All About Knife Laws

Some people are very fond of knives.

Some people prefer a Swiss army knife and other people like Bowie hunting knives or a stiletto switchblade. People who like these deadly utensils are often subjected to local, state, and federal laws. In some cases, people who have bail bonds out on them might not be able to purchase a knife. Most people who keep knives see them as collectibles and other people use them as tools or for self-defense purposes. Popular media, mostly movies, often fantasize knives as flashy weapons used in dangerous times or by vicious villains. People tend to glamorize knives for this very reason, but they fail to understand that there are some levels of the potential danger involved.

State Laws about Knives

In some states across the United States, there are very strict knife laws in place. Most states consider knives that are not on the short side, so a knife measuring more than three inches in most states are considered to be illegal. Short blades that are only two or three inches long are the only legal option. In some cases, longer knives are legal under certain restrictions that they may be subject to according to the state’s laws. Here are some examples of different states’ knife laws.

California’s Knife Laws

In California, carrying a concealed knife that has a fixed blade is a misdemeanor. The knife must be worn in plain view. In Los Angeles County specifically, they only prohibit fixed blades that are longer than three inches. However, folding knives are not subject to this stipulation. The knife simply cannot be in an open or locked position while it is carried. To be safe, the knife should be folded closed. At the same time, switchblades are illegal, as they are in many other states across the country.

New York

All parts of the state of New York outside of New York City do not have a knife restriction for length. Inside of the city, however, the knife restriction means it cannot be longer than four inches. The city also requires that people carry their knives in a concealed manner. Many types of knives are banned within the state, including gravity knives. This type of knife opens with a flick of the wrist or simply falls open on its own. Switchblades, pilum ballistic knives, and metal knuckle knives are also illegal within the state. People are able to carry hunting and fishing knives so long as they have a permit to do so. These people are the only ones who can also legally carry a gravity knife in most parts of the state. For this state, possessing a knife that has been banned is considered a criminal possession charge for having a weapon in the fourth degree.

Federal Knife Laws

There are plenty of laws at the state level, but there are also federal restrictions. Most of these restrictions have to deal with the sale and transportation of knives. In most cases, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a ban on travelers carrying knives, razor blades, swords, and utility blades onto a plane. Domestic air travelers are allowed to put these items in the packed luggage and check it in, but the knife has to be securely sheathed or placed safely within a pack of luggage. It is important to note that international policies for countries that are being traveled to should be checked ahead of time. Just because they will be allowed out of this country does not mean that they will be permitted into the country of destination.

When it comes to owning a knife or desiring to purchase a knife, the laws at play need to be checked. The laws in one state are different from another, and federal laws also place certain restrictions on the purchase and sale of knives. Before one is purchased or sold, the local, state and federal laws that are in place should be consulted.
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