At least not as they relate to 2nd Amendment law in Washington State. While we are celebrating knife freedom in Tennessee, knife rights have taken a step backwards in the Evergreen State. The article by Dr. Eugene Volokh, (a real professor of Constitutional Law unlike a certain resident of the other Washington), points out a rather broad loophole in the ruling.
From the Volokh Conspiracy (Washington Post):
“Note that the relevant Washington Supreme Court precedent leaves open the possibility that certain knives that are “traditional or modern arms of self-defense” are indeed protected under the Washington Constitution, though ordinary kitchen knives, it concludes, are not. Note also that the Washington ordinance exempts some carrying of knives:
A. A licensed hunter or licensed fisherman actively engaged in hunting and fishing activity including education and travel related thereto; or
B. Any person immediately engaged in an activity related to a lawful occupation which commonly requires the use of such knife, provided such knife is carried unconcealed; provided further that a dangerous knife carried openly in a sheath suspended from the waist of the person is not concealed within the meaning of this subsection;
C. Any person carrying such knife in a secure wrapper or in a tool box while traveling from the place of purchase, from or to a place of repair, or from or to such person’s home or place of business, or in moving from one (1) place of abode or business to another, or while in such person’s place of abode or fixed place of business.”
I took the lede photo for this post on one of my several trips to Seattle. I love the “Public Market”, where it is perfectly legal for people to walk around with knives for breaking down a 400lb. tuna due to fishing and workplace exemptions, but could be arrested in an equally public place for a chef’s knife. I don’t know the circumstances of the case and why the aggrieved party had the knife of what they were doing with it, but the point I would like to make is larger than this specific case.
Someone with criminal intent or who is mentally unhinged is not going to be stopped by the nuances of Washington State knife law from wielding whatever pointy object (or a car, or a Zippo), concealed or not, that they chose if they are intent on creating mayhem. However, all of the carve outs, exemptions, and workplace restrictions are a great way to force the law abiding to need to “justify” themselves and their innocence to the authorities. I think I like the Tennessee model instead. Might be time for folks in Washington to begin to lobby their legislators and try to straighten out their mess.