A pocket knife can be a versatile tool that can come in handy in a number of different situations. Whether it be cutting your way out of something or simply needing to open a letter, the pocket knife is a good thing to carry with you.

But can you carry a pocket knife? Yes and no.

Here’s your guide to understanding if you can carry a pocket knife or not.

On a Federal Level

In the United States, carrying and owning a pocket knife is legal. It can be classified as a weapon though, so there are restrictions on places where it is prohibited to carry.

Such places would include schools, federal museums, prisons, and military bases. Also keep in mind that because of the different laws in different countries, this does not apply to every country. Knives are also prohibited on planes for obvious reasons.

There are also different types of knives that are banned on a federal level.

On a State Level

Local laws will have a bigger part in determining if you can carry a pocket knife. Every state will modify their laws to fit their specific area.

Out of the 50 states, there are only 4 that completely prohibit carrying a knife on you at any given time. These states are New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, and North Dakota.

Many of these states have them banned because of open carry laws. The knife is determined to be an unnecessary deadly weapon, and thus can not be owned.

This does not apply to your own home, except for in North Dakota, where it is determined you can not even own a “weapon” without a license.

Different Types of Knives Have Different Laws

A pocket knife is a very broad term and can apply to a multitude of different types of knives. A pocket knife is legally referred to as any type of folding knife and will be the basis of whether it is legal or not. From there, it gets more specific on what is legal and what is not.

It comes down to whether the state labels the knife as a weapon or as a tool. In almost every state, a folding knife is acceptable, except for the mentioned ones above.

From there, it then gets broken down by the state. Most states ban daggers from being carried, as they are not considered a practical tool and are usually only meant for harm.

Blade length then comes into play. Many states have a set limit of how long the blade can be before it is considered a weapon rather than a tool. Most states will be around 3 to 5 inches, but certain states like Massachusetts have the length set to 1.5 inches.

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Can You Carry a Pocket Knife? Depends on the State

You have the right to bear arms in many different states, but the state has a different take on what is considered legal. Check with your local laws when determining if you can carry a pocket knife or not.

For those looking for more interesting articles on a wide range of subjects, be sure to check out our other articles. Share this article with friends that you think should be carrying a knife on them.

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