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#1
Old 11-03-2004, 07:28 AM
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Is it legal to wear a sword?

I've done some searching, and the answers I've found are somewhat ambiguous. All I can tell for sure is that it can be illegal on a state-by-state basis to carry a concealed blade with length greater than X in/cm. That doesn't help, because I'm not asking about concealment. I want to know if it would be legal to wear, in full public view, a full-length sword (broadsword, rapier, katana, claymore if you're really really big...take your pick). I'm thinking either the strapped-to-the-belt variety, or the over-the-shoulder scabbard. If, by some strange combination of legislation, it could be argued that a sheathed sword is "concealed", then assume we're just talking about the blade itself. So, is it legal? If it's on a state-by-state basis, which I would guess to be the case, is it legal in Virginia?

Furthermore, if it isn't, is there any sort of permit that one can obtain to allow it? I know that, in VA, there is a special concealed carry permit allows one to bear certain types of firearms that persons without CCPs cannot openly carry. Is there something similar that applies to blades?

(By the way, in case anybody's wondering: no, I don't want to schlep a shortsword around and challenge random people to duels. I just happen to have an authentic katana for which I fashioned a backstrap last year for a friend's Halloween costume, and about half an hour into walking around downtown Roanoke with a sword-wielding companion, it occured to me that we might be on shaky legal ground. Nobody said anything, but now, I'm just curious.)
#2
Old 11-03-2004, 08:11 AM
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Several places have banned selling katana, etc. as some gangs have been using them to beat up other youth, etc. (slice up?).

I assume that not being on the books (no swords) does not mean that you can get away with it. There's likely an overarching weapon law and it's hard to say a sword is for something else ("Hey, I'm just cutting some weeds and trimming the hedge later today!").
#3
Old 11-03-2004, 08:13 AM
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Here's a quick "I'm on my way out the door answer":

Obviously this will vary by state. Here's how it works in Florida:

Length of blade has nothing to do with anything. If it is not a "common pocket knife" it cannot be concealed on your person. Otherwise you are possessing a concealed weapon. This is a misdemeanor. (Not to be confused with having a concealed firearm - a felony).
You can get a permit that allows you to conceal weapons or firearms. So with a permit, you can conceal a sword or a gun. Your choice. It's an easy choice if you ask me.
Most states that allows concealed carry permits allow you to conceal both weapons or firearms. However, some restrict this to just firearms. That makes little sense IMHO.

Anyway, with all that said. Wearing a VISIBLE weapon is perfectly legal in FLorida. You can run around like a godamn ninja or samari all day long if you want. As long as the weapon is obvious then you are clear. A scabbard across your back would not be a concealed weapon. So you could wear that to work with your suit and tie and no be arrested on your way there.

So to sum it up:
Visible Weapon - Legal
Visible Firearm - Misdemeanor (Crazy, I know!!!)
Concealed Weapon - Misdemeanor
Concealed Firearm - Felony

Peace
#4
Old 11-03-2004, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drhess
Several places have banned selling katana, etc. as some gangs have been using them to beat up other youth, etc. (slice up?).
Can you provide any more info on this? I can't think of any use a gang would have for a katana that a switchblade, gun, or baseball bat wouldn't be better suited to.
#5
Old 11-03-2004, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear_Nenno

So to sum it up:
Visible Weapon - Legal
Visible Firearm - Misdemeanor (Crazy, I know!!!)
Concealed Weapon - Misdemeanor
Concealed Firearm - Felony

Peace
Michigan's statute is broader than that . . .

http://michiganlegislature.org/m...light=stabbing
#6
Old 11-03-2004, 09:27 AM
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Your link doesn't explain penalties for visible firearms or visible weapons. I quickly looked for a Michigan statute on that subject but couldn't find it. Can you find the statute on carrying nonconcealed weapons or firearms?
#7
Old 11-03-2004, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awldune
Can you provide any more info on this? I can't think of any use a gang would have for a katana that a switchblade, gun, or baseball bat wouldn't be better suited to.
Image. Baseball bats are kid's play, a katana is one bad-ass mutha-humpin blade, biatch! Inspires awe and more stories, on which gangs thrive.
#8
Old 11-03-2004, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear_Nenno
Your link doesn't explain penalties for visible firearms or visible weapons. I quickly looked for a Michigan statute on that subject but couldn't find it. Can you find the statute on carrying nonconcealed weapons or firearms?

750.227 Concealed weapons; carrying; penalty.

Sec. 227.

Quote:
(1) A person shall not carry a dagger, dirk, stiletto, a double-edged nonfolding stabbing instrument of any length, or any other dangerous weapon, except a hunting knife adapted and carried as such, concealed on or about his or her person, or whether concealed or otherwise in any vehicle operated or occupied by the person, except in his or her dwelling house, place of business or on other land possessed by the person.
Wow. Ok. I misread the statute the first time around. So you can carry a knife "of any length" as long as it is visible and not in a car. And you can conceal a "hunting knife."

Here is the section from which this statute came:

http://michiganlegislature.org/m...28-1931-XXXVII

I'm a little busy today, but I can't find anything saying you can't carry a sword. You just have to be a Samurai in the true sense . . . You gotta be on foot or horseback, right?
#9
Old 11-03-2004, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear_Nenno
Your link doesn't explain penalties for visible firearms or visible weapons. I quickly looked for a Michigan statute on that subject but couldn't find it. Can you find the statute on carrying nonconcealed weapons or firearms?
Regarding carrying a non-concealed pistol, see

http://michiganlegislature.org/m...ueryid=8300032
#10
Old 11-03-2004, 02:56 PM
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I wear mine all the time, well, actually, only to or from restraunts while in my S.C.A. garb. It varies from state to state but I've learned that if people look at you and see "Oh, he's wearing a costume" they will not get a bad vibe from you and they will ignore you.

In California (Los Angelese) they had an ordnance that you could carry a sword if it was for "Theatrical Purposes".

I am not a lawyer, but I own alot of swords.
#11
Old 11-03-2004, 03:12 PM
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My only real experience is at the Ren Faire, which at least used to be held on public land (county fairgrounds). There are always a considerable number of people toting around various pieces of cutlery ranging from wee little knives to polearms. No problems with that, although many people would "peace bond" their weapons (visible tiedown holding weapon in place).
#12
Old 11-03-2004, 03:28 PM
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Heh, go to VT, no concealed weapon law. You can carry any weapon (except brass knuckles, blackjacks, switchblades, and a few other illegal weapons) with you in any way you want. In your pocket, brandished in your hand, up your butt, whatever you want. There are a few provisions, though. You can't have the intent to harm someone with it, you can't point a firearm at anyone except in self defense or in the line of duty, and certain locations don't allow it, such as schools, state buildings, etc...

From here.
#13
Old 11-03-2004, 03:49 PM
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In California, it's legal to carry a knife of any length (including a sword) as long as it's not concealed.

However, on a school campus, you can't carry anything with a blade longer than (IIRC) 1.75". Not that you'd want to wander around a school with a sword, but this got me into a bit of trouble in my college days.
#14
Old 11-03-2004, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamthewalrus(:3=
In California, it's legal to carry a knife of any length (including a sword) as long as it's not concealed.
Not disagreeing with you, but do you know a cite for this California law. Are there any city or county laws that can make such visable carrying illegal?
#15
Old 11-03-2004, 04:12 PM
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I know for certain that it's legal in the cities of Cleveland and Cleveland Heights, OH, so long as it's not concealed. A friend of mine and I (he has 4 or 5 swords, I have two) checked up on that to be sure when we were in high school, since those are our hometowns.

Meanwhile, on the school grounds itself, any blade at all (even a pocketknife) was forbidden, with varying levels of enforcement. But that wasn't a matter of law, just of school policy.
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#16
Old 11-03-2004, 04:46 PM
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In New York, carrying of an ordinary sword (concealed or unconcealed) would be legal unless it is carried with the intent to use it against another. N.Y. Penal Law 265.01(2) provides (emphasis added):

Quote:
A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree when: . . .

(2) He possesses any dagger, dangerous knife, dirk, razor, stiletto, imitation pistol, or any other dangerous or deadly instrument or weapon with intent to use the same unlawfully against another; or . . . .

Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree is a class A misdemeanor.
See People v. Holland, 279 A.D.2d 265, 719 N.Y.S.2d 320 (3d Dep't 2001) (affirming conviction of man brandishing sword at state trooper responding to domestic dispute).

(Carrying a cane sword, defined as "a cane or swagger stick having concealed within it a blade that may be used as a sword or stilletto" and varous types of knives like switchblades and gravity knives is illegal, however.)
#17
Old 11-11-2004, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awldune
Can you provide any more info on this? I can't think of any use a gang would have for a katana that a switchblade, gun, or baseball bat wouldn't be better suited to.
I believe it was something in CA and then in Australie, but no more info. It was youth gangs, they don't ahere to logic, but cool. A katana or machete or something seems cool. And pretty scary. Not for carrying around but for "going home and coming back with friends" sorta fight. As I recall.
#18
Old 04-09-2013, 07:35 PM
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anybody have a clue about oklahoma
#19
Old 04-09-2013, 07:58 PM
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U.S. knife laws here.
#20
Old 04-09-2013, 08:17 PM
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In Montana, it's legal to open-carry a sword and I do so regularly. I did have a discussion with the local sheriff about whether it counted as "concealed" if the sword was sheathed but the scabbard was visible. He figured it was still open-carry.

When dressed up for Scottish events and ethnic festivals, I may wear anything from the "casual kilt" (in which case I'm carrying a claymore, dirk, sgian dubh, and possibly parrying knife or broadsword) to the full formal "Prince Charlie" (in which case I have only the dirk and sgian dubh).
#21
Old 04-09-2013, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary "Wombat" Robson View Post
...

When dressed up for Scottish events and ethnic festivals, I may wear anything from the "casual kilt" (in which case I'm carrying a claymore, dirk, sgian dubh, and possibly parrying knife or broadsword) to the full formal "Prince Charlie" (in which case I have only the dirk and sgian dubh).

Same for California, Indiana and Ohio.

I have often gone to restaurants in those states wearing my full kit. The only trouble I've ever had was posing for many photographs.

Last edited by BMalion; 04-09-2013 at 09:35 PM.
#22
Old 04-10-2013, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Roland Orzabal View Post
...blade ... a full-length sword ...
By the way, a "sword" is not always a "blade". A sword would normally be blunt.

Winston Churchill (as a young officer) records having his sword sharpened for active service, but even that was perhaps only the point: It's been well know for a fairly long time that a sword is only useful as a stabbing or bludgening weapon, not a cutting weapon.

All the actual real swords I've seen, from real soldiers or militia, have been blunt, because that is the default state they existed in.
#23
Old 04-10-2013, 01:50 AM
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I love these zombie threads. I was reading the secomd post thinking "man, this guy's all over it. He's saying exactly what I would have said". Then I realize it's me from almost NINE (9) years ago. Holy Crap.
#24
Old 04-10-2013, 05:04 AM
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Unfortunately it seems to be illegal in Texas. I think it would be a hell of a means of self-defense. Who's going to mess with someone with a katana strapped to their hip?
#25
Old 04-10-2013, 06:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
It's been well know for a fairly long time that a sword is only useful as a stabbing or bludgening weapon, not a cutting weapon.
I think it would be best if you provided a citation for this bit of common knowledge. Especially given that the subject of this thread is a katana, a sword designed for cutting!
#26
Old 04-10-2013, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
By the way, a "sword" is not always a "blade". A sword would normally be blunt.

...

All the actual real swords I've seen, from real soldiers or militia, have been blunt, because that is the default state they existed in.
Being blunt makes a sword "not a cutting weapon" but it doesn't make it less of a blade. Or what do you propose the part that's not the hilt be called?
#27
Old 04-10-2013, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLRogers View Post
I think it would be best if you provided a citation for this bit of common knowledge. Especially given that the subject of this thread is a katana, a sword designed for cutting!
I was thinking the same thing.


This is another question that has 50 answers in the US. In New Jersey its illegal. Except when it is.

Quote:
Any person who knowingly has in his possession any other (meaning those that weren't previously mention such as firearms) weapon under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for such lawful uses as it may have is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.
So if you have one you better have a valid reason for it. "In case someone needs stabbin" is not a valid reason.
#28
Old 04-10-2013, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
By the way, a "sword" is not always a "blade". A sword would normally be blunt.

Winston Churchill (as a young officer) records having his sword sharpened for active service, but even that was perhaps only the point: It's been well know for a fairly long time that a sword is only useful as a stabbing or bludgening weapon, not a cutting weapon.

All the actual real swords I've seen, from real soldiers or militia, have been blunt, because that is the default state they existed in.
Are you referring specifically to military dress swords, because otherwise this is just so much bullshit.
#29
Old 04-10-2013, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
By the way, a "sword" is not always a "blade". A sword would normally be blunt.
My swords are most definitely not blunt. Why would you blunt a sword blade?
#30
Old 04-10-2013, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary "Wombat" Robson View Post
My swords are most definitely not blunt. Why would you blunt a sword blade?
Because they were blunted slicing through your enemies.
#31
Old 04-10-2013, 09:26 AM
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I was just in Home Depot looking at the 22" machete they have for sale, and wondering if I could justify such a purchase to my wife. I did not think to notice whether they had tool belts that could accommodate one openly.
#32
Old 04-10-2013, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Loach View Post
Because they were blunted slicing through your enemies.
Fair enough, Loach. Fair enough.
#33
Old 04-11-2013, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary "Wombat" Robson View Post
My swords are most definitely not blunt. Why would you blunt a sword blade?
The sword exists in the blunt state because most of your time is spent in barracks or in training. It is only sharpened for active service.
#34
Old 04-11-2013, 05:59 PM
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FWIW by way of comparison, in the state of Victoria, Australia, it's illegal to carry a knife unless you have a legitimate work purpose. ie, heading home from work with the boxcutter in your pocket is legal, going out from home to the pub with a pocket knife is illegal.

Walking down the street with a sword would have the cops straight on your arse.

Stupid over reaction to teen gangs carrying knives. I keep a leatherman tool in my laptop bag. If I ever got pulled up by Police I'd potentially be up for carrying a controlled weapon and looking at a $1000 fine.

http://police.vic.gov.au/content...ument_ID=26793
#35
Old 04-12-2013, 03:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
The sword exists in the blunt state because most of your time is spent in barracks or in training. It is only sharpened for active service.
"Barracks"? I think you have a weird impression of what most sword-user's life was like.
#36
Old 04-12-2013, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
The sword exists in the blunt state because most of your time is spent in barracks or in training. It is only sharpened for active service.
What sword-wielders are you talking about?

I can see reenactors and military "display" swords being dull, but that's about it.

A modern collector or a swordfighter of old would never want to dull a good blade.
#37
Old 04-12-2013, 07:52 PM
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The only reason I left my blades dull, as a reenactor (as mentioned previously) was so that little kids wouldn't cut themselves touching it.
#38
Old 04-12-2013, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by awldune View Post
Can you provide any more info on this? I can't think of any use a gang would have for a katana that a switchblade, gun, or baseball bat wouldn't be better suited to.
Did you not see Kill Bill?
#39
Old 04-12-2013, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by coffeecat View Post

It's a decent cite, but it needs to be updated. Laws in some of the states have changed.
#40
Old 04-13-2013, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary "Wombat" Robson View Post
In Montana, it's legal to open-carry a sword and I do so regularly. I did have a discussion with the local sheriff about whether it counted as "concealed" if the sword was sheathed but the scabbard was visible. He figured it was still open-carry.
Of course all states are different, but generally "concealed" means carried in such a way that an ordinary person without any particular expertise is not put on notice that you are carrying a weapon.

Therefore a gun in a holster, or a sword in a sheath are generally not considered concealed.
#41
Old 04-13-2013, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by jtgain View Post
Of course all states are different, but generally "concealed" means carried in such a way that an ordinary person without any particular expertise is not put on notice that you are carrying a weapon.

Therefore a gun in a holster, or a sword in a sheath are generally not considered concealed.
That's what I told the sheriff, and he agreed.
#42
Old 04-13-2013, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Bear_Nenno View Post
I love these zombie threads. I was reading the secomd post thinking "man, this guy's all over it. He's saying exactly what I would have said". Then I realize it's me from almost NINE (9) years ago. Holy Crap.
That's hilarious. And while I was reading the first threads I said to myself "That question should have been asked years ago", not realizing it's a zombie!
#43
Old 06-13-2014, 11:50 AM
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concealed

a person cannot carry concealed. but the sheath is ABSOLUTELY neccessary. A) sword master be securely attached aor contained in the sheath B) the sword must be openly carried (not concealed C ) you must NOT repond in a rude or hostile manner while wearing a sword in public excapt in a situation where your private physical wellbeing is threatened. or someone else's well being
#44
Old 06-13-2014, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by swordsord View Post
a person cannot carry concealed. but the sheath is ABSOLUTELY neccessary. A) sword master be securely attached aor contained in the sheath B) the sword must be openly carried (not concealed C ) you must NOT repond in a rude or hostile manner while wearing a sword in public excapt in a situation where your private physical wellbeing is threatened. or someone else's well being
Do you have cites for any of this? Are these actual laws somewhere?
#45
Old 06-13-2014, 12:45 PM
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Knife law is much the same as Oz it seems in the UK. You can have a folding non locking pen knife of 3" for just carrying, but anything else you need a reason. Going fishing, chopping down vegetation etc is fine... Sword wise almost certainly not just generally, but I remember "Arthur Uther Pendragon" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Uther_Pendragon) on a news item being stopped by the cops as they surrounded Stonehenge one year at the Solstice he was carrying a Huge sword, the cops said you cant go anywhere with that!...he explained it was part of his religion and they just let him through!
#46
Old 06-13-2014, 01:03 PM
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I don't see how a scabbard would be any different than a typical holster, which isn't considered concealment of a gun (unless the holster itself is concealed).
#47
Old 06-13-2014, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by snailboy View Post
Unfortunately it seems to be illegal in Texas. I think it would be a hell of a means of self-defense. Who's going to mess with someone with a katana strapped to their hip?
Texas, the state where you can open carry a gun religiously yet a sword is illegal to do the same. You think they wouldn't have a problem with it since it's not as lethal as a gun.
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#48
Old 06-13-2014, 03:07 PM
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I know this is an old thread, but you will probably not be surprised to find out that in the US there is a Knife Rights Assn. Their issues seems to parallel some of the concealed carry laws for guns.

Here is a link to the organization and another from the NY Times about the issue.

http://kniferights.org/

http://nytimes.com/2010/12/05/us...anted=all&_r=0
#49
Old 06-13-2014, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bouv View Post
Heh, go to VT, no concealed weapon law. You can carry any weapon (except brass knuckles, blackjacks, switchblades, and a few other illegal weapons) with you in any way you want. In your pocket, brandished in your hand, up your butt, whatever you want. There are a few provisions, though. You can't have the intent to harm someone with it, you can't point a firearm at anyone except in self defense or in the line of duty, and certain locations don't allow it, such as schools, state buildings, etc...

From here.
If it was not so 'winter' there all the time, I would live in VT or NH. I like the results they get with their policies.

Don't like the taxes much though.
#50
Old 06-13-2014, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach View Post
::: snip :::::
So if you have one you better have a valid reason for it. "In case someone needs stabbin" is not a valid reason.

Boo Hiss !!!!!
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