Are you looking to get into a bar fight?
If you are not acting in a movie, I don’t see the reason why you should walk into a bar, fully expecting a fight – especially with a knife on you.
But then, there could be other reasons why you need to have a knife on you.
To that end, can you carry a knife in a bar?
Knives can be carried into bars, clubs, and other open places if the law permits the open/ concealed carry of such weapons in that area. Some bars will deny you entrance if you carry weapons – for your safety, and that of the other patrons also. In such cases, it is best to leave your knife at home.
Can I bring a pocket knife into a bar?
Check the knife laws in your area to know if you are supposed to carry that pocket knife in the first place.
The first thing to consider in these cases is not the local law, but the general law.
Under federal laws, a pocket knife with no more than 2.5 inches of blade length can be carried safely and legally.
When it comes to state laws, you can get more or less wiggle room, depending on where you stay. Make sure to check updated laws as these legislations tend to change in little time.
Finally, ensure you are compliant with local laws within the state.
Some areas within a state might operate a different kind of knife law. For others, the laws are different based on the establishment.
To be on the safer side, ask the bartender/ bouncer/ any other relevant personnel at the bar or club if they allow you to have a knife. The fact that you asked in the first place could make them see reason with you that you are not interested in causing anyone harm.
Should you take a pocket knife into a bar?
Now, this is another angle of the question that I’d like to consider.
When cops show up to a scene, they don’t only look at how things appear.
They know that they were not there when stuff went down so they base their judgment on what they can obtain and deduce. The same goes in the courts.
If you were in a bar and an altercation broke out, the law would frown on you if a knife were found. Even if you didn’t use the knife at all.
After all, it now seems like you’re a trouble seeker lugging around a dangerous weapon, ready to use it.
At the same time, it could be argued in courts that you have been irresponsible.
We all know that you can drink responsibly, but not everyone does. Who’s to say you can’t get drunk and start swinging the knife at people?
No matter how you look at it, it just doesn’t sit right.
If you would take a knife into a bar at all, make sure you don’t get into trouble on that day. That’s my two cents to you – or just avoid entering with the knife at all.
Alternatively, keep your knife with the bartender/ any other storage area that the bar might offer till you’re ready to leave.
Can you carry a knife while drinking?
When you know that you would be out drinking, don’t carry a knife.
This is almost the same premise around which some of the argument on not carrying a knife into a bar is built.
Even if you can hold your liquor, there is no way for law enforcement agents and the courts to know that. It is generally believed that once you are out drinking, you could fly off the handle.
If you were ever arrested for drinking and you have a knife on you, there could be some serious problems. Better to avoid that altogether.
Context is everything
Before I make any decision, I try to see it from various contexts first.
Let’s do the same here to see what I mean.
Say you were coming back home from the woods, a cop stops you and finds a machete, chainsaw, and pruning shears in your car trunk. The context immediately classes that machete as a ‘gardening tool’ to the cop, and nothing more.
If the same cop were to stop someone else and they found that same machete in the company of a crack pipe and screwdriver, the machete quickly becomes a ‘burgling tool.’
See how the same object, by the same cop, was interpreted in two different ways?
That is the same way that the same cop who found the same knife on someone during the day won’t take lightly to you when they find the knife in your pocket in a bar.
Again, when stuff goes wrong, you don’t even need to have used the knife or brought it out at all. The fact that it is on your person is enough to make a case against you.
Leave your knives at home if going into a bar.
If the bar is a dangerous place, don’t go there at all. Find a better bar in your locale to go to instead.
Head into your bar of choice, have fun, steer clear of trouble and you won’t have any knife charges on your neck for that night.