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Old 01-05-2011, 08:25 PM
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Default Alabama Knife Law??



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It is official. Alabama laws on knife carry stink. Check this out and see if you have a better answer.

I was wanting to purchase a tactical folder that I could wear in my non-dominant side for a backup to my handgun. So I tried to research the state laws regarding knives. Want to make sure that the one I picked wasn’t too big or maybe it having a thumb stud would make it a bad choice legally. Here is what I found:

Xxxx
Section 13A-11-50
Carrying concealed weapons.
Except as otherwise provided in this Code, a person who carries concealed about his person a bowie knife or knife or instrument of like kind or description or a pistol or firearm of any other kind or an air gun shall, on conviction, be fined not less than $50.00 nor more than $500.00, and may also be imprisoned in the county jail or sentenced to hard labor for the county for not more than six months.
XXX

Now the way this reads “…concealed about his person a bowie knife or knife or instrument of like kind …” a person can not have ANY knife concealed. That means 3” folders, 4 inch straight or whatever.

Here is another mention
XXX
Section 13A-11-55
Indictment for carrying weapons unlawfully; proof.
In an indictment for carrying weapons unlawfully, it is sufficient to charge that the defendant carried concealed about his person a pistol, or other description of firearms, on premises not his own, or a bowie knife, or other knife or instrument of the like kind or description, or other forbidden weapon, describing it, as the case may be; and the excuse, if any, must be proved by the defendant on the trial, to the satisfaction of the jury; and if the evidence offered to excuse the charge raises a reasonable doubt of the defendant's guilt, the jury must acquit him.
XXX

Once again it references “…or other knife…”

Guess my Swiss Army Knife in my ODC case has been illegal and I never knew it.

Seriously, got any LEO’s or Lawyers out there that can shed some light on this?

Nothing is said about Open Carry. I guess you can carry a sword as long as it is not concealed.

Never thought there would be a place in this world where you could not carry a pocket knife.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:41 PM
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OK I found some case law
xxxx
A "bowie knife" ordinarily designates a long knife shaped like a dagger but having only one edge, and does not include a knife which opens and shuts and is not too large to be carried in a trouser's pocket as pocket knives are usually carried. Smelley v. State, 472 So. 2d 715 (Ala. Crim. App. 1985).

"Lock-blade" knife not included. - The "lock-blade" knife in this case was merely a type of pocket knife, the blade of which was capable of being locked open to prevent an accidental or unexpected folding of the blade. It does not fall within the statutory prohibition against carrying a concealed "bowie knife or knife or instrument of like kind or description." Smelley v. State, 472 So. 2d 715 (Ala. Crim. App. 1985).
xxx

The knife that I was wanting to carry was a Cold Steel 4" TI-LITE or similar. This appears to be a legal knife to carry concealed (according to the information above) if applying to the no bowie knife requirements.

1. It is "a knife which opens and shuts and is not too large to be carried in a trouser's pocket as pocket knives are usually carried."

2. It is "a type of pocket knife, the blade of which was capable of being locked open to prevent an accidental or unexpected folding of the blade."

So according to these two points, it can not be considered a "bowie knife".
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:09 PM
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If your knife isn't a large (12" total or above) fixed blade, then should be ok. This is up to officer's discretion though. Folders of any size are ok from what I've read and asked my friend (Who is a Jefferson County Sheriff's deputy).
Old 01-05-2011, 10:45 PM
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This just states that carrying a knife concealed on your person; does this mean you cannot carry it in a Maxpedition "Fatboy" type of bag? I can carry a Large Machette as long as its in or attached to a backpack or day pack and not on my back directly. Might wanna check with the local sheriff and give him examples then get it in a written note signed by the sheriff.
Old 01-06-2011, 09:09 AM
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Makes me love North Dakota all the bit more.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:25 AM
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What is the point of passing these type laws?
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baker View Post
If your knife isn't a large (12" total or above) fixed blade, then should be ok. This is up to officer's discretion though. Folders of any size are ok from what I've read and asked my friend (Who is a Jefferson County Sheriff's deputy).
Yeah I think the key hear is concealment. It can be over 12" as long as it is not concealed.

After talking with a few folks it looks like the answer is any folder that can fit in a normal pocket is ok. Of course I still have not found a case or law that fully clarifies that. Weird.
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiah922 View Post
Yeah I think the key hear is concealment. It can be over 12" as long as it is not concealed.

After talking with a few folks it looks like the answer is any folder that can fit in a normal pocket is ok. Of course I still have not found a case or law that fully clarifies that. Weird.
means have all but 3 in sticking out of your pocket so it apears to be smaller but not concealed
Old 01-07-2011, 06:02 PM
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Yea thats not to bad. Come up here to NY lol. Of course knife laws are different depending on where you are and this goes for all states. In NYC you are not allowed to carry anything more then 4 inches and pretty much since the new DA went on their knife crackdown spree, to carry anything more then something like a swiss army knife. The knife cannot lock at all apperantly now in the city. LI is not as strict...but you also have to remeber it is really up to the officers discretion. If your caught with a swiss army knife and they think you were gonna use it as a weapon your going with them. Pretty much, read up on the laws, familiariz yourself with them, don't carry something excessive, and don't draw attention to yourself. And don't go flashing your knife around either.

Also good idea to have an explanation of why you have it..a good one. Do not say, oh I carry it for self defense, because then it becomes a weapon and that you have intent to use it as such.
Old 01-07-2011, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drkknight614 View Post
Yea thats not to bad. Come up here to NY lol. Of course knife laws are different depending on where you are and this goes for all states. In NYC you are not allowed to carry anything more then 4 inches and pretty much since the new DA went on their knife crackdown spree, to carry anything more then something like a swiss army knife. The knife cannot lock at all apperantly now in the city. LI is not as strict...but you also have to remeber it is really up to the officers discretion. If your caught with a swiss army knife and they think you were gonna use it as a weapon your going with them. Pretty much, read up on the laws, familiariz yourself with them, don't carry something excessive, and don't draw attention to yourself. And don't go flashing your knife around either.

Also good idea to have an explanation of why you have it..a good one. Do not say, oh I carry it for self defense, because then it becomes a weapon and that you have intent to use it as such.
I live on a farm officer i carry it every day I use it to prune and graft trees clean fish and game to whittle pegs to use in making rocking chairs i ddnt know it was against the rules here but then yall yankees was always a lil off

how would that work?
Old 01-07-2011, 11:46 PM
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Man, the State of Alabama sure is frightened of Bowie Knives,aren't they? God bless Texas ! TP
Old 01-08-2011, 12:43 AM
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i was told by a cop that i could be fine or arrested because I had a camp hatchet under the seat of my pickup truck.
Old 01-08-2011, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSurfer View Post
What is the point of passing these type laws?
To give the government just a little more control over us.
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by SilverSurfer View Post
What is the point of passing these type laws?
To protect us from ourselves of course!
Old 01-08-2011, 12:54 PM
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Do not ask your local sheriff or marshal or police chief what the law is; ask the local District Attorney since they are the ones that will prosecute not the police...Send them an E-mail or letter and when you get the reply print/copy it and carry it with you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerJohn View Post
I live on a farm officer i carry it every day I use it to prune and graft trees clean fish and game to whittle pegs to use in making rocking chairs i ddnt know it was against the rules here but then yall yankees was always a lil off

how would that work?
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:12 AM
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Just thought that I would follow up on this string.

Since researching the knife laws of Alabama some time ago. I have come to the conclusion that in my scenario of the Cold Steel 4" TI-LITE would have been legal as it is small enough to fit in the pocket and is a folder so not considered a "bowie knife". Currently I have adopted to continue just carrying my Swiss army knife concealed or my Gerber multitool open carried when I carry a small knife. Half the time though I also have started carrying my Mora Triflex in Open Carry on my side, which is legal given that it is not concealed.

It appears that most of these laws were written to regulate the carry of CONCEALED knives as no mention was give to open carry of the knives and thus is the rub.
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Patriot View Post
Man, the State of Alabama sure is frightened of Bowie Knives,aren't they? God bless Texas ! TP
Texas isn't immune:

Texas Penal Code Sec. 46.01. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

<snip>

(6) "Illegal knife" means a:
(A) knife with a blade over five and one-half inches;
(B) hand instrument designed to cut or stab another by being thrown;
(C) dagger, including but not limited to a dirk, stiletto, and poniard;
(D) bowie knife;
(E) sword; or
(F) spear.
(7) "Knife" means any bladed hand instrument that is capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by cutting or stabbing a person with the instrument.

<snip>

(11) "Switchblade knife" means any knife that has a blade that folds, closes, or retracts into the handle or sheath and that opens automatically by pressure applied to a button or other device located on the handle or opens or releases a blade from the handle or sheath by the force of gravity or by the application of centrifugal force. The term does not include a knife that has a spring, detent, or other mechanism designed to create a bias toward closure and that requires exertion applied to the blade by hand, wrist, or arm to overcome the bias toward closure and open the knife.

<snip>

Sec. 46.02. UNLAWFUL CARRYING WEAPONS. (a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not:

(1) on the person's own premises or premises under the person's control; or

(2) inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle that is owned by the person or under the person's control.

<lots more snip>


So, yes, Bowie Knives are illegal to carry in Texas... The land where Bowie died.
Old 12-13-2011, 07:38 PM
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Keyword in that law being "concealed"...

On another note though for those of you that would request the D.A's approval remember that it would only cover his jurisdiction. I.e. The county he presides over so if you travel into another county it's up to that counties D.A.
Old 12-13-2011, 08:28 PM
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This law is one of those old ones that they never got around to changing. It's actually helpful that they list bowies, as a tanto and various other blade shapes are excluded.

The main thing to remember is to carry a knife that could serve a utilitarian purpose, or if that isn't sufficient, carry one with a friendlier name. Emerson named one of their CQC knives "The Horseman". I have it and carry it sometimes, and I can tell you that it wasn't made to clean horses hooves...

Of course it all comes down to lawyers and your "peers". If, defending yourself, you stabbed a guy in the eye with a Silly Straw they might just deem that to be a lethal weapon and send you up the river.

I'm just gonna continue carrying my blades and to hell with the consequences. If I get into trouble using them at least I had em to use. Rather take my chances in court as opposed to being a victim.
Old 12-13-2011, 08:43 PM
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For the record, the FIRST time I was ever arrested was at age 18 at the lakefront in N.O. on a Fri. night. The cops did a sweep for underage drinking and harassed us. I got pat down and they discovered the Craftsman spark plug socket in my pocket I used on a friend's mom's car for a tune-up.

FELONY concealed weapon. Night in OPP (before they turned it into a dorm), $800 bail, $1k for a lawyer who never spoke. The judge laughed at me when I asked where do I go to get my $$$ back I was out since he just threw it out and thought it was a ridiculous charge. I don't think it wa funny. Still don't. I will always have a record. Hopefully you won't run into a bully like me.
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