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Discussion in 'Knife Laws' started by Ian Brandstetter, Aug 22, 2019.
Are there any laws against carrying a fixed blade knife in New Jersey?
NO ONE carries fixed blade knives in NJ unless you are clearly out hunting. You would draw attention to yourself immediately. I would say fewer than 1 in 50,000 people even carry an EDC pocketknife.
There is no good answer because of how poorly and ambiguously the law is written. The general idea (not at lawyer so read at your own risk) is that it is ok if "manifestly appropriate" for the situation you're in. In most everyday situations, that's an interesting argument to make and, as mentioned, would draw attention to you. I wouldn't do it. That said, the law clearly gives exceptions for while hunting or "out in the bush". I carry (at least) one fixed-blade when hunting (for field dressing), and sometimes a machete to clear the thorny bushes that abound in the area I hunt in.
I agree with your comment but I think that you're stats are very much off. In my workplace (office work), I know of several coworkers that EDC some pocketknife, so I would say it is more like 1 in 100 or 200. (And I would consider my workplace very restrictive.)
No doubt in certain industries or jobs, but even in the sticks of northern nj where I am I have yet to see someone with a clip visible on their pocket. Maybe they are carrying IN their pocket though
I’d honestly be nervous about carrying ANY knife in a state like New Jersey! At best, maybe a small SAK and I’d have to make sure I have a damn good reason for carrying it if I was ever, god forbid, stopped by a cop.
I live in Hunterdon County and I see people with knives clipped to their pocket regularly... in addition to the ones I know carry one deep in the pocket, like I do quite often.
I understand the concern and I too keep my distance from law enforcement, even though the ones in my locality seem pretty reasonable folks. Case law however seems to be on our side. I saw a lecture by Ethan Nappen (on utube) and he said that in case law, simple folding knifes are have been assumed appropriate until the DA proves that were intended for illicit purposes. Keep in mind though that, in NJ, self-defense is considered an illicit use...
There is a course being offered at Cherry Ridge gun range on exactly this topic. No need for speculation if you are genuinely interested here is the info:
USE OF FORCE SEMINAR AT
CHERRY RIDGE RANGE FEBRUARY 9
Don’t Miss this Important Presentation from U.S. Law Shield
Event is Free to ANJRPC Members!
Limited Seating -- Pre-Registration is Required
On Sunday February 9, 2020 from 4-7 p.m. U.S. Law Shield will present a seminar at Cherry Ridge Range on the justified use of force under NJ law. The event is FREE to ANJRPC members, and $10 for non-members.
Attorney Michael Giaramita Esq. walks seminar attendees step by step through what deadly force is and how it is viewed in the court of law. Using real case examples and situations that have occurred both on the street and in the home. He also breaks down New Jersey’s infamous “Duty to retreat” law and castle doctrine.
In the U.S., there are several situations in which a person is justified in using force or deadly force. Come to this seminar and learn:
1.The difference between "force" and "deadly force"
2.When a person may use deadly force against another to protect themselves
or a third person;
3.Whether displaying a weapon constitutes the use of deadly force;
4.New Jersey’s view on deadly force and “duty to retreat”.
There will also be a brief presentation about the U.S. Law Shield prepaid legal defense program.
Seats are limited and will fill up fast so sign up today! Click here to register!
Or register with our flyer and QR scan code here!
Click here for directions to Cherry Ridge.
Evan Nappen is his name, and yeah, I watched his video on YouTube about NJ’s knife laws. It was very informative and something worth referencing. He also wrote the book “Knife Laws of the U.S.” covering the laws in all 50 states.
He mentioned that if you’re caught with any of the knives in the per se category of NJ’s law on prohibited weapons and devices, namely switchblades, gravity knives, dirks, daggers, stilettos and ballistic knives, the burden is on you to prove in court that you had an “explainable lawful purpose” for possessing the knife. Whereas, if you’re carrying any other knife that’s legal under the state law, the burden would be on the prosecutors to prove you were using it with the intent to commit a crime. IOW, NJ is somewhat similar to PA with its knife laws. Here in PA, the “curio exception” basically goes by the concept that you can legally own switchblades, brass knuckles, blackjacks, etc. if you have a good case showing you were possessing them for a lawful purpose, such as keeping them as part of a collection or display pieces or using them as a theatrical props. Nappen said he defended a collector in NJ who got busted over a suitcase full of switchblades found in the trunk of his car during a traffic stop. They got the charges thrown out and the knives returned to him once they proved in court that they were purchased for collection purposes.
Nappen’s book is a little dated now since some of the state laws covered have changed since it was published (2015), but it’s still a good, informative read.