Maine knife laws

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MarkSeger
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Joined: 09/30/2005 - 12:01am
Maine knife laws

Besides what I found so far could anyone direct me to the laws of Maine about carrying a knife/knives. It seems that this covers so many knives that are illegal to carry yet does not give blade length for carrying one in your pocket. Below is some examples of ones that are not to be carried and it isn't just switch blades, stiletto or butterfly knives. It seems to make just about any folding pocket knife illegal and is subject to interpretation.

Maine - Chapter. 43 17-A Section 1055. Trafficking in dangerous knives:
1. A person is guilty of trafficking in dangerous knives, if providing
he has no right to do so, he knowingly manufactures or causes to be
manufactured, or knowingly possesses, displays, offers,
sells, lends, gives away or purchases any knife which has
a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied
to a button, spring or other device in the handle of the
knife, or 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. 2.
Trafficking in dangerous knives is a Class D crime.

http://pweb.netcom.com/~brlevine/me.txt

democrat
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Joined: 11/15/2003 - 1:01am
Maine knife laws

This isn't much help, but here it is.

[url=http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/25/title25sec2001-A.html]concealed weapons[/url]

knucklehead
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Joined: 02/13/2004 - 1:01am
Maine knife laws

Mark - tried to use Maine Statute search on Maine webpage but it is broken...just like everything else in Maine government.

A regular search of Maine.gov returned 17000 results for "knife" and errors with other words.

JIMV
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Joined: 03/22/2005 - 1:01am
Maine knife laws

The beauty of vagueness is that it lets the state pick and choose which cases they desire to prosecute. They get to add an extra charge to the pot then desired.

democrat
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Joined: 11/15/2003 - 1:01am
Maine knife laws

Unfortunately, there's no definition of dirk or stiletto in the Maine statutes that I could find, but it's illegal to carry them concealed. Same with a bowie knife.
Apparently the statute that's cited by Mark isn't enforced. You can buy those kinds of knives in lots of places.

MarkSeger
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Joined: 09/30/2005 - 12:01am
Maine knife laws

Thanks and the site Democrat posted is like he said vague. I like the disclaimer at the bottom: The Revisor's Office [b]cannot provide legal advice[/b] or [b]interpretation of Maine law to the public.[/b] If you need legal advice, please consult a qualified attorney.

Laws that are issued to the citizens and they need to pay a lawyer to interpret them to be sure they are not breaking any laws. And of course ignorance of the law is not excuse.

Virgil Kane
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Joined: 12/15/2005 - 12:44pm
Maine knife laws

[i]Apparently the statute that's cited by Mark isn't enforced. You can buy those kinds of knives in lots of places.[/i]

Don't be lulled. I've had plenty of clients who got pinched on this charge for things they bought over the counter at a hardware or sporting goods store. As Jimv points out, this law is just vague enough to give the police and/or prosecutors the ability to sprinkle the mix with extra charges when they feel like it.

MarkSeger
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Joined: 09/30/2005 - 12:01am
Maine knife laws

I have a folding jack knife with a 3" blade that can be considered in this category, any knife having a blade which [b]opens or falls [/b]or is ejected into position by the force of gravity, or[b] by an outward, [/b]downward motion. I have had it long enough and opened and close it so many times it will fall open if I hold it with the blade down or flick the wrist and it opens as fast as a switch blade can. It is not a butterfly knife nor is it spring loaded but depending on someones interpretation it can be illegal if the issue was pushed.

Virgil Kane
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Joined: 12/15/2005 - 12:44pm
Maine knife laws

Next time you see a law enforcement officer, look at his front pants pocket (usually the right side). You'll almost always see a metal clip on the bottom part of the pocket, pointing downward. This clip is attached to a pocket knife that is held at the opening of the pocket for quick access. Invariably, this knife has a groove or raised piece on the side of the blade (which is also usually spring loaded) that allows the person to easily flip the blade into the open position with a slight outward, downward or centrifugal movement of the thumb.

DalekMagi
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Joined: 02/16/2004 - 1:01am
Maine knife laws

This fascist and vague statute must be repealed. Is there any legislator with the groinal fortitude to dare propose a repeal of this stupid knife regulation?

DalekMagi
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Joined: 02/16/2004 - 1:01am
Maine knife laws

And while we're at it, what about swords? Are we banned from carrying swords around? If not, that's another law that must be repealed!

Marlin94
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Joined: 10/12/2006 - 2:45pm
Maine knife laws

I have a couple of folding tactical knifes that fall into this category - one is a 4" Cold Steel Voyeger and the other is 3.5" Kershaw from Walmart. Both are very good knifes for the money. I think the key to illegality is whether or not the knife can be adjusted by an allen wrench so as to tighten up the blade (so it cannot just be whipped down via centrifugal force.) At least this is what a Saco cop told me.

My Cold Steel knife does not have a nut that can be tightened but my Kershaw does. As such, my Cold Steel would technically be illegal to carry in public (I bought it before I knew about this.) I do carry the Kershaw with me about every day. I leave the blade loose but keep the allen wrench in my pocket.

MarkSeger
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Joined: 09/30/2005 - 12:01am
Maine knife laws

All I was looking for is the specifics of what is legal to have in my pocket for every day use. I have carried a pocket knife since I was about ten years old. My first was a small Old Timer jack knife and over the years I carried a Swiss until they came out with the Leatherman. Since then I still carry a small jack knife which is easier to open and use for small things like cutting string or duct tape and opening letters. But because of the way it now opens I have to wonder if it is considered legal here in Maine.

DalekMagi
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Joined: 02/16/2004 - 1:01am
Maine knife laws

Carry whatever you want. Just don't go cutting things in front of cops. 8)

democrat
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Joined: 11/15/2003 - 1:01am
Maine knife laws

Mark, if it opens with one hand, it is illegal to possess, period. For any other knife, sword, lance, shotgun, rifle, handgun, etc., it's perfectly legal to carry in public as long as it's not concealed.

UncleJaque
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Joined: 09/14/2004 - 12:01am
Wow...

I guess I'll have to be more careful how and where I unfold my German K-55 "Panther" jackknife, eh?

If the government gestapo really want to bust your chops or persecute you for any reason at all, they can usually find some lame statute or another that you're in technical violation of. The only reason any of us are walking around at large now is that our government overlords are kind enough to allow us to.

I have a couple of old Bulgarian Shepherd's knives that my Great Grandfather who was a Missionary there brought back with him. The Shepherds apparently liked a knife they could deploy one handed, too.

From a Constitutional perspective, I opine that any statutory prohibition on "possession" of any bloomin' thing is a denial of due process. You are essentially being prosecuted for a "crime" that you have yet to commit, if if you would ever even consider committing it at all to begin with.
Slapping a chap in irons for having a jack knife that could be "flipped" open is not all that far away from rounding up all the adult males with intact anatomy on the assumption that since we are equipped to rape someone, that it was only a matter of time before we did. Where's the "Due process" in that?

If a Citizen (or should we use the term "Subjects" now? Have you noticed that most Police Departments do?)
is too irresponsible, irrational, insane or criminally inclined to be trusted with a sharp pointy thing, then he or she needs to be locked away in a safe, secure, supervised environment some place.
Then let the remaining sane, decent people "possess" whatever they can afford, have room to store, and bloody well please!

If the political and bureaucratic tyrants ruling us insist on keeping such oppressive restrictions in effect, it is obvious that they have no intention whatsoever of "representing" us; they only mean to RULE OVER us.
And when they start actively and aggressively enforcing these edicts, then you may be assured that the hobnailed boots are upon on the doorstep, and that the "Great American Experiment" is over, and that it has decisively failed.

Mike_in_Maine
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Joined: 05/11/2004 - 12:01am
Maine knife laws

In the 1980's all Naval Aviators where issued "switch-blades" with funky orange grips designed to cut away parachute cord one-handed is need arose. Does the fact that I still have that (also still in my issue equipment log) make me a law violator in Maine?

FXSTC
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Joined: 11/13/2003 - 1:01am
Maine knife laws

[quote="democrat"]Mark, if it opens with one hand, it is illegal to possess, period.[/quote]
Please explain. There are plenty of knives that you can open with one hand and are not "assisted-opening" knives. I believe you are wrong in this generalization.

ListenASec
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Joined: 09/18/2002 - 12:01am
Maine knife laws

[quote="FXSTC"][quote="democrat"]Mark, if it opens with one hand, it is illegal to possess, period.[/quote]
Please explain. There are plenty of knives that you can open with one hand and are not "assisted-opening" knives. I believe you are wrong in this generalization.[/quote]

I was wondering the same thing. Just about every blooming jack knife I have falls into that category. I NEED one that opens with one hand. Sometimes I could be in a situation where I need to hold an animal with one hand and be able to cut something free. I don't open my knife ahead of time in preparation and lay it down, but open when I need it, and that sometimes has to be with one hand.

Marlin94
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Joined: 10/12/2006 - 2:45pm
Maine knife laws

Perhaps somebody that is on our side in the Legislature ought to introduce Legislation to clarify the existing knife law so law abiding folks don't get arrested or otherwise harrased by an overzealous law enforcement officer.

Sara Pearce
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Joined: 05/10/2007 - 5:29pm
Maine knife laws

[quote="Marlin94"] so law abiding folks don't get arrested or otherwise harrased by an overzealous law enforcement officer.[/quote]

That can happen no matter what you do.

Virgil Kane
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Joined: 12/15/2005 - 12:44pm
Maine knife laws

[i]Perhaps somebody that is on our side in the Legislature ought to introduce Legislation to clarify the existing knife law so law abiding folks don't get arrested or otherwise harrased by an overzealous law enforcement officer.[/i]
----

I think, as Dalek posted above, the idea ought not to be clarification of existing law, but repeal of it. It's absurd that anyone of us can possess a handgun that will fire 20 or more rounds as fast as you can pull the trigger before you need to reload--all of which can be done with one hand--yet it is illegal to possess a folding knife that can be opened with one hand.

DalekMagi
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Joined: 02/16/2004 - 1:01am
Maine knife laws

I would wholeheartedly support a repeal of all knife laws. It is just plain stupid to ban knives. It's a hold-over from the English Imperialist policy of disarming conquered peasants in the 1200's!

The novelty knives, like switchblades and butterfly knives, are actually less dangerous that your average steak knife.

FXSTC
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Joined: 11/13/2003 - 1:01am
Maine knife laws

Yes, I doubt there's any evidence that butterfly knives or switchblades are involved in crimes at a higher rate than your favorite jack-knife!

preech_dw
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Joined: 02/06/2008 - 4:44am
Maine knife laws

Hmmm...4 years ago I worked for a cutlery sharpening and delivery service, I "Trafficked" in dangerous knives all the time. At any one time there were between 1500 and 2000 sharp and dangerous knives in my van...which made it a REAL problem when I went off the road in Rangeley one year after doing two 360s on ice, but that is another story. :shock:

LarryB
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Joined: 02/02/2005 - 1:01am
Maine knife laws

A now deceased friend of mine was selling switchblades in his gun store and got summonsed on the "trafficking" charge. He asked for a jury trial and the prosecutor lost interest (at least that's what he told me). Some years back, a police officer friend of mine was doing the gun show circuit selling some mid range priced knives. He told me that he had been approached by several of his professional acquaintances regarding the possibility of him obtaining switchblades for them, After some research, he determined that there was no exception in the Maine statute for police officers and told them they were out of luck, at least as far as he was concerned. I've been openly carrying a small fixed blade sheath knife for many years, I've never had an officer comment about it one way or the other.

MarkSeger
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Joined: 09/30/2005 - 12:01am
Maine knife laws

I figure since they define to fish as a reference to molest one disturbing. It is no wonder you can't clearly define the laws here in Maine. I can use a knife to molest a fish but can't carry it in public? (sick)

Main 2. Exceptions. The provisions of this section concerning the carrying of concealed weapons do not apply to...
C.[b] Knives used to [/b]hunt,[b] fish [/b]or trap as defined in Title 12, section 10001;
e - Chapter. 12 Section 10001. Definitions.
23. Fish, the verb. To "fish" means to take, catch, kill, [b]molest[/b] or destroy fish or to attempt to take, catch, kill, [b]molest or destroy fish.[/b]

atlasshrugged
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Joined: 04/10/2007 - 6:59pm
Maine knife laws

[quote="democrat"]Mark, if it opens with one hand, it is illegal to possess, period. For any other knife, sword, lance, shotgun, rifle, handgun, etc., it's perfectly legal to carry in public as long as it's not concealed.[/quote]

I would be more inclined to talk with a lawyer before taking Democrat's advice. No offense, but there are uses for knives that open with one hand. As someone who spends a good deal of time on the water and in the outdoors, my buck tactical folder with half serraded blade is a perfect example. The are just times when safety demands a knife the operates and fuctions one handed. Then again, advice is worth exactly what you pay for it.

atlas

MarkSeger
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Joined: 09/30/2005 - 12:01am
Maine knife laws

That is the problem, if the legislators are going to enact laws, the language should not require a lawyer to understand them. Any college course teaches to write so that an 8th grade education will clearly understand what you are trying to convey.
When a citizen is looking at the laws that they are required to follow, it should be clearly defined enough for them to understand it.

atlasshrugged
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Joined: 04/10/2007 - 6:59pm
Maine knife laws

[quote="MarkSeger"]That is the problem, if the legislators are going to enact laws, the language should not require a lawyer to understand them. Any college course teaches to write so that an 8th grade education will clearly understand what you are trying to convey.
When a citizen is looking at the laws that they are required to follow, it should be clearly defined enough for them to understand it.[/quote]

Mark,

You just don't get it, do you. Maine does not enact laws for comon sense. Our legislators create so much gray area that state agencies can then hire policy wonks and lawyers to tell them how this crap expands thier powers. Can you imagine how charitable the guy who flies to Maine on a regular basis to help sick Maine kids get medical treatment is going to feel when he is socked with an excise tax bill? Who in thier right mind would have he balls to claim someone who spends 20 days, or less than 6% of the year in state, should pay excise tax on property that could not be taxed in thier home state. We are coming up with some real grade A crapola at MRS.

Maine's laws are about the people of Maine working for thier government, not the government working for them. It is sick, twisted and unjust. As I have said before I no longer simply disrespect the legislature, I despise it.

atlas

J. McKane
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Joined: 05/22/2005 - 12:01am
Maine knife laws

[quote="atlasshrugged"]
As I have said before I no longer simply disrespect the legislature, I despise it.

atlas[/quote]

So what are you going to do about it? Wait - let me guess - Whine? Bitch? Moan? Gripe? Complain?

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