California Penal Code 16470 PC defines dirks and daggers as knives which can be used as stabbing weapons. It does not matter whether the dirk or dagger has a handguard or how long the blade is.
The entire statute reads as follows:
16470. As used in this part, “dirk” or “dagger” means a knife or other instrument with or without a handguard that is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or death. A nonlocking folding knife, a folding knife that is not prohibited by Section 21510, or a pocketknife is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or death only if the blade of the knife is exposed and locked into position.
California Penal Code 16470 PC defines dirks and daggers as knives capable of:
- stabbing, and
- causing great bodily injury or death.
It is not necessary that there be a handguard.
Folding knives and pocketknives are only considered dirks or daggers if the knife is:
- exposed, and
- locked into position.
It does not matter how long the blade is.1
California law prohibits the concealed carry of dirks or daggers. However, it is legal to conceal carry folding knives as long as:
- the knife is folded, or
- the blade cannot be locked.2
- California Penal Code 16470 PC – “Dirk”; “Dagger”. See, for example: People v. Mitchell (Cal. App. 4th Dist. 2012), 208 Cal. App. 4th 1213, 146 Cal. Rptr. 3d 224; People v. Bermudez (Cal. App. 3d Dist. 2019), 253 Cal. Rptr. 3d 197, 40 Cal. App. 5th 412.
- PC 21310.