What are the self-defense laws regarding knives in Maryland?

What are the self-defense laws regarding knives in Maryland?

In simpler terms, if i were to be attacked by a group of people, and i use a folding knife of less than or equal to 4 inches long to defend myself, would i go to prison?

Bookmark the permalink.

All comments are reviewed before publication and all links removed.

3 Responses to What are the self-defense laws regarding knives in Maryland?

  1. Karle says:

    yes…….most likely…….sad to say but u actually get in less trouble if u use a gun to defend ureself……

    ** so get ur concealed carry permit strap up and pray u never have to use it….

  2. StonerMoon says:

    If you can prove that the force you used was in the face of imminent death, in terms of defending yourself, then yes, you can use a knife to defend yourself, but the attacker could sue you if they live.

  3. Philmore says:

    Like all matters of self-defense, the weapon used is completely irrelevant. It just matters if the force used and the manner in which it was used was appropriate to the threat faced. Many many factors enter into this, like if you verbally provoked those people to attack, if they are all women half your size, or huge mean looking gangbangers, and if you made appropriate attempts to escape or defuse the situation.

    Self-defense is NOT an excuse that gets you out of being arrested. It is a defense you raise in court when accused of assault or murder by the police. If the case is clear-cut, there are plenty of witnesses, and you were in the right, the police will not arrest you. If it’s wobbly, and the other guys are telling the cops this maniac with a folding knife came at them, expect to get booked and questioned at the least.

    Now for the record, in Maryland folding knives are legal to carry, no matter how LONG the blade is and no matter what you age is. Any person, be they a random person or a police officer, is lying to you if he tells you different (see first case from US 4th Circuit below).

    That said, if you use any knife inappropriately in a self-defense, you can still be convicted of murder or assault. Two cases are famous in Maryland for this:
    1. In re Julianna (2005). Julianna had an ongoing feud with another girl from another school. The other girl was twice Julianna’s weight and a head taller, and was known for violence. At a football game, Julianna was minding her own business when the other girl came to her. What transpired then is a matter of debate, but ultimately Julianna produced a folding knife and stabbed the girl through the heart, killing her. Julianna was tried and convicted of 2nd degree murder, because the other girl was unarmed, it was not clear she was a threat to Julianna’s life, the knife stab was a surprise attack with no threatening beforehand to warn her away, and Julianna had AMPLE opportunity to run and inform the authorities.
    2. Thornton v. Maryland. (2005) Thornton was with a group of boys who were outside a mall and were more or less getting into wrestling matches/fights with another group of boys. One boy, Taylor, took his shirt off and told Thornton “let’s fight.” Thornton did not want to fight, and took out a folding knife. Taylor advanced anyway, and Thornton stabbed him in the leg. Unfortunately, the wound severed a major artery, and Taylor collapsed and died. Thornton was arrested and convicted of 2nd degree murder. Thornton appealed on the grounds that there was no way he could have known a stab to the leg would be fatal, and has been granted a new trial, but the outcome has yet to be determined.

    Knives have VERY poor stopping power in self-defense situations with the sold exception of KILLING your attacker. People do not feel cuts to their skin during a fight, the adrenaline dulls the pain. Look at other options for self-defense too, like sticks or pepper spray. Ignore anyone who mentions getting a concealed handgun permit, we don’t have them yet in Maryland.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *