Laws are weird…

In one of the irc channels I hang out in, one of my local friends asked me for some clarification on the knife bill that’s currently sitting on Gov. Haslam’s desk waiting for his signature.  Specifically, he was asking about the legality of carrying the sword cane he owns.  He knew that soon to be law would clear it as far as length of blade goes, but was thinking that there might have been an issue due to it being a hidden or disguised blade.

I assured him that, as far as I’ve been able to find, there’s nothing on the books in TN stating that a knife has to look like a knife.  I then went on to tell him that, oddly enough, if a cop decided that he was carrying it “with the intent to go armed,” he might be more in trouble for carrying the cane than the blade hidden inside.  See, TN requires you to be certified with the state if you want to carry a cane/baton/stick/etc with the intent to go armed.

The fun part of that is that it’s actually non-trivial for the average Joe to get such a certification.  The way things are written, pretty much the only people that can get certified to teach the baton certification classes are security guard schools.  Often times, these schools will require you to go through all their training courses to get the baton certification, and those that don’t run classes sporadically.  So, in practice, it’s easier to get a permit to carry a gun (I have a hard time not tripping over ads for those classes) than it is to carry a stick.

So… at current time, I can legally carry a knife under 4″ (soon to just be “carry a knife”) without permit, I have a permit to carry a gun, but I can’t legally carry a freaking stick for self protection (since I have no permit for that).  How does that make sense?

Oh, there is a slight loop hole that I told the guy.  Since it’s a cane, he can claim that he needs it as a medical device.  Which, considering he’s already had a couple knee surgeries, isn’t too hard a sell.

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