When is a Knife Not Considered a Weapon?

          Jeffrey Browder was charged with committing the crime of possession of a concealed weapon by a convicted felon in the case of Browder versus State of Florida.  The "weapon" that he had was a folding knife with a blade less than four inches long.  The blade of his knife was folded into the handle at the time of his arrest.


          Browder filed a motion to dismiss his case in which he argued that Florida statute 790.001(13) specifically states that a "common pocketknife" is not a weapon.  He further argued that his knife was, in fact, just such a knife.


          Florida's Second District Court of Appeal agreed with Browder for the following reasons:


          1.  In the case of L.B. versus State of Florida, the Florida Supreme Court defined a common pocketknife as "a type of knife occurring frequently in the community which has a blade that folds into the handle and that can be carried in one's pocket."


          2.  In the case of J.R.P. versus State of Florida, the Third District Court of Appeal ruled that a knife that is folded closed and has a blade less than four inches long is a common pocketknife and is therefore not a weapon as defined by Florida law.

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