David Kopel’s Knife/2A Article: Online!

Image: Chris Dumm

…to keep and bear *arms*

Yesterday I couldn’t find a working link to David Kopel’s constitutional law article about knives and the 2nd Amendment, so I emailed him for permission to excerpt some of it at The Truth About Knives…

Mr. Kopel replied quickly and graciously to my request, and rather than try to steal all his web traffic I’ll just post the working link to his full article here.

Click on it. Read it. Send it to your friends. Forward it to your lawyers. In scholarly legal terms, it’s awesome. Here’s a paragraph to pique your interest; as a former prosecutor and practicing criminal defense lawyer, I can tell you that it’s some damn good stuff.

II. Some Knife Laws That May Be Unconstitutional

State and local knife laws are often bewilderingly complex, and as a result, it is very easy for a person with no criminal intent to break these laws. Prosecutors and police do not treat the severe state and local laws as relics of the nineteenth century. Instead, the laws are often vigorously enforced today against persons who are not engaged in malum in se behavior.



  1. ChuckN says:

    Great article, Mr. Kopel definitely has his work cut out for him.

    I’ve personally found that in many states, most of the knife laws
    are 50+ years old. Quite a few have been revised but instead of
    rewriting the law, law makers simply added addenda. This has
    led to a few states having knife laws so convoluted that most
    LEOs, DAs, and even an Attorney General or two have no idea
    what the law actually says. A few times I’ve actually proved a
    LEO wrong in there understanding of what is and is not banned.

  2. Azimuth says:

    We’re told by the political muckety-muck’s that we must enact “common sense” gun restrictions, but as we see in this 2A article, common sense usually comes up short. If laws require such artful legal gymnastics to explain, it’s a pretty safe bet that the last thing they want is common sense muddying the waters. Should it really require legal scholars to point out that the 2A doesn’t say, the right to bear firearms, it says the right to bear arm(s)? Who determines what are arms? The unrestrained monster that our founding fathers feared most, the Fedgovasaurus Rex? Really, a brain the size of a walnut? Ya, I can believe it. I think only a liberal from the Lawyers Guild could interpret common sense out of the U.S. Constitution.

  3. gringito says:

    Mr. Kopel’s article is brilliant.

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David Kopel’s Knife/2A Article: Online!

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