INTRODUCTION © 1997
State laws are the most important knife laws, but they are certainly not the only knife laws. Some state legislatures have pre-empted weapons law (i.e. claimed a monopoly on making this type of law), but most have not. In states which have not pre-empted, individual counties, cities, and towns can have their own knife or other weapons ordinances, and many of them do.
Even in states which have pre-empted weapons laws, big cities sometimes pass and enforce knife laws anyway (Portland, Oregon, in its attempt to ban pocketknives, was a recent example; the ban survived three levels of appeal, until being overturned by the State Supreme Court). These unconstitutional