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Dear Copper;

Something I’ve been curious about but never gotten a straight answer to is concealed weapons pertaining to knives. I carry a folding knife with a thumb-assist on me because, to be honest, I don’t fucking trust the homeless in this city. I’m not the type to pull it out and wave it around, or act like I’m a badass ready to shank an asshole going for my wallet, but the fact is you never know if you might get jumped. I know friends who carry spring-assist knives, and others who carry just regular pocketknives, both for work and personal. But none of us are entirely clear what the laws are in the city when it comes to them. What are the guidelines for concealed knives?
 
Love;
Somewhat Packing
 
Dear Packer,
 
Unless you’re on probation or parole, a drug addict, declared mentally deranged, prohibited by some court order, or you like beating women … you’re most likely fine having your knife in your pocket, on your belt, open, concealed, whatever.  However, if you have skeletons in your closet, you might want to research Utah Code 76-10-503 for the whole list of who is restricted from concealed weapons.
 
In terms of you as a legit citizen carrying it concealed, your best “reason” is as a necessary tool to open your beers, fix your bike, carve a whistle, play knife games when dice gets old, that sort of thing.  Why?  Well, Utah laws really address your “intended use” of that concealed weapon.
 
If you openly profess to carrying your “shank” to stick a homeless robber who was after your wallet to buy some bud, well, it’s way too easy for an over-zealous legal system to view you as the problem.
 
Now, Packie, if you meet one of the “restrictions,” yet still choose to carry your concealed knife in violation of the law because:
 
A. Regardless of the current, feel-good sentiment about how misunderstood the homeless are, some of them really are thieves, robbers, drug addicts, rapists, etc. 
B. Telling the homeless robber trying to get his fix to “knock it off” is not an option for you.
 
Here is a direct quote from Utah Statute 76-10-504 about what punishment you’d be facing:
 
Except as provided in Section 76-10-503 and in Subsections (2), (3), and (4), a person who carries a concealed dangerous weapon, as defined in Section 76-10-501, including an unloaded firearm on his or her person or one that is readily accessible for immediate use which is not securely encased, as defined in this part, in or on a place other than the person’s residence, property, a vehicle in the person’s lawful possession, or a vehicle, with the consent of the individual who is lawfully in possession of the vehicle, or business under the person’s control is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.
 
Packster, this is a direct quote from the Utah Code 76-10-501 (Definitions):
 
The following factors shall be used in determining whether a knife, or another item, object, or thing not commonly known as a dangerous weapon is a dangerous weapon:
 (i) the character of the instrument, object, or thing;
(ii) the character of the wound produced, if any;
(iii) the manner in which the instrument, object, or thing was used; and
(iv) the other lawful purposes for which the instrument, object, or thing may be used.   
 
Remember, a Leatherman tool, which can be used to fix your bike or clean your toe jam, has a big ol’ gnarly knife blade inside (HINT).
 
Respectfully,
Somewhat Copping
 
 
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