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Knives and the Second Amendment
The Volokh Conspiracy ^ | 25 March, 2013 | David Kopel

Posted on 03/25/2013 12:05:17 PM PDT by marktwain


That’s the title of my forthcoming article in the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform. My co-authors are Clayton Cramer and Joe Olson. The abstract:

This Article is the first scholarly analysis of knives and the Second Amendment. Knives are clearly among the “arms” which are protected by the Second Amendment. Under the Supreme Court’s standard in District of Columbia v. Heller, knives are Second Amendment “arms” because they are “typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes,” including self-defense.

Bans of knives which open in a convenient way (bans on switchblades, gravity knives, and butterfly knives) are unconstitutional. Likewise unconstitutional are bans on folding knives which, after being opened, have a safety lock to prevent inadvertent closure.

Prohibitions on the carrying of knives in general, or of particular knives, are unconstitutional. There is no knife which is more dangerous than a modern handgun; to the contrary, knives are much less dangerous. Therefore, restrictions on the carrying of handguns set the upper limit for restrictions on knife carrying.

The Article is just the beginning of long overdue scholarly analysis of laws about knives. Not all households own firearms, but almost every household owns a knife, even if we do not count table knives. Issues involving knife carrying come up quite frequently in state criminal courts, but the legal academy has thus far failed to provide the courts with useful guidance. Persons who are interested in writing on Second Amendment issues, and who wish to make an original contribution, will find that there is plenty to write about.

Source, The Volokh Conspiracy


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: banglist; constitution; guncontrol; knife; knives; secondamendment
There is no question that knives are arms covered by the Second Amendment.
1 posted on 03/25/2013 12:05:18 PM PDT by marktwain
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To: marktwain

What about pointed sticks?


2 posted on 03/25/2013 12:06:21 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: marktwain

United Kingdom

The 1689 Bill of Rights ensured that only Parliament and not the King could restrict the right of the people to bear arms. Over the last 60 years, Parliament has enacted a series of increasingly restrictive laws and acts regarding the possession and use of knives and bladed tools. The United Kingdom (to include England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) has one of the most comprehensive set of laws of any developed nation governing an individual’s right to import, purchase, possess, sell, and carry knives.[34]


3 posted on 03/25/2013 12:07:40 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Due Process 2013: "Burn the M*****-F***er Down!")
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To: dfwgator
I know. You're thinking, "what about self defense against fresh fruit?"


4 posted on 03/25/2013 12:10:01 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Due Process 2013: "Burn the M*****-F***er Down!")
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To: dfwgator; All

What about pointed sticks?

If they are weapons, and can be carried, I believe they should be covered.

I recall an old Arizona Supreme Court decision, though, that claimed that nun-chucks were not military issue, and therefore were not covered by the Constitution.


5 posted on 03/25/2013 12:10:42 PM PDT by marktwain (The MSM must die for the Republic to live. Long live the new media!)
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To: marktwain
There is no question that knives are arms covered by the Second Amendment.


Well that depends. You see the founders clearly meant knives as well, but what would they think of modern assault knives. Maybe they didn't mean that coverage to include modern stainless steel knives, especially if they have camouflage handles. These knives are a far cry scarier than their revolution era counterparts./sarc
6 posted on 03/25/2013 12:14:37 PM PDT by Idaho_Cowboy (Ride for the Brand. Joshua 24:15)
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To: Idaho_Cowboy

i wouldn’t mind carrying a “revolutionary” era knife. a knife with a 4-6” fixed blade is much more utile than a 3” folder.


7 posted on 03/25/2013 12:21:40 PM PDT by absolootezer0 (2x divorced tattooed pierced harley hatin meghan mccain luvin' REAL beer drinkin' smoker ..what?)
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To: marktwain

So “keep and bear arms” means I can go out with one of my swords on my belt?

AWESOME!!!!


8 posted on 03/25/2013 12:22:57 PM PDT by rfreedom4u (I have a copy of the Constitution! And I'm not afraid to use it!)
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To: marktwain
Bans of knives which open in a convenient way (bans on switchblades, gravity knives, and butterfly knives) are unconstitutional.

One more thing cops are allowed to have but "civilians" are not.

9 posted on 03/25/2013 12:25:29 PM PDT by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: marktwain

I thought the Second Amendment covered weapons customarily used by the military.

Wasn’t that the argument used back in 1939 to justify lawas against sawed off shot-guns and silencers?

Don’t get me wrong - I love knives - and swords also.


10 posted on 03/25/2013 12:32:11 PM PDT by ZULU (See: http://gatesofvienna.net/)
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To: marktwain

1887 Webster`s Dictionary:
“to bear, bear v.t., “
“1. to support and move; or carry
2. To be equipped, furnished, or marked with;
to have as belonging, distinguishing, identifying, or characterizing; as to bear a sword,


11 posted on 03/25/2013 12:32:20 PM PDT by bunkerhill7 ("The Second Amendment has no limits on firepower"-NY State Senator Marchione.)
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To: rfreedom4u; All
So “keep and bear arms” means I can go out with one of my swords on my belt?

Hard to see how it does *not* mean that. It would be an excellent test case.

12 posted on 03/25/2013 12:34:13 PM PDT by marktwain (The MSM must die for the Republic to live. Long live the new media!)
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To: ZULU; All

The “Miller” case explicitly said that arms in common use by the military were protected.

The “Heller” decision expanded that, and said arms commonly available and useful for self defense were included.

The “McDonald” decision said that the protections of the Second Amendment applied to both the federal and state governments.


13 posted on 03/25/2013 12:39:26 PM PDT by marktwain (The MSM must die for the Republic to live. Long live the new media!)
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To: marktwain


14 posted on 03/25/2013 12:40:27 PM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas exercitus gerit ;-{)
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To: marktwain

If they are weapons that could be used in either personal or National defense... They are covered.

Keep and Bear are two separate Rights relating to armaments. Just as with the 1st Amendment having a Right to your own religion and a right to freedom of speech.


15 posted on 03/25/2013 12:41:41 PM PDT by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: marktwain

When was the McDonald decision rendered?


16 posted on 03/25/2013 12:44:17 PM PDT by ZULU (See: http://gatesofvienna.net/)
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To: marktwain; JRandomFreeper
Funny knives would be mentioned today. Yesterday, I was looking for a machete and thought the “Cold Steel 24 inch machete” would be the one to get. It's not expensive and I could use it to chop off very thin limbs that insist on coming over a neighbors fence into my back garden and dumping its leaves in my garden every fall.

I have to cut these back every year and using a pruner to do that takes a long time and it's heavy to hold up there. Some chops with a machete should get rid of those very thin limbs quickly.

But now, are you telling me knives could be outlawed? And would that include machetes? I mean, you could whack off the head of a zombie with one of these and still stay almost two feet away from the zombie. :o)

Will law abiding citizens have to go through a background check to buy a machete so the government would know I had one and where I live? Is the government going to check my long pants to see if I have a machete hidden in my pants? :o)

I already have a major brand “assault” knife, the up and personal type that folds and flips out but right now I don't know where it is. Some work had to be done in my downstairs and that knife got moved to somewhere. Will the government say I have hidden that knife so they can't find it? :o)

Hussein and his rules and laws are so unconstitutional - I'm not giving up my guns, my ammo, my assault knife I can't find, or that machete when I get that.

And if anyone tries to get in my house, besides my guns, I will have a machete to chop off the head of the bad guy after I shoot him to make sure he's not getting up again. Now that drastic action would be in the case of a SHTF condition. :o)

17 posted on 03/25/2013 12:49:03 PM PDT by Marcella (Prepping can save your life today. Going Galt is freedom.)
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To: ZULU; All

When was the McDonald decision rendered?

June 28th, 2010

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonald_v._Chicago


18 posted on 03/25/2013 12:51:25 PM PDT by marktwain (The MSM must die for the Republic to live. Long live the new media!)
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To: marktwain


19 posted on 03/25/2013 12:54:46 PM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas exercitus gerit ;-{)
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To: absolootezer0
Yep. Or the old British musket bayonets that were triangular with three sharp edges instead of two. It's darn hard to stitch up a triangular hole...
20 posted on 03/25/2013 12:55:24 PM PDT by Idaho_Cowboy (Ride for the Brand. Joshua 24:15)
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To: marktwain

Thanks for that information!


21 posted on 03/25/2013 12:55:39 PM PDT by ZULU (See: http://gatesofvienna.net/)
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To: Idaho_Cowboy
To keep and bear rifles are rights under the Second Amendment.

"A bayonet (from French baïonnette) is a knife, sword, or spike-shaped weapon designed to fit in, on, over or underneath the muzzle of a rifle, musket or similar ..."

-wiki

A bayonet is part of a rifle.- gimme a break

The British bayoneted Americans on Bunker Hill. The bayonets were attached to their FIREARMs- ' Gimme a break.

22 posted on 03/25/2013 12:59:07 PM PDT by bunkerhill7 ("The Second Amendment has no limits on firepower"-NY State Senator Marchione.)
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To: marktwain
I am much more comfortable carrying my knife than my pistol. I carry the knife everywhere. The pistol, almost everywhere.

In close combat situations, I feel the knife will be as much of a deterrent as the pistol. Example: In an elevator. Having a pistol could be a disadvantage.

I'll never give up either but would rather use the knife. It opens fast, is 8" when open and always has a very serious edge on it.

23 posted on 03/25/2013 1:01:26 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (The Constitution does not guarantee public safety, it guarantees liberty.)
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To: dfwgator
What about pointed sticks?

Suppose someone comes at you with a banana...

24 posted on 03/25/2013 1:02:11 PM PDT by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: zeugma

Suppose he’s got a bunch.


25 posted on 03/25/2013 1:02:28 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Idaho_Cowboy

Triangular blades are very good against chain mail. Pries the little links right open.


26 posted on 03/25/2013 1:03:30 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (I am a dissident. Will you join me? My name is John....)
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To: marktwain

Weird. I was just discussing this with my daughter in the car this morning. I told her I have no problem with Sikhs carrying their Kirpans. Then I said the rest of us should be allowed to carry knives or swords or whatever. :)


27 posted on 03/25/2013 1:04:43 PM PDT by Politicalmom (Liberalism. Ideas so great they have to be mandatory.-FReeper Osage Orange)
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To: TigersEye

Actually here in Iowa you can legally carry a switchblade knife if you have a permit to carry a gun. I have such a permit and I am currently carrying a very nice Italian switchblade in my back pocket right next to my wallet.

Brass knuckles are also legal to carry with a permit.


28 posted on 03/25/2013 1:10:51 PM PDT by History Repeats (sic transit gloria mundi)
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To: marktwain

Curiously, knives are covered under the Idaho concealed weapons legislation going back to the olden days. You can’t carry a “dirk” into “a mining camp”. I suppose you still can’t. Legally.


29 posted on 03/25/2013 1:26:27 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: History Repeats

That’s interesting. Shouldn’t have to have a permit to exercise one’s 2nd Amendment rights but that’s another issue. I was looking at some very nice very expensive OTF (out of the front) automatic knives on the web recently. They only sell to LE and the military.


30 posted on 03/25/2013 1:35:37 PM PDT by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: ZULU

The Texas court system ruled in the 1870s that only blades as such that are used by the military would be protected by the Second Amendment. Bayonets and sabers were permissible, daggers, sword-canes, and so on were not. Of course, that’s only a state ruling, not federal, and predates any modern rulings.

http://www.claytoncramer.com/primary/rkbadecisions/English1872.pdf


31 posted on 03/25/2013 1:47:21 PM PDT by JerseyanExile
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To: JerseyanExile
Does it matter what military? I'm partial to my kukri.


32 posted on 03/25/2013 1:52:20 PM PDT by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: marktwain

“Bans of knives which open in a convenient way (bans on switchblades, gravity knives, and butterfly knives) are unconstitutional.”

http://www.nicnac.net/


33 posted on 03/25/2013 2:29:20 PM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: marktwain

I gave my oldest sons shot guns when they were 12 and 13 respectively, knives when they were about 10. That was nearly 30 years ago, now I have a 13 year old son and gave him a pocket knife a couple of years ago but he dare not carry it to school.

I’d give him a shot gun too but we live where there’s no where near that’s convenient to shoot it. I may buy him one anyway.


34 posted on 03/25/2013 2:41:46 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (_.. ._. .. _. _._ __ ___ ._. . ___ ..._ ._ ._.. _ .. _. .)
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To: Graybeard58

My two boys, 13 and 16 have about 70 knives between them. I’ve got at least a half dozen, including a really cool one a friend just gave me.

I rarely venture out with a tool in my pocket.


35 posted on 03/25/2013 8:24:35 PM PDT by cyclotic (In a society of wolves, you do not fight back by creating more sheep-Dan Bongino)
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To: TigersEye

I agree totally about the permit to exercise a right.

I currently own 18 various switchblades. Some are traditional, one is an out the front, a few are very hard to come by. You can find them for sale at many of the gun shows around here. Check your local gun shows and see if there are any for sale there. I have a couple of friends who sell knives at the gun shows and one gets his hands on all of the various models. Even those that are supposed to only go to law enforcement. I bought one off of him a number of years back that was made only for the Navy Seals. It is a big brute with no markings. Completely sterile so that it can’t be traced back to country of origin.

Check out some of the on line knife auctions and you’ll find some of the ones you are talking about.


36 posted on 03/26/2013 9:22:53 AM PDT by History Repeats (sic transit gloria mundi)
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To: History Repeats
I was trying to remember what 'out the front' knives were called yesterday and did a search to refresh my memory. These are the expensive ones I was looking at a while back. I don't see a restriction on that website although it might not show until you try go to the checkout page. They look real sweet but I doubt that I will ever pay that much for any knife. But there are a lot of other brands for far less money.

Thanks for the tips on how to find them. I should probably be practical and look for a new quality fixed blade knife. Practical isn't that much fun though.

37 posted on 03/26/2013 1:25:07 PM PDT by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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