CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, January 7, 2022

Touchet on Knives as Concealed Weapons

J. Alex Touchet has posted 'That's Not a Knife . . .' Or Is It? Virginia's Problematic Concealed Weapons Law (Regent University Law Review, Vol. 34, No. 2, 2022 Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

In the 1986 film Crocodile Dundee, Australian outdoorsman Mick Dundee is approached by a young man who brandishes a switchblade and demands Dundee’s wallet. “He’s got a knife,” Dundee’s companion urges him. “That’s not a knife,” Dundee chuckles as he produces a much larger blade. “That’s a knife!” Virginia courts periodically deal with cases in which they must answer a similar question: whether a knife is a prohibited concealed weapon under Virginia law. Unfortunately, the answer to that question is not always as clear as it was to Mick Dundee. This Note addresses the treatment of switchblades and other knives in Virginia by state law, state legislators, and local law enforcement. Second, it reviews some of the perplexing cases in which Virginia courts have grappled with that law, and the resulting constitutional vagueness concerns. Third, it discusses whether the right to bear knives and other bladed weapons as “arms” is protected by the Second Amendment. Finally, it concludes by proposing solutions for the issues Virginia law poses to knife owners.

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