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revised EXCERPTS 7/14/05

The full text CA state Penal Code can be found online at:

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html


12020.  (a) Any person in this state who does any of the following
is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year
or in the state prison:

  (1) Manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the
state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives,
lends, or possesses... any ballistic knife, any nunchaku, any metal
knuckles, any belt buckle knife, any leaded cane, any shuriken,
any lipstick case knife, any cane sword, any shobi-zue, any air gauge
knife, any writing pen knife, or any instrument or weapon
of the kind commonly known as a blackjack, slungshot, billy,
sandclub, sap, or sandbag... [see below for definitions]

  (4) Carries concealed upon his or her person any dirk or dagger.
      see (32)(e)(24) below, for definitions.
 
  (b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to any of the following:
  (3) The possession of a nunchaku on the premises of a school which
holds a regulatory or business license and teaches the arts of
self-defense.
  (4) The manufacture of a nunchaku for sale to, or the sale of a
nunchaku to, a school which holds a regulatory or business license
and teaches the arts of self-defense.
 

(32)(e)(3) As used in this section, a "nunchaku" means an instrument
consisting of two or more sticks, clubs, bars or rods to be used as
handles, connected by a rope, cord, wire, or chain, in the design of
a weapon used in connection with the practice of a system of
self-defense such as karate.
  (7) As used in this section, "metal knuckles" means any device
or instrument made wholly or partially of metal which is worn for
purposes of offense or defense in or on the hand and which either
protects the wearer's hand while striking a blow or increases the
force of impact from the blow or injury to the individual receiving
the blow.  The metal contained in the device may help support the
hand or fist, provide a shield to protect it, or consist of
projections or studs which would contact the individual receiving a
blow.
  (8) As used in this section, a "ballistic knife" means a device
that propels a knifelike blade as a projectile by means of a coil
spring, elastic material, or compressed gas.  Ballistic knife does
not include any device which propels an arrow or a bolt by means of
any common bow, compound bow, crossbow, or underwater speargun.
  (11) As used in this section, a "shuriken" means any instrument,
without handles, consisting of a metal plate having three or more
radiating points with one or more sharp edges and designed in the
shape of a polygon, trefoil, cross, star, diamond, or other geometric
shape for use as a weapon for throwing.
  (13) As used in this section, a "belt buckle knife" is a knife
which is made an integral part of a belt buckle and consists of a
blade with a length of at least 21/2 inches.
  (14) As used in this section, a "lipstick case knife" means a
knife enclosed within and made an integral part of a lipstick case.
  (15) As used in this section, a "cane sword" means a cane, swagger
stick, stick, staff, rod, pole, umbrella, or similar device, having
concealed within it a blade that may be used as a sword or stiletto.
  (16) As used in this section, a "shobi-zue" means a staff, crutch,
stick, rod, or pole concealing a knife or blade within it which may
be exposed by a flip of the wrist or by a mechanical action.
  (17) As used in this section, a "leaded cane" means a staff,
crutch, stick, rod, pole, or similar device, unnaturally weighted
with lead.
  (18) As used in this section, an "air gauge knife" means a device
that appears to be an air gauge but has concealed within it a
pointed, metallic shaft that is designed to be a stabbing instrument
which is exposed by mechanical action or gravity which locks into
place when extended.
  (19) As used in this section, a "writing pen knife" means a device
that appears to be a writing pen but has concealed within it a
pointed, metallic shaft that is designed to be a stabbing instrument
which is exposed by mechanical action or gravity which locks into
place when extended or the pointed, metallic shaft is exposed by the
removal of the cap or cover on the device.
  (24) As used in this section, a "dirk" or "dagger" means a knife
or other instrument with or without a handguard that is capable of
ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury
or death.  A nonlocking folding knife, a folding knife that is not
prohibited by Section 653k, or a pocketknife is capable of ready use
as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or death
only if the blade of the knife is exposed and locked into position.
  (24)(d) Knives carried in sheaths which are worn openly suspended from
the waist of the wearer are not concealed within the meaning of this
section.

* * * * * * *

Plastic Knuckles


12020.1.  Any person in this state who commercially manufactures or
causes to be commercially manufactured, or who knowingly imports into
the state for commercial sale, keeps for commercial sale, or offers
or exposes for commercial sale, any hard plastic knuckles is guilty
of a misdemeanor.  As used in this section, "hard plastic knuckles"
means any device or instrument made wholly or partially of plastic
that is not a metal knuckle as defined in paragraph (7) of
subdivision (c) of Section 12020, that is worn for purposes of
offense or defense in or on the hand, and that either protects the
wearer's hand while striking a blow or increases the force of impact
from the blow or injury to the individual receiving the blow.  The
plastic contained in the device may help support the hand or fist,
provide a shield to protect it, or consist of projections or studs
that would contact the individual receiving a blow.

* * * * * *

Switchblades


653k.  Every person who possesses in the passenger's or driver's
area of any motor vehicle in any public place or place open to the
public, carries upon his or her person, and every person who sells,
offers for sale, exposes for sale, loans, transfers, or gives to any
other person a switchblade knife having a blade two or more inches in
length is guilty of a misdemeanor.
  For the purposes of this section, "switchblade knife" means a
knife having the appearance of a pocketknife and includes a
spring-blade knife, snap-blade knife, gravity knife or any other
similar type knife, the blade or blades of which are two or more
inches in length and which can be released automatically by a flick
of a button, pressure on the handle, flip of the wrist or other
mechanical device, or is released by the weight of the blade or by
any type of mechanism whatsoever.  "Switchblade knife" does not
include a knife that opens with one hand utilizing thumb pressure
applied solely to the blade of the knife or a thumb stud attached to
the blade, provided that the knife has a detent or other mechanism
that provides resistance that must be overcome in opening the blade,
or that biases the blade back toward its closed position.
  For purposes of this section, "passenger's or driver's area" means
that part of a motor vehicle which is designed to carry the driver
and passengers, including any interior compartment or space therein.




 California case law:
Butterfly knife which has blade in excess of two inches is
  "switch-blade knife" within meaning of... 653k. [Attorney
  General's opinion 11-19-1985.]




* * * * * * * * * * *

Undetectable Knives


12001.1.  (a) Any person in this state who commercially manufactures
or causes to be commercially manufactured, or who knowingly imports
into the state for commercial sale, keeps for commercial sale, or
offers or exposes for commercial sale, any undetectable knife is
guilty of a misdemeanor.  As used in this section, an "undetectable
knife" means any knife or other instrument with or without a
handguard that is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may
inflict great bodily injury or death that is commercially
manufactured to be used as a weapon and is not detectable by a metal
detector or magnetometer, either handheld or otherwise, that is set
at standard calibration.
  (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, commencing January
1, 2000, all knives or other instrument with or without a handguard
that is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict
great bodily injury or death that are commercially manufactured in
this state that utilize materials that are not detectable by a metal
detector or magnetometer, shall be manufactured to include materials
that will ensure they are detectable by a metal detector or
magnetometer, either handheld or otherwise, that is set at standard
calibration.
  (c) This section shall not apply to the manufacture or importation
of undetectable knives for sale to a law enforcement or military
entity nor shall this section apply to the subsequent sale of these
knives to a law enforcement or military entity.
  (d) This section shall not apply to the manufacture or importation
of undetectable knives for sale to federal, state, and local
historical societies, museums, and institutional collections which
are open to the public, provided that the undetectable knives are
properly housed and secured from unauthorized handling, nor shall
this section apply to the subsequent sale of the knives to these
societies, museums, and collections.



* * * * * * * * *

Knives in Schools


626.10.  (a) Any person, except a duly appointed peace officer as
defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of
Part 2, a full-time paid peace officer of another state or the
federal government who is carrying out official duties while in this
state, a person summoned by any officer to assist in making arrests
or preserving the peace while the person is actually engaged in
assisting any officer, or a member of the military forces of this
state or the United States who is engaged in the performance of his
or her duties, who brings or possesses any dirk, dagger, ice pick,
knife having a blade longer than 21/2 inches, folding knife with a
blade that locks into place, a razor with an unguarded blade, a
taser, or a stun gun, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 244.5,
any instrument that expels a metallic projectile such as a BB or a
pellet, through the force of air pressure, CO2 pressure, or spring
action, or any spot marker gun, upon the grounds of, or within, any
public or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or any
of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, is guilty of a public offense,
punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year,
or by imprisonment in the state prison.
  (b) Any person, except a duly appointed peace officer as defined
in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2, a
full-time paid peace officer of another state or the federal
government who is carrying out official duties while in this state, a
person summoned by any officer to assist in making arrests or
preserving the peace while the person is actually engaged in
assisting any officer, or a member of the military forces of this
state or the United States who is engaged in the performance of his
or her duties, who brings or possesses any dirk, dagger, ice pick, or
knife having a fixed blade longer than 21/2 inches upon the grounds
of, or within, any private university, the University of California,
the California State University, or the California Community Colleges
is guilty of a public offense, punishable by imprisonment in a
county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment in the state
prison.
  (c) Subdivisions (a) and (b) do not apply to any person who brings
or possesses a knife having a blade longer than 21/2 inches or a
razor with an unguarded blade upon the grounds of, or within, a
public or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or any
of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, or any private university, state
university, or community college at the direction of a faculty member
of the private university, state university, or community college,
or a certificated or classified employee of the school for use in a
private university, state university, community college, or
school-sponsored activity or class.
  (d) Subdivisions (a) and (b) do not apply to any person who brings
or possesses an ice pick, a knife having a blade longer than 21/2
inches, or a razor with an unguarded blade upon the grounds of, or
within, a public or private school providing instruction in
kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, or any private
university, state university, or community college for a lawful
purpose within the scope of the person's employment.
  (e) Subdivision (b) does not apply to any person who brings or
possesses an ice pick or a knife having a fixed blade longer than
21/2 inches upon the grounds of, or within, any private university,
state university, or community college for lawful use in or around a
residence or residential facility located upon those grounds or for
lawful use in food preparation or consumption.
  (f) Subdivision (a) does  not apply to any person who brings an
instrument that expels a metallic projectile such as a BB or a
pellet, through the force of air pressure, CO2 pressure, or spring
action, or any spot marker gun upon the grounds of, or within, a
public or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or any
of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, if the person has the written
permission of the school principal or his or her designee.
  (g) Any certificated or classified employee or school peace
officer of a public or private school providing instruction in
kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, may seize any of
the weapons described in subdivision (a), and any certificated or
classified employee or school peace officer of any private
university, state university, or community college may seize any of
the weapons described in subdivision (b), from the possession of any
person upon the grounds of, or within, the school if he or she knows,
or has reasonable cause to know, the person is prohibited from
bringing or possessing the weapon upon the grounds of, or within, the
school.
  (h) As used in this section, "dirk" or "dagger" means a knife or
other instrument with or without a handguard that is capable of ready
use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or
death.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Knives in Public Meetings

171b.  (a) Any person who brings or possesses within any state or
local public building or at any meeting required to be open to the
public pursuant to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part
1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of, or Article 9 (commencing with Section
11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of, the
Government Code, any of the following is guilty of a public offense
punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one
year, or in the state prison:
  (1) Any firearm.
  (2) Any deadly weapon described in Section 653k or 12020.
  (3) Any knife with a blade length in excess of four inches, the
blade of which is fixed or is capable of being fixed in an unguarded
position by the use of one or two hands.
  (4) Any unauthorized tear gas weapon.
  (5) Any taser or stun gun, as defined in Section 244.5.
  (6) Any instrument that expels a metallic projectile, such as a BB
or pellet, through the force of air pressure, CO2 pressure, or
spring action, or any spot marker gun or paint gun.
  (b) Subdivision (a) shall not apply to, or affect, any of the
following:
  (1) A person who possesses weapons in, or transports weapons into,
a court of law to be used as evidence.
  (2) (A) A duly appointed peace officer as defined in Chapter 4.5
(commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2, a retired peace
officer with authorization to carry concealed weapons as described in
subdivision (a) of Section 12027, a full-time paid peace officer of
another state or the federal government who is carrying out official
duties while in California, or any person summoned by any of these
officers to assist in making arrests or preserving the peace while he
or she is actually engaged in assisting the officer.
  (B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), subdivision (a) shall apply
to any person who brings or possesses any weapon specified therein
within any courtroom if he or she is a party to an action pending
before the court.
  (3) A person holding a valid license to carry the firearm pursuant
to Article 3 (commencing with Section 12050) of Chapter 1 of Title 2
of Part 4.
  (4) A person who has permission to possess that weapon granted in
writing by a duly authorized official who is in charge of the
security of the state or local government building.
  (5) A person who lawfully resides in, lawfully owns, or is in
lawful possession of, that building with respect to those portions of
the building that are not owned or leased by the state or local
government.
  (6) A person licensed or registered in accordance with, and acting
within the course and scope of, Chapter 11.5 (commencing with
Section 7512) or Chapter 11.6 (commencing with Section 7590) of
Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code who has been hired by
the owner or manager of the building if the person has permission
pursuant to paragraph (5).
  (7) (A) A person who, for the purpose of sale or trade, brings any
weapon that may otherwise be lawfully transferred, into a gun show
conducted pursuant to Sections 12071.1 and 12071.4.
  (B) A person who, for purposes of an authorized public exhibition,
brings any weapon that may otherwise be lawfully possessed, into a
gun show conducted pursuant to Sections 12071.1 and 12071.4.
  (c) As used in this section, "state or local public building"
means a building that meets all of the following criteria:
  (1) It is a building or part of a building owned or leased by the
state or local government, if state or local public employees are
regularly present for the purposes of performing their official
duties.  A state or local public building includes, but is not
limited to, a building that contains a courtroom.
  (2) It is not a building or facility, or a part thereof, that is
referred to in Section 171c, 171d, 626.9, 626.95, or 626.10 of this
code, or in Section 18544 of the Elections Code.
  (3) It is a building not regularly used, and not intended to be
used, by state or local employees as a place of residence.


* * * * * * * * * * *

Knives in Airports

171.5.  (a) For purposes of this section:
  (1) "Airport" means an airport, with a secured area, that
regularly serves an air carrier holding a certificate issued by the
United States Secretary of Transportation.
  (2) "Sterile area" means a portion of an airport defined in the
airport security program to which access generally is controlled
through the screening of persons and property, as specified in
Section 1540.5 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
  (b) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly possess within any
sterile area of an airport, any of the items listed in subdivision
(c).
  (c) The following items are unlawful to possess as provided in
subdivision (b):
  (1) Any firearm.
  (2) Any knife with a blade length in excess of four inches, the
blade of which is fixed, or is capable of being fixed, in an
unguarded position by the use of one or two hands.
  (3) Any box cutter or straight razor.
  (4) Any metal military practice hand grenade.
  (5) Any metal replica hand grenade.
  (6) Any plastic replica hand grenade.
  (7) Any imitation firearm as defined in Section 417.4.
  (8) Any frame, receiver, barrel, or magazine of a firearm.
  (9) Any unauthorized tear gas weapon.
  (10) Any taser or stun gun, as defined in Section 244.5.
  (11) Any instrument that expels a metallic projectile, such as a
BB or pellet, through the force of air pressure, CO2 pressure, or
spring action, or any spot marker gun or paint gun.
  (12) Any ammunition as defined in Section 12316.
  (d) Subdivision (b) shall not apply to, or affect, any of the
following:
  (1) A duly appointed peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5
(commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2, a retired peace
officer with authorization to carry concealed weapons as described in
subdivision (a) of Section 12027, a full-time paid peace officer of
another state or the federal government who is carrying out official
duties while in California, or any person summoned by any of these
officers to assist in making arrests or preserving the peace while he
or she is actually engaged in assisting the officer.
  (2) A person who has authorization to possess a weapon specified
in subdivision (c), granted in writing by an airport security
coordinator who is designated as specified in Section 1542.3 of Title
49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and who is responsible for
the security of the airport.
  (e) A violation of this section is punishable by imprisonment in a
county jail for a period not exceeding six months, or by a fine not
exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and
imprisonment.
  (f) The provisions of this section are cumulative, and shall not
be construed as restricting the application of any other law.
However, an act or omission that is punishable in different ways by
this and any other provision of law shall not be punished under more
than one provision.
  (g) Nothing in this section is intended to affect existing state
or federal law regarding the transportation of firearms on airplanes
in checked luggage, or the possession of the items listed in
subdivision (c) in areas that are not "sterile areas."



* * * * * * * * * * *


Los Angeles Codes online

http://www.amlegal.com/los_angeles_ca/

Los Angeles Municipal Code

SEC. 55.10.  CARRY KNIVES OR DAGGERS IN PLAIN VIEW PROHIBITED.
    (Added by Ord. No. 162,995, Eff. 1/7/88.)

    (a)     As used in this section, the term knife or dagger shall include any knife, dirk or dagger having a blade 3 inches or more in length, any ice pick or similar sharp tool, any straight edge razor or any razor blade fitted to a handle.

    (b)     No person shall wear or carry in plain view any knife or dagger upon any public street or other public place or in any place open to the public.

    (c)     The prohibitions of this section shall not apply where a person is wearing or carrying a knife or dagger for use in a lawful occupation, for lawful recreational purposes, or as a recognized religious practice, or while the person is traveling to or returning from participation in such activity.


* * * * * * * *


Here are the 1996 statutes:

California - Penal Code Section 653k. Every person who
  possesses in the passenger's or driver's area of any motor
  vehicle in any public place or place open to the public,
  carries upon his or her person, and every person who
  sells, offers for sale, exposes for sale, loans,
  transfers, or gives to any other person a switchblade
  knife having a blade over two inches in length is guilty
  of a misdemeanor.
    For the purposes of this section a "switchblade knife"
  is a knife having the appearance of a pocketknife, and
  shall include a spring-blade knife, snap-blade knife,
  gravity knife or any other similar type knife, the blade
  or blades of which are two or more inches long and which
  can be released automatically by a flick of a button,
  pressure on the handle, flip of the wrist or other
  mechanical device, or is released by the weight of the
  blade or by any other type of mechanism whatsoever...

- 626.10. Any person, except [listed officials] who brings
  or possesses any dirk, dagger, knife having a blade longer
  than 3-1/2 inches, folding knife with a blade that locks
  into place, a razor with an unguarded blade... upon the
  grounds of, or within any public school... is guilty of a
  misdemeanor.

- 12020. (a) Any person in this state who manufactures or
  causes to be manufactured, imports into the state, keeps
  for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives,
  lends, or possesses any... ballistic knife..., any
  nunchaku..., any metal knuckles, any belt buckle
  knife..., any shuriken..., any lipstick case knife, any
  cane sword, any shobe-zui, any air gauge knife, any
  writing pen knife... or who carries concealed upon his
  or her person any dirk or dagger, is guilty of a felony...
["Metal knuckles" includes knives with metal knuckle handles.
Most of the banned items are described in the statute in
excruciating detail, but "dirk or dagger" were not defined at
all until 1996, when the state legislature added the following
definition of "dirk or dagger."]
-  PC 12020(c)(24) "a knife or other instrument with or
  without a handguard that is primarily designed,
  constructed, or altered to be a stabbing instrument
  designed to inflict great bodily injury or death."]
[The original statute includes the following exemption.]  
  (23)(d) Knives carried in sheaths which are worn openly
  suspended from the waist of the wearer are not concealed
  within the meaning of this section.

- 12028. (a) The unlawful concealed carrying... of any...
  dirk or dagger... is a nuisance... (c) Any weapon
  described in subdivision (a)... shall be surrendered to
  the sheriff... or the chief of police... for sale at
  public auction [unless it was stolen].

 California case law:
Butterfly knife which has blade in excess of two inches is
  "switch-blade knife" within meaning of... 653k. [Attorney
  General's opinion 11-19-1985.]
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