West Virginia's knife laws
West Virginia as of July 2, 2004
As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) "Blackjack" means a short bludgeon consisting, at the striking end, of an encased piece of lead or some other heavy substance and, at the handle end, a strap or springy shaft which increases the force of impact when a person or object is struck. The term "blackjack" shall include, but not be limited to, a billy, billy club, sand club, sandbag or slapjack.
(2) "Gravity knife" means any knife that has a blade released from the handle by the force of gravity or the application of centrifugal force and when so released is locked in place by means of a button, spring, lever or other locking or catching device.
(3) "Knife" means an instrument, intended to be used or readily adaptable to be used as a weapon, consisting of a sharp-edged or sharp-pointed blade, usually made of steel, attached to a handle which is capable of inflicting cutting, stabbing or tearing wounds. The term "knife" shall include, but not be limited to, any dagger, dirk, poniard or stiletto, with a blade over three and one-half inches in length, any switchblade knife or gravity knife and any other instrument capable of inflicting cutting, stabbing or tearing wounds. A pocket knife with a blade three and one-half inches or less in length, a hunting or fishing knife carried for hunting, fishing, sports or other recreational uses, or a knife designed for use as a tool or household implement shall not be included within the term "knife" as defined herein unless such knife is knowingly used or intended to be used to produce serious bodily injury or death.
(4) "Switchblade knife" means any knife having a spring-operated blade which opens automatically upon pressure being applied to a button, catch or other releasing device in its handle.
(5) "Nunchuka" means a flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts, connected by a chain, cable, rope or other nonrigid, flexible or springy material, constructed in such a manner as to allow the rigid parts to swing freely so that one rigid part may be used as a handle and the other rigid part may be used as the striking end.
(6) "Metallic or false knuckles" means a set of finger rings attached to a transverse piece to be worn over the front of the hand for use as a weapon and constructed in such a manner that, when striking another person with the fist or closed hand, considerable physical damage may be inflicted upon the person struck. The terms "metallic or false knuckles" shall include any such instrument without reference to the metal or other substance or substances from which the metallic or false knuckles are made.
(7) "Pistol" means a short firearm having a chamber which is integral with the barrel, designed to be aimed and fired by the use of a single hand.
(8) "Revolver" means a short firearm having a cylinder of several chambers that are brought successively into line with the barrel to be discharged, designed to be aimed and fired by the use of a single hand.
(9) "Deadly weapon" means an instrument which is designed to be used to produce serious bodily injury or death or is readily adaptable to such use. The term "deadly weapon" shall include, but not be limited to, the instruments defined in subdivisions (1) through (8), inclusive, of this section or other deadly weapons of like kind or character which may be easily concealed on or about the person. For the purposes of section one-a, article five, chapter eighteen-a of this code and section eleven-a, article seven of this chapter, in addition to the definition of "knife" set forth in subdivision (3) of this section, the term "deadly weapon" also includes any instrument included within the definition of "knife" with a blade of three and one-half inches or less in length. Additionally, for the purposes of section one-a, article five, chapter eighteen-a of this code and section eleven-a, article seven of this chapter, the term "deadly weapon" includes explosive, chemical, biological and radiological materials. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the term "deadly weapon" does not include any item or material owned by the school or county board, intended for curricular use, and used by the student at the time of the alleged offense solely for curricular purposes.
(10) "Concealed" means hidden from ordinary observation so as to prevent disclosure or recognition. A deadly weapon is concealed when it is carried on or about the person in such a manner that another person in the ordinary course of events would not be placed on notice that the deadly weapon was being carried.
(11) "Firearm" means any weapon which will expel a projectile by action of an explosion.
(12) "Controlled substance" has the same meaning as is ascribed to that term in subsection (d), section one hundred one, article one, chapter sixty-a of this code.
(13) "Drug" has the same meaning as is ascribed to that term in subsection (1), section one hundred one, article one, chapter sixty-a of this code.
61-7-3. Carrying deadly weapon without license or other authorization; penalties.
(a) Any person who carries a concealed deadly weapon, without a state license or other lawful authorization established under the provisions of this code, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars and may be imprisoned in the county jail for not more than twelve months for the first offense; but upon conviction of a second or subsequent offense, he or she shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in the penitentiary not less than one nor more than five years and fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars.
(b) It shall be the duty of the prosecuting attorney in all cases to ascertain whether or not the charge made by the grand jury is a first offense or is a second or subsequent offense and, if it shall be a second or subsequent offense, it shall be so stated in the indictment returned, and the prosecuting attorney shall introduce the record evidence before the trial court of such second or subsequent offense and shall not be permitted to use discretion in introducing evidence to prove the same on the trial.
61-7-6. Exceptions as to prohibitions against carrying concealed deadly weapons.
The licensure provisions set forth in this article do not apply to:
(1) Any person carrying a deadly weapon upon his or her own premises; nor shall anything herein prevent a person from carrying any firearm, unloaded, from the place of purchase to his or her home, residence or place of business or to a place of repair and back to his or her home, residence or place of business, nor shall anything herein prohibit a person from possessing a firearm while hunting in a lawful manner or while traveling from his or her home, residence or place of business to a hunting site and returning to his or her home, residence or place of business;
(2) Any person who is a member of a properly organized target-shooting club authorized by law to obtain firearms by purchase or requisition from this state or from the United States for the purpose of target practice from carrying any pistol, as defined in this article, unloaded, from his or her home, residence or place of business to a place of target practice and from any place of target practice back to his or her home, residence or place of business, for using any such weapon at a place of target practice in training and improving his or her skill in the use of the weapons;
(3) Any law-enforcement officer or law-enforcement official as defined in section one, article twenty-nine, chapter thirty of this code;
(4) Any employee of the West Virginia division of corrections duly appointed pursuant to the provisions of section five, article five, chapter twenty-eight of this code while the employee is on duty;
(5) Any member of the armed forces of the United States or the militia of this state while the member is on duty;
(6) Any circuit judge, including any retired circuit judge designated senior status by the supreme court of appeals of West Virginia, prosecuting attorney, assistant prosecuting attorney or a duly appointed investigator employed by a prosecuting attorney;
(7) Any resident of another state who has been issued a license to carry a concealed weapon by a state or a political subdivision which has entered into a reciprocity agreement with this state. The governor may execute reciprocity agreements on behalf of the state of West Virginia with states or political subdivisions which have similar gun permitting laws and which recognize and honor West Virginia licenses issued pursuant to section four of this article;
(8) Any federal law-enforcement officer or federal police officer authorized to carry a weapon in the performance of the officer's duty; and
(9) Any Hatfield-McCoy regional recreation authority ranger while the ranger is on duty.
61-7-8. Possession of deadly weapons by minors; prohibitions.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this article to the contrary, a person under the age of eighteen years who is not married or otherwise emancipated shall not possess or carry concealed or openly any deadly weapon: Provided, That a minor may possess a firearm upon premises owned by said minor or his family or on the premises of another with the permission of his or her parent or guardian and in the case of property other than his or her own or that of his family, with the permission of the owner or lessee of such property: Provided, however, That nothing in this section shall prohibit a minor from possessing a firearm while hunting in a lawful manner or while traveling from a place where he or she may lawfully possess a deadly weapon, to a hunting site, and returning to a place where he or she may lawfully possess such weapon.
A violation of this section by a person under the age of eighteen years shall subject the child to the jurisdiction of the circuit court under the provisions of article five, chapter forty-nine of this code, and such minor may be proceeded against in the same manner as if he or she had committed an act which if committed by an adult would be a crime, and may be adjudicated delinquent.
8-12-5. General powers of every municipality and the governing body thereof.
In addition to the powers and authority granted by: (i) The constitution of this state; (ii) other provisions of this chapter; (iii) other general law; and (iv) any charter, and to the extent not inconsistent or in conflict with any of the foregoing except special legislative charters, every municipality and the governing body thereof shall have plenary power and authority therein by ordinance or resolution, as the case may require, and by appropriate action based thereon...
(16) To arrest, convict and punish any individual for carrying about his or her person any revolver or other pistol, dirk, bowie knife, razor, slingshot, billy, metallic or other false knuckles or any other dangerous or other deadly weapon of like kind or character;