Can Felons Carry Knives?

The idea of being able to carry a knife is appealing to many; some like the idea because it offers them a sense of protection throughout the day, while others like the idea due to the utility a knife offers when it comes to daily tasks like opening bags. Whatever the reason is, carrying a knife is relatively popular. So, can felons carry knives? What are the rules when it comes to carrying knives? This article will answer both of these question as well as dive into the legalities of how felons can carry knives.

Can Felons Purchase Knives?

Yes. Felons are legally able to purchase a knife. When purchasing a knife, the only verification that is sometimes asked is to see you Driver’s license or ID. This is only to verify your age and make sure you are at least eighteen. Felons can technically purchase any knife they want, even if it is an illegal knife.

There are different rules for which knives can be legally owned. For example, if the blade of the knife cannot be retracted or stowed away and exceeds four inches in length, then the knife is considered an illegal knife and should not be owned by anyone, felon or not. There are different categories of knives that people can own. Daggers, flip blades, hunting knifes, double-bladed etc. More detail will be given on the laws surrounding these different knives and the exceptions they bring later in the article.

Different Types of Knives and the Laws Surrounding Them.

There are a variety of different types of knives that are available for purchase on the market today. A few knife types were already mentioned in the above section, but it is important to draw more clarity to how many knife types there truly are.

There are butcher and chef knives, there are utility knives, there are pocketknives, there are even grapefruit knives. All of these knives can be owned by felons. Some professions such as being a carpenter or chef require the daily use of knives. Let us be clear, the issue is not felons possessing knives, it is them choosing the publicly carry the knives in question.

The bottom line is that when we discuss the legalities surrounding if felons can carry knives, we are only referring to pocketknives, not any other kind of knife. More will be explained on this in the next few sections, but keep in mind that the only knife we are referring to is pocketknives.

Laws for Carrying Knives.

The laws for carrying knives vary based in the state you are in. Some states do not allow anyone (including felons) to openly carry knives in public. Other states will allow the open carry of knives so long as the blade is four inches and under. Since a knife is considered a deadly weapon by many (if not all) states, carrying one can cause a number of problems for felons. For example, some felons are prohibited from owning or possessing any deadly weapon and being caught with a knife could cost them years of their life.

The one type of knife that is permitted in nearly every state for open carry is a hunting knife. This is because the motivation for carrying the knife is known- for hunting purposes. It is understandable why some people want to carry knives in public, but unless you are willing to face the consequences, it is not the best thing to do.

It is important to note the variety of knives that exist, and which ones are warranted for carry. The State of Michigan for example prohibits the carry of knives, daggers, or double-edged blades that cannot be retracted. Knives that have the ability to stow their blade are typically O.K. for carry since they can be concealed, but as always, consult a lawyer or legal professional for personalized advice on what you should do- especially if you are a felon.

To summarize, the laws for carrying knives vary based on the state and the type of knife. As a general rule of thumb, if the blade cannot be stowed and/or it is over four inches, it is illegal. There may be exceptions to this rule, but it is a good baseline to follow.

How to Legally Carry a Knife.

Now that we are able to know the laws surrounding knives, specifically the laws on carrying them on a daily basis, we can examine how felons can legally carry a knife. Every state has their own laws when it comes to knife regulation, but the federal law only has one rule: the knife must have a blade under four inches. Many states have placed this law within their own rules for knife carry as well.

Felons, or anyone for that matter, are not required to apply to openly carry a knife. The reason is because there is no application process. Anyone over the age of eighteen can legally carry a knife that can be stowed away and that has a blade under four inches. This applies to felons as well, but felons should think twice about carrying a knife.

Felons could find themselves in serious legal trouble if they are caught with a knife that violates the federal laws surrounding knives. If a felon is arrested for any reason and the police officer finds an illegal knife, the felon could go back to prison for possession of an unlawful deadly weapon. This is rare but it is something to think about. If you are a felon and you really want to carry a knife, consult with a lawyer and get written permission that you can carry a knife; also, it might not be a bad idea to ask the lawyer to verify that the knife you want to buy is legal for you to have, it can save you quite the headache.

The best way to legally carry a knife is to have the knife hidden from public eyes. To achieve this, many people will purchase a knife holster and attach it to their belt; once it is securely attached on their belt, they will put a jacket or hoodie on to cover the knife holster. If putting on an extra garment of clothing is out of the question, you will still be O.K. because the knife is in the holster, meaning that the only thing people can see is the holster, not the knife itself.

The Dangers of Carrying a Knife.

There are a number of dangers that come with carrying a knife on a daily basis, especially when it comes to felons. If a felon is pulled over during a routine traffic stop and they forget to tell the officer that there is a knife on their belt, they could face additional charges for not notifying the office. In another instance, carrying a knife could violate your parole, which is why it is a good idea to consult your lawyer before deciding to carry knife on a daily basis.

The possibility for injury also rises when someone carries a knife on a daily basis. One of the most common cases is the knife accidently stabbing your side due to the stowing mechanism failing to properly stow the blade. This accident can be potentially fatal, so it is a good idea to invest in a holster so that in the event the stowing mechanism fails, the blade will not penetrate your skin.

A knife is a dangerous weapon. Be sure that you know the knife you plan to carry inside and out.


Can felons be prohibited from possessing a knife?

In some cases, yes, felons can be barred from owning and/or possessing a knife. If the felony committed was of a violent matter, the judge may declare that as part of the felon’s probation, they cannot possess any deadly weapons (this includes knives). It is always a good idea to consult legal counsel before making any purchases or decisions regarding knives.

What is the difference between “open-carry” and “concealment”?

The main difference between the two is the visibility. Openly carrying a knife means that it is visible by other members of society, concealing a knife means that it is not visible. Open carry laws differ per state as well as concealment laws, but the difference is if they can be seen.

Is there an age requirement to carry a knife?

Some states do enforce an age requirement to be able to carry a knife. Most states allow someone to carry a knife as long as there are eighteen, but a few states require the carrier to be at least twenty-one years old. When purchasing your knife, as the sales representative, they will be able to tell you if you the age requirements set by the state that allow someone to carry a knife on a daily basis.

Thank You for reading! Do you carry a knife on a daily basis? If you do, let us know in the comments below. If you do not, we would also like to hear your thoughts!


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