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Old 09-10-2009, 12:28 PM
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Default LEOS: Would You Arrest Someone With This Knife?

YouTube - Gerber Combat Folder: Something Wicked This Way Comes


This is a Gerber Applegate-Fairbairn folding knife. In the video, the man has had the false edge sharpened, making it illegal in most locales.

BUT...would you arrest someone carrying the knife in its original form? Is it illegal in your jurisdiction? If so, on what grounds?

I'm reluctant to carry mine, lest I encounter some aggressive cop who might see it in a belt pouch and ask to examine it. Granted, my looks and manner of dress have never brought me to the attention of the police, but I figure it's best to err on the side of caution.

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Old 09-10-2009, 01:04 PM
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Here in KY, there's nothing illegal at all about that knife. I'm amazed that Texas has restrictions on this.

I always thought of Texas as one of the last free states.
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:54 PM
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I can't imagine it being illegal anywhere but I have lived in the Rockies all my life. My son was hasseled by the school compliance officer and written up for carrying a 7" blade. I brought in the original box of the knife and showed that it had a 3 5/8" blade. There are idiots everywhere.
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:12 PM
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I'm with Tex. I still want to hear what the LEO's have to say...from as many states as possible.
'Cause I gotta be honest, I'd like to have one
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:38 PM
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nyc you would get the chair for that
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:43 PM
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Oooook, so I'll strike New York off my "places to visit after I get my new knife" list.
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:14 PM
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In a belt sheath? Probably wouldnt measure the blade. In a pat-down preceding arrest or for officer safety I would take it, but if no arrest, I would return it. John
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:21 PM
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Generally speaking, here in Wisconsin, concealed you would get arrested.
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:24 PM
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Since it has a 4.48" blade wouldn't it be illegal to carry in most states?
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:30 PM
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Amazon.com has them and they're advertised as having a 3-7/8" blade. That's the titanium coated but I think that's the only difference.
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:34 PM
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I believe the length may make it illegal here in KY (I doubt you could pull it off as a "hunting" knife), but considering it's covered under our Concealed WEAPONS License, I kinda want one.
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillips7609 View Post
Amazon.com has them and they're advertised as having a 3-7/8" blade. That's the titanium coated but I think that's the only difference.
Whoops! There are different blade lengths. I clicked on this model:
Gerber Applegate-Fairbairn Combat Folder - Double Bevel Green - #22-01608 : Gerber Knives - at Rocky National
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:43 PM
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Lawful, concealed carry is never the problem. It's when the carrier does something to bring negative attention to themselves, i.e., DUI, disorderly conduct, etc., that the carrying of a concealed weapon becomes an issue. The legal description of a knife as a weapon is intentionally vague, such as, "switchblade, dirk, dagger." Nowhere in Mississippi law is the length of a blade defined, therefore, depending on the circumstances, I could charge someone with a 2 1/2 inch blade pocketknife with carrying a concealed deadly weapon. So as I write this, I could conceivably be in violation because I have a knife in my pocket. If you start the music, you better be ready to dance.

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Old 09-10-2009, 03:51 PM
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"Under California state law, non-switchblade pocket knives that are concealed in the closed position can be legally carried, concealed or open-carry. Fixed-blades must be carried openly. Knives that are disguised as something else (belt buckle, shotgun shell, etc.) are completely banned. Switchblades may be owned privately in the home, but not street-carried; while not specified, most people assume that transport is legal on the same basis as a gun: locked in the trunk in a locked container. Cane swords are completely banned."

We don't have a blade length rule....so a pocket knife can be as big as you want...but any dagger style has to be open carried...even those little hideaway neck knives and such cannot be concealed, which defeats their whole purpose...
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:56 PM
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The only state I am sure this knife is illegal in is MA(there's probably a couple others I've forgotten about). Elsewhere it's who's interpreting the law and local ordinances that mess things up. I mean really, what's a dirk, or daggar, or combat knife...that's like saying assault rifle.

Bob
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Old 09-10-2009, 04:39 PM
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That knife is perfectly legal in California. Some people erroneously believe that a knife with a double edged blade is illegal in California, citing Section 12020 of the California Penal Code. However, the Penal Code makes it illegal to carry "concealed upon his or her person any dirk or dagger." The key word is concealed, because if anyone were to read to the end of that Penal Code section, it further states that "knives carried in sheaths which are worn openly suspended from the waist of the wearer are not concealed within the meaning of this section."

So, the knife is legal in California as long as it is in a sheath carried openly on your waist.

I have argued with many police officers about this very topic. The response I like the best is, "I don't care what the law says. The knife should be illegal." Stupidity should be illegal too, but so far no one has been thrown in jail for the simple crime of voting for Feinstein, Boxer, or that witch Pelosi.
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:28 PM
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Problem with a knife like that is that you or somebody else is sooner or later going to cut the snot out of themselves with it. I think a double edged folder is one of the dumbest things I have seen in a while. If I were a cop and stopped somebody with a kinfe like that, I'd probably let them keep it as sooner or later they would hurt themselves with it.
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:30 PM
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The blade length on mine is 4 1/4". Ironically, I never worried about it's legality.
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Old 09-10-2009, 07:24 PM
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Its legal here in Ohio. You DO know the old saw about bringing a knife to a gun fight?
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Old 09-10-2009, 07:26 PM
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I don't know about everyone else, but I try to bring both.
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:13 PM
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2 guns, a knife, and something chemical or electrical.
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:05 PM
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Outstanding product!
I'm no hard core knife guy, but I recieved a 'First Production Run', 'Covert Folder', version as a gift years ago. The blade got the top edge treatment the first afternoon I had a few hours to kill, and took an edge that has to be seen to be believed (I lapped the edges all the way to 1200 grit). That first knife was liberated by someone a few years later, and I immediately replaced it. While I don't carry it on my person every day, it does see every day use in my brief case or notebook computer bag, and despite it being pure evil sharp, I have never cut myself with it. The blade opens even easier than shown in the video, faster than a switchblade with a little practice, and (double) locks solid as a rock. It's also small and thin enough to hide in places that a NAA 22 mini revolver couldn't go.
My only quibble is that the belt clip screws should to be Loc-Tited in at the factory. I lost several before I had the motivation to do it myself.
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safearm View Post
Lawful, concealed carry is never the problem. It's when the carrier does something to bring negative attention to themselves, i.e., DUI, disorderly conduct, etc., that the carrying of a concealed weapon becomes an issue. The legal description of a knife as a weapon is intentionally vague, such as, "switchblade, dirk, dagger." Nowhere in Mississippi law is the length of a blade defined, therefore, depending on the circumstances, I could charge someone with a 2 1/2 inch blade pocketknife with carrying a concealed deadly weapon. So as I write this, I could conceivably be in violation because I have a knife in my pocket. If you start the music, you better be ready to dance.
Everything so far has been about the legality of carrying; but what if you had to open somebody up in self defense? Would that be a completely different situation?

We've got some pretty laid back laws in Alabama. Heck, all you have to do to get a cc permit is fill out a form, put down 3 references and hand 'um 5 bucks! In my county anyway.
Not sure about knives though.
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Old 09-10-2009, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sipowicz View Post
"Under California state law.... Switchblades may be owned privately in the home, but not street-carried;....."
Check this out, a tiny switchblade that is under 2" blade length and supposedly CA legal. I am trying to figger out if I can get away with carrying one in Japan: ProTech Knives - Custom Stinger

(I'm getting conflicting info, but I think switchblades less than 2.2" or so are legal here.)

Then again, there's a point of view as expressed in a song by the Traveling Wilburys, "In Jersey everythings legal, as long as you don't get caught..."

There's also company called Microtech that makes a very cool tiny out-the-front switchblade, too, that is supposed to be CA legal. (Both of these companies make nice big ones also!)

If you go to youtube and plug in knife model names you can see video reviews, BTW, which are helpful for deciding sight unseen.
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Old 09-10-2009, 10:17 PM
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"Lawful, concealed carry is never the problem. It's when the carrier does something to bring negative attention to themselves, i.e., DUI, disorderly conduct, etc., that the carrying of a concealed weapon becomes an issue. The legal description of a knife as a weapon is intentionally vague, such as, "switchblade, dirk, dagger." Nowhere in Mississippi law is the length of a blade defined, therefore, depending on the circumstances, I could charge someone with a 2 1/2 inch blade pocketknife with carrying a concealed deadly weapon. So as I write this, I could conceivably be in violation because I have a knife in my pocket. If you start the music, you better be ready to dance."

That is pretty much the way I looked at weapons back during my badge totin' days in Alabama, guns and knives alike.

Law abiding folks didn't need to worry about me putting them in jail, but the bad ones did!

An arrest is supposed to be the last resort of a police officer, not the first.

BTW, I used to carry a Gerber just like that in the left breast pocket of my uniform shirt.
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Old 09-10-2009, 10:21 PM
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In RI, you can carry a loaded 1911 with a carry permit, but if your pocket knife has a blade more than a few inches, you are in for big trouble buster!

That's what the knife law used to be. I would have to research it to find out what the law is these days.
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Old 09-10-2009, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckeyeshooter1 View Post
Its legal here in Ohio. You DO know the old saw about bringing a knife to a gun fight?

I try to avoid fighting with either. Sometimes, there's no choice. But I never said to use a knife in lieu of a gun should deadly force be required. Frankly, I think a grand jury will usually go easier on a man who uses a gun to protect himelf than if he uses a knife.

But if one can't get a carry license (some places just don't issue them) or hasn't a gun on him when needed...

In spite of what the narrator in the video said, I find that both of my A-F folders, full-size and Covert, make pretty good utility knives about town. But if I get attacked by a dog on the jogging trails where I live, I'm not defenseless with the knife. Actually, I've twice drawn knives on big dogs that seemed to realize danger, and withdrew after being aggressive.

I measured the blade of my larger A-F folder, and through the middle of the blade, all the way back at the handle to the point, it 4.5-inches. Texas allows a 5.25-inch blade, and does not specify if the blade is on a folder or on a sheath knife. That is the legal length.

BUT...some cops of the sort who like to make the law as they go may just look at the knife, declare that it "looks illegal" and file a case. That takes money to fight, and you have to hope for an open-minded judge.

In Texas, a "dirk, poniard, dagger, stiletto, or Bowie knife " is illegal. A dagger classically has two sharp edges. It has been so recognized down through the ages. But legally, it may be what some judge decides that it is, or some overbearing, knife-hating cop thinks it is.

I'll tell you what started me worrying. My daughter married into a family of sheeple. One night, her husband and his dad saw my larger A-F folder as I opened a package and told me that it is probably illegal, or should be. Juries are often composed of sheeple, especially if the DA cherry -picks a jury. In the absence of any certainty that the knife is legal, and knowing that some cops dislike ANY "tactical" looking knives, I decided to rely on a Buck-style lockblade or simple drop-point styles, like Fallkniven's U-2. That one was designed to be legal even in the UK and Denmark, knife-phobic zones. But it is very sharp, and it does lock open. The German Army utility folder, many made by Victorinox, doesen't lock, but has a strong enough spring that it won't close too readily. It occurs to me that these knives are less likely to upset the law if they ever have occasion to examine my knife, however unlikely that is, given my lifestyle and appearance.

What I'm trying to do here is to feel out how some of our member LEO's may feel about the knife mentioned. That may be a clue to how their berethen will react to it, although individuals will vary. And the same knife may cause a different reaction, depending on who has it and where and how it is discovered.

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Old 09-11-2009, 12:24 AM
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I guess in Cal-e-fornia, you could legally carry one of these. Deep pockets, tho.

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Old 09-11-2009, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAJUNLAWYER View Post
Problem with a knife like that is that you or somebody else is sooner or later going to cut the snot out of themselves with it. I think a double edged folder is one of the dumbest things I have seen in a while. If I were a cop and stopped somebody with a kinfe like that, I'd probably let them keep it as sooner or later they would hurt themselves with it.
Not really. There were (still are) a legion of people with Gerber Mark 1's and 2's in the 70's-80's that didn't cut themselves. For a folder that might be used for "social purposes" it is unparalelled.
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:22 AM
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I have three daily carry knives:

Leek


Hunter Scalpel


Boker


I added padded moleskin to the Boker and the Hunter Scalpel sheath clips to keep them from chafing because they are worn next to the skin.

I don't believe any one of them would get me arrested but they are safe for me to carry (I'm famous for cutting myself with knives) and could be very useful in an assortment of situations.

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Old 09-11-2009, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by CAJUNLAWYER View Post
Problem with a knife like that is that you or somebody else is sooner or later going to cut the snot out of themselves with it. I think a double edged folder is one of the dumbest things I have seen in a while. If I were a cop and stopped somebody with a kinfe like that, I'd probably let them keep it as sooner or later they would hurt themselves with it.
Balisongs work great when double edged, as long as the user isn't a dub.

I use balisongs at work. They are, IMO, the best work knives. There are no springs to break, or locks to fail. They are completely one handed and ambidextrous. They can be opened in a forward, or icepick grip, with the cutting edge facing either way. I never sharpen the swedge on mine as they work great as a box opener blade or scraper.

Last edited by flop-shank; 09-11-2009 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:06 AM
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I believe the length may make it illegal here in KY (I doubt you could pull it off as a "hunting" knife), but considering it's covered under our Concealed WEAPONS License, I kinda want one.
I think here in KY (aside from Northern Kentuckistan) you would be just fine. I gutted a deer with a much scarier looking knife just yesterday. Yes, the blade does go over the 4" limit, but I think the majority of officers here would look at it as a pocket knife. Nothing more.
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:27 PM
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I bring two or three guns, and reserve the knife for a move I learned in a wepons retention class. CAje is right: a double edged folder is really stupid. John
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Old 09-11-2009, 05:50 PM
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I bring two or three guns, and reserve the knife for a move I learned in a wepons retention class. CAje is right: a double edged folder is really stupid. John
Bear in nind that the original knife does NOT have the upper edge sharpened. The jerk in the video had that done on his own.

My question pertains only to the knife as delivered from Gerber. Honing the false edge makes it a dagger in many places.

T-Star
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Old 09-11-2009, 06:51 PM
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I bring two or three guns, and reserve the knife for a move I learned in a wepons retention class. CAje is right: a double edged folder is really stupid. John
No. Not necessarily.
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:10 PM
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Pff.... that looks like a toy compared to my standard carry knives.
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:16 PM
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I bring two or three guns, and reserve the knife for a move I learned in a wepons retention class. CAje is right: a double edged folder is really stupid. John
For someone who has neither the skill or inclination to use it, yes.
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:16 PM
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I got around to watching the original video in T-Star's first post. The guy makes the point that when the knife is closed, the blade is completely concealed/buried in the handle, so you can't cut yourself on it when it's closed. While not a switchblade, the knife opens and locks into place via a small knob for the thumb. "Assisted opening," I assume.

The guy in the video also makes the point that the dagger design of the knife is for stabbing, and that it is not very good for anything other than self-defense, i.e., stabbing people.

So, if that is the knife's purpose, and given its design, why is it dumb to sharpen both sides of the blade of this particular knife?

Interestingly, the guy also says he has a company called Razor's Edge in Salt Lake City professionally give his knives a razor's edge. I believe he says he has them alter the bevel, although I guess that's easy enough for someone who knows what he's doing.
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:53 PM
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Here in TN, anything over 4 inches is considered illegal along with Switchblades unless you are active military, firefighter/paramedic, or LEO. I have never once arrested anyone soley for a knife not being in compliance with TN laws. I refuse to arrest someone for a law i disagree with, and as a LEO I do have that discretion.....Hence I have never written a speeding ticket in 5 years either!!! To me a switchblade is no more "evil" than a spring assisted knife, or an Emerson that has the hook that opens when you pull it from your pocket. Yes, a switchblade is illegal and when a person not authorized chooses to buy one, carry one or possess one he has to be ready to deal with the consequences because not all LEO's have the same views as me. Its interesting if one researches why "switchblades" are illegal, the original theory behind the laws banning switchblades were designed to curve gang members back in the 50's who use to have a fascination with automatic knives. This is not really the case anymore and obviously switchblades are something I rarely deal with in a negative situation. I own several Benchmade autos and they are great, and I bought them for their design more so than the fact they are an auto. I really don't see too many advantages to an auto being that most folders now can easily be opened with one had w/o any effort.
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:08 PM
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The knife in the original form should be no problem in CA, but in the modified form of being double edged it becomes illegal. IIRC, you'll find reference under PC12020, or is it 12025 (?? I should double check the book) to dirks, daggers and snees as well as double edged weapons. I would probably only make an issue of it if the holder was a dirtball.
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Old 09-12-2009, 03:00 AM
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The knife in the original form should be no problem in CA, but in the modified form of being double edged it becomes illegal. IIRC, you'll find reference under PC12020, or is it 12025 (?? I should double check the book) to dirks, daggers and snees as well as double edged weapons. I would probably only make an issue of it if the holder was a dirtball.
Thanks. But what is a "snee"? We have a radio hostess here named Victoria Snee, but that's the only place that I've seen the word. (Really.)

Just curious...

T-Star
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Old 09-12-2009, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Onomea View Post
I got around to watching the original video in T-Star's first post. The guy makes the point that when the knife is closed, the blade is completely concealed/buried in the handle, so you can't cut yourself on it when it's closed. While not a switchblade, the knife opens and locks into place via a small knob for the thumb. "Assisted opening," I assume.

The guy in the video also makes the point that the dagger design of the knife is for stabbing, and that it is not very good for anything other than self-defense, i.e., stabbing people.

So, if that is the knife's purpose, and given its design, why is it dumb to sharpen both sides of the blade of this particular knife?

Interestingly, the guy also says he has a company called Razor's Edge in Salt Lake City professionally give his knives a razor's edge. I believe he says he has them alter the bevel, although I guess that's easy enough for someone who knows what he's doing.

Onomea-

No, it isn't "assisted opening." I do have a Kershaw that is, though, and am even more reluctant to carry it on the street. The Gerber just pivots open, like most similar thumb stud knives. I won't carry the Kershaw in a pocket, for safety reasons. In a strong belt pouch, I guess it couldn't open accidentally.


I know of a mall knife shop in a Dallas suburb that can sharpen false edges on knives, but don't know if they will, as it might involve liability.

I disagree with the narrator in the video that the A-F folder has no utility value. I open mail and packages and other utility needs with mine. The saw teeth at the base of the blade would be a real boon if you had to cut rope. It is also very effective on package strapping.

Last edited by Texas Star; 09-12-2009 at 03:12 AM.
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  #43  
Old 09-12-2009, 04:55 AM
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Thanks, T-Star. Makes sense.

Could someone explain to me the difference, then, between "assisted opening" and a switchblade (AKA auto knife or automatic knife)?

I am most familar with a pocket knife that has a slot in the blade for a thumbnail. Next, I am familar with an auto knife, out-the-front and the more conventional side opening, i.e., switchblade But I am not really familiar with what is between those two. I think some knives only open partially when a button is pushed...? Maybe that is "assisted?"
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Old 09-12-2009, 07:01 AM
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A spring-assisted opens like a folder, and you can either open it manually or by pressing on the lever.

The Kershaw Leek is an assisted opening knife.

YouTube - Kershaw Leek knife review
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:21 AM
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Automatic means you push a button to open the knife where assisted opening means you open the blade beyond a specific point and a spring will open it to the locked position. I own dozens of pocket knives and assisted opening knives are my favorite. My current carry is a Benchmade 580 Barrage and it has the quickest assisted opening I've come across.
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  #46  
Old 09-12-2009, 09:30 AM
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Could someone explain to me the difference, then, between "assisted opening" and a switchblade (AKA auto knife or automatic knife)?
A switchblade has a trigger on the handle that opens the knife automatically. The trigger is on the handle and not the blade. An assisted opening knife has something, usually a knob, on the blade. You use that to start opening the knife and then at some point(usually about 45 degrees open) the blade opens on it's own the rest of the way. In passing, the other type of tacticool knife today is the balisong which opens with a couple flips of the wrist that would make any mall ninja feel all warm and fuzzy. It is not tacticool to carry a standard pocket knife with a nail nick or a fixed blade knife these days. Reality is, however, a person good with knives can deploy any of the above with essentially the same speed.

The PC crowd is going after assisted opening knives with about the same zeal as the Brady crowd after assault weapons.

Bob
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  #47  
Old 09-12-2009, 01:57 PM
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In passing, the other type of tacticool knife today is the balisong which opens with a couple flips of the wrist that would make any mall ninja feel all warm and fuzzy.
Or someone like myself that realizes that they make the best work/utility knives on the planet. It is believed that balisongs were originally sailor's knives centuries ago, long before their association with martial arms. They can be produced under crude conditions and the only decent piece of streel needed is for the blade. There is no lock to fail and there are no springs to break, make, or fit.

Balisong = fixed blade dynamics in a folding knife.
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Old 09-12-2009, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Texas Star View Post
Thanks. But what is a "snee"? We have a radio hostess here named Victoria Snee, but that's the only place that I've seen the word. (Really.)

Just curious...

T-Star
T-Star,

I believe it is a sword-like blade but smaller than a cutlass. A rather obsolete term, but that is how it is written in the law.
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:40 PM
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In Texas double edged knifes (Daggers) are illegal. In my 34 years of LE I stopped lots of good folks who were carring illegal knives or pistols (before CHLs) and I never arrested one. I'd explain the law to them and ask them to leave it at home.

I arrested lots of crooks for carrying pistols and illegal knives in my time, but I usually let the good folks go. Some may not like it, but it was refered to as Officer Discretion.

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Old 09-14-2009, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by westkybanded View Post
I think here in KY (aside from Northern Kentuckistan) you would be just fine. I gutted a deer with a much scarier looking knife just yesterday. Yes, the blade does go over the 4" limit, but I think the majority of officers here would look at it as a pocket knife. Nothing more.
Fair point, there's too much Yankee influence in these parts.
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