What are the States that afford the greatest liberty and freedom to carry a blade in America? We wanted to find out. But tracking down up to date information about the laws of various jurisdictions was a major hurdle. Most of the information we could find was well out of date; even sources published within the past 5 years. Because of the relentless efforts of knife rights advocates like Doug Ritter and lawyer Evan F. Nappen, the legislative map has been redrawn in America.
Then we learned about a new comprehensive source of information that had just been compiled and published. The book is called Knife Laws of the U.S., Loopholes, Pitfalls and Secrets by attorney Evan F. Nappen. Nappen includes an assessment of every State’s knife laws, what to do if you are arrested, and a primer on federal knife laws. The book is well worth owning and will give you the peace of mind of knowing exactly what is legal to own or carry in your state. You can download the book for $7.40 here.
Ranking Based on Research and Includes Excerpts from Knife Laws of the U.S., Loopholes, Pitfalls and Secrets, By Author Evan F. Nappen
Cutting to the Chase: Arizona is a great state for knife freedom. It has few knife laws and respects the second amendment.
Sharp Tips: “Deadly Weapon” means anything that is designed for lethal use. This could potentially cover many types of Knives. Carrying a deadly weapon concealed on one’s person or in a vehicle, except a pocket knife, is prohibited IF it’s carried in furtherance of a crime, failing to tell a law enforcement officer when asked, or if you are under 21 years old. Carrying a deadly weapon is also unlawful on school grounds, at election polling places, in vehicles and buildings possessed by the state, at public events and at power plants. Prohibited possessors are also barred from possessing deadly weapons.
Cutting to the Chase: Alaska is one of 9 other states to join the Knife Rights Movement and repeal their knife prohibition laws and pass pre-emption.
Sharp Tips: When carrying a concealed knife in Alaska and contacted by a peace officer, make sure to immediately inform the officer and let them secure it. Certain laws apply to those under 16, 18, and 21 years old. Do not possess knives in schools or courts.
Cutting to the Chase: Georgia has a high regard for knife rights. It is one of the top states for knife freedom. One may carry open or concealed any knife with a blade under 5″.
Sharp Tips: To carry open or concealed knives with a blade over 5″, one needs a carry license. Possession of a knife in a courthouse, government building, church, or jail is highly regulated.
Cutting to the Chase: Utah has excellent knife freedom. No knives are banned by feature. Utah was one of the nine states including Arizona, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Nevada, Texas, Georgia, Kansas, Alaska, and Tennessee to recently enact pre-emption.
Sharp Tips: Possession of a knife in a courthouse is prohibited. Possession by convicted felons and other prohibited person is generally prohibited. Sale of a sword, knife, spear, throwing star, throwing dart, or any other martial arts weapon to those under 18 without written consent of the parent or guardian is prohibited. Do not possess a knife while intoxicated, at school premises, jails, police stations, mental health facilities, “secure areas”, or an airport.
Cutting to the Chase: New Hampshire lives up to its state motto, “Live Free or Die”. ANY knife (regardless of blade length, design, or operation) may be freely bought and sold (even no sales tax), owned possessed, carried open or concealed, transported, displayed, collected, made, manufactured, produced, given, loaned, acquired, transferred, bequeathed, or inherited under state law. The only exception is possession in a court house and by felons. All locations are prohibited from passing or enforcing any of their own knife laws. In 2010, New Hampshire was the first state to repeal its knife bans. Since then nine more states including Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Alaska, Indiana, Texas, Tennessee, Nevada, and Maine have also enacted repeals.
Sharp Tips: Possession of a knife in a courthouse is prohibited. Possession by convicted felons and other prohibited person is generally prohibited. Sale of a sword, knife, spear, throwing star, throwing dart, or any other martial arts weapon to those under 18 without written consent of the parent or guardian is prohibited.
Cutting to the Chase: Kansas it a great state for knife rights freedom. They passed major knife law reforms in 2012. The only knives banned are throwing stars.
Sharp Tips: Possession of a knife by convicted felons is generally prohibited. Schools and jails are off limits. Throwing stars are prohibited.
Cutting to the Chase: Tennessee has recently become one of the states that stand tall for knife liberty. It repealed its antiquated knife laws and passed pre-emption as well.
Sharp Tips: Do not carry knives on school grounds or in school buildings. No knives in courthouses.
Knife featured in image: Spyderco Autonomy