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Legal length of a knife blade

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
What is the legal max length in MA of the blade of a knife carried in a sheath on your person (ie. on your belt) folding or straight blade? I carry a short blunt ended dive knife or a folding Gerber when I am fishing and I don't always remember to take it off. Just do not want to get into a hassle.
Regards
post #2 of 47
I don't know whether there is one. I know that you can't have a switchblade, or any knife with a double edged blade, but I'll have to look up any length restrictions at the office tomorrow.
post #3 of 47
i know you can buy a 2' machette in MA. is your dive knife over 2' long?
post #4 of 47
Let me preface this by saying I am not a criminal attorney so if you're really concerned about this, I'd suggest contacting one. Their may be provisions or cases that allow one who is conducting an activity such as fishing to carry an appropriate knife.

The Gerber folding knife should be fine. I often carry one when fishing and doing other outdoor activities; however, I wouldn't carry the dive knife around on your belt (I leave a fillet and boning knife in my tackle box).

It appears that you can have any folding knife, but the fixed blade diving knife can be no longer than 1.5 inches long. Refer to MGL Ch. 26 sec. 10(b)


I've copied and pasted the relevant section below (emphasis added by me):


(b) Whoever, except as provided by law, carries on his person, or carries on his person or under his control in a vehicle, any stiletto, dagger or a device or case which enables a knife with a locking blade to be drawn at a locked position, any ballistic knife, or any knife with a detachable blade capable of being propelled by any mechanism, dirk knife, any knife having a double-edged blade, or a switch knife, or any knife having an automatic spring release device by which the blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches, or a slung shot, blowgun, blackjack, metallic knuckles or knuckles of any substance which could be put to the same use with the same or similar effect as metallic knuckles, nunchaku, zoobow, also known as klackers or kung fu sticks, or any similar weapon consisting of two sticks of wood, plastic or metal connected at one end by a length of rope, chain, wire or leather, a shuriken or any similar pointed starlike object intended to injure a person when thrown, or any armband, made with leather which has metallic spikes, points or studs or any similar device made from any other substance or a cestus or similar material weighted with metal or other substance and worn on the hand, or a manrikigusari or similar length of chain having weighted ends; or whoever, when arrested upon a warrant for an alleged crime, or when arrested while committing a breach or disturbance of the public peace, is armed with or has on his person, or has on his person or under his control in a vehicle, a billy or other dangerous weapon other than those herein mentioned and those mentioned in paragraph (a), shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than two and one-half years nor more than five years in the state prison, or for not less than six months nor more than two and one-half years in a jail or house of correction, except that, if the court finds that the defendant has not been previously convicted of a felony, he may be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars or by imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years in a jail or house of correction.
post #5 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by crabbypatty View Post
i know you can buy a 2' machette in MA. is your dive knife over 2' long?


No joke, in Massachusetts you have to register your machete with the local Police department. What a screw ball state we live in.
post #6 of 47
post #7 of 47
The post by BTownFisher seems to be correct no matter how insane it sounds. The state must have passed this ridiculous law after the 9/11 frenzy. Leave it up to the pols to overreact.

Found this in the Boston Municipal code:

Boston Municipal Code of Ordinances

16-45 PROHIBITING THE CARRYING OF KNIVES OR SIMILAR WEAPONS.

16-45.1 Carrying of Weapons Prohibited.
No person, except as provided by law, shall carry on his person, or carry under his control in a vehicle, any knife having any type of blade in excess of two and one-half (2½ ) inches, ice picks, dirks or similar weapons that are likely to penetrate through police officer's ballistic vests, or other object or tool so redesigned, fashioned, prepared or treated that the same may be used to inflict bodily harm or injury to another, except:

a. When actually engaged in hunting or fishing or any employment, trade or lawful recreational or culinary activity which customarily involves the carrying or use of any type of knife, or

b. In going directly to and/or returning directly from such activities, or

c. If the knife is being transported directly to or from a place of purchase, sharpening, or repair, and if packaged in such a manner as not to allow easy access to the knife while it is being transported.


Maybe each municipality has their own laws? However, one would think that state law supercedes the local codes? DJ?
post #8 of 47
The state law will supersede local law if the state law is more stringent, but if a municipality wants to have stricter laws and regulations in most cases that's okay.

As I said, I'm not a criminal attorney and not really all that knowledgeable on this stuff. You'd be surprised though with some laws. Kick somebody with a bare foot is one crime, kick them with a shoe and that's a "shod" foot and it's far more serious. Every state has knife laws, and most are suprisingly stringent I believe. Typically you're okay with a small folding blade, but double edged blades and the sort are often big no-nos. I think some of it is that in certain neighborhoods if you could walk around with a 6 inch "diver" knife, many people would. It's a good way for cops to stop somebody in such an area and say "why do you have a diver's knife, are you going to SCUBA later today?"
post #9 of 47
You can walk into Bananas in Wareham and walk out with a razor sharp machette for under $20. Based on that, I doubt there's any length limit.

In Ma, you have to register your machette with the local police, but not your guns.
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by BTownFisher View Post
The state law will supersede local law if the state law is more stringent, but if a municipality wants to have stricter laws and regulations in most cases that's okay.

As I said, I'm not a criminal attorney and not really all that knowledgeable on this stuff. You'd be surprised though with some laws. Kick somebody with a bare foot is one crime, kick them with a shoe and that's a "shod" foot and it's far more serious. Every state has knife laws, and most are suprisingly stringent I believe. Typically you're okay with a small folding blade, but double edged blades and the sort are often big no-nos. I think some of it is that in certain neighborhoods if you could walk around with a 6 inch "diver" knife, many people would. It's a good way for cops to stop somebody in such an area and say "why do you have a diver's knife, are you going to SCUBA later today?"


Just curious, is this knife acceptable for anyone to walk around on a fishing trip?
525
525
post #11 of 47
Who doesn't need that knife for fishing! I think for you Canal fellas the only ones with such knifes are the poachers on your traps. They need to cut through the cable ties on your traps with something.

In MA you need a license for pepper spray too!
post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by BTownFisher View Post
Who doesn't need that knife for fishing! I think for you Canal fellas the only ones with such knifes are the poachers on your traps. They need to cut through the cable ties on your traps with something.

In MA you need a license for pepper spray too!


I do need that knife for self-defense. Lol.
post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey T View Post
I do need that knife for self-defense. Lol.


That's totally needed in Newton!
post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by BTownFisher View Post
That's totally needed in Newton!


Try Dorchester.
post #15 of 47
I'd end up hurting myself before protecting myself. Instead I just keep like $20-40 in my wallet and one Credit Card and figure I'll reach back and somebody can take that instead of a knife. I keep the rest of my money and ID/Cards elsewhere.
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