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Are Butterfly Knives Illegal in California? And Why Are so Dangerous

Carrying, possessing, selling, or otherwise transferring a butterfly knife is illegal in California under Penal Code 21510 PC.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
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What is a Butterfly Knife?

Also known as a balisong or fan knife, a butterfly knife is a type of folding pocketknife that originated in the Philippines. The knife features 2 handles counter-rotating around the tang such that, when closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handles.

What is the Purpose of a Butterfly Knife?

Butterfly knives can be opened quickly with one hand and are easily used as a weapon. They are commonly used for self-defense and utility purposes.

Why are Butterfly Knives Illegal in California?

Butterfly knives are illegal in California because of their potential for use as a threatening weapon. A person with experience can deploy butterfly knives with immense speed, which may be the knife's most dangerous quality.

Why are Butterfly Knives So Dangerous?

Butterfly knives can be extremely dangerous because one edge of the blade is sharp and will cut the user if they are not careful, especially when flipping the knife.

Penalties for Carrying a Butterfly Knife in California

Possessing a butterfly knife in California is a misdemeanor crime. Convictions can result in up to 6 months in county prison and/or $1,000 in fines.

However, many of these instances result in misdemeanor probation, also known as summary probation, which means the accused will not have to serve any time in prison. The sentence would instead be spent under community supervision.

Are Butterfly Knives Illegal in All 50 States?

The only federal law pertaining to butterfly knives is US Code Title 15, Chapter 29, which controls the importation of the knives into the United States, and the sale over state lines. It has no effect on buying, owning, or carrying butterfly knives. Such is left to the states.

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