Connecticut Knife Law

Knife laws in Connecticut can be a little bit tricky. This article will clear everything up for you. It presents Connecticut knife law in simple English as well as quotes from the actual code.

Basics about Connecticut Knife Law

Connecticut knife laws are very nice. There is no specific knife that is illegal and limitations are only on the carry of knives.

All Knives Are Legal to Own:

  • Balisongs, automatic knives, gravity knives, and switchblades are legal to own.
  • Dirks, stilettos, daggers, and push knives are legal to own.
  • Disguised knives like lipstick knives, cane knives, and boot knives are legal to own.
  • Bowie knives and other large knives are legal to own.
  • Basically, any knife is legal to own and have in your home.

Some Knives Can Not be Carried (Open or Concealed):

  • Automatic knives over 1.5 inches are illegal.
  • Switchblades over 1.5 inches are illegal.
  • Stilettos are illegal.
  • Blades longer than 4 inches are illegal.

Details on Carrying Knives in Connecticut

Sec. 53-206. Carrying of dangerous weapons prohibited.

(a) Any person who carries upon his or her person[…] any switch knife, or any knife having an automatic spring release device by which a blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches in length, or stiletto, or any knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or more in length[…] or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than three years or both.

c. 29-38. Weapons in vehicles. Penalty. Exceptions.

(a) Any person who knowingly has, in any vehicle owned, operated or occupied by such person, any weapon […] shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years or both, and the presence of any such weapon […] in any vehicle shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section by the owner, operator and each occupant thereof. The word “weapon”, as used in this section, means any […] dirk knife or switch knife, any knife having an automatic spring release device by which a blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches in length, any stiletto, any knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or more in length, […] or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument.

The above two laws do not apply if you are in the military going to and from duty/drill, transporting them for a trade show or sale, moving from your old house to your new house, getting it repaired, in a reenactment, or if have a license for hunting, fishing, or trapping and are going to use it for hunting, fishing, and trapping.

It is 100% legal to carry a Balisong knife as long as the Balisong is less than 4 inches in length. A Balisong is not a switchblade (there is no switch that will open it) or an automatic knife (there is no spring that will open it, you need to flick your wrist).

Knives that have no real purpose besides stabbing cannot be carried if it is longer than 1.5 inches. This means stilettos, daggers, dirks, and other long, thin, double-edged knives with a sharp point.

Conclusion on Connecticut Knife Law

You can own any knife you want but you need to watch out on what knife you carry. Stilettos and automatic knives can not be carried if it is over 1.5 inches. You can carry any other knife if it is less than 4 inches. Fisherman, hunters, and trappers can carry whatever they like as long as it is used for fishing, hunting, or trapping. The penalty is $500 and/or 3 years in jail. Having one of those weapons in a vehicle is a $1,000 penalty and/or 5 years in jail.

Note that I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. The above was all found on LexisNexis. Talk to a lawyer if you would like legal advice. Post questions in the comment box below and I’ll try to answer them the best I can. We are also looking for a lawyer to do an interview about Connecticut knife laws.

Peter Stec
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  1. Hello Peter, I live in Connecticut and I own a 2.5 inch DART Karambit with the Emerson wave feature. Is this knife considered an “automatic” knife and since the blade is 2.5 inches is it it illegal? I teach Filipino Martial Arts and a lot of my staff carry this knife. If you could advise me it would be greatly appreciated.

  2. The phrase … ” or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument,” basically allows the government to deem ANYTHING worthy of being used for self protection as “dangerous” or “deadly”…… Shall not be infringed doesn’t only apply to firearms…. We need SOME common sense corrections to these type of open ended laws…

  3. You can have a knife over 4″ if you are using it for fishing, hunting or trapping. If one of those is in season and you have a license to do it then you could argue that you are on your way to do it or were previously. Have a fishing pole in the trunk and you’re all set. Technically this is a loophole because anyone can buy a fishing license for $28 and find a cheap fishing pole and now they have permission to carry a knife longer than 4″ in their vehicle. If you’re at a bar or a shopping center you may have a hard time convincing the police that you forgot to take it off your belt after fishing though.

    1. as long as its under 4 inches is my understanding

  4. Is the dual blade Batman knives with two 3″ blade legal or if I use them as work knives.
    I appreciate any feedback.
    Thank you

  5. you all must pay more attention to the meaning of ‘blade’ and the meaning of ‘edge portion’. the matter of legal carry of a knife… the legal knife length pertains only to the ‘edge portion’ or ‘sharpened portion of a ‘blade’ . the ‘blade’ itself, the total/overall piece of metal, can be any length…it does not matter… the definition of a knife proper is only the ”’sharpened edge portion””’ …nothing else is of concern according to state law. the ‘blade’ itself can be a foot long… if it has no sharpened edge…. it is not a knife… rather just a piece of steel or other material. Again… the ‘edge’ itself must be sharpened. and it is only this portion of the blade that matters by Connecticut law. I see above several statements referring to the ‘blade’ being less than four inches… this is both misleading and simply wrong. So do correct yourself… that is.. the writer of the above misinformation.

    1. Thanks for that Rico;
      However, I would actually bet money that if you had a 4 foot long sword on your waist, but only 2 inches on the end were “sharpened”, you’d still have a very hard time making this point to a Police officer who very likely would not let you carry it and may charge you with a misdemeanor. That’s just my opinion 🙂

    2. What about making custom knives for people that may not have a category other than “that knife from that game”. Once made, what about transportation to the cliant

  6. So… I’ve been trying to research this all morning, and as far as I can tell, there’s no legal definition of what makes a knife a Dirk or a Stiletto. Can anyone find one for me? Because if there isn’t, as far as I’m concerned, so long as your knife wasn’t made in Scotland or Italy, you’re good =P

  7. Hatchets? Can I bring one camping or hiking? i’d like to have one in my truck for utility purposes.

    1. considered tools in CT. a hatchet can be kept in the car i believe no matter what. i bought one in 7th grade because i wanted to start bushcrafting (this was only 5 years ago), and kept it in my car as advised by my family lawyer. CT law basically thinks a hatchet is just like a hammer

  8. So, long thin blades are only for stabbing? Guess I better leave my filet knife home! How f*****g ridiculous! LMAO! ?

  9. What about quantity? Not one mention of the quantity of legal knives you can carry. What if i had 2 legal fixed blades under 4″ on me. 2 ok?

    1. Hey Old Yank!
      To answer your question as directly as possible, here’s the deal: Technically there is no restriction on quantity. However, if a police officer confronts you and he finds you have 17 fixed blade knives strapped to your gut and your thigh, you’ll probably spend the night in a jail cell …. if you’re lucky! There’s lots of room for “discretion of the officer” in most states’ knife laws, so I’d be careful. If you’re honest with yourself, you won’t see the need to carry a lot of knives at the same time, so stick with what appears to be somewhat “normal” in the eyes of law enforcement and district attornies.
      Just my thoughts friend!

  10. Are switchblades like the one the bully had in IT legal in Connecticut?

  11. This is all really weird. Knives are the original “arms” and supposed to be covered by the Second Amendment. But while it’s legal to have an AR=15 with armor-piercing rounds in public, a knife over 4 blade inches is not. Explain that. And where do they stand on crossbows? I know you can’t use them to hunt unless you’re handicapped, which makes no sense, like it’s unfair to use them to hunt if you’re able-bodied, but okay to shoot the animal. Can they be carried for self-defense in public? I’m guessing not.

  12. Does the overall length of the knife have to be less than 4 inches or just the blade?

  13. is it legal to carry a double-edged knife as long as the cutting edge is less than 4 inches?

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