Firearms Forum Online

knife laws:clarification
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Author:  panther76 [ Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:17 am ]
Post subject:  knife laws:clarification

Hi. I moved to Ohio from PA. I have read the Ohio knife laws and it seems a little unclear (big surprise with knife laws eh?).

This part seems to clearly say that it is illegal sell auto-openers in Ohio:

§ 2923.20. Unlawful transaction in weapons.

(A) No person shall...
(3) Manufacture, possess for sale, sell, or furnish to any person other than a law enforcement agency for authorized use in police work, any brass knuckles, cestus, billy, blackjack, sandbag, switchblade knife, springblade knife, gravity knife, or similar weapon...

But what about mere possession, without carrying, ie in your own home?

I had two benchmade folders which were legal in PA. One is a definite auto-opener, but the other is an "assisted open" axis-lock with thumb studs on the blade and a release mechanism? , but is the assisted opener treated differently?

§ 2923.12. Carrying concealed weapons.
(A) No person shall knowingly carry or have, concealed on the person's person or concealed ready at hand, any of the following:
(1) A deadly weapon other than a handgun;

I plan on erring on the side of caution and getting a manual folder to carry as a pocket knife, which is what I was doing with the axis lock. But does a 3-4" folder violate 2923.12? Case law?

Also, any local laws that anyone knows of in Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus, or Greene County that are more stringent than State law would be appreciated.

If there is a good FAQ on the site already I apologize as I didn't see it. Please direct with a link.

As Davie Crockett said "Just make sure you're right, then go ahead". I would like to bring my knives "home" from PA, but wanted to make sure first. Thanks to all.

Author:  SMMAssociates [ Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: knife laws:clarification


Welcome aboard!

There's a sticky at that you might want to read, but it's not mandatory. It may be self-defense, though :D....

Can't say too much about the knives - the second one (assisted open) shouldn't be a problem as long as you can't just flick it open. There may be some blade length restrictions, though - about 3", I think. I just picked up a cheapie at Auto Zone (of all places) to replace an even cheaper one I had to toss at El Paso TX' airport (forgot to pack it, and the "mail your stuff home" thing was out of forms). They handle S&W-marked folders with pocket clips that aren't too bad for things like opening mail :D.... IAC, my new one has a ball detent to hold it closed, and a couple of thumb studs for one-handed opening, although it's a lot easier to use another hand on the back of the blade. (Probably needs some wear, but the "lost" one was about two years old, and never softened up.)

Generally speaking, other than regulated firearms or contraband (i.e., drugs), possession in your own home shouldn't be a problem. Transport, likewise, if locked in the trunk as one would secure a firearm.

Hopefully one of the gang will jump in with better answers.

Meantime, enjoy!

Author:  willbird [ Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: knife laws:clarification

It is illegal, but every gun show in Ohio (INCLUDING OGCA) has auto knives for sale. Just don't wander up into MI with one because they are not nearly as tolerant as Ohio is.

Author:  Brian D. [ Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: knife laws:clarification

Not to overgeneralize but... for the most part halfway respectable looking adults don't seem to get hassled about knife carry here in Ohio. (Had one cop ask me about the Buck knife I was toting around over thirty years ago, when I was like 17. Many police have seen the pocket clip of whatever folders I've carried in the decades since, not one of them has said a word.)
Thing is, there's no statewide standard to go by, a city could ban possession of a 2" blade if they wanted to. But in order to convict someone of anything serious there has to be some proof that the knife in question was being carried as a weapon. I could bring in bunches of character witnesses from my past and present to verify that I've toted a pocket knife around since my earliest days in the Cub Scouts, and have yet to stab anybody. People know I always have a knife on me as a tool, and have even loaned it out for that purpose on occasion.

I know a couple of prosecutors down here pretty good--one local, one federal--and they both say they have yet to charge their first person with possession of an "automatic" knife. They tell me that theoretically if there's a list of offenses against some miscreant the switchblade thing might be heaped on for good measure, but not as a stand-alone charge.

Author:  SMMAssociates [ Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: knife laws:clarification


I see the guys covered it.... I'm not sure about the blade length, but 3" or thereabouts should be fine. Don't carry the switchblade, though, just in case. Just transporting them to OH from PA shouldn't be a problem at all.

It's more what you do with them than anything else in most areas. A K-bar in your boot probably wouldn't even get noticed in many places, but you never know.

(I would also worry about Brian's "character witnesses", but that's another story :mrgreen:.)


Author:  panther76 [ Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: knife laws:clarification

Thanks to everyone for all the replies.

Author:  willbird [ Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: knife laws:clarification

If we are law abiding people, why would we ever BUY a switchblade, which is an illegal activity ? Or at least causing one if the purchase also creates a sale ?


Author:  SMMAssociates [ Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: knife laws:clarification


Panther is just moving from PA. Dunno if they're legal there or not, but he's moved into OH, and interested in the laws here.

Kinda like normal-capacity magazines in some anti-freedom states....


Author:  hackleshinn [ Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: knife laws:clarification

I've heard balisong butterflys are restricted,I've carried one for yrs.Had no problems.went to the courthouse to transfer a title,the lady officer took it and returned it when I left.Didn't check my cane.

Author:  willbird [ Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: knife laws:clarification

SMMAssociates wrote:

Panther is just moving from PA. Dunno if they're legal there or not, but he's moved into OH, and interested in the laws here.

Kinda like normal-capacity magazines in some anti-freedom states....


To be clear Stu, I was not referring to the OP, but to people who seem to have a fascination for all kinds of auto knives.


Author:  DuckNShoot3080 [ Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: knife laws:clarification

I've got a small switch blade knife with two blades. It was my dad's and it is old enough that it could have been his dad's. I got it shortly before he passed away. I keep it on my reloading bench. I never carry it. It is a very small little knife big blade maybe 2" little blade about an inch. Still, it is a switch blade with the button on the side and spring open. The patent date on that knife goes back to 19 century if I remember right.

I have spoke with folks that thing the CHL covers knives of all types too. This is not so. Concealed Handgun License is a no brainer. I bought some 5:11 T-shirts one day at the uniform store. My wife was with me and she got some too. They told us if we bought 5 we got our choice of 3 types of knives. I chose a fixed blade boot knife. It is more like a dagger than a knife though. Short 3" blade sharp on both edges. I don't strap it on my leg or carry it in my boot. But it is in my Jeep. I'm thinking most cops aren't going to make an issue out of it, unless you are in some kind of more serious trouble. The catch 22 of it may be if you ever have to use it in hand to hand self defense. If it is assisted open with a long blade, you can bet some attorney or prosecutor will make something out of that.

A good carry knife is one with a screw driver blade, and a cutting blade. Electricians use them, I think they are called Barlows, but I'm not a knife guy so I could be wrong. Anyway, I would refer to it as a tool as the OP posted. I fell out of the habit of carrying a small knife. For a while I carried a Swiss Victorinox medium sized knife my sister got for me when she visited Switzerland. The pocket clip is something the knives I carried didn't have, and of course given enough time the knife would wear a hole in the pocket of jeans or other pants. I've got a Bowie Knife I wear at SASS shoots. It is huge! I it stays on my cartridge belt. I have a few military bayonets that mount on the C & R rifles I own. Wicked looking things those!

Author:  Joe Sixpack [ Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: knife laws:clarification

I am not a lawyer, do not take this as legal advice.

There is no uniform knife law in Ohio, many cities and towns have ordinances on blades over 2.5inches. So you're generally safe if your knife blade is 2.5 or less.

Also restrictions are usually on concealed knifes.
As far as Im away most restricts are lifted if the knife is carried open (but again, no uniform law)

A lot of things are taken into consideration, not just the length but also the type of blade.
do not carry any knife as a weapon concealed, So I'd generally advise leaving the fixed blades at home.
(yes fixed blades can be immensely useful as tools but it's a harder sale to the average officer on the street.)
Law does not forbid the carrying as a tool however, and small pocket knifes are usually considered tools rather then weapons.

Things that are considered:
does it take more then 1 hand to open?
does it open via a spring?
does it have a double sided blade?
does it have serrations.
what condition the knife is in? (is it in pristine condition and looks like it never sees use? WEAPON!)

Stay away from switch blades, they are the "evil black rifle" of knifes.
Switch blade laws was pushed in the 50's after movies of the era depicted them as weapons of choice for juveniles.

Spring assisted is USUALLY ok because you still have to push on the blade to open.

There have been several cases in Ohio and each knife is judge individually a small double edge dagger will probably be deemed a weapon where as a large lockback buck knife.. might be deemed a tool.
Without a uniform law it's usually up to the judge to decide.

I currently carry this knife, I paid less then 4 dollars for it from a different seller who had it for auction. ... 0868468826

It is a spring assisted knife, I have to push on the blade after it opens about 1/3rd of the way the spring opens it the rest.
These style knifes are very popular with police, you'll often seen them clipped to one of their front pockets but do not let that fool you they're given exemptions so there is no supporting argument to be made from that fact :(

It's actually nice knife for the less then 4 dollars I paid for it, came already sharp.

It looks like it has a double edge but one side is blunted (false edge)
I bought this knife for few reasons

1. it does not have a double edge blade
2. it does not have serrations (this can be a big deal, even though serrations can make cutting some things easier they're frowned upon)
3. the blade is only 2.5inches (within the legal limit in most areas in the country)
4. it has a bright orange finish (orange is a safety color, it is not "tactical")
5. has a window breaker and seat belt cutter (both legitimate "tool" uses)
6. it has a EMT emblem (stay away from knifes that say marines, police, sniper, etc)

It replaced a 4 inch lockback (buck) style knife I was carrying, I really like spring assisted knifes.
I really do like this knife for being such a cheap knife, It sees most duty opening packages.
Although If I was without my firearm I would use it to defend my self absolutely.

We need a "knife rights" movement in this state.. 2a isn't just about firearms.
Unfortunately the laws are so murky it's difficult to know where you stand.
Try to carry the smallest blade with the least intimidating design/features you can that still serves your purpose.

Author:  Viking [ Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: knife laws:clarification

The most useful knife I have is a victorinox 'tinker' Swiss army knife, that I got as a boy scout. The can & bottle opener, flat & phillips head are about all you need --- in a lightweight package. I have a leatherman and it is too big for pocket carry, so it stays in my bike handlebar bag. If I want something bigger for the outdoors, I carry my Buck 110 on a belt pouch or my larger, locking Swiss Army 'ranger' knife. When hiking, camping or hunting I often 'open carry' a Ka-Bar knife and no one has ever so much as batted and eye at me. I find a medium length fixed blade slightly more useful for camp/field use, but 7" blade on the kabar is on the upward end of usefulness, and the 4" blade folding knives generally get more use. (Great for chopping a walkingstick, but too big for most hunting tasks.)

The point being, I use a knife appropriate for the task or likely circumstances encountered and you have nothing to worry about. To me a knife is a useful tool, and I have never been trained to use a knife as a weapon, so I never would.

I was once issued an expensive benchmade tactical 4" automatic knife but I gave it away to a friend deploying to IRAQ, as I have no use for that type of knife, and don't want to even consider carrying a blade like that especially as I am otherwise armed.

Author:  bluedog46 [ Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: knife laws:clarification

Does the ohio permit to carry a gun also cover other weapons? There are some states where it does.

Author:  1stMarDiv [ Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: knife laws:clarification

Good question, has Ohio ever put forth an effort to move from the hand gun specification to concealed weapon permit. I mean seriously, you can carry a gun but not a knife. I've been stabbed never shot but I would much prefer to be stabbed again if given the option. I don't get it. I think you can have switch blades as part of a collection, just can't carry it, however if you have one arm you might be able to talk your way out of it.

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