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I was curios about the knife laws in California. I was curios to know if it's legal for me to carry the knife my dad gave me.

San Diego, CA |

The blade could be considered a dirk or dagger and I was reading the penal codes and it said that a dirk or dagger can be carried as long as it's sheathed and completely visible. I just wanted to double check on that because I don't believe a year in jail is worth misunderstanding the confusing wording of penal codes. Also, how big can the blade be? And what if I have a folding pocket knife? If I keep it concealed (but folded at all times, unless needed for self defense or as a tool) how big can that blade be?

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Attorney answers 1


You can carry a pocket knife legally. You don't describe the gift knife well enough to give an answer; but the easiest way to allay your concerns is to take it down to the police station, show it to them, indicate how you would like to carry it, and find out if they have concerns, would arrest, would ticket, or would let it pass. The reaction I have, without further information, is that police do not like to deal with a person carrying what could be a serious weapon. If they feel threatened, they may arrest, or act to defend themselves, sometimes with deadly consequences. I get from your question that you have read the statutes and you already know what size blade, etc., you are permitted by law to carry. I suggest that you err on the side of caution in deciding what and when to carry a blade. Any concerns should be addressed with the agencies that you are worried about: the policing agencies. Ask them. They are your best source for the answers to the practical question of what will they do.

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