Knife Laws


If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you want to have a good knife. Even if you’re not into bushcraft or survival, knives have plenty of practical applications, and can be useful in an emergency. However, while knives are useful they can be seen as dangerous. Different states have different laws and regulations for knives. It’s a good idea to be aware of a state’s knife laws especially if you are traveling.

Obviously, there are different cultures and different lifestyles depending on the region you are in. For that reason, types of knives or knives in general will have varying levels of acceptance from place to place. Here’s a look at some of the knife laws in our area.


Alabama – Most knives are legal in Alabama: balisongs, switchblades, stilettos, out the front knives, and anything that can fit in your pocket are all legal. Alabama is definitely a knife-friendly state, but the friendliness wanes a little when it comes to Bowie knives. Bowie knives are legal to carry in public only if carried openly. It’s illegal to conceal them and you can’t carry one in a vehicle. If you’re planning on camping with a Bowie knife in Alabama be sure to take your horse instead of your car.

Arkansas – In 2011 Arkansas deemed current knife laws as archaic. The new updated laws are much more knife-friendly. It would be faster to give a list of the knives that are illegal in our home state than a list of knives that are legal. That’s because there isn’t really an illegal knife in Arkansas. Pretty much anything with a blade is legal including swords and throwing stars. Expect an increase in the Arkansas ninja population.

Louisiana – Louisiana knife laws are almost as accommodating as Arkansas’. All knives can carried openly or concealed in the state of Louisiana except for switchblades. Law enforcement and service can sometimes get around this switchblade law under a “rescue knife” exemption.

Mississippi – If you’re over 18 and haven’t been convicted of a felony, feel free to carry whatever type of knife you’d like in Mississippi. However, convicted felons cannot carry bowie knives, dirks, butcher knives, or switchblades. It is also illegal to conceal all of those knives regardless of your record.

Missouri – While it’s legal to own most knives, it’s against the law to carry switchblades in Missouri. However, there is an exception to that law. Under federal law 15 USC Chapter 29, a person is allowed to possess and/or carry a switchblade┬á if the blade is less than three inches long and the person has only one arm, or the knife contains a mechanism designed to create a bias toward closure of the blade. No joke.

Oklahoma – All knives are legal in Oklahoma. However, it’s illegal to carry just about any of them. Oklahoma’s no carry law means that it’s illegal to carry most knives openly or concealed.


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