Laws and attitudes on knives (pocket and up to 7 inches)

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rayitodeluna

Nov 6, 2011, 12:51 AM

Post #1 of 11 (10427 views)

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Laws and attitudes on knives (pocket and up to 7 inches)
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Just wanting to get a feel for not only the actual laws in Mexico regarding knives, but how the general public ( and officers of the law) feels about carrying knives.

Specifically, anything from a small pocket knife (3 inch blade or so) to a knife like a Marine KaBar like so

The Kabar has a 7 inch blade.

To clarify : i DO NOT plan on stabbing anyone with these. I have used knives for day to day tasks my entire life. Thats what you get when raised in a household of Boyscouts and a Dad who grew up on a farm. ;). I cut apples, open things, shave my face with it ( just kidding!! Im too girly for facial hair lol). I already own these knives, some are mine and some were my Dad’s who we lost this past year ( on sept 16th no less!!) . Some have sentimental value. I intend to carry them as a TOOL not a weapon. I was taught never to pull a weapon on someone unless you are SURE they cant take it from you.

Question boils down to: is there a limit on knife length in Mexico for an American on the 6 month visa ( and then a longer term one)? will people freak out if I whip one out to cut a mango?

Thank you in adnvance for any response. If it matters, we are headed for D.F.

~~~~~~ Enjoying life in northern D.F. with our family of Americans and chilangos.
Family and expat blog here : https://threecurlygirlys.blogspot.mx/ ~~~~~~

YucaLandia

Nov 6, 2011, 7:03 AM

Post #2 of 11 (10388 views)

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Re: [rayitodeluna] Laws and attitudes on knives (pocket and up to 7 inches)
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US State Department advises:
Knives
“It is best not to carry even a pocketknife into Mexico as this can result in a weapons charge if a knife is found on a traveler who is arrested for a separate offense. “This question came about 5 years ago on a different board, and my memory is that Mexican law prohibits having any knife with a blade longer than 4 inches, but there were exceptions for obvious utility knives that are tools like kitchen knives and butchering knives, coas, machetes. The conclusion was that that pretty “show” knives and things like the KBar etc would be considered as a weapon and liable to cause the person trouble.


Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at https://yucalandia.com

rayitodeluna

Nov 6, 2011, 7:39 AM

Post #3 of 11 (10380 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Laws and attitudes on knives (pocket and up to 7 inches)
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In Reply To
US State Department advises:
Knives
“It is best not to carry even a pocketknife into Mexico as this can result in a weapons charge if a knife is found on a traveler who is arrested for a separate offense. “This question came about 5 years ago on a different board, and my memory is that Mexican law prohibits having any knife with a blade longer than 4 inches, but there were exceptions for obvious utility knives that are tools like kitchen knives and butchering knives, coas, machetes. The conclusion was that that pretty “show” knives and things like the KBar etc would be considered as a weapon and liable to cause the person trouble.

Oh man, that stinks. I will definately leave them in the states then, thank you for your respo se and clarification on what length is ok.

I have smaller, non showy ones, will just pack on of those instead.

Thanks again

~~~~~~ Enjoying life in northern D.F. with our family of Americans and chilangos.
Family and expat blog here : https://threecurlygirlys.blogspot.mx/ ~~~~~~

TxMex

Nov 7, 2011, 6:39 AM

Post #4 of 11 (10268 views)

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Re: [rayitodeluna] Laws and attitudes on knives (pocket and up to 7 inches)
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That was not my personal experience. We took quite a few knives with us. Used them as gifts and barter items. I’m not sure that a tactical military knife would be appropriate, but we never had any trouble with normal pocket knives. As I recall we had an officer admire a hand made skinning knife that was in the door pocket of the truck. Heck, where we lived half the men were walking around with machetes on their hip.

Like many many things in Mexico. It depends on who you are dealing with as to how rules/laws/attitudes will be handled.

Sculptari

Nov 7, 2011, 6:47 AM

Post #5 of 11 (10266 views)

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Re: [rayitodeluna] Laws and attitudes on knives (pocket and up to 7 inches)
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I think you are over reacting about the knives – the big issue for U.S. law enforcement is concealment, in Mexico there is the additional factor of self enrichment though. As far as U.S. State Department – they are notoriously prissy, and very often wrong. What would the State Department have to say about recently cancelled protest marches in Atlanta – one reason – they had a news video of a young, shaved head white man, walking down a crowded Atlanta street, with a LEGALLY REGISTERED AK47 assault rifle slung over his shoulder!

Ask Don Pedro of these forums. He has been known to publicly carry a large knife in it’s sheaf. He also rides his bike without a helmet. He seems to get along O.K., once the local cops get to know him and his story.

Good luck on your move to Mexico – your timing is perfect. I can’t think of any better place to raise a young family!
no longer active on Mexconnect

FreemanMcgowan

Jun 14, 2012, 5:07 AM

Post #6 of 11 (9659 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Laws and attitudes on knives (pocket and up to 7 inches)
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In Reply To
US State Department advises:
Knives
“It is best not to carry even a pocketknife into Mexico as this can result in a weapons charge if a knife is found on a traveler who is arrested for a separate offense. “This question came about 5 years ago on a different board, and my memory is that Mexican law prohibits having any knife with a blade longer than 4 inches, but there were exceptions for obvious utility knives that are tools like kitchen knives and butchering knives, coas, machetes. The conclusion was that that pretty “show” knives and things like the KBar etc would be considered as a weapon and liable to cause the person trouble.

I generally carry my pocket knife with me, but now after reading this will think about it and avoid to carry it!!

(This post was edited by FreemanMcgowan on Jun 14, 2012, 5:12 AM)

YucaLandia

Jun 14, 2012, 6:29 PM

Post #7 of 11 (9540 views)

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Re: [FreemanMcgowan] Laws and attitudes on knives (pocket and up to 7 inches)
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The issue of personally carrying a knife or transporting knives in our luggage is such a very very “Mexican” issue.

If we listen to 100 expat bits of advice or personal experiences, we will mostly hear tales of that they had no problems. A very few will describe situations where things went very very badly, in unexpected ways for unexpected reasons. Some Mexican Gob. agents/police will be friendly and helpful, some others will make things temporarily difficult or difficult in some minor way, and a few other authorities will make things very difficult.

Expats would like some neat, clean, tidy, well-defined rules like: Blades shorter than 4″ are permitted, but reality here just does not work out that way.

The reality is that if the Gob. authority decides that your knife is for utility uses**, then it is OK to carry as long as you are not menacing people. The rules prohibiting knives in Mexico have specific exemptions for utility blades.
**e.g. Machetes are fine, because they are generally used as utility blades, so, it is OK to carry them if it looks like you are going to hack some bushes or selva – especially if it is oxidized and looks well-used. Carry a shiny new machete, dress and look like some tender-foot city-boy who has never cleared a lot or plot of land, and they may grab you.

**Kitchen knives and butcher knives and cleavers are OK in our luggage – because they look like they are utilitarian.

**Coa’s are OK to carry in public, because, again, they are utilitarian. Carry a brightly polished, well-sharpened coa across the Zocalo in Mexico City and take it into the Cathedral or Museum, and they will likely stop you, unless you look like a poor campesino…

**Military knives / combat knives carried in public places like an upscale shopping mall, might sometime require a whole bunch of explainin’ , especially if you were accused-of or suspected-of with some other crime …

Will this advice and these observations cover all situations and all people and all knives – heck no…

I personally carry a pocket knife here at times, but I have enough other tools and stuff to show that I’m a working guy – country-boy. I have carried a WW2 Japanese bayonet and a large high-polish German butcher knife around in my tool bucket – and the police here never give me second glance, because they are clearly utility blades, as a part of my toolkit. I also know enough Spanish tool-talk and work-terminology to make it clear that I’m a construction guy, speak some Maya, and casually converse with the authority to find out if they went to school with one of my local relatives.

For example, the Maya guys I work with have baptised me “Maya Rubio” , because I really enjoy working side-by-side with ’em.

So, I think it all comes down to if you know how to handle yourself with Mexican authorities… and if you will ever be in situations where you might have trouble explaining yourself … or if you run into some police officer or militar who’s not having their best day. (?)

Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at https://yucalandia.com

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on Jun 14, 2012, 6:35 PM)

FreemanMcgowan

Jun 22, 2012, 10:13 PM

Post #8 of 11 (9258 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Laws and attitudes on knives (pocket and up to 7 inches)
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In Reply To
The issue of personally carrying a knife or transporting knives in our luggage is such a very very “Mexican” issue.

If we listen to 100 expat bits of advice or personal experiences, we will mostly hear tales of that they had no problems. A very few will describe situations where things went very very badly, in unexpected ways for unexpected reasons. Some Mexican Gob. agents/police will be friendly and helpful, some others will make things temporarily difficult or difficult in some minor way, and a few other authorities will make things very difficult.

Thanks for this information!!

(This post was edited by tonyburton on Jun 23, 2012, 7:40 AM)

atomant

Oct 14, 2012, 8:36 PM

Post #9 of 11 (7148 views)

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Re: [rayitodeluna] Laws and attitudes on knives (pocket and up to 7 inches)
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A knife in mexico is considered a weapon according to Reynosa police and a federal agent. I was stopped at a check point in Reynosa and 8 police and one fed just about had a cow over the fact that I had 2 knives in the truck and 1 in my pocket. They almost shit themselves when they saw my traffic vest with POLICE on it along with my balistic vest. They kept telling me that I had armas and I kept telling them NO my pistols were in the US. Long story short they can jack you up over a butter knife. I managed to convince them that I’m a retired cop living down here and they let me keep my items. Oh…..they never said anything about the brand new shiney 14″ machete in the front seat !!!!!!!

soulpatch

Oct 14, 2012, 9:53 PM

Post #10 of 11 (7140 views)

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Re: [atomant] Laws and attitudes on knives (pocket and up to 7 inches)
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Reminds me of the time I was camping for a week at Punta Baja outside of El Rosario. We, me and my two young kids, were heading out of the river bottom into town to buy some goods and a guy with a red flag jumps out, waves us down and we get inspected….. by the time they were done there were seven knives of varying sizes, a baseball bat, a pipe and other goods arrayed across my dashboard.

When they asked what all the knives were for I told them fishing and protection…
then they all wished my, at the time and on that day, my 5 year old daughter happy birthday.

But, then again, my cousin just got harassed after a BS pullover at Tecate for a pocket knife in his glovebox and paid the bite to the tune of about 60 to avoid having to deal with an asshole cop…… and this is a guy that drives to La Manzanillo often.

YucaLandia

Oct 16, 2012, 8:44 PM

Post #11 of 11 (6987 views)

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Re: [atomant] Laws and attitudes on knives (pocket and up to 7 inches)
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A knife in mexico is considered a weapon according to Reynosa police and a federal agent. I was stopped at a check point in Reynosa and 8 police and one fed just about had a cow over the fact that I had 2 knives in the truck and 1 in my pocket. They almost shit themselves when they saw my traffic vest with POLICE on it along with my balistic vest. They kept telling me that I had armas and I kept telling them NO my pistols were in the US. Long story short they can jack you up over a butter knife. I managed to convince them that I’m a retired cop living down here and they let me keep my items. Oh…..they never said anything about the brand new shiney 14″ machete in the front seat !!!!!!!

Fortunately, the issue of utility knives not being considered weapons/armas is actually a written policy. I read it carefully online about 3 years ago, but cannot find the current online version. Unfortunately, this issue is just like the issue of what Aduana actually allows or rejects: It is all in the eye of the government official on the spot.

We had an Aduana official/supervisor explain that there are specific prohibitions against things like ammo and firearms (and grease), but that all other items can be called into question if the Aduana inspector personally dislikes (or suspects) some things during their inspections.

I love how even Reynosa police really did not like the 2 knives, but ignored (accepted) the exposed machete => a perfect example of the actual policy in action. I also note that the police barked at rayito de luna, but they had no bite (allowing rayito to go on her way with the knives and no multa).

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