Knife Laws In Los Angles


Knife Laws In Los Angles

Traveling with a knife keeps you safer, and moving around with blades requires a legal obligation to grasp county laws regarding knives. Over a dozen statues on the subject intricate confusion. Moreover, numerous municipal codes, and unpredictable court decisions further make the situation abstruse. However, people reserve the right of owning survival knives that are subject to lawful possession in Los Angeles. 

Hopefully, this article will shed some light on the rules and inconsistencies in Los Angles, California knife laws. County laws can vary momentously, and taking a knife that is legal in California over state lines may get you into trouble with federal laws or laws of other states.  Local ordinances in Los Angeles may also impact the legality of your knife.

Legal length of knives to be carried in Los Angeles

There is no maximum length for knives in general permissible under the knife legislation in Los Angeles, Orange County. However, the maximum legal length for a switchblade knife is 2 inches. Furthermore, it is prohibited to carry daggers or dirks concealed, and also illegal to carry many types of knives which are meant to conceal.

What is illegal in Los Angeles?

In Los Angeles, California, the following are illegal: 

  • It is illegal to possess any switchblade knife with a blade of 2″ or longer, that can be unlocked with a button or the flick of your wrist
  • Concealed possession of any “dirk” or “dagger,” is unlawful. Moreover, any fixed blade knife, regardless of blade length
  • Possession or sale of any masquerading blades. For instance,
  • Cane swords
  • Writing pen knives
  • Lipstick knives
  • Air gauge knives
  • Bet buckle knives
  • Writing pen knives
  • Switchblades with a blade longer than 2”
  • Ballistic knives
  • Any knife that is undetectable to metal detectors
  • Possession of a knife with a blade longer than 2 1/2″ on any school premises
  • Possession of a fixed-blade knife with a blade longer than 2 1/2″ on any college or university grounds

Brandishing the knife or weapon in a hostile manner.  In Los Angeles, it’s illegal to openly carry any knife with a blade longer than 3″.

Knife types that are legal in Los Angeles

There are two imperative factors when it comes to possessing and carrying knives in Los Angeles:

  • Whether the type of knife is legal or restricted
  • It is legal to buy, own, transport, and carry any knife that is not restricted

Knife law is based on three common types of knives

Following are the most common types of knives, and the knife law is based on them in any state, city, or county.

• Switchblades

A switchblade is also known by

  • pushbutton knife
  • Ejector knife

It has a blade that is placed within the handle and is opened automatically by a spring by pushing a button or switch on the handle. Switchblades with blades longer than 2” are illegal to carry in Los Angeles.

• Folding knives

Folding knives are tiny knives that are opened by applying pressure to the blade(s) of the knife and have anatomy that provides struggle in opening the blade. They are the best rescue knives for self-defense. Folding knives are generally pocket knives and swiss army knives are used to serve many indoor-outdoor chores.

According to California Penal Code Section 17235,

All folding knives are legal in the state and may be concealed as long as they are in the folded position. There is also no restriction on the blade length of a folding knife.”

• Fixed blade knives

A fixed blade knife has a fixed channel from top to handle and is without a folding mechanism.

According to the knife legislation in Los Angeles,

“Dirk and Dagger mean the same thing: a knife that can be readily used as a stabbing weapon. In Los Angeles, dirks and daggers and other sheath knives must be carried openly and cannot be concealed.”

The legal status of butterfly Knives in Los Angeles

Butterfly Knives are Illegal to carry in Los Angeles, California. The law does not show a specific stance regarding balisongs, and the law puts it within the definition of switchblades.

Are Knives Legal to carry on School Grounds in Los Angeles?

As per the Penal Code § 626.10:

“It is illegal for any person to bring or possess “any dirk, dagger, ice pick, knife having a blade longer than 2 1/2 inches, folding knife with a blade that locks into place, [or] razor with an unguarded blade . . . upon the grounds of, or within, any public or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12 . . .”  The law concerning college campuses is similar but less restrictive.  Subsection (b) of the statute provides that it is illegal for any person to bring or possess “any dirk, dagger, ice pick, or knife having a fixed blade longer than 2 1/2 inches upon the grounds of, or within, any [college or university].”

Restricted venues in Los Angeles, California:

  • California State University
  • University of California
  • Any private university
  • California Community Colleges
  • Any school that instructs grades K-12

Knives that are prohibited on these premises are:

  • Dirks and daggers
  • Knives with blades longer than 2 ½”
  • Folding knives with locking blades
  • Ice picks
  • Razors with unguarded blades

Razor blades or box cutters

The exception to the rule:

Blade length is not restricted on school grounds for lawful uses such as food prep, eating, residences, and scope of employment.

Brandishing knives in Los Angeles

It is Illegal to scare someone with a knife in Los Angeles.

As per the Penal Code § 417:

“It is unlawful for any person to “draw or exhibit any deadly weapon . . . in a rude, angry, or threatening manner, or . . . to unlawfully using a deadly weapon.”  This does not include the use of such a weapon in self-defense.”

Quick-sheet to know the knife laws in Los Angeles

  • It is illegal to publicly carry, in plain view, any knife, dirk, or dagger having a blade 3″ or more in length
  • Any ice pick or similarly sharp tool, any straight-edge razor or any razor blade fitted to a handle, is strictly prohibited
  • Any knife any blade of which is automatically released by a spring mechanism
  • It is illegal to carry any weapon concealed on one’s person
  • You can’t carry such any weapon over 3’’ concealed

ONE-LINE knife law in Los Angeles

It is illegal in Los Angeles County to openly carry any knife with a blade of 3″ or longer. 

Though the Los Angeles law conflicts with the state law and creates confusion, people are confused to understand the law that is still on the books.

Final Thought

The best thing to do is to know local ordinances before moving around and keeping in the pocket your favorite knife in Los Angeles, California.  Better yet, think twice before carrying a knife in public, and an unnecessary knife display can put you behind bars. It is always suggested to be a nice guy and have a better knowledge regarding knives in the state you dwell. The number you should always remember is 3-inches.

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