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U. S. Knife Laws from Several Sources

U.S. Knife Laws by KnifeUp

Knife law guides for all 50 states

State Knife Laws - From a Website by Bernard Levine

Bernard Levine

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


ordinances place the burden of defense and appeal on the unlucky citizens who happen to get charged. 

A few jurisdictions have explicit knife-related ordinances, but most include knives within broader "concealed weapon," "dangerous weapon," or "deadly weapon" statutes. A few of these state and local laws date back to the wild frontier days of bowie knives and pocket dirks. The majority, however, were first enacted during the anarchist scares of the 1880s and the 1910s. Then, as now, publicity-hungry politicians attacked the hardware, rather than the perpetrators, I suppose because hardware does not vote.

Visit Levine's website to continue reading this introduction, and to learn details about knife laws in Washington and other states.



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