Knives and the Second Amendment

The law review article by Clayton Cramer, Joe Olson, and Dave Kopel, arguing that knives are just as much deserving of Second Amendment protection as firearms, has just hit the printers. I’d also throw chemical defensive sprays, tasers, and electric stun guns into that mix eventually as well, but one step at a time. Knives are probably among the oldest arms human beings recognize, and currently have far less legal protection than firearms. I can carry a Glock 19 into the City of Philadelphia and there’s nothing the corrupt politicians can do about it. But they absolutely could pinch for for carrying a 3 inch folding knife. Firearms regulation enjoy statewide preemption. Knives and other weapons? Not so much.

7 thoughts on “Knives and the Second Amendment”


    They have been having great success getting state and local knife restrictions repealed and knife law preemption written into law in multiple states. They are worth a look and deserve every 2nd Amendment supporters… support.

  2. Well, there is no National Knife Association, or at least not one with the same clout. As a matter of strategy, I would think the less lethal alternatives would be the place to start. Under my state,s laws, I am basically required to use a gun to defend myself as opposed to using a Taser or baton. I think I can use OC.

  3. For decades, we have been hearing from the antigun crowd, claiming that the 2A only applies to weapons that were in existence at the time of the founding.
    By that reasoning, there should be no debate on knives, swords, crossbows, halberds, or any other weapon of the period.

  4. Wisconsin knife law is weird. Depending on how you read the law, it could be argued that a carry permit is required to conceal a knife, ANY knife, of any size (but open carry is fine). I think I’ve seen a case where someone was charged with carrying an illegal deadly weapon after defending herself with a box cutter. The box cutter was deemed legal, but a 3″ blade knife in her purse that wasn’t used was deemed sufficient to charge her. Alternatively it could be interpreted as having no knife laws on the state level, with every city doing whatever the heck they feel like.

  5. I checked my truck, and found: one folder, one hunting knife, one Leatherman with blades, one neck knife, two filleting blades (one is capable of Salmon), one hatchet, one machete, an axe and short shovel in the truck box, and my trusty 16″ hickory axe handle. I guess I should get rid of the axe handle, as it could hurt somebody.

    Yes, I live in the country, and I use all of these blades. I do not go out of the way to clean out the truck when visiting the city.

  6. Don’t forget impact weapons.

    In Massachusetts I can legally carry a firearm. I Cannot carry a double-edged knife, a knife longer than 4.5″, and automatic knife, a Gravity Knife, a ballistic knife, (thank god for those laws!) a Sap, a blackjack, or a collapsible baton.

    We all know WHY I can carry a .45 but none of those other things, but the racist people who wrote the laws won’t own up to it!

  7. “arguing that knives are just as much deserving of Second Amendment protection as firearms”

    Start with the truism that The People are entitled to keep and bear anything their government does, or could if it chose to. Allowing any other interpretation inevitably carries us back to only being permitted to own flintlock muskets, like the native residents of England’s colonial empire, until the early 1960s and independence.

    (Nostalgia: Remember before the blackpowder fad arrived as a hobby, when in the 1950s about the only newly manufactured muzzleloaders you could buy were the half-dozen or so offered in Stoeger’s “Shooters Bible,” that had been made for the native trade in British and Belgian Africa?)

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