Legalize statewide knife carry in Washington
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Washington state has a legal statewide open carry law for handguns and rifles, however, the topic of knife laws are hardly addressed. As a criminal justice graduate and cpl holder here is what I've discovered. In regards to the state laws of carrying a dangerous weapon, RCW 9.41.250 addresses this and states that anyone who," Furtively carries with intent to conceal any dagger, dirk, pistol, or other dangerous weapon...is guilty of a gross misdemeanor..."
If you read further into the lines, the state RCW basically states that you can carry any knife you want as long as it doesn't fall under the switchblade carry and you aren't attempting to conceal it. RCW 9.41.270 states that "It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests AN INTENT TO INTIMIDATE ANOTHER OR THAT WARRANTS ALARM FOR THE SAFETY OF OTHER PERSONS"
If this was the end of it, knife laws would be simple. However, local municipals have all shared their own local laws ranging from 2.5-4.5 inch blades on days ending in y and so on. An example of this is Everett's municipal code which states under 10.78.030 it's unlawful to "Carry concealed on his person any dangerous knife; provided, that a dangerous knife carried openly in a sheath suspended from the waist of a person is not concealed within the meaning of this subsection". Meaning you can open carry a sword if you wanted as long as you aren't intentionally intimidating other people.
However, if you were to walk 10 minutes south of the Everett border into lynnwood, it's illegal to "Carry concealed or unconcealed on his or her person any dangerous knife or dangerous weapon other than a pistol". That's any knife with a blade length over 3.5 inches.
So here we have the interesting dilemma of living in a state where anyone can carry a rifle slung over their shoulder but can't carry a utility tool or survival knife. And since when do we ban a tool or piece of equipment based on what the criminal population do with it? With that logic we should ban cars because of the percentage of the population that use them for vehicular homicides.
I propose that it be legal to open carry knives of any blade length as long as there isn't intent to conceal it or purposefully intimidate other people. Also, to make it legal for those with a CPL to conceal knives or other dangerous weapons. It makes little sense that someone with a clean background that can conceal a firearm or handgun wouldn't be able to legally conceal a knife. Different types of knives aren't more or less dangerous than another. Balisong knives were originally banned because users were injuring THEMSELVES with them.
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