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Thread: Knife laws

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Centreville, Virginia, USA

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    Not OC or gun related, but certainly self defense related.

    Is anyone aware of relevant collection of basic knife laws across the US. I often travel to places where i cannot bring my gun, but i was wondering is pocket knife would be ok.

    Knife in question is manual folding knife with lockable singe edged blade about 3"-4" long. Something like that:

    Not ballistic, not a sword, not a switchblade - just a regular knife. Any knows of anyplaces in the US (other thancourthouses, schools,airports, etc.)where such knife would be illegal to carry?

  2. #2
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Tempe, Arizona, USA

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    Unfortunately, state laws on knife carry are almost always ambiguous/non-existant. In general, pocket knives often fall under statutes that reference "dangerous or deadly weapons."

    What's worse, most states don't preempt counties/municipalities from enacting their own laws, so you may be at the mercy of any town you travel through.

    In general, here's a good place to start your research:

    - Mike S.

  3. #3
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Hickory, NC, ,

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    Here is one from NC on the state level.

    § 14‑269. Carrying concealed weapons.

    (a) It shall be unlawful for any person willfully and intentionally to carry concealed about his person any bowie knife, dirk, dagger, slung shot, loaded cane, metallic knuckles, razor, shurikin, stun gun, or other deadly weapon of like kind, except when the person is on the person's own premises.


    (d) This section does not apply to an ordinary pocket knife carried in a closed position. As used in this section, "ordinary pocket knife" means a small knife, designed for carrying in a pocket or purse, that has its cutting edge and point entirely enclosed by its handle, and that may not be opened by a throwing, explosive, or spring action.

    IANAL, typically in NC ordinary pocket knife is less that 4.5" closed. At least less than 4.5" has been ruled as not a dangerous weapon. In some towns they will throw in less than 3" blade too.

    The entire code.

    Municode will get you some of the online city ordinances.

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