Knife Laws In Columbia

Knife Laws In Columbia

Knife Laws In Columbia

Knife legislation in Columbia interprets your record to trace your moral delinquencies as a citizen of Columbia. If you are carrying a knife, you should keep it obvious and inform the officials about your open or concealed knife. The following act could morally defend you and can minimize your chances of phony contemplation. Nevertheless, the police officials can confiscate your knife and give you a confiscation paper.

So, better to avoid the nasty situation and always carry your tool openly by letting everyone know about it. It is always legal to use survival knives to cope with an unexpected situation.

As per, The District of Columbia law, Chapter 45,

“Weapons and Possession of Weapons” which is found within Title 22 contains provisions relative to knives. § 22-4504 provides that it is unlawful to carry, either openly or concealed, “any deadly or dangerous weapon.”

Knives, are white weapons and are intent-based

The law in Columbia regarding knives is purely based on people’s intentions and their track record. Moreover, the law puts knives under the white weapons category. For instance, swiss army and small folding knives that can be used for utilitarian purposes. All knives are not deadly weapons rather than they act as serving tools.

Chapter 45 further states,

“It is unlawful for anyone to possess a “switchblade” within the District. The possession of any dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, or knife with a blade longer than 3 inches by anyone with intent to use it unlawfully against another is also an offense”

Code of the District of Columbia

According to the § 22–4514 (Possession of certain dangerous weapons prohibited and exceptions),

(a) “No person shall within the District of Columbia possess any machine gun, sawed-off shotgun, bump stock, ghost gun, knuckles, or any instrument or weapon of the kind commonly known as a blackjack, slungshot, sand club, sandbag, switchblade knife, nor any instrument, attachment, or appliance for causing the firing of any firearm to be silent or intended to lessen or muffle the noise of the firing of any firearms; provided, however, that machine guns, or sawed-off shotgun, bump stock, ghost gun, knuckles, and blackjacks may be possessed by the members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps of the United States, the National Guard, or Organized Reserves when on duty, the Post Office Department or its employees when on duty, marshals, sheriffs, prison or jail wardens, or their deputies, policemen, or other duly-appointed law enforcement officers, including any designated civilian employee of the Metropolitan Police Department, or officers or employees of the United States duly authorized to carry such weapons, banking institutions, public carriers who are engaged in the business of transporting mail, money, securities, or other valuables, wholesale dealers and retail dealers licensed under § 22-4510.”

(b) “No person shall within the District of Columbia possess, with intent to use unlawfully against another, an imitation pistol, or a dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, or knife with a blade longer than 3 inches, or another dangerous weapon.”

Breaching the knife legislation

(c) “Whoever violates this section shall be punished as provided in § 22-4515 unless the violation occurs after such person has been convicted in the District of Columbia of a violation of this section, or of a felony, either in the District of Columbia or in another jurisdiction, in which case such person shall be imprisoned for not more than 10 years.”


(d) “In addition to any other penalty provided under this section, a person may be fined an amount not more than the amount outlined in § 22-3571.01.”

Knives that are explicitly forbidden under knife legislation of Columbia

• Switchblade knives

It is unlawful per § 22-4514 to possess a switchblade within the Columbia district.

According to the § 22-4504,

“Switchblade” is not defined by statute. Accordingly, it is not clear whether knives with assisted opening capability would be included in the prohibition. Assisted opening features may be perceived as suggesting a weapon, as opposed to a tool, thereby causing a knife to be considered a “deadly or dangerous weapon”.

• Automatic Knives

Automatic knives are also considered unlawful within the district of Columbia. The law and enforcement authorities make sure that the relevant info regarding knives should reach all the citizens.

The laws are maintained to keep people safe and to avoid an uncanny situations. So, being a good and responsible citizen always respect the laws where you dwell or where you are intended to travel. And always keep yourself at distance from legally forbidden knives and weapons.

Deadly or Dangerous Weapon in the eye of Law

According to the U.S. v Vinton, 594 F3d 14 (2010),

A “deadly or dangerous weapon” per D.C. case law is “anything likely to produce death or great bodily injury by the use made of it. There are two categories of objects likely to produce such harm:

(1) those whereby the design of the object is such that in its ordinary use it is     likely to cause great bodily injury, and

(2) those that ostensibly may be used as a tool or maybe carried for utilitarian reasons, but where “the surrounding circumstances indicate that the purpose of carrying the object is its use as a weapon.

According to the Wooden v. U.S. 6 A.3d 833 (2010),

“Current D.C. law does not recognize a self-defense or Constitutional right to carry a knife in the event of a confrontation. “

Restricted Locations

The law has restricted a few venues of the district where you can not take knives even though white weapons are disallowed. If you are a man to keep pocket knives in your daily carry; it is better to bear the inconvenience than to upsurge the risk of violating the law imposed by the Columbia district.

Circumscribed venues

The stated down venues are weapon-free zones

  • Knives are not permitted within the Capitol Building
  • Senate and House Office buildings
  • Capitol Hill Offices
  • The US Supreme Court
  • Schools
  • Museums

Exceptions granted by the law

The law granted relaxation to the following people

  • The staff and the authorized employees are allowed to own knives in the aforementioned venues with blades 3 inches or less
  • To protect court property or the safety of the Justices, Court employees, guests, or the general public” may be allowed to keep knives
  • Fishermen can own knives but always get ready to show the legal document to prove your claim
  • Official duty law enforcement, security officers, and military members are excluded from the restrictions on carrying knives

According to the Federal Crimes code,

“There is an “incident to hunting” exception which is of no consequence. D.C. issues licenses for fishing the waters within the District, but hunting is not allowed.”

18 U.S. Code § 930 (g) (2) provides the following definition of a "dangerous weapon"

The law clarifies the “dangerous weapon” in the stated words

“The term “dangerous weapon” means a weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury, except that such term does not include a pocket knife with a blade of less than 2 ½ inches in length.”

The statute, 18 U.S. Code § 930, does not create the feasibility of pocket knives and forbids people to possess a pocketknife with a blade measuring less than 2 ½ inches in any Federal facility.

Legal consequences of breaching the law in Columbia

According to the law,

“Carrying a knife considered to be deadly and dangerous is punishable by a fine of $12,500 and/or up-to 5 years confinement. Possession of a “switchblade” is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and or up to 1 year of confinement.”

Final thoughts

Weapon-free zones are maintained and clearly announced in the district of Columbia. It is strongly advised to exercise due persistence concerning specific locations or activities within the District before proceeding with a knife. Never take the law for granted and do not overlook the instructions. Moreover, acting suspiciously can land you in serious trouble. And try to grasp the difference between being a shady dude in a dark corner and a tourist cutting cheese in a park. Once you got it, you will digest the law.

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