Folding knife with blade that does not lock rigidly into place is not a dirk or dagger. A police officer found a folding Swiss Army knife, with one of its blades fully extended, in Lee’s pocket. He was convicted of carrying a concealed dirk or dagger (Pen. Code, § 21310). The Court of Appeal reversed, finding insufficient evidence that the blade of the knife was in a locked position. Review was granted. Held: Affirmed. Penal Code section 21310 proscribes the carrying of a concealed dirk or dagger. Section 16470 defines “dirk or dagger” as a knife that is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or death. A pocketknife blade is “locked into position” if it is “firmly fixed” in place “by means of or as if by the interlacing or interlocking of parts.” A blade that can be closed simply by applying pressure to the back of the blade is not rendered immobile by a locking mechanism and therefore not “locked into position” as contemplated by the statute.
The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S218861.PDF