I have just come across this post and the question of blade length limitations in the states.
One reference concerned Massachusetts and the post related to David stating that Massachusetts law limited blade length to less than three inches.
I covered this subject matter in a post some time ago in these forums in Martial Arts and the Lsw. The article dealth with the Massachusetts dangerous weapons statute ( which is recent as far as law is concerned), which statutes cover most of our MA weapons, as well as knives.
Here is the post:
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269 Section 10 deals with the carrying of dangerous weapons. The first part deals with licensing and carrying of firearms.
The section quoted hereunder deals with other dangerous weapons.
I published this statute several months ago on this forum, but because of what appears to me to be a great interest in the use of martial arts weapons in tournaments, seminars, summer camps and the like that go right on until at least the fall of each year
Knowledge of this section is a must for martial artists because it deals with many of our classical weapons which are harmlessly used in the dojo or carried in vehicles enroute to the dojo, dojang, kwoon, or what have you. The penalties are severe. Our weapons were attacked in the Bruce Lee era in the early 1970’s, because the popular MA movies had kids in the street going bonkers with some of the weapons, and principally nunchaku (defined below in the statute for readers who are not familiar with this weapon).
Subsection (b) provides: “whoever, except as provided by law, carries on his person, or carries on his person or under his control in a vehicle, any stiletto, dagger or device or case which enables a knife with a locking blade to be drawn at a locked position, any ballistic knife or any knife with a detachable blade capable of being propelled by any mechanism, dirk knife, any knife having a double-edged blade, or a switch knife, or any knife having an automatic spring release devise by which the blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches, or a slung shot, blowgun, blackjack, metallic knuckles or knuckles of any substance which could be put to the same use with the same or similar effect as metallic knuckles, nunchaku, zoobow, also known as klackers or kung fu sticks, or any similar weapon consisting of two sticks of wood, plastic or metal connected at one end by a length of rope, chain, wire, leather, a shuriken or any similar pointed starlike object intended to injure a person, when thrown, or any armband, made with leather which as metallic spikes, points or studs or any similar devise made from any other substance or a cestus or similar material weighted with metal or other substance and worn on the hand, or a manrikigusari or similar length of chain having weighted ends; or whoever, when arrested upon a warrant for an alleged crime, or when arrested while committing a breach or disturbance of the public peace, is armed or has on his person, or on his person or under control in a vehicle, a billy or other dangerous weapon other than those mentioned and those mentioned in paragraph (a) shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than two and one-half years nor more than five years in the state prison, or for not less than six months nor more than two and one half years in a jail house or house of correction, except that, if the court finds that the defendant has not been previously convicted of a felony, he may be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars or by imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years in a jail or house of correction.”
Note: the paragraph (a) mentioned above requiring a mandatory two and one half year sentence is for firearms carrying crimes, which section is not copied in this report.
The blade restriction mentioned above related to weapons which had automatic release factors, and here is the only reference to blade length that I can find:
"or any knife having an automatic spring release devise by which the blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches"
There used to be a popular belief in this state there was a law limiting blade length to three inches. I never found such a law, and to my knowledge the above language is current.
If David or any other reader has other information about this subject (as to Massachusetts law) please respond with the citation of the act or regulation.