Knife Laws: Is carrying a knife legal in your state?

In regards to Federal Law, there are two that regulate owning or possessing knifes in public. The Switchblade Knife Act of 1958, and it’s amendment known as 15 U.S.C. §1244. These federal laws only tend to apply to those people who are traveling to the United States or if they are traveling in interstate commerce between the states.  Under the Commerce Clause of Section I Article 8 of the U.S. constitution the federal government can regulate nearly anything that travels in interstate commerce.

What Size Knife Is Legal?

All states have their own laws and regulations in regards to knife carrying and possession. You must abide by both the laws in the city in which you reside as well as the in the state in which you reside or the state where you currently are in. If you are traveling you must also abide by each cities code that you pass through. At times this makes complying with knife laws difficult unless a state has a preemption law. Preemption means the state government declared that the only laws that can be enforced in a city or county is the state law and the federal law.

Where Are Knifes Illegal?

ALL STATES PROHIBIT THE OPEN CARRY OF KNIFES at schools, courthouses, on public and commercial aircraft, in government buildings, on military installations (unless a member of the armed forces). In fact, unbeknownst to many handymen carrying a large knife on a construction site at time also contradicts the law of some states.

What Knifes Are Legal To Carry?

Knifes that nearly no state or ordinance regulates or disallows are Swiss army knifes and utility knifes as long as the are 2.5- 3 or less inches. Still brandishing even one of these smaller knifes in a threatening manner could be viewed as assault or battery if not worse and Police in some areas have been taught to shoot if they view such conduct in a dangerous manner.

There are some states like Texas that allows the carrying of large knifes or swords. However, where the open carry of such large knifes or swords are allowed is still regulated. It is vital that any person who desires to carry a knife or sword look at their city and states laws and regulations.

Knife Laws: Terminology

Below we have listed out some of the terminology that you will find in Knife Laws and Regulations.

  • Carry Law: Regulates, size, type, length of knife you are allowed to have outside of your home.
  • Ownership Law: Forbids an individual from owning a particular type of knife, even in their own residence.
  • Fixed Blade: A knife that does not fold. (EX. Kitchen and Butter knifes).
  • Folding Knife: A knife that folds.
  • Switchblade: Often specifically defined by a states themselves, many different definitions.
  • Bowie Knife: Oversized fixed knife.
  • Stiletto: Skinny knife designed to stab.
  • Dagger: A knife with sharp sides.
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