Fortunately, Berkeley is a law-abiding town, right?

The (completely predictable) story about a Berkeley student who had previously claimed to be the victim of racial profiling—now under arrest for mass vandalism and hate crimes—included a small photo of the “illegal spring-loaded knife” that he was caught with.

It looked like a pretty normal liner-lock pocket knife to me, and the article specifically noted that the blade was only 2.5 inches, so I followed the link to the Berkeley Municipal Code:

13.68.010 Dangerous weapon—Defined.

As used in this chapter, “dangerous weapon” means and includes, but is not limited to:

A. Any knife having a blade three inches or more in length, or any snap-blade or spring-blade knife regardless of the length of the blade;
B. Any ice pick or similar sharp stabbing tool;
C. Any straight edge razor or any razor blade fitted to a handle;
D. Any cutting, stabbing or bludgeoning weapon or device capable of inflicting grievous bodily harm;
E. Any dirk or dagger or bludgeon;
F. Any “taser public defender” or other similar electronic immobilizer which causes, by means of an electrical current, a person to experience muscle spasms and extreme pain, followed by unconsciousness.

Forget about the “spring-blade” nonsense (which is much more vague than the corresponding state law), the sections I’ve italicized make it clear that Berkeley cops have the discretion to arrest you for carrying anything at all. Which makes you wonder why they’ve showed such remarkable restraint when dealing with “activists”…

Blowing up the picture from the article revealed his tire-slasher to be a “Tac-Force Speedster” (yes, with spring assist), and it’s probably the least-hideous design they sell, so at least he has good taste in discount tacticool knives ($6-8 online). That should serve him well in jail.

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