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Citizen carry laws for knives in Clark County and Vancouver, WA ?


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  • Citizen carry laws for knives in Clark County and Vancouver, WA ?

    I was hoping someone here might help answer this question. I live on acreage just outside city limits of Vancouver, WA and often use a small (3") fixed blade knife when working on the property, so lately, I've been wearing it in a sheath or in my front jeans pocket. Is it legal for me to carry a short (like 3" or so) fixed blade in the pocket? Or in a sheath on my belt? How about a folding knife clipped inside the jears pocket?

    Not sure if Vancouver law is any different than in county. Your advice would be appreciated. BTW, FWIW, I am licensed to carry a concealed handgun.

    From a practical standpoint, I'm older, in my early 60's, quite law abiding, polite and cause no problems.. so the likelihood of an encounter with law enforcement is very low... I was wondering how individual officers might be inclined to apply or flex the law, given the citizen is a well mannered, polite, law-abiding citizen who happens to have a knife in pocket or sheath.

    Thanks, in advance, for your comments.

  • #2
    There is no state law that prohibits a specific type of blade length. It only matters either what type of knife it is (always illegal like butterfly,etc) or how and what you are doing with it (committing a crime? Furtively carried while committing a crime?) which falls into the sometimes illegal category.

    See RCW 9.41.250 and RCW 9.41.270

    Seattle has a blade length restriction in the city. I don't know if Vancouver or Clark County does but since you don't live in the city limits of Vancouver only a Clark County restriction would take effect.

    Edit: Carrying a knife in a sheath or a pocket is not illegal on its face. You would have to be committing a crime for it to matter.
    Last edited by Apex_Chicane; 04-11-2011, 10:46 AM. Reason: Clarification


    • #3
      The Clark County Code 9.02.020 bars carrying weapons in county buildings. Weapon includes "spring blade knife or any knife the blade of which is automatically released by a spring mechanism or other mechanical device, any knife having a blade which opens or falls or is ejected into position by the force of gravity or by an outward, downward or centrifugal thrust, or movement, any dagger, dirk" The language looks like it's derived from RCW 9.41.250.
      I don't work in Clark County but I suspect they go by RCW 9.41.270 when handling knife complaints: " 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."


      • #4
        Thanks, folks for taking the time to reply. As I am respectful and law abiding, it sounds like I should be fine with a small (3.0 - 3.4") fixed or folding knife in the pocket or sheath on the belt. Trying to be law abiding can sure be confusing sometimes, can't it!


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