Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Confusion On What the Hell is a "common pocketknife" -- continues:
copyright 2012 by jon gutmacher
What the hell is a common pocketknife? Ask any ten people -- and get ten different answers. Ask any of the judges on the Third District Court of Appeal in Miami -- you'll probably get a blank stare.
That's because . . . they've managed to screw it up, again!
In F.R. v State, 37 Fla Law Weekly D508 (Fla. 3DCA 2012), they decided another common pocketknife case -- somehow got probably a correct result -- and definitely -- for almost all the wrong reasons. Why?
Well . . . the case was about a juvenile who brought a pocketknife to school -- with deliberate purpose to use it as a weapon. That alone, could take it out of the common pocketknife category -- if provable. However, the things that upset the Third District (with two exceptions) -- are things that are absolutely common -- and display a total lack of understanding (as usual) about anything resembling a weapon.
First -- they mentioned it had a blade just shy of three inches! Yeah? So, what? That's way below the four inch "presumed" length. Next -- it had serrations along a portion of one side. Yeah . . . that's for sawing -- not for defense or offense. Common for cutting seat belts, rope, etc. Then -- and this is almost unbelievable -- it "locks" in open position! Damn! I should hope so! This has been a common feature for over twenty years so you don't get your fingers cut off! Of course -- it also had a "curved grip". Not sure why that's a big deal -- but the Third District thinks so. They better not visit Lowe's, Home Depot, Sears, Wal-Mart, or any of the other major chains -- if they do -- they're gonna be in for one hell of a shock! It had a "notched grip". OK -- score one for the Third District! First feature that might not be all that common. Also -- there was testimony it could "seriously injure" a person! Yeah . . . so can a ball point pen. So what? And (oh, goodness!) . . . it had a "long screw" that protruded from the handle which served as a makeshift hilt guard. Since I have zero idea what the hell they're talking about here -- I'll also give this one to them. So . . . score "two" for the Third District -- out of a possible seven. . . . I'm not sure . . . but when I was back in school (yeah . . . a very long time ago -- me and Ben Franklin) . . . that was considered an "F".
Now . . . I'm not knocking the end result here -- but, what I'm really trying to say is this: Most judges don't have a clue about weapons. They're probably lucky if they know which end of a steak knife to use at dinner, let alone anything about firearms, knives, or other weapons. (possible exception here for the Second District Court of Appeal -- which is usually pretty damn smart) So . . . if you wanna take the chance of carrying a "common pocketknife" around without a CWP -- or worse -- in a probable "prohibited area" -- chances are you're gonna have a rude awakening to how screwed up our judicial system can really be.
So -- just a word to the wise. Be careful what you carry -- where you carry -- and get the damn CWP!