Touring - Carrying a knife on tour-Legal issues
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04-08-09, 08:55 PM
And I don't mean for protection/as a weapon. I'm just wondering if anyone has ever encountered any problems (possibly by an over zealous cop or something) with accusations of a "concealed weapon" for having a knife in the tool kit. I was just listing things I may want to bring with me, and on this list I have a couple things I always take camping with me: small (2 inch blade) folding pocket knife that I keep on my person, and a McNett kayaking/outdoor fixed blade knife, that has a 3in blade with half of that serrated. The McNett would always be in with my tool kit unless in use. I'm just wondering if anyone has ever encountered any problems/issues like this. And like I said, it is NOT intended as a weapon, nor would I take it on a plane or anything like that. I'm just talking about bike touring(primarily in the U.S.) and having it put away in the panniers as a tool. I've never thought about it before, as when I'm off camping it's not like I'm traveling in populated areas so that is where my concern arises from.
04-08-09, 09:05 PM
You're thinking too much, and confusing zero tolerance laws in primary schools with common sense in the real world.
A knife in a tool kit is not a concealed weapon. What are you concerned about that would warrant a police search of your panniers?
04-08-09, 09:08 PM
I have found that a large banana does double duty. You can put it into your handlebar bag and reach in and grab it if someone threatens you. They will assume you have a lethal weapon and act accordingly. On the other hand, you can put it into your shorts when you go out to the the local saloon in the small town you are passing through. They will assume you have a lethal weapon and act accordingly.
Pocket knives and the knives in things like a Leatherman are ok. You cannot take them in carry on plane luggage but they are ok in checked bags. Also it's fine to carry them across the US/Canadian border as I was asked if I had a knife when I crossed into Quebec from Vermont and my pocket knife was just fine
04-08-09, 09:29 PM
Never had a problem with folding knives or Leatherman tool, which i carry routinely while on tour. Never been stopped by a cop, either. I don't think it is much of a problem.
04-09-09, 01:00 AM
I hitch hiked across America with a machete and only one person took notice of it. I think if you were carrying a gun it would be a problem.
04-09-09, 01:44 AM
As you are from WI, one of only two states in the union that prohibits all citizens from carrying concealed weapons, I can understand your concern. The answer will depend upon jurisdiction. Here in the PRK, we can conceal any folding blade; but no fixed blades - go figure. I'd suggest checking upon where you plan to travel.
04-09-09, 04:50 AM
As long as it's not an obvious combat knife, you should be fine.
04-09-09, 05:49 AM
I wouldn't have given it a thought, but I never carry a fixed blade when on tour. I would not be worried about carrying a 3" fixed blade especially in the tool bag, but if you want to be extra prudent, maybe stick to a folder with a blade not over 3". In any case I have a hard time imagining it being a problem.
04-09-09, 11:33 AM
We have a checkpoint at the Texas border. They check you for knives. If you don't have one, they sell you one. As long as it is not a stilletto or a switchblade, you are fine, every
where I know of except possibly Great Britain.
J B Bell
04-09-09, 12:10 PM
I just happen to have been reading up on not just knife law, but knife jurisprudence (rulings by judges) in Canada. I Am Not a Lawyer.
Canada's law on knives has to do with law on weapons generally--whether something counts as a 'weapon' or not has to do with the design of the item and the intentions of its carrier. Judges may make inferences about your intentions based on the full context of an arrest an the circumstances leading to it.
I've found only one ruling where size made a difference, and that was a large hunting knife found on the person of a guy who had passed out on a light rail train. If you are going into an area removed from civilization, even a seven-inch blade can have utilitarian uses, such as splitting wood for kindling or shelter-making. A knife stored in a pannier would be very unlikely to count as 'concealed', any more than a gun in a car trunk would.
In general, if you're taking a knife appropriate to utilitarian needs for your tour, you should be fine.
EDIT: it's worth noting that self-defense is almost never treated as a legitimate intention for a weapon. If you use a knife in self-defense, if it's found that it really was self-defense, you will probably be OK. However, if in the course of a search a knife is found, claiming that you are carrying it for self-defense will most likely not get you off the hook.
We have a checkpoint at the Texas border. They check you for knives. If you don't have one, they sell you one.
And a hat and a gun too?
04-10-09, 01:15 PM
Reno has a dumb law that no knife with more than a 2" blade is allowed in city parks. Passed several years ago due to percieved gang banger problems. No idea of how it is enforced as many people carry pocket knives routinely with over 2" blades and picknickers frequently have kitchen knives for cutting food items which are larger.
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