Iceaxe Carry in Backpack - Oregon

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by ocarolan, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. ocarolan

    Portland, Oregon
    Well-Known Member

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    I plan to do some light climbing during a hunt this month. Normally my iceaxe is carried outside the pack... Would interior carry of the axe violate ORS 166.240?

    ORS 166.240 Carrying of concealed weapons
    (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, any person who carries concealed upon the person any knife having a blade that projects or swings into position by force of a spring or by centrifugal force, any dirk, dagger, ice pick, slungshot, metal knuckles, or any similar instrument by the use of which injury could be inflicted upon the person or property of any other person, commits a Class B misdemeanor.

    The law does not mention axes specifically, but apparently "any instrument" can qualify. In fact some guy in 1977 got convicted for carrying nunchaku.

    Based on the Finlay and Anfield decisions, I'm assuming a backpack does qualify as carry "upon the person". That's not necessarily common sense but the Court of Appeals seems to think so, at least with respect to ORS 166.250, which uses the same language.

    "Upon the person" includes bag and its contents while defendant held bag. State v. Anfield, 313 Or 554, 836 P2d 1337 (1992); State v. Finlay, 179 Or App 599, 42 P3d 326 (2002)

    I realize dozens of mountaineers would probably violate this per day, but carrying a gun seems to cause increased scrutiny from LEO and wanted to check on 166.240 compliance as well.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
  2. 2Wheels4Ever

    Central Oregon
    Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer

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    I would just take my chances and then fight it in the court if any LEO gives you hell. Under your assumption, a pen could be classified as lethal weapon.
  3. Mark W.

    Mark W.
    Silverton, OR
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    An Ice Axe is a tool same as a hammer or a block plane. Its only when its intent changes that it would become a weapon. Unless your beating the snot out of something with it I don't see how it could be called a weapon. Also if its in your backpack how would a police officer ever know its there? They aren't allowed to rummage through your pockets until they have you for doing something.
  4. redhippie

    People's republic of PDX
    Active Member

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    Why would you want to put it inside your pack? Seems like a quick way to get a hole in said pack.

    If there is an issue of you bush whacking and it snagging, try sliding the shaft of the axe between your shoulder straps and out one side. Leave the guard on for the adez and pick. It should ride nicely and be accessible for when you need it. I often use my axe to push brush out of the way or as a walking stick when i have to crouch alot. Otherwise, I would jsut leave it on the exterior of the pack.

    Another thought is to skip the axe and just get the treking poles with the picks attached. For 95% of snow travel these will give you the abiltiy to self arrest. Axes tend to be more for more serious glacier travel, climbing or belay from. I've climbed hood numerous times in this manner with out ever getting out my axes.
  5. OcelotZ3

    Active Member

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    The ice axe isn't a weapon, it's a tool for climbing. Using your logic, it would be illegal to carry a regular small wood-cutting axe or a geology pick or hammer inside your pack, since they could conceivably be used as weapons.

    Having said that, it makes much more sense to carry it outside the pack anyway... Ice axes just don't fit well inside a pack. And when you need one, it's not available if inside.

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