(CN) - Seattle's ban on carrying a knife with a blade more than 3.5 inches long does not violate the 2nd Amendment's right to bear arms, a Washington appeals court ruled.
Police had pulled over Wayne Evans for speeding when they discovered he was carrying a kitchen knife.
Charged with carrying a dangerous knife, Evans said he carried the fixed-blade utensil for protection because he had been "jumped" before in the same neighborhood.
Under the Seattle Municipal Code, it is illegal to carry any fixed-blade knife, including a dagger, sword, bayonet, bolo knife, hatchet, axe or straight razor, with a blade longer than 3 1/2 inches. The ordinance includes an exemption for hunters and fishermen as long as the blade is carried in a sheath or in a tool box.
Evans attempted to challenge the constitutionality of the law under the Supreme Court's decision in U.S. v. Heller
, which struck down a ban against handguns in D.C., but the Washington Court of Appeals denied his claims Monday.
The Seattle ordinance survives because it does not eliminate all possibility of defending oneself outside of the home, the court found.
"Here, SMC 12A.14.080 does not 'eliminate all possibility of armed self-defense in public,'" Judge Robert Leach wrote for a three-member panel. "It does not destroy the right to bear arms in public under the guise of regulating it. This ordinance prohibits carrying a concealed or unconcealed dangerous knife or carrying a concealed deadly weapon. It does not ban all knives, nor does it ban firearms."
Leach also found the law "substantially related to Seattle's important interest in public safety."
As such it survives intermediate scrutiny, the court found.
"This ordinance limits the availability of fixed-blade knives in public places while including adequate exemptions to limit its effect on innocent conduct," the 11-page opinion concludes.