It is legal to own dirks, stilettos, daggers, and push knives. It is lawful to own disguised knives such as lipstick knives, cane knives, and boot knives. It is permitted to own bowie knives and other big knives.
Knives are popular for hunting, self-defense, and sports weapons, but it’s important to know the knife regulations in your state. Switchblades have long existed in the legal gray area, and the specifics of the legislation vary from state to state.
A switchblade is a knife with a folding or sliding blade that may be stowed inside the handle. When a button or switch on the handle is pressed, a switchblade is normally spring-loaded and automatically opens.
Switchblades are particularly effective for self-defense since they may be carried quietly and deployed rapidly. Switchblades have, however, been employed by criminals for malicious intentions, which is why their legality is so contentious. Here’s everything you need to know about the legality of switchblades in your state.
Are Switchblades Legal in Your State?
While most switchblade laws are state-specific, the Federal Switchblade Act describes how knives are handled in the United States in terms of commerce and across state lines, as well as what qualifies a knife as a switchblade. A switchblade knife is an automatic knife that opens automatically, whether by a button, inertia, or gravity. In the switchblade category, this phrase is deliberately worded to accommodate butterfly and gravity knife designs.
While delivering your knife via the USPS is usually banned, your Microtech switchblade can be delivered to your home by FedEx or UPS from knives.
Here’s a thorough list of which knives are legal in your state (Disclaimer: this is not legal advice)
Laws of State
While the majority of state laws apply to all jurisdictions, some towns and counties may have tight prohibitions. Switchblades, for example, are not prohibited in Massachusetts, although Boston and Salem have tough knife laws. To be sure you’re following local knife laws, do some research on your state and local localities.
Most knives, including OTF switchblades, are lawful in Alabama. The only restrictions are on Bowie knives, which cannot be concealed, carried outside of the private property, or stored in automobiles. Three-inch knives are prohibited in Montgomery County. Otherwise, in Alabama, anything that fits in your pocket is legal. On school grounds, all dangerous weapons are prohibited.
Anyone under the age of 16 must obtain parental permission before purchasing one in Alaska. They have almost no restrictions on the size or type of knife they can use. Only when the cops are engaged or you’re on someone else’s property is concealment a concern. Knives are not permitted in schools without the agreement of the school district’s Chief Administrative Officer.
Knife laws are unrestricted in Arizona for those over the age of 21. Bowie knives, balisongs, and switchblade knives are available for purchase. If you are pulled over or questioned, you must advise an officer of the law that you are carrying concealed. This rule applies to any knife that isn’t a pocket knife when carried hidden. Knives are also prohibited at schools, voting centers, and power plant sites.
Knives of all kinds and anything with a blade are allowed. Knife use is restricted to locations near schools and other safe zones. Giving a knife to a youngster or someone who is incarcerated is a criminal act. No one under the age of 18 can bring a dangerous knife into a public building, and no one under the age of 18 can carry a knife longer than 3 inches for illegal purposes.
In California, most knives are legal, with only a few restrictions on concealed knives. Knives disguised as something else or designed to pass through a metal detector are prohibited. Knife-free zones exist in schools. Daggers and throwing knives are also prohibited. So long as the blade is less than 2 inches long, switchblades are permitted.
All blades longer than 3.5 inches, even if hidden, are prohibited. Knives for hunting and fishing are the sole exceptions. Weapons are prohibited at all schools.
Blade length rules exist in Connecticut as well, but not all of them are enforced uniformly. All knives with blades longer than 4 inches are forbidden, and switchblades and automatic knives can only be 1.5 inches long.
Knives are legal in Delaware as long as they don’t fall into any of the following categories. Knives with pointed tips, brass knuckles, switchblades, throwing stars, and gravity knives are all prohibited. Concealed carry is limited to 3-inch folding or pocket knives.
Within the municipal borders of Washington, D.C., switchblade blades are forbidden. Knives are not permitted to be carried in school or in public places. If you want to carry a knife anyplace in the District of Columbia, be aware that the penalty for non-compliance is severe.
Except for ballistic knives, most knives are permitted in Florida. Ballistic knives, which include some switchblade knives, are knives that are ejected using a trigger or button. Concealing common pocket knives and tools under 4 inches is legal. Knives are not permitted to be carried near schools.
Unless you have a permit, it is prohibited to carry any knife longer than 5 inches, open or concealed, in Georgia. A HB 292 weapons permit is required for anything longer than a foot.
All switchblades are prohibited in Hawaii. Possession of balisongs and gravity knives is a misdemeanor. Knives of all other varieties are permitted to own and carry. Knives with knuckles are the only ones that can be concealed. Knives have a zero-tolerance policy on school grounds.
In Idaho, open carry of any type of knife is authorized. Only dangerous weapons, such as Bowie knives, daggers, and blades longer than 4 inches, are prohibited from being carried concealed. Carrying a dangerous weapon on school premises, especially knives longer than 2.5 inches, is prohibited. It is also prohibited to surreptitiously carry a knife when inebriated.
Ballistic knives, throwing stars, and any button-open aided knives are the only knives that are normally prohibited in Illinois. Automatic knives and switchblades, on the other hand, can be obtained with a weapons permit. Knives are prohibited on school grounds, in public housing, in courthouses, on public transportation, and in any establishment that distributes alcohol or sells admission tickets. Additional rules in Chicago prohibit the sale and usage of knives longer than 2 inches by anybody under the age of 18.
Except for throwing knives and ballistic knives, most knives are permitted in Indiana. Except for carrying knives to schools, it is also forbidden to conceal carry any acceptable knife. Knives may not be sold or given to anyone who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Ballistic knives are prohibited in Iowa. Concealed carry daggers, switchblades, balisongs, disguised knives, and anything with a blade longer than 5 inches are also prohibited. A misdemeanor can be charged if the blades are longer than 5 inches.
In Kansas, just a few types of ballistic knives and throwing stars are prohibited. Knives with projectile power capacity are not explicitly banned, but ballistic knives are. Stars, not knives or other throwable weapons, are referred to as throwing stars. Everything else is legal to carry, whether openly or covertly. Switchblades and automatic knives are particularly prohibited by Kansas law for students.
There are no knife bans in Kentucky, however, there are restrictions on the kind of knives that can be carried. Any knife that isn’t a hunting knife or a regular pocket or utility knife isn’t allowed to be carried hidden. On K-12 school grounds, deadly weapons are prohibited.
Legal, All other knives, whether open or concealed, are permitted to be carried. There is an exception for rescue knives, which switchblades can fall under if the circumstances are right. Switchblades are illegal to use, sell, or carry in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and knives are illegal in government and city buildings in Shreveport.
Automatic knives, switchblades, and balisong knives are prohibited in Maine. Daggers, stilettos, knives longer than 3 inches, and anything else considered a hazardous weapon are prohibited from being carried hidden. Knives are not permitted in the vicinity of schools.
Maryland allows all types of knives, with the exception of switchblades, which are prohibited in Baltimore. Throwing knives, switchblades, gravity knives, and Bowie knives are the only knives that may be concealed or openly carried. Maryland knife owners should use caution while traveling to Washington, D.C., or other surrounding states where the rules may differ.
Carrying switchblades, daggers, ballistic knives, knuckle knives, and double-edged knives, whether open or concealed, is prohibited. A knife is also prohibited in a school zone, which includes university campuses. An automated knife’s blade can only be 1.5 inches long. Additional ordinances exist in Boston and Salem.
Automobiles are permitted. Carrying such blades, whether open or concealed, is prohibited. They are also prohibited from being transported in automobiles or in school zones. Additional ordinances exist in Detroit and Lansing.
In Minnesota, switchblades are illegal. All other knives are illegal, and you can only carry a knife that is designed to be a tool or utility piece, not a dangerous weapon. It is unlawful to carry a knife near a school. Additional limits apply in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth.
If you’re over 18 and haven’t committed any felonies, you can lawfully own any knife in Mississippi. Convicted offenders and minors under the age of 18 are prohibited from owning switchblades, Bowie knives, or butcher knives. Knives are not permitted near schools, and concealed carry of hazardous weapons is outlawed.
Missouri has a one-of-a-kind knife law that only allows switchblades if certain conditions are met. The switchblade must not be kept in violation of federal law. People with one arm can also utilize a switchblade that is less than 3 inches long. The use of all other knives is permissible. Pocket knives with a blade length of fewer than four inches are authorized for concealed carry.
In Montana, switchblades are likewise banned unless you are a collector and have the right paperwork from the sheriff’s office. Carrying hazardous weapons in a concealed manner is forbidden, as is carrying a knife while inebriated. Knives with a blade length of more than 4 inches are prohibited on school grounds.
Except for convicted felons, fugitives, and persons with a history of domestic violence, all knives are allowed in Nebraska. Knives with a blade length of less than 3.5 inches can be carried concealed. Knife laws are more stringent in Lincoln and Omaha. School districts and officials have the authority to impose restrictions or expel children who bring a knife to school.
Switchblades and knives that resemble belt buckles or have a belt knife sheath are prohibited in Nevada. It is illegal to carry any form of deadly weapon concealed. The limits in Clark County are more stringent than those in the rest of the state. On school grounds, switchblades, daggers, and dirks with blades longer than 2 inches are prohibited. Knife laws are more stringent in Clark County.
Unless you’ve been convicted of a felony or a drug-related offense, you can own any knife in New Hampshire. Weapons are prohibited in courtrooms.
Knives are allowed in New Jersey for anyone who has not been convicted of a violent offense. Furthermore, the mentally sick are not permitted to possess knives. Possessing a knife for nefarious reasons is likewise prohibited. Knives are prohibited on school grounds. Minors are not allowed to purchase knives with blades that are 5-10 inches long. Switchblades and concealed carry weapons are both prohibited in Camden.
In New Mexico, only switchblades and balisongs are prohibited. Switchblades cannot be bought, sold, manufactured, or transferred, and they cannot be carried concealed. Knives and other deadly weapons are not permitted on public transportation or on school grounds.
With the exception of hunting knives, daggers, and stiletto knives, most knives are forbidden to own in New York. Anyone with a band knife is presumed to be planning to cause damage. Minors under the age of 16 are prohibited from possessing a hazardous knife, albeit this is not explicitly defined. Blades longer than 4 inches are prohibited in New York City. Knives are prohibited on all school campuses in the state. Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse are among the cities having extra ordinances.
Knife rules in North Carolina prohibit anything with a spring-assisted blade releasing mechanism. Minors are not permitted to purchase bowie knives. Knives of any kind can be carried discreetly, although knives are prohibited on school grounds. All other knives must be carried openly, with the exception of state-owned fishing and hunting reservations and rest spots along highways, where concealed carry is permitted. Additional restrictions apply in Charlotte and Greensboro.
In North Dakota, all knives are legal, but there are some restrictions on what sort of knife you can own and how you can carry it. Knives with blades longer than 5 inches are considered dangerous weapons and are prohibited from being carried near schools, public events, or gatherings. Further limits apply in Bismark, Grand Forks, and Fargo. You are not permitted to carry near any publicly owned or operated structures, churches, or schools.
There are no knife laws in Ohio, where carrying and owning any form of the knife is fully lawful. Lethal weapons, on the other hand, cannot be hidden. Near a school, it is illegal to have any form of a deadly weapon. Additional ordinances exist in Akron and Cleveland, prohibiting the use of blades longer than 2.5 inches, and in Canton, prohibiting the drawing of a lethal weapon.
Knives are lawful to own in Oklahoma. You can’t openly or covertly carry hazardous weapons like Bowie knives, switchblade knives, or daggers, and the same rule applies to weapons in automobiles. It is a crime to have any weapon on school grounds.
Except for convicted felons, Oregon does not restrict or regulate the sort of knife that can be owned by anyone. Knives are prohibited in schools, government buildings, and other public places. It is illegal to carry an automatic knife in your pocket. In Portland, Eugene, and Salem, there are further limits.
Daggers, automatic knives, and other knives that serve no immediate authorized use are prohibited in Pennsylvania. This rule applies to open and concealed carriers alike. On school grounds, all knives are prohibited. All cutting weapons are prohibited from being used in public spaces in Philadelphia unless they are used by the Philadelphia Fire Department.
All knives are authorized to carry openly, excluding daggers, Bowie knives, and anything with a blade longer than 3 inches. Without a parent’s permission, these knives cannot be sold to minors. Weapons are prohibited at all schools.
South Carolina does not have any restrictions on knife possession, however you cannot carry Bowie knives, switchblades, daggers, balisongs, or any other hazardous weapon concealed. Knives greater than 3 inches are not allowed to be concealed in Charleston. All hazardous weapons are prohibited from being concealed in Columbia and Greenville, while switchblades are prohibited outright.
In South Dakota, any form of knife is lawful to own and carry. Concealed carry is legal as long as the carrier has no intention of harming anyone. Any dangerous weapon, unless the person carrying it is licensed, is not permitted on school premises. Additional ordinances exist in Sioux Falls, Aberdeen, Rapid City, Deadwood, and Sturgis.
You can’t carry a Bowie knife concealed in Tennessee. Knives are not permitted on school grounds, and blades must be no longer than three inches in length in Montgomery.
In Texas, all knives are lawful unless they are longer than 5.5 inches. Knives of this length must be stored in specific areas. Schools, government buildings, racetracks, airports, correctional facilities, athletic events, and execution sites are all examples of these. Amusement parks, churches, mental facilities, and hospitals are also prohibited. Minors are only allowed to carry this size of knife in particular circumstances. Any knife with a blade length of less than 5.5 inches can be carried openly or concealedly.
Utah does not have any knife-control regulations, but it does limit who is legally authorized to own one. Knives are not permitted in the possession of anyone who has been convicted of a felony, is on parole, or is in an unlawful status. Knives are strictly prohibited on school grounds.
With the exception of switchblades with a blade length of 3 inches or more, most knives are lawful in Vermont. Knives are not permitted on or near school grounds. Knives can be carried covertly as long as they are not carried with the intention of injuring someone else.
In Virginia, any knife is lawful to own. However, lethal weapons such as Bowie knives, switchblades, throwing knives, and machetes cannot be concealed. Except for a folding pocket knife less than 3 inches long, dangerous weapons are prohibited in schools. On school premises, carrying anything greater than a 3-inch folding pocket knife is a misdemeanor.
In Washington, it is prohibited to own switchblade knives or any other form of knife with a spring-loaded blade system. Carrying a hazardous weapon in a concealed manner is also forbidden. Additional ordinances exist in Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, and Vancouver. On school grounds, knives are prohibited.
All knives are permitted in West Virginia, except switchblades, balisongs, gravity knives, and anything with a blade longer than three inches are prohibited. Unless they are married or emancipated, minors are not allowed to acquire deadly weapons. On school grounds, all knives are prohibited. Additional prohibitions exist in Charleston and Wheeling, with Charleston outlawing switchblades entirely.
In Wisconsin, open carry of any type of knife is authorized. Any harmful or criminal motive is prohibited. A dangerous weapon cannot be owned by a minor, and dangerous weapons are not permitted on school premises. Knife carry at government facilities may be subject to additional local laws.
Knives of any kind are legal in Wyoming. Peace officers, people with a weapons permit, and those over 21 years old are permitted to carry hazardous weapons concealed. Knife carrying is prohibited at mental health, correctional, and court facilities.
Knife regulations vary widely from state to state, ranging from size and type restrictions to the legal standing of the holder. In most places, switchblades are lawful as long as you follow the rules. Knives are important tools, but they are also dangerous weapons that should be used with prudence.