What are Mexican knife laws?

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What are Mexican knife laws?


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Old 31st March 2012, 04:57 PM
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Default What are Mexican knife laws?

I realize by asking the question it might make me seem like some kind of nut but I don’t think I'm crazy. Anyways I'm not a huge knife geek but I carry a knife with me every day everywhere I go and I have since I was in high school.

I don’t have any fantasies of taking over the world with my pocket knife or stopping a band of thugs but I look at as more of a tool which I use almost every day for one thing or the other. Thus I feel almost naked without one clipped in my pocket.

The only time I am without a knife is when I am in Mexico. The main reason for this is because the knifes that I carry are rather expensive and I wouldn't want to lose one so this time I was thinking about picking up something cheaper just to take with me. I never really gave much thought to any laws until a few days ago the thought crossed my mind.

I've never had any dealings with the police in Mexico so I have no idea on how they would react to a gringo with a knife in his pocket. I guess it could be like here in Nevada where they wouldn't care or it could be like in New York where they would lock you up with Charles Manson for even thinking about carrying a knife.

Also does anybody know if their laws vary state by state like here in the US? The states I would be in are Estado de Mexico & Michoacán

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Old 31st March 2012, 05:23 PM
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I believe there are prohibitions, and I believe they do vary by state and city. I had the same question. All my life I carried what we call a jack knife, the work I did and in my life there was always need for one.

I never thought about it. Once, in Mexico City, the guards in a museum found I had it, and took it temporarily while I was inside. They wrote up a form that I had come in with a knife.

So, I did some checking, and found there are some prohibitions on knifes in some places.

Here in my village, you can drag around a 3 foot machete, and no one blinks.

I once took one back to the US, to cut a banana tree in my yard. When I came back, the cops stopped me not far from my home. A younger cop saw that machete in its scabbard in the back of my mini-van, and pointed at it. The other cop shrugged it off. I was told later, that if I had been in the city, it might have gone differently, but in the country, most people have one with them.

So, while I cannot give you a detailed answer, I would say you need to do some serious investigation before carrying one.

I do have a tiny one on my key ring, here in Mexico. It is part of a four tool finger nail device. I do not know if I can get in trouble with that or not.

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Old 31st March 2012, 05:27 PM
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I read in the US that in Texas schools, there is no minimum size for illegal knife. One like I have on my keyring can get me a weapons violation if they catch me with it in any school. Of course, a kid drawing a picture of a knife can get him in jail, so I guess it makes sense in a way. Yet, at least the picture cannot possibly harm anyone.

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Old 31st March 2012, 05:36 PM
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As with most things here, I expect that somewhere there is a detailed list of restrictions, especially for larger cities. In our little pueblo, I'm about the only person that doesn't carry a machete so doubt any person gets stopped.
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Old 31st March 2012, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conklinwh View Post
As with most things here, I expect that somewhere there is a detailed list of restrictions, especially for larger cities. In our little pueblo, I'm about the only person that doesn't carry a machete so doubt any person gets stopped.
I used to alway carry two folding pocket knives, a little Buck with about a 1-1/2" blade, and a Gerber with a 3-1/2" blade. One time getting on a bus in Ciudad Juarez, they found the small one and confiscated it. So now I just have the Gerber. Another time getting on a bus somewhere they found the Gerber and just told me to put it in my backpack under the bus. I seem to recall being told there are limits on the length of the blade and I suspect I am over it. But the only time anyone ever says anything about it is when they borrow it to do something.

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Old 31st March 2012, 06:11 PM
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It may be the "hidden" nature and that on your body. I remember growing up that there were restrictions on "switchblades" but not "straight/fixed" blades until someone started openly carrying a Bowie knife.

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Old 31st March 2012, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by conklinwh View Post
It may be the "hidden" nature and that on your body. I remember growing up that there were restrictions on "switchblades" but not "straight/fixed" blades until someone started openly carrying a Bowie knife.
They aren't really hidden. The little one was in a handful of keys and change that I pulled out when the hand scanner went off near my pocket. The bigger one was in a carry-on when they found it.

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Last edited by TundraGreen; 31st March 2012 at 07:21 PM. Reason: Fixed typo.
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Old 31st March 2012, 09:19 PM
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In Mexico a machete is not a knife, it is a tool...I have a machete I carry in my car, a filet knife in my fishing kit and a Swiss Army on my belt, never had a problem during checkpoints by Feds or Army...I
believe the cops do not like locals to carry pocket knifes......

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Old 31st March 2012, 10:49 PM
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I'm no lawyer, but this is from the Codigo Penal (the penal code) for Michoacan (English is in bold):

TITULO SEGUNDO (second title)
DELITOS CONTRA LA SEGURIDAD PUBLICA
(Crimes against public security)

CAPITULO III (Chapter 3)
Armas prohibidas (prohibited weapons)

Artículo 128.- Son armas prohibidas: (these weapons are prohibited)
(REFORMADA, P.O. 3 DE AGOSTO DE 1998)

I. Los puñales, navajas de muelle, verduguillos, cuchillos, puntas y demás armas ocultas o disimuladas

I. daggers, switchblades, stilettos, knives, spears (?) and other weapons hidden or concealed in canes or other objects, tools or domestic utensils

------------------------------------------------
Here is from the Codigo Penal for Estado de México:

TITULO SEGUNDO (second title)
DELITOS CONTRA LA COLECTIVIDAD (crimes against the community)

SUBTITULO PRIMERO (First subtitle)
DELITOS CONTRA LA SEGURIDAD PUBLICA (crimes against public security)

CAPITULO II (Chapter II)
PORTACION, TRAFICO Y ACOPIO DE ARMAS PROHIBIDAS
(carrying, dealing and stockpiling of prohibited weapons)
Artículo 179.- Son armas prohibidas: (these are prohibited weapons)
I. Los puñales, cuchillos, puntas y las armas ocultas o disimuladas;
(I. daggers, knives, spears and hidden or concealed weapons)
----------------------------------
No idea if this means knives are OK if worn outside on your belt - they might consider a scabbard or case to be "hiding" the knife, depending on their mood that day.

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Old 1st April 2012, 02:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimJones View Post
I've never had any dealings with the police in Mexico so I have no idea on how they would react to a gringo with a knife in his pocket.
Here's what the US State Department advises:
"Firearms and 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. Visitors driving across the border should ensure that their vehicles contain no firearms or ammunition. Mexico imposes harsh penalties for bringing as little as one bullet across its borders."
More info here from the US Consulate in Tijuana:

If you carry a knife on your person in Mexico, even a pocketknife...


FWIW,

-- K.H.

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