Judging by the state you live in, I am not surprised by the attitude you got from this tool.
NJ is very anti-gun, very anti-weapon, and very anti-self defense unless your are one of the elites.
How does that matter? It explains the mindset this guy had going into the encounter. He sees a knife and sees a weapon, while most normal people see a tool.
I will also say that knife laws vary WIDELY from state to state and from town/county to town/county within the same state. USUALLY, the defining characteristic that makes a knife a tool or a weapon in the eyes of the law is blade length. Notice I said, usually.
Before you head to town hall, you had best read up and understand your state and local knife laws.
In my state, only the state government and private property owners can decide which areas are off limits to armed people. City, county, and township government cannot enact ordinances that are more restrictive than state law.