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Time to Cause some trouble..sheath knives

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More banners in action. Cleveland Codified Ordinances:


"(a) No person shall knowingly carry, have in his possession or ready at hand any . . . knife having a blade two and one-half inches in length or longer [e.g. a normal Swiss Army Knife]. . . while at or about a public place.


(b) As used in this section, "public place" means any place to which the general public has access and a right to resort for business, entertainment or other lawful purpose, but does not necessarily mean a place devoted solely to the uses of the public. It also includes the front or immediate area of any store, shop, restaurant, tavern or other place of business and any grounds, areas or parks where persons would congregate.

. . .


(d) This section shall not apply if any weapon in division (a) of this section was part of a public weapon display, show or exhibition, or was in the possession of a person participating in an organized match, competition or practice session.

. . .


(f) It is an affirmative defense to a charge under this section that the actor was not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing a knife having a blade two and one-half inches in length or longer, and that either (i) the actor at the time was engaged in a lawful business or pursuit and that business or pursuit requires a knife having a blade two and one-half inches in length or longer as a tool of trade or pursuit, or (ii) the knife having a blade two and one-half inches in length or longer was kept ready at hand by the actor for defense purposes, while he was engaged in his lawful business or occupation, which business or occupation was of such character or at such a place as to render the actor particularly susceptible to criminal attack, such as would justify a prudent man in having such a knife ready at hand.


(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 601.13 and division (a) of Section 601.99, whoever violates this section is guilty of possessing certain weapons on or about public places and shall be fined not less than three hundred dollars ($300.00), nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), and imprisoned for not less than three (3) days, nor more than six (6) months. No part of this sentence shall, in any case whatsoever, be suspended or otherwise reduced.

(Ord. No. 1361-01. Passed 8-15-01, eff. 8-24-01)"



So is eating a steak at a restaurant a "lawful pursuit" so you can raise your affirmative defense at criminal trial? One hopes so. Really, this is another law only rolled out to pile on someone the law does not like. Otherwise, a weekend of business at McD's would fill the jails, an affirmative defense being no bar to arrest. After all, it does not say "steel" or even "metal." So that plastic "knife" with a 3" blade . . . .


(Imagine how stiff a minimum $300 fine was in 1901. Half a year's pay for many ordinary working people.)

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You aren't going to stir up any trouble.


The BSA doesn't ban sheath knives. They simply advise scouters to avoid large sheath knives due to their impracticality.


Some councils (mostly you'll see this at the council-run camp) ban sheath knives to some extent, typically allowing fillet/fish knives.


In the councils that don't ban them, some troops will as a matter of policy.


As far as politicking for sheath knives in a troop which discourages or bans them (for whatever reason) you are facing an uphill battle, for one primary reason:


There is no camp chore in the scout handbook, fieldbook, requirements book, etc which requires the use of a fixed blade sheath knife. You can clean and cook fish without one. You can hunt and clean game without one. Yes, a 4" drop point fixed blade has it's advantages, but there have been many a deer cleaned with a Buck Folding Hunter.


Bottom line, you don't need them, and some councils/troops don't see the point of letting boys tote them around, given the disadvantages they possess (and they do have some disadvantages over folders).


OP, I recommend you get someone to sharpen the cooking knives in the chuck box and take a look at what kind of knife handling skills you're teaching, because while there are reasons to allow fixed blade sheath knives, your failures in those two areas aren't among them.

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Yeah, the Cary knife ban is just a myth, as far as I can tell. I think Eagle92 keeps mentioning it just to tweak me.


Mostly we eat chickens of which the boys have personally sliced off the heads. That, and pop-tarts.

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Nope, not trying to tweak. I read the statute(sp) somewhere while looking it up. Friend of mine who is a retired LEO told me this, and I trusted him, but verified. If I can find the link, after Only in America.... I'll post it.

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I have a nice fixed blade knife. It feels like a quality hand tool should... a joy to use... handy size too. But I rarely use it because I find my Leatherman multi-tool more convenient to carry. The Leatherman is with me pretty much every day.


Around here, they say fixed blades are forbidden for scouting. They use the term "sheath-knives." But I understand that they don't mean my folding Leatherman even though it does have a sheath. I suppose if someone wanted to be cute they could walk around with a gladius w/o a sheath - "See? No sheath... it's not a sheath knife."


I haven't argued the point w/ anyone... haven't even asked exactly what rule this is that forbids them. Maybe I'm becoming too agreeably compliant...


...first, they came for the fixed blade knife carriers, and I said nothing because I carry a folder.


....then, they came for the bare headed and, I said nothing because I prefer to wear a hat


....then, they came for the open-toed shoe wearers and strung me up by my Tevas because there was no one left to stand up for me - all the fixed blade carrying, bare headed guys had been taken away.

(This message has been edited by Callooh! Callay!)

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I'd be curious to see the reference.


You can see the ordinances of the town of Cary at American Legal Publishing at http://www.amlegal.com/library/nc/cary.shtml


I searched on the words knife and knives and the only hit was this one dealing with carrying knives in the town parks [emphasis mine]No person shall carry a knife upon his person having a blade of three inches or longer or have possession of or discharge a BB gun, air rifle, bow and arrow or any other type of lethal weapon in any park except at public exhibitions and with a permit from the director of parks and recreation.

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Ok here's Raleigh's code. Now grant you they don'tuse the words 'Sheath Knife," but since they use "but not limited to" and "bowie knife, dirk, dagger," you can bet someone calling a sheath knife a Bowie.




It shall be unlawful for any person to possess or carry on or about his person, whether openly or concealed, any deadly weapon including but not limited to any: bowie knife, dirk, dagger, sling-slot, loaded cane, metallic knuckles, razor, shurikin, stun gun, pistol, revolver, gun, rifle, or nightstick; at any meeting, assemblage, or parade on any property, street, alley or other public way, park, greenway on which any activity is undertaken under the auspices, supervision, or sponsorship of the City of Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department.


This section shall not apply to law enforcement or other government personnel acting within the scope of their employment; nor shall this section apply to weapons used solely for instructional classes or for officially sanctioned ceremonial purposes.


Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of five hundred dollars ($500.00) and/or imprisonment. In addition to said punishment, any person convicted under this section will be prohibited from entering on park property of the City or participating in Parks and Recreation activities for a period of up to one year.


(Code 1959 , 16-29; Ord. No. 1992-39, 1, 9-1-92)


In reference to Cary, MEA CULPA. It's in refernce to city owned properties: parks, greeen ways, building, parking lots, etc.

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so back to the OP - why don't you all modernize / wordsmith this and let me know how it could be more clear, consise and complete. Comments don't count / must be ready to copy edit:


A sharp pocketknife with a can opener on it is an invaluable backcountry tool. Keep it clean, sharp, and handy. Avoid large sheath knives. They are heavy and awkward to carry, and unnecessary for most camp chores except for cleaning fish. Since its inception, Boy Scouting has relied heavily on an outdoor program to achieve its objectives. This program meets more of the purposes of Scouting than any other single feature. We believe we have a duty to instill in our members, youth and adult, the knowledge of how to use, handle, and store legally owned knives with the highest concern for safety and responsibility.


Rememberknives are not allowed on school premises, nor can they be taken aboard commercial aircraft.



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If a fileting knife is "large," and the exception in the G2SS knife policy implies that it is, "large" relates solely to blade length, which is not completely rational. Moreover, fileting knives are notably neither "awkward" nor hard to carry.



Since its inception, Boy Scouting has relied heavily on an outdoor program to achieve its objectives. This program meets more of the purposes of Scouting than any other single feature. Knives are a primary outdoor tool, and we believe we have a duty to instill in our members, youth and adult, the knowledge of how to use, handle, and store legally owned knives with the highest concern for safety and responsibility. However, knives that have been optimized as weapons, such as double-edged knives, Bowie knives, switchblades, and tantos, have no place in Scouting and are prohibited. Further, except for cleaning fish or cooking, relatively heavy knives and knives with blades in excess of four inches in length should be avoided as they are awkward to use and carry and are unnecessary for most camp chores. Units and local Councils may enact rules to effectuate the last two sentences of this policy but may not ban all sheath knives or all fixed-blade knives.

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