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The Oregon Knife Law Guide: Are OTF Knives Legal? 

In the scenic state of Oregon, there's a complex and varied set of regulations that govern knife ownership and use. In this post we hope to shed light on the Oregon knife laws, providing a comprehensive guide on what types of knives are legal, the restrictions regarding their size, and the penalties for violating these laws. 

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Oregon Knife Laws 

In Oregon, the knife laws are characterized by their focus on the intent and usage of the knife rather than the type of knife itself. This unique approach means that the legality of carrying a knife is more dependent on how it’s used rather than just the type of knife being carried. This emphasis on usage and intent allows for a degree of flexibility, but it also places a responsibility on knife owners to be aware of how their actions might be interpreted under the law. 

Another aspect of Oregon's knife laws is the lack of a statewide preemption law. This absence allows local jurisdictions like cities and counties to implement their own knife regulations, which can sometimes be more strict than state laws. As a result, knife carriers in Oregon must be mindful of not only the state's regulations but also the specific laws of the locality they are in. This can be particularly challenging as it requires knowledge of varying regulations across different areas. 

Types of Knives People Can Own in Oregon 

The law in Oregon states that a person who has committed a felony can not own a knife. Below is a list of types of knives people are allowed to own in Oregon. 

● Butterfly Knives 

● Dirks 

● Daggers 

● Stabbing Knives 

● Switchblades 

● Gravity Knives 

● Ballistic Knives 

● Bowie Knives 

Knives prohibited in regards to concealed carry include:

● Automatic Knives

A. Switchblades 

B. Out-the-Front (OTF) Knives 

C. Side-Opening Automatic Knives 

D. Gravity Knives: 

● Assisted Opening Knives 

● Dirks 

● Daggers 

● Ice Picks 

Are Switchblades Legal in Oregon? 

Switchblades are considered legal in the state of Oregon. The state's laws allow individuals to own and carry switchblades without facing legal repercussions for the knife type itself. However, it's important to be mindful of how and where these knives are carried, especially about local ordinances which may have additional restrictions. 

Are Butterfly Knives Legal in Oregon? 

In Oregon, carrying a butterfly knife, also known as a balisong, is not subject to legal consequences as long as certain conditions are met. While these knives are legal to own and carry openly, it's important to note that butterfly knives fall under the category of stabbing weapons. This makes them illegal to carry in a concealed manner. This also means that as long as you don't attempt to hide a butterfly knife on your person, you can carry it freely. The key to legally carrying a butterfly knife in Oregon is visibility; the knife must be carried in such a way that it is clearly discernible to anyone who might see you. 

Are OTF Knives Legal in Oregon? 

Out-the-front (OTF) knives are legal in Oregon. These knives are a type of automatic or switchblade knife, where the blade extends and retracts directly from the front end of the handle. This mechanism distinguishes OTF knives from traditional folding knives and side-opening automatic knives. 

What Size is Legal to Carry? 

Oregon law doesn't specify a maximum blade length for knives that can be carried, either openly or concealed.

However, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind:

1. Type of Knife: While Oregon doesn't have a specific blade length restriction, the type of knife can be a factor. For example, certain types of knives like dirks, daggers, or stilettos might be subject to more scrutiny, especially if carried concealed. 

2. Concealed Carry: Although there's no statewide blade length limit, the way a knife is carried can be important. Carrying any knife, regardless of its size, in a concealed manner can potentially lead to legal complications if it is considered dangerous or deadly. It's generally advisable to ensure that the knife is carried in a manner that is clearly visible if there is any concern about its classification. 

3. Local Ordinances: Cities and counties within Oregon may have their own laws regarding knife carry. Some local jurisdictions might impose restrictions on the blade length of knives that can be carried, especially in a concealed manner. 

4. Intended Use: The intended use of the knife also plays a role in its legality. A knife used for a legitimate purpose like work, recreation, or utility is generally more acceptable than one carried for offensive or defensive purposes. 

Penalties for Violation 

The penalty in Oregon for violating knife laws can be severe, particularly in specific circumstances. One example is the possession of a firearm or a dangerous weapon in a public building or court facility. This offense is classified as a Class C felony, reflecting the seriousness with which Oregon law treats the safety and security of public spaces. Being convicted of this felony can result in significant legal repercussions, including a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $125,000. Another violation deals with carrying a concealed weapon, which in certain cases can include knives depending on their type and the manner of carry. If an individual is found guilty of carrying a concealed weapon, they may face charges of a Class B misdemeanor. This offense carries a considerable penalty, with potential consequences including up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, or both. 

Knife Laws for Minors

Young individuals under the age of 18 are subject to specific considerations when it comes to knife ownership and carrying. While there's no explicit state-wide prohibition against minors possessing knives, certain types of knives are restricted, and carrying knives in public places like schools is often not allowed. The laws focus on promoting safe and responsible use among minors, with local regulations and school policies playing a significant role in defining what's permissible. 

Oregon Knife Law Guide Conclusion 

Oregon's knife regulations offer a unique mix of leniency and precision, permitting the ownership and carrying of a variety of knives, including automatic types like switchblades and OTF knives. Essentially, it's about responsible usage and staying up-to-date with the specific rules in place. If you find yourself facing legal issues related to knife or gun crimes, or any other legal matters, our experienced legal team at Kollie Law is equipped to provide the guidance and support you need. With a deep understanding of Oregon's laws and a commitment to our clients, we are here to help navigate through your legal challenges effectively.

*Nothing herein constitutes legal advice. You should obtain independent legal counsel regarding your specific factual situation.


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