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Would my new pocketknife be considered "Ordinary" under Oregon law?

Discussion in 'Knives & Other Discussion' started by Lance Jacobs, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. Lance Jacobs

    Lance Jacobs South Willamette Valley Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Under Oregon law, it is legal to carry concealed an "Ordinary Pocketknife" However, is my new pocketknife too big to be considered "Ordinary" in the eyes of Oregon's law?

    It is a handsome knife, with a nice heft and feels great in the hand. Not my sharpest knife in my small collection, but it is pretty sharp. But maybe some folks would find it to be scary. It does manage to fit inside a pants pocket just fine. I think it conceals pretty well, despite having a blade 5 1/2 inches long.

    But if a Police Officer ever found me carrying it, would I be in trouble?

    My current everyday carry knife is a small little pretty knife with just a 3 3/8 inch blade. It is very cute and fancy looking, and thus looks rather innocent. But it would be nice to be able to carry something a little larger in size in my pocket.

    However, I think that I have gone way overboard in buying this knife. It may be both impractical and illegal to carry. It is just so cool and awesome, though. I guess that this knife will simply have to end up being a collectable.

    The knife is a full foot long when extended. I just partially opened it up for this picture, so that it could fit on top of this surface.

    What do you think of this little pocketknife?


    .
    DSC_0725a.jpg DSC_0730a.jpg
     
  2. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Last I looked the maximum blade length was 4", Lance!

    Nice looking knife!
     
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  3. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Eh? There's nothing in the ORS about length.
     
  4. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Additionally, if you have a knife on a pocket clip, I'm pretty sure the ORS actually STATES that's not considered "concealed." So any knife of any action/size/type/edge is fine in the pocket, so long as it's clipped to the pocket. I'll doublecheck the ORS on that, but I'm pretty damn sure, even after a few IPAs.
     
  5. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    ^ OK.... that pocket clip part isn't popping up in the ORS. Maybe it's a court or administrative ruling.... I'll investigate further, unless anyone else happens to have the source on that?
     
  6. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Lol. Before clicking I was thinking large Espada. nice
     
  7. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Oops! I believe that Ben is correct, concealed Would the determining factor. Clip out would seem to be good to go! My bad on the 4" length post!
     
  8. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Here is some info:

    Pocketknife
    In 1978, in the case of State v. Pruett, the Supreme Court of Oregon found that a “Sportman’s” knife with a 3 ½-inch blade, which folded manually into the handle of the knife, but locked when fully open, was an “ordinary pocketknife”. One year after the Pruett decision, in State v. Strong, the court found that a knife with a 4 ¾ inch folding blade fit the definition of a pocketknife. However, in 1986, in State v. Witherbee, Mr. Witherbee was indicted and convicted for carrying concealed a six inch Survival Knife, and the Court upheld his conviction finding that the knife he was carrying was not an ordinary pocketknife.

    Definition of Concealed Carry
    Oregon statute does not define concealed carry. Case law in Oregon, however, has offered some guidance on what exactly concealed carry is.

    In State v. Turner, the Supreme Court of Oregon declared that a weapon was concealed if it was not readily identifiable as a weapon or if the person carrying it attempted to obscure the fact that he or she was carrying a weapon. The Court also said that a weapon was concealed within the meaning of the statute even if it was recognizable if there is also evidence of an imperfect attempt to prevent it from being discovered or recognized.

    In State v. Crumal, the Court found that the conceal carry statute referred to weapons that were on and moved along with the carrier’s body. It did not include weapons that were just in reasonable proximity to the person or in some place where the weapons would be deemed to be in the constructive possession of the person. Thus, the Court ruled that a defendant could not be convicted of carrying a concealed weapon, where the weapon was being carried under the floor mat on the passenger side of a vehicle.

    Conclusion on Oregon Knife Law
    Oregon may be one of the most lenient states when it comes to owning knives. Unless you have been convicted of a felony, you can own any knife you choose in Oregon. Those who have been convicted of a felony, may not own a knife with a blade that projects or swings into position by force of a spring or by centrifugal force.

    It is illegal in Oregon to conceal carry, on your person, a dirk, dagger, or stabbing knife, a butterfly knife, gravity knife, or any knife with a blade that projects or swings into position by force of a spring or by centrifugal force.

    Source: http://www.knifeup.com/oregon-knife-laws/ At the end of the article, they provide the necessary ORS references as well as others.

    Looks like court cases have helped to shape their interpretation of the law. Even though it still seems that it's open for interpretation. I'm curious about the whole question of the belt clip and top of the knife being visible - that's how I carry mine, so it's not completely concealed in that respect.

    But based on what I read in this article I linked to, it would seem Lance, that your knife is quite likely legal to conceal carry, with the preference on using the belt clip. That's my completely ignorant, non-legal opinion, of course. YMMV ;)
     
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  9. v0lcom13sn0w

    v0lcom13sn0w Keizer, or Well-Known Member

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    ^^x2
     
  10. solv3nt

    solv3nt Portland Well-Known Member

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    The picture doesn't make it look too big. I think that we need a banana for scale.
     
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  11. Lance Jacobs

    Lance Jacobs South Willamette Valley Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Oregon law is rather vague. There is quite a bit of case law on the subject, created by the Oregon Court of Appeals. This web page is a good one, in that it lists all of the applicable case law for carrying knives concealed:

    http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/166.240


    In this section of Oregon Law, the law makes it clear that a pocketknife is NOT considered to be a weapon. See Section 5 (b):

    http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/166.360


    So an "ordinary" pocketknife is legal to carry. Yet, the law does not specifically define an ordinary pocketknife.

    Two rulings have been made related to length of the blade. In 1978, a sportsman's pocketknife with a 3 1/2 inch blade was ruled to be legal to carry concealed. In another case in 1979, a pocketknife with a 4 3/4 inch blade was ruled to still be an ordinary pocketknife, and thus also legal to carry concealed.

    So case law has determined that anything up to a 4 3/4 inch blade is definitely OK to carry concealed. While the law , including case law, does not specifically outlaw longer blades, it also does not say that they are considered to be "ordinary" in nature.
     
  12. Lance Jacobs

    Lance Jacobs South Willamette Valley Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Actually, the law is more complicated that that, due to this Oregon appellate court ruling in 1983:

    "Because switchblade is type of pocketknife and it is not illegal under this section to carry concealed pocketknife, it cannot be illegal to carry concealed switchblade. State v. Ramer, 65 Or App 480, 671 P2d 723 (1983)"

    So since 1983, it has been legal to carry a switchblade in Oregon, as the courts ruled that it is a common type of pocketknife. A number of lawyers have interpreted this ruling to also mean that other types of automatic and assisted pocketknives are also thus legal to carry concealed as well. After all, if a switchblade is legal, how can one then argue that an automatic Benchmade, or an assisted Kershaw is illegal??

    .
     
  13. thorborg

    thorborg portland oregon Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I read all this with interest. At the end of the day though, It sounds like it boils down to how big of a govt. jackal is pursuing you and how big A lawyer has your back$$
    My experience: exhaustive research many years ago when HK first came out with my knife, I could not definitively Ya or Na it's legality even though the dealer claimed it was legal in Oregon. I took the chance and bought it any way hoping my CC permit had me covered. My work has taken me twice into govt. offices when I had forgotten it's presence, one federal and one Washington county courts both times it was confiscated, looked over and played with by many, calledd in, checked on, and both times returned as legal as long as I got it out of the building.
    Laws are designed to keep us neurotic guess!
    I'll deal with the aftermath when and if it arises. In the mean time, I'm doing my best not to be a victim.
    This is what it looks like. I keep it razor sharp so don't I use it frivolously (my other pocket knife is for that)
    I don't leave home without it.
    I upload_2015-8-10_14-37-50.png
     
  14. Lance Jacobs

    Lance Jacobs South Willamette Valley Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I know that this will probably elicit groans from some people, but one of the reasons why I got this knife is that Nutnfancy loved it so very much:

    :eek:

     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
  15. Lance Jacobs

    Lance Jacobs South Willamette Valley Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I am quite confident that Oregon's Concealed Handgun License does NOTHING to expand a person's right to carry a concealed knife. The law only applies to handguns.

    In your case, the people actually did some checking on the law with their superiors. Sounds like they behaved in a professional manner.

    Problems generally arise when one runs into someone in law enforcement who does not really know the law, but thinks that he does.

    .
     
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  16. Lance Jacobs

    Lance Jacobs South Willamette Valley Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Will this photo impress you?


    kimberespada.jpg









    Actually, this photo is of the Extra Large model, that has a 7 1/2 inch barrel. It is a real monster.

    .
     
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  17. Lance Jacobs

    Lance Jacobs South Willamette Valley Oregon Well-Known Member

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    OK, here is my large size Espada with its 5 1/2 inch blade, next to my carry pistol: a Walther PPS:


    DSC_0732a.jpg
     
  18. solv3nt

    solv3nt Portland Well-Known Member

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    Does my gun make my knife look big?
     
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  19. thorborg

    thorborg portland oregon Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    You're right of coarse, that's why the naïve, "hoping".
     
  20. Lance Jacobs

    Lance Jacobs South Willamette Valley Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Well, my Walther is hardly a mouse gun. It is a 6 + 1 .40 S&W