Originally Posted By benny429:
Originally Posted By rcb1586:
I bought this knife at one of the biggest gun stores in the state.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_766107_-1_757864_757853_757837_ProductDisplayErrorView_N

I carry it every day.


I believe your knife is assisted opening, which is legal in Ohio and almost everywhere.



That may be, I don't know the technical difference between an auto and assisted opening. This knife has a small lever on the backside of the knife that you press and it opens.



Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:05:57 AM EDT
I found these:Is a knife legal in your state?
Can I carry a switchblade knife or automatic knife in Ohio?
You read some of this it will give you a head ache.
They deliberately do that, so it can say, just what they want it to say! The CATCH 22!!!
As I read it, I got the idea that a baceball bat, would be a deadly weapon.
So if by some chance the State allows it, the City or County may not!
I said before, most of the knives we all carry are in question.
So how much more trouble will you be in if that knife is auto opening?
The Officer may look the other way, if it is not auto open.
And other then being really cool, do you really need an auto open knife?


PITA45

PS I have a few auto open knive that I do not carry.
If it was that bad out here, that I would carry one,
The lease of my troubles will be the law!



Link Posted: 8/10/2011 4:02:34 AM EDT
I have a small knife shop (new production knives - not customs) and when an LEO comes in I'll ask him what the law is.  I haven't asked about autos specifically, but the law is very vague.  I ask about blade size and most don't know if there is a legal length.  One said if it fits in your palm you OK - so Shaq can carry a sword and that guy from the BK commercial (tiny hands) is going to have a hard time finding a knife.  Others have said it depends on the carrier's attitude, which is kind of scary.

Maybe we should talk to our state reps and senators and see if we can make some changes.

Link Posted: 8/10/2011 4:56:23 AM EDT
Or leave it alone.  There is no blade length rule, so why invite one?  

Most knife convictions are simply because someone was using it as a weapon.   Be careful what you ask for.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 7:05:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Multi-G:
Or leave it alone. There is no blade length rule, so why invite one?  

Most knife convictions are simply because someone was using it as a weapon.   Be careful what you ask for.



There are length laws in some towns.  Most I have run into go for the <4" folding blade.  No concealed fixed blade.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 10:47:46 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Multi-G:
Or leave it alone.  There is no blade length rule, so why invite one?  

Most knife convictions are simply because someone was using it as a weapon.   Be careful what you ask for.


You're probably right.

But, I would like to see the auto restrictions dropped.  I can carry a pistol, but I can't carry a knife that opens with a push of a button?
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 11:37:28 AM EDT
I agree that the laws (however grey they may be) are ridiculous. However, most weapons laws are ridiculous.

I had a gift card to Finn Feather Fur so I went over there to see what they had. I looked at some of their assisted opening knives and the Benchmade 585 really impressed me. Its in my pocket. Its awesome. Thanks for the help.

If the laws change I would eventually get an auto for carry but until then this one just just as quick and seems awesome.
Link Posted: 8/11/2011 7:13:00 AM EDT
Originally Posted By rcb1586:
Originally Posted By benny429:
Originally Posted By rcb1586:
I bought this knife at one of the biggest gun stores in the state.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_766107_-1_757864_757853_757837_ProductDisplayErrorView_N

I carry it every day.


I believe your knife is assisted opening, which is legal in Ohio and almost everywhere.



That may be, I don't know the technical difference between an auto and assisted opening. This knife has a small lever on the backside of the knife that you press and it opens.





I have a Buck that is the same way.  There is a bump on the edge side of the blade near the hinge that protrudes through the back of the handle when folded.  You release a lock and push on the bump, and the blade snaps open and locks.  In reality, it functions just like a switchblade.  I've been told (by non- authorities) that it's not, because there isn't a mechanical release devise, which makes it a spring assist.  Certainly a thin, gray distinction, but if you read this quote from the article linked above, it holds up.

"...or any knife fitted with a mechanical device for automatic release of the blade, opening the knife and locking the knife in the open position, commonly known as a switch or automatic spring knife..."
Link Posted: 8/11/2011 10:24:51 PM EDT



Originally Posted By benny429:


I have a small knife shop (new production knives - not customs) and when an LEO comes in I'll ask him what the law is.  I haven't asked about autos specifically, but the law is very vague.  I ask about blade size and most don't know if there is a legal length.  One said if it fits in your palm you OK - so Shaq can carry a sword and that guy from the BK commercial (tiny hands) is going to have a hard time finding a knife.  Others have said it depends on the carrier's attitude, which is kind of scary.



Maybe we should talk to our state reps and senators and see if we can make some changes.





Gee I'm sorry to be a dick, but why are you asking cops what the law is?  Ask a lawyer or read the ORC.



There are no state laws about blade length.  And autos are fine to carry.  As long as NOT CARRIED AS A WEAPON.  Local laws?  A different story.



 
Link Posted: 8/12/2011 6:31:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By justinbutcher:
I agree that the laws (however grey they may be) are ridiculous. However, most weapons laws are ridiculous.

I had a gift card to Finn Feather Fur so I went over there to see what they had. I looked at some of their assisted opening knives and the Benchmade 585 really impressed me. Its in my pocket. Its awesome. Thanks for the help.

If the laws change I would eventually get an auto for carry but until then this one just just as quick and seems awesome.


To be honest, I love my Microtech Scarab, but at the same time I almost never carry it because it's ridiculously expensive and it's actually slower to pull out and deploy than my TDI Kabar or Kershaw auto-assist knives. Spring assisted is the way to go.
Link Posted: 8/12/2011 4:38:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By benny429:
I have a small knife shop (new production knives - not customs) and when an LEO comes in I'll ask him what the law is.  I haven't asked about autos specifically, but the law is very vague.  I ask about blade size and most don't know if there is a legal length.  One said if it fits in your palm you OK - so Shaq can carry a sword and that guy from the BK commercial (tiny hands) is going to have a hard time finding a knife.  Others have said it depends on the carrier's attitude, which is kind of scary.

Maybe we should talk to our state reps and senators and see if we can make some changes.



Where in Ohio is your shop?
Link Posted: 8/12/2011 10:17:57 PM EDT
Emerson Wave, no worries here.

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