I am VERY GLAD Hugh that you asked that question.
My initial response was incomplete.
A switch blade knife or a double edged knife is, ab initio, illegal in Massachusetts.
I aplogize for not making that clear.
Other than that, the length of the blade, (ie: over 3.5") I am informed, is relative to the "charge" that might be brought and not necessarily a crime in itself..
If you can jump out of your shoes before kicking someone---you'll stay out of ADW by means of a dangerous weapon.
A DANGEROUS weapons is a "a shod foot" is but not to my knowledge, a 'deadly weapon'------if you get the idea.
Assualt with a 'Dangerous weapon' may not be a felony and only a misdemeanor level crime, but assualt with a deadly
weapon is a crime at the felony level.
The former, misdemeanor ADW, is subject to less than one or two year sentence in a state correctional instituition and the latter for longer periods.
CAVEAT: A misdemeanor assualt conviction may still permanently disqualify you from obtaining a license to carry a firearm
. that's another question.
To get a 'corrections officer" a permit, three lawyers were stuck because of a juvenile misdemeanor assualt OTHERWISE not raisable, meaning not raisable as ecvidence of proclivity for actions in a court of law.
I am unfamiliar, now, with the "appeal" procedures for permit denial whereas I was familiar with such cases and the law in effect in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts before the 1998 so called "assualt rifle ban". You can see the bill was horrendously underdescribed and oversold to the public, or, perhaps the legislature and Governor just did not care.
A 209A Restraining order will surely pro tem disqualify you from getting an LTC, but PERHAPS not permanently disqualify you from obtaining such a license.
So be careful in pleading out to a misdemeanor assualt and vigourously oppose issuance of 209A orders.
You can see a great deal of discretion is given to the local Police in charging parties involved in an armed confrontation.
Likewise a heavy burden is put on the individual (the attackee if you will) to assess the threatand be familiar with a good deal of wacky laws that conflict.
One is also, outside of the home, obliged to seek retreat in the Commonwealth if retreat is available when one is assualted.
not be found 'able' to retreat because of physical infirmities.
Further, you are bound to use only the level of force necessary to repel the attack
I do not think gang bangers think this thru, somehow!!!
But the whole system is so subjective and dangerous for the party defending him or herself it is is more that a little frightening.
So, I someone is attempting to assualt you, you are obliged to retreat at the very least, before using 'deadly force".
Clearly one, for example, once the original assualting party has turned to flee perhaps after you have displayed a weapon (which might be, in itself, a 'civil assault
), you can't chase the allegled attack or shoot him as HE retreats.
To and to all this is the fact the Massachussetts has, also, a Good Samaritan law that may oblige one to come to another's aid if they are being assualted.
fact situation has to be reviewed and evaluated on its own merits.
As to special local ordinances, as in Boston, you will have to consult someone else.
Assisted opening blades, as I understand it, lack a "button and Spring" release and are not considered switchblades.
But they might easily befound as such without our even being made aware of it in a timely fashion or if one runs afoul of a cranky judge.
It might be possible that a double edged sword could be considered a 'dagger or dirk" under the law.
The Police generally can be said not to be running around busting sword and knife collectors in the streets or their homes.
But still it IS clear that, if a warrant was lawfully issued, you would go to jail is a "Daggger or dirk" was found in your home.
So far swords are OK.
Research is required in that making a dangerous or deadly weapon illlegal in Mass. illegal ab initio does not compute, as it seems clear that one may use a deadly weapon and/or deadly force when in fear of one's life.
Firearms are all deadly weapons but subject both to possible Constirutional Protection and extensive State Federal and local regulation at the same time.
The Matter of the right ot keep and bear arms will be heard for virtualy the first time in the Supreme court this Spring vis a vis DC's complete firearms ban.
Regardless of the situation I in the aftermath of an armed fight, or even a disarmed one, it would be good advice for one to SAY nothing to an arresting offficer beyond MAYBE "I was really scared for my life and couldn't get away"
without consulting a GOOD criminal attorney.
I was relatively lucky to get a couple of misdemeanor level assualt charges tossed at the Clerk's Hearing to Show cause level.
If matters in those incidents had gone to trial before a Judge or Jury, , I can guarantee I would NOT have been Lawyer trying the matter.
Believe it or not, it would have been ethically my RESPONSIBILITY
to refer the matter to such an experienced attorney.
So, how does one obtain his trial experience in such cases-sitting as second counsel if one is not a sole practitioner maybe
But, I will say this, beyond saying owning or carrying daggers, dirks, NUNCHUCKs or "Clacker Sticks" (as they were called) and firearms without the appropriate license ( and a license is not granted to own or carry any type of knife or nunchaku
) are crimes in THEMSELVES, it remains good common sense to say "better to be judged by twelve than carried by six".
(yes, I think some felonies can be tried before six man jury, but then the old saw would be no fun in the utterance.)
A man dragged from his car, beaten and mugged while held at knife point WAS in fact convicted of Felony ADW when he got up shot one attacker as he fled the scene.
Shoot or cut first and be willing or able to say you thought the the attacker (s) were armed and you were stuck in your car and could not retreat and you were afraid for your life OH YEAH!!!!!
Everyone is, and that's why the state of the laws in Massachussetts are literally dangerous to one's health.
What about swords of the two edged type? Illegal ab initio?
I can say that the police are not running about arresting sword and knife collectors, but that could change!
It also remains clear that attacking someone with virtually any sword will land one at the wrong end of a felony ADW.
Leaping around a bit; note that OJ was acquited of murderbut held responsible in a civil 'wrongful death" action.
action recquiring only 'a preponderance of the evidence" finding.
There is a civil action for assualts of varying types.
I you're rich, this is a problem and I doubt you are insured against such matters, so 'assett protection" now become another issue (seriously).