Every state has its own laws regarding concealed weapons. Here in Oregon, state law regarding ownership of knives is quite lenient. It is legal for Oregonians to own any kind of knife they choose. However, the Beaver state does restrict certain knives as illegal to conceal and carry. Here’s a summary of Oregon law regarding the concealed carrying of knives.
In the state of Oregon, to count as concealment the weapon has to be on your body, not nearby. (The Oregon court in State vs. Crumal that having a knife underneath a car’s passenger floor mat could not be considered concealed carrying.)
Additionally, to count as concealment, the knife must not be immediately recognizable as a weapon, and the person carrying it must be trying to hide it or obscure its presence in some way.
Oregon law is clear on which knives can be considered concealed weapons. Here are the types of knives that are illegal to conceal carry in the state of Oregon:
–Any knife that swings into position via centrifugal force or spring.
Now many of you hunters are probably wondering whether the inclusion of spring-loaded blades on this list means it’s illegal for you to carry your sporting knife around. Well, that depends on the length of its blade.
In State vs. Strong, the Oregon court ruled that a 4¾-inch folding blade is still a pocketknife, and therefore legal to conceal carry. However, the court later ruled that a 6-inch Survival Knive was not an ordinary pocketknife, and therefore upheld the defendant’s conceal carry conviction. To be safe, when shopping for tactical knifes that you hope to carry around, we recommend sticking with blades under 4 inches in length.
As for spring-loaded blades, the court ruled in State vs. Ramer that a switchblade is a type of pocketknife. So, if you tuck a 4-inch COAST Products stainless steel knife with switchblade action into your pocket before your next big camping trip, you won’t be violating state law.
In City of Portland vs. Lodi, the state court found that it was legal for a person to conceal carry a weapon, as long as he or she did not have an “intended unlawful use” against another person. So, concealing a short stainless steel knife for self-defense purposes is legal here in Oregon, according to the state court’s decisions.