Is Your Everyday Carry Knife Legal?
A lot of us carry a knife on a daily basis whether its for breaking down cardboard boxes, cutting your apple at lunch time, or for security reasons. How many people have researched and looked into the legality of carrying a knife though?… There are always discussions about carry laws for pistols, but what about your knife that’s tucked away in your pocket everyday. It’s your go-to tool used to open letters, pry things your fingers can’t reach, and your MacGyver-ed screwdriver when it feels like a flat-head screwdriver isn’t within a 10 mile radius of you. Regardless of the reason, there are actual laws in place outlining what can and cannot be carried. It’s good to be educated on these laws in the same way that we spend a lot of time researching pistol carry laws.
For the state of Minnesota, there is no state precedence for the length of blade you are allowed to carry. This means you can carry a knife with any length blade you so desire… sometimes, but I’ll come back to this. Similar to pistol carry, we are an open carry state so it is up to your discretion whether you’d like your everyday carry knife to be open or concealed. Also, in MN we can carry any type of knife we want EXCEPT for switchblades or fully-automatic knives. We can still carry a fixed blade, manual folder, or spring-assisted knife provided you have no intent to harm others. The “intent to harm others” sounds a little arbitrary, and it absolutely is. It is basically what could be proven in court. For example, don’t go walking down dimly lit sidewalks at night twirling a long blade filet knife wearing a dark hoodie. It looks bad. Even if you were walking to a friend’s house to help clean some fish, it was cold out that night, and your short attention span means you like to juggle things.
Knife Laws Overview
- MN is an Open Carry State – you can conceal carry or open carry a knife
- Switchblades & Fully-Automatic Knives CAN’T be Carried – Simple as that
- Be a Good Citizen – Don’t Dress, Act, or Allow people to think you intend to do harm; make your grandmother proud
Now back to the topic of how long can your knife blade be. It is true that in MN there is no law stipulating or telling us how long our knifes can be, but there is a “but.” While no state law specifies length, there are lots of municipality and city laws to watch out for. For example, in Ramsey county while in any park you may not have a 3″ knife blade or longer. In the municipality of Minneapolis, on the other hand, you can carry a knife that has a 4″ blade or less. The 1st example I gave of Ramsey county is a rare occurrence in the state of MN, but its good to know it exists. A general rule of thumb is to only carry a knife with a blade of 4″ or less for most of MN.
Knife Laws Overview
- MN Does NOT Restrict the Length of your Knife Blade – Our state does not restrict us, but……….
- Municipality & City Laws Restrict the Length of your Knife Blade – Check & Verify your Local & Regional Laws of where you frequent most to know what length your Knife Blade would be allowed to be
Occasionally you might see dealers selling fully-automatic knives and switchblades in MN so what’s that all about?… We sell fully-automatic knives at The Guns and Gear Store from SOG Knives and the reason why is Minnesotans can legally collect them. Our state law says that we can collect and transport fully-automatic knives and switchblades, but we may not carry them or use them for defense. So yes, you can buy fully-automatic knives, but don’t stick it in your pocket and try and tell your local police that you’re “transporting” it to your car. When transporting this classification of knife it should be cased or boxed; not easily accessible.
Knife Laws Overview
- Fully-Automatic Knives & Switchblades are ILLEGAL to Carry – Simple as that
- Fully-Automatic Knives & Switchblades are LEGAL to Collect & Transport – You may collect these knives and transport them
So there you have it! That’s the skinny on knife laws in MN. Feel better knowing that you are well-versed in what is and is not allowed in MN.
*Note that this article is not a substitute for professional, legal advice and should not be treated as such. This article is merely an overview of MN law. A professional attorney, lawyer or law enforcement officer should be contacted if you seek professional, legal advice.