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Lawyer and Gun Activist
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29,597 Posts
My Guess

I think this law clearly doesn't apply to pocket knives that are intended to be utility tools. Most folding knives, even lock-backs, would fit into that category (tools). I am guessing this law was intended by the legislature to apply to combat/military knives, that is to say "edged weapons." If that is the intent, then it was a mistake to use "and" when they really meant "or." Offensive knives or defensive knives. In other words, both offensive knives and defensive knives are affected by this law.

Unlike the school zone law or the possession of knife during commission of a felony law, blade length isn't a legal requirement.

Now, I wonder where a fixed-blade hunting knife would fit into this picture? What's the difference between a military fighting knife, a pilot's survival knife, and a 6" bladed hunting knife made to be worn in a sheath on your belt? Not any practical difference! The only distinction would be in the marketing, the packaging, and maybe what kind of stores you'd expect to find them in.
 

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Lawyer and Gun Activist
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29,597 Posts
Caselaw

Here's some caselaw. I was wrong. Or the Court of Appeals is wrong and I'm right. No, I can't be right and be contrary to the Court of Appeals unless I'm on the Supreme Court, and siding with the majority. Which I'm not. Yet. So I'm wrong. For now.

It looks like edged tools that were never intended nor designed to be weapons of any sort, neither offensive nor defensive, can still be prohibited by this statute. It all depends on how and where the instrument was carried, and whether it would have hurt somebody if somebody had used it like an offensive weapon.

Here are citations to two cases. All words following the citations are mine, not a direct quote. It's a very loose paraphrase.

DORSEY v. STATE

COURT OF APPEALS OF GEORGIA

212 Ga. App. 830; 442 S.E.2d 922 (1994)

QUESTION: Is a scalpel a tool or a “knife designed for the purpose of offense and defense?â€

ANSWER: Both. It’s a tool that can be, under the circumstances of how and where it was carried, similar to an offensive and defensive knife. The statute specifically includes a catch-all provision for instruments “of like character.†That would include tools that can be pressed into service as weapons, too.

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SIMMONS v. THE STATE

No. S92A1488

Supreme Court of Georgia

262 Ga. 674; 424 S.E.2d 274 (1993)

Georgia’s law on the carrying of concealed weapons as it relates to knives is not unconstitutionally vague. The statute puts the public on notice as to what kind of dangerous instruments are prohibited, so that they can govern themselves accordingly. (There are no facts in the record as to what kind of knife, or what size, was the basis of Simmons’ conviction).
 

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Lawyer and Gun Activist
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29,597 Posts
you still can

Oh, you still can. There are so many exceptions to the Statute of Limitations, such as if the crime was not detected... if the crime was known but the perpetrator was not identified....

But I'm sure you'll be OK. Georgia's laws were meant to be selectively enforced. As long as you're successful, white, and a good Christian, nobody's going to work too hard to prosecute you. <I'm being sarcastic about the selective enforcement. I don't think that's how it is now, but I really do believe that is how it was. Make everything a crime and give cops and prosecutors discretion to arrest just about anybody they encounter, if they think that person needs to spend a little time in handcuffs.
 
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