- Any weapon that is disguised or not immediately recognizable as a weapon (any type of knife that is designed to look like an air gauge, lipstick case, writing pen, walking cane, belt buckle, hair brush, etc.)
- Any type of hardened knuckles (wooden, metal or composite / plastic)
- Any type of billy club, blackjack, sap, sandbag, sandclub, sap or slungshot (this is not a typo. A "slungshot", also called a "monkey fist", is a weighted ball on a rope). Courts have determined that "billy club" includes any type of bat, stick, club or baton if it's intended use is a weapon, even for home defense. Wait, that can't be right. But it is. Keeping a baseball bat under your bed as a weapon for home defense is arguably illegal in California. That's right, a loaded shotgun under the bed = legal. Baseball bat under the bed = illegal. Of course, it would be virtually impossible for police to enforce this absurd law unless the bat were used to commit some sort of crime. In the absence of some other criminal activity, I would argue that the 2nd Amendment's Right to Keep & Bear Arms trumps California's nonsensical rule against club-type weapons in the home for self-defense. I've never heard of a law-abiding person being prosecuted for possession of a baseball bat in his own home.
- Class 1 also includes "nunchaku" (nunchucks), throwing stars and other "martial arts-type" weapons, with exceptions for martial arts schools and instructors.
- Switchblades and butterfly knives with blades longer than 2 inches fall within this class -- they may be owned and possessed at home, but not in public or in your car. You may not sell them, loan them to a friend, give them away, or transfer them to any other person.
- Any dirk or dagger. "Dirk" and "dagger" are both synonymous terms for stabbing weapons. This includes anything with a fixed blade, capable of being used to inflict death or serious injury by stabbing. Folding knifes don't count, no matter how big they are, as long as the blade is not extended and locked into place while concealed. Section 20200 of the California Penal Code reads, "A knife carried in a sheath that is worn openly suspended from the waist of the wearer is not concealed within the meaning of [this code]".
- When it comes to knives, size really doesn't matter in California. A few local codes prohibit concealed knives of various lengths, but the state Penal Code makes no distinction between giant knives and tiny ones. If the knife folds, it may be carried concealed, even if the blade is a foot long. If the blade is fixed, it may NOT be worn concealed, even if the blade is only 3 inches. And there is no maximum length for blades that are worn openly. That means swords are legal, but small neck knives are not. I didn't make up these rules.
- Tear gas / pepper spray
- Stun guns
- Folding knifes, as long as the blade is not open and locked into place while concealed.
There are many possible defenses to weapons charges in California. Often, illegal weapons are discovered by police during illegal searches of your property. If a search is performed without your permission, without probable cause and without a warrant, there may be grounds to suppress anything discovered as a result of that search. Only a qualified criminal defense attorney can tell you whether or not you might have a defense based on an illegal search or a violation of your right to privacy.
For more information visit our website. Orange County Weapons Attorney.