State Knife Laws in the United States

State Knife Laws in the United States, Shieldon

Knives have a special place in human lives. They are tools used to make things easier, be it in the kitchen, in the wild, or for self-defense. This is why there are so many types that exist, and getting one for yourself is not that hard. Unlike guns that are heavily regulated in many countries, knives tend to have favorable views in public. However, they are still weapons as much as they are tools. It all depends on the wielder.

Different places have different laws regarding hunting knives. We are going to look at some of the notable knife laws in the United States to help all knife enthusiasts know the places they are allowed to go with their knives and places where they may get into trouble. If you plan to go for a trip out in the wild in the United States, then these tips will keep you out of trouble.


State Knife Laws in the United States, Shieldon

California has one of the strictest knife laws in the United States. You are allowed to purchase knives, but they have to be under two inches in length. For any knife that is larger than two inches, a valid reason has to be provided and a permit provided in the event of a search. It is also illegal to own knives that are not detectable by the metal detectors, owning disguised knives like those that are hidden using a lipstick sheath or something misleading. You are also not allowed to one throwing knives. In a nutshell, if you own a knife in California, then it should not be concealed, and neither should it be too big.


State Knife Laws in the United States, Shieldon

One of the largest states in the US, Texas, also has some strict knife laws. The laws there distinguish knives into two categories; It can either be a simple knife or a location restricted knife. Any knife that has a blade below 5.5 inches is considered to be a simple knife. Any knife with a blade bigger than 5.5 inches is considered a location restricted knife, and that comes with its own set of rules as far as carrying it in public is concerned. People in Texas are allowed to own and carry throwing knives, daggers, bowie knives, swords and spears, switchblade pocket knives, and butterfly blades. Anything above 5.5 inches is illegal.


State Knife Laws in the United States, Shieldon

In Florida, the law is supported by the need for self-defense, and this makes it one of the most liberal places when it comes to knife laws. However, there are some limitations that have to be observed. You can own a Balisong knife, belt knives, bowie knives, throwing knives, and even undetectable knives. However, camping pocket knife that are bigger than 5 inches are not allowed to be concealed; if you have to go out in public with them, they have to be in a place they can be seen. The one knife no one is allowed to carry is the Ballistic knife.


State Knife Laws in the United States, Shieldon

The laws in Ohio allow anyone to own any kind of knife. The restrictions on knives have little to do with the knives and more to do with the intention of the owner. If you are deemed dangerous to own a knife, then the laws will view all knives as deadly weapons in that context. A deadly weapon is anything that has the ability to cause harm or even death when used on another individual. Aside from that, people in Ohio are allowed to own switchblades, balisong knives, ballistic knives, bowie knives, stilettos, among many others, with the right to conceal them however you want.


State Knife Laws in the United States, Shieldon

The state of Illinois also has the self-defense type of approach towards knives. Everyone is allowed to carry knives for defensive purposes as long as they are deemed not dangerous to other people. Some of the knives that people in the state of Illinois are allowed to carry include balisong knives, disguised knives, bowie knives, switchblades, and automatic knives. The only knives that may land you in trouble there include ballistic knives and throwing knives that are more than 5 inches long.



State Knife Laws in the United States, Shieldon

Michigan is an open-carry state for knives, as long as the reason for carrying one is not malicious. The best way the state decides who is malicious and who is not is by using the basis of the criminal record. If you have ever been arrested for violence, especially the type that involves knives. Otherwise, other people are allowed to carry their knives in the open or in concealment.

Some of the common knives that you are allowed in Michigan include butterfly knives, throwing knives, hidden knives, cool pocket knives, undetectable knives, and bowie knives. The ones you are supposed to conceal include hunting knives, spring-assisted folding knives, and anything that’s not on the banned list. What you are not allowed to carry include double-edged daggers and stabbing knives.

New York

State Knife Laws in the United States, Shieldon

New York is a bit stricter by all standards. Every knife is seen as a weapon even when the intention behind owning one is noble. The only way law enforcement will be able to let you carry it around is if you take the matter to court and gain the express permission of the judge in writing. Something like a permit, but this is a very long process and people just chose not to have them on them. There are only four types of knives that you are allowed to carry in New York, and they include fixed hunting knives, daggers and dirks, stilettos, and gravity knives. The knives you are not allowed to be seen with include metal knuckle knives, ballistic knives, throwing knives, and can swords.


State Knife Laws in the United States, Shieldon

Arizona allows just about anyone to carry just about any type of knife as long as they don’t plan to use it for criminal activities. Some of the knives that people are allowed to use and carry include balisong knives, pocket knives, bowie knives, switchblades, and stilettos. However, there are certain situations that will land you in trouble no matter how harmless you may be; they include the following situations;

  • Failure to inform officers about having a concealed knife on you
  • Carrying a knife when you are under 21 years
  • Carrying knives to a school


State Knife Laws in the United States, Shieldon

Virginia is also among the most liberal places for those that love their knives. You are allowed to carry any type of knife that ranges from dirks, daggers, bowie, switchblade, ballistic knife, throwing knives, stiletto, balisong knives, among many others. However, there are some special limitations that people are subjected to where concealment is involved. The following are knives that you are not allowed to hide; Machetes, oriental darts, ballistic knives, and certain types of switchblades.


State Knife Laws in the United States, Shieldon

In Oregon, the laws are very lenient on owning knives, and you are allowed to carry any type of knife they want without any blowback from the law. The only thing you have to be aware of is that if you have a felony record, then you are not allowed to own or carry a knife. Some of the knives that you are allowed to one include dirks and daggers, bowie knives, ballistic knives, gravity knives, switchblades, stilettos. The only knives that may land you in trouble with the law include automatic knives and assisted opening knives. Otherwise, everything goes.

Why Knife Laws are Important

Knives, like any other tool, can become a weapon in the wrong hands, and since vetting people takes a lot of resources and there’s no way of knowing what someone intends to do. This is why knife laws are in place all over the United States and other countries. They are there to protect people from harming other people, and the best way to achieve this is by setting laws that prevent certain knives from being bought and carried in specific places.


It pays a lot to know the laws of the places you are visiting because ignorance is never a good defense. If you are a knife enthusiast, you are obligated to know what is legal or illegal in every country or state you visit, and this is for your own good. The last thing you would want is to be detained in a foreign country with no contact with the people in your life. For more info on the types of knives and their features, check out our website(shieldon knives) at your own time.


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