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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.


  1. Note that it says “4 inches or more” which means blades that are exactly 4″ are illegal, not just blades over 4″, as you stated in your post. Just trying to save someone a headache.

  2. Excellent page, you do a good job breaking it all down, the way you wrote it out would make it a lot easier for people to understand how these knife laws work. However you did make a couple errors. Balisongs are illegal to carry in Connecticut. Carrying a balisong is considered carrying a dangerous or deadly weapon and is a Felony. I know from experience. [(6) “Deadly weapon” means any weapon, whether loaded or unloaded, from which a shot may be discharged, or a switchblade knife, gravity knife, billy, blackjack, bludgeon, or metal knuckles. The definition of “deadly weapon” in this subdivision shall be deemed not to apply to section 29-38 or 53-206;]
    The state considers balisongs gravity knives.

    You should contact KnifeRights.org for an interview.

  3. You gotta love the occupied state of Corrupticut. I have a permit to carry pistols and revolvers and do carry often. I can carry my .45 and spare mag all day long but I have to leave my dirks and daggers at home. How does that make any sense? Permission to carry a loaded handgun is fine with the statists, but face a penalty of not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years or both. Wake up voters.

  4. Question…can I carry a Ken Onion “spring assist” in Connecticut? I have called KERSHAW and have been told it is not a spring loaded knife. Does that play with your experience in the state.



    • I have a timber spring assisted & technicaly ,they are legal but Im not taking chances ..i,carry manualy one hand opening knives like spyderco

    • Locked in TRUNK when transporting.. then only on private land ( With land owners permission of course) you can carry single edged. 4″ or longer with hunting ,or fishing licence..

  5. Of the dozens of knives i own/collect, i choose to ‘wear’ a neck knife made by Ridge Runner, the ‘edged’ aspect is exactly “3 and is not ‘double edged’, which is illegal to carry in Ct. I openly wear the knife around my kneck, instead of carrying/clipping a knife to my belt or pocket. I find that this knife and the method of carry seems to intimidate some folks who i pass by, or at the counter in a store, etc etc. My concern now is the part above where it states “knives that have no other purpose other than to stab”. Could you expound a bit on that for me? Although i have never felt the need to use the knife in a defensive manner, it is why i carry it. However…i have used it many times to open packages, boxes etc… Do you in your opinion, think that a knife such as mine would be considered by a police officer as one of those described as having no use other than to stab?

    • Thats not whay CT law says ..its either. A single edged knife must be under 4 ” the EDGED PORTION of blade. Or anything Double edged (dirk & switch-gravaty)must ne under one& one half…..dosnt matter. Fixed ,folder.concealed ,non cocealed. On your belt….neck NOTE : go yo CT gov web & copy statute & CARRY with you ..many cops do NOT know the law!! You can respectfully show them..(years ago cop claimed 4 fingers..told him 4 inches. EDGED PORTION OF BLADE ..technicaly does not include riccasso…some cops say from handle ,guard,gripp…thats not what law says ,nut i always carry a 3-3/4 max so no problems

    • I dont see that phrase in the statute?..i think that was the author of this site trying to explain the meaning of the,law….basicaly. Double edged (dirk)switch blade,gravity, 1 1/2 & over ..a .no no.. Single edged. Any knife 4″ or longer.a No no..unless you have hunting-fishing lic…thats preaty much it….

  6. 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,<NOTE:THERE IS A COMMA HERE< or stiletto, or any knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or more in length..Stiletto Falls under Or Stiletto Or Any other knife …So you can carry a stiletto If it is under 4 inches & Single edged The way I read it ..Also the law states 4in The "Edged" Portion of the blade ..which means "Sharpened" portion.. NOT the unsharpened Riccaso…so according to the statute the Blade from the handle may be longer as long as the Edged portion is under 4in..The revision to the statute also says you can carry a longer knife if you possess a Hunting or fishing license..Or a salt water fisherman while fishing ..Thats because at the time of the revision ..there was no salt water license Available ..Note the law says you dont have to be fishing or hunting to carry a large knife Just possess the license.

  7. I can carry all the handguns I can on my person open or concealed but I might go to jail for carrying a fixed blade knife 4.00 inches or longer.

    That’s CT for ya!

  8. Mick Johnson: Don’t carry a knife around your neck with the intent to intimidate. If someone intends you harm, you’ve told them that you have a weapon, and if someone doesn’t intend to do you harm, you just intimidate normal nice folk. If you aim for defense, carry a knife in your pocket. You won’t intimidate nice folk and when you need to defend yourself, the surprise will be there.

  9. i have had problems with cops when i carry 4 inch blades i always recite the law above and they always check on it and have to let me go. i never knew about the balisong knives. under 4 so when i go to storage this weekend i’m pulling them out thanks.

  10. I just carry a sushi knife. Its like a loophole cause its 3 3/4 inches its very sharp with a very sharp tip. Its a fixed blade and weighs 5 or so ounces. It also has a good excuse/purpose. Most stores sell them.

  11. Okay, a tip on how to read a list of things in a statute:

    In this case, look for the phrases that begin with “or” and think of them as the individual rules within this law. So instead of “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,” think:

    1) any switch knife;
    2) 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;
    3) or stiletto;
    4) or any knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or more in length[…] ;
    5) or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument.

    That’s how this statute is likely to be construed by law enforcement and the courts. So DO NOT carry a stiletto or switchblade of any length.

    • ,a stilletto,or any knife..
      ..my point it states ,a stiletto,or any knife. 4 inches or longer …stiletto seems to be grouped in with any knife …not grouped in with dirk or switch blade..it gives the blade lenght for dirk and switch blade one & one half inches edged portion then a (,)then a stiletto ,anyknife……
      So reading this a. stiletto (single edged)is legal under 4″

    • I would say yes if it’s a young child they are too inexperienced to play with knives or guns until the person has the right experience with a knife they should not be playing with them

    • With regard to carrying a typical knife, folder or fixed… is the matter of paying strict attention to the wording of the law pertaining exclusively to the SHARPENED EDGE PORTION only…. and to that it is important to know the meaning of: “…or any knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or more in length…”. The wording of the knife law (as it applies to what is commonly known as fixed or folding knife) does make expression of the sharpened edge of a knife but not specifically to denote it’s relation generally to what is understood to be a blade. It’s sole intent refers to the aforementioned sharpened edge portion only. Regarding this definitive … it is entirely incorrect to measure any knife from the tip it’s metal to the front of a handle in order to discover whether or not a certain knife is legal to carry about. Even though most Citizens and Law Enforcement Officers believe this is the method to determine it’s legality. It is an error to refer to all of that metal (ceramic/plastic/stone) as the ‘blade’. Many knives have NO handle material….. eg… wood, micarta etc. Nor do many even have a guard. Given this fact , the wording of the law speaks nothing of these points nor with consideration of what so many persons seem to think, or allow themselves to believe is the starting and ending point of a knifes blade. The other descriptions in the statues telling of dirks, stilettos, daggers and so on are obviously meant to be very ambiguous when related to knives in general. This is unfortunate because it does cause confusion and misunderstanding for the Citizen. This should be corrected in writing . Also, knives, each one, do relate directly to, and are protected as an acknowledgement by the 2nd Amendment and should be accepted and regarded in the very same light of understanding as firearms. There is nothing to be found as issued by our Founding Fathers that tell the 2nd Amendment shall pertain only to firearms. …. nothing at all. And always bear in mind any other so-called weapon that must necessarily fall under the 2nd Amendment. However, we allow ourselves to be duped, mislead to believe we need to beg for the exercise of our very own Rights given to us by God Almighty… not by any man who happens to be elected to office…. and temporarily so, and who happens to not be God.

  12. The knives that we can carry that are less than 4 inches can or can’t be kept in a vehicle? What do you mean by “one of those weapons”?

  13. This article is poorly written, and pretty inaccurate. In CT you need to pay attention to the “Dangerous Weapons” definition, and the rules that apply to who can and who can’t carry them. There is no discussion of open/concealed, or ages.

    a BB gun.
    a blackjack.
    metal or brass knuckles.
    a dirk knife.
    a switch knife.
    a 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.
    a stiletto.
    a knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or more in length.
    a police baton or nightstick.
    a martial arts weapon or electronic defense weapon.
    any dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument.1

    If its outside of those then it is legal to carry, there is no exception for CCW holders anymore.

    • There used to be a weapons permit but that was issued by your town-city…not valid outside your city….but there is a exemption for blade Length. By holding a valid Hunting- fishing lic. Gun permit only allows for handgun ..not knives…

    • akti protocol recomends an 8th inch variance for law enforcement personnel and prosecuting officials are not however required to observe the variance

  14. The only flaw i find in this description in this article is. A stiletto is listed with any knife (,a stiletto ,any knife the blade 4″ or longer..it is not listed with the switchblade,dirk knife,….avery cop ove talked to says only Double edged knives are dirks,,,,,,,.also just possessing a hunting ,or fresh water fishing lic YOU ARE EXEMPT FROM BLADE LENTH..dosent state you have to be fishing!!

  15. BTW. Police Battons were added a few years back to the list. Of items you cant have in your vehicle or on you in public…this includes those colapsible-expandable batons…(blackjacks on person in car been on books for years)..if you want a nice impact weapon carry a cane-walking stick….(they cant ban those)also 3 to 5 D -cell maglight. Flashight. (Any color than black)

  16. I own some single edged..under 4″ T-Handle push knives ,but I’m reluctant to carry them..as some officer might consider them “DIRKS” Even though they are only single edged. & some the blade isn’t even symetrical..but safe than sorry ..who needs the hassell !!

  17. The only flaw i find in this sites sumation is. A stiletto is listed with any knife (,a stiletto ,any knife the blade 4″ or longer..it is not listed with the switchblade,dirk knife definition ..stiletto is listed AFTER along with any knife,..so A single edged stiletto under 4″ is legal,….avery cop ove talked to says only Double edged knives are dirks,,,,,,,.also just possessing a hunting ,or fresh water fishing lic YOU ARE EXEMPT FROM BLADE LENTH..dosent state you have to be fishing!! ..it then states a SALT WATER FISHERMEN..while fishing ..thats because at the time the law was revised ..there was no salt water lic. & they wanted to include. SW fishermen

  18. A baseball bat or a glass soda bottle can be defined as a “lethal weapon”. Correct? But I can’t have a black flashlight with 3 or 5 D cell battery’s or A 4″ fixed blade? What if I paint my flashlight pink! please. what a joke.

  19. If the knife is an assisted opening folding knife, does it count as an automatic spring release device? Also the blade comes out from the side of the handle, so will this be illegal to carry?

    • No, but most stores wont sell you one unless your over 16 or 18 or have your parents written permission or your parent is present.

  20. in the section where is talks about all the illegal stipulations and such (dirk, 4 inches or longer) it doesn’t specify the balisong does that mean anything is it legal to carry?

  21. “edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or more in length” NOT “Some Knives Can Not be Carried (Open or Concealed): Blades longer than 4 inches are illegal.” It should read as UNDER FOUR inches.

    • You absolutely correct. A 4″ blade is illegal. A 3.9999999″ one is. I wonder if they purposely wrote it like that. It’s very easy to think after reading the law a 4″ blade is the legal maximum. But it’s not. It’s the length at which it becomes Illegal. Good point

    • I own two dual blade Batman knives both blades on one knife are 3″ each. My nephew bought one for me as a gift and I’ve since had two for several years carrying on me. I’m a handyman, so I use them as work knives since they look really cool looking and are very useful for many tasks that knives are used for, like a box cutter, cutting rope, a scraper etc. I carry them in plain sight and Police officers have seen them and I have never been questions, however I thought to myself I should find out for sure if they are legal. They can be used as a weapon but that is not why I have them. I am simply a gadjet geek, I just want to make sure I’m not breaking the law in CT.
      I would appreciate your answer to this question.
      Thank you

  22. So pet me get thus straight, as a student of tae kwon do I can get a fine of $1000. or jail time for caring my sword to class?

  23. Aman. How does the second amendments right to bare arms translate to the right to carry extreamly deadly guns but not potentially harmful knives.
    And as an off roader who does some four wheeling I to carry a machete. It’s not hunting or fishing, but needed at times.

  24. And another thing. My boss can carry a concealed hand gun in the machine shop, which makes some of my coworkers and I nervous, but I can not carry a knife longer than 4″.
    There is some thing very wrong with the laws here!

  25. I make flint -stone- knives for hunting, skinning, scaling fish…..
    its made from rock and its tied onto a stick… are these okay to have with me?

  26. What about open or concealed possession of a Karambit that is about two inches long.

    There is no spring action it is a holstered blade

    The handle is three inches long, ( i dont know if that matters)

  27. I have 2 questions concerning knives and CT state law:

    1) I thought, at least at one time, you could carry automatic or switchblade type knives in CT with a permit to do so? I remember filling out the form back in the 90s or early in the 2000s, but didn’t send it in.

    2) I was just told recently that if I am in law enforcement, a Fireman and/or first responder, I can legally carry an automatic open knife with ID?

    Any information you can provide would be very helpful.

  28. Glen mones I’m from ct I have a k-bar 2″ the one police use for defense if someone trying to get there service weapon can I carry it it’s not a folder because recently I got in trouble for carrying my karambit learned the hard way I collect knives all weapons thanks for helping me keep intouch

  29. Yep the laws in state are a joke. I can open carry any hand cannon I choose, but an auto knife, spring baton or even a screwdriver could land you in jail. That makes sense.

  30. I’m a former marine and avid hunter and fiserman although now due to a stupid ,felony I’ve lost my permit to carry and in the state of Connecticut my waterfowl seasons are ruined too one stupid little fight cost me everything need to move to another state where if I’m carrying a belt knife while fishing they won’t jail me

  31. Didn’t feel like reading the comments to see if it was answered but how old do you have to be to purchase a knife? And if you have a butterfly knife with a 4 inch blade is it legal to carry or no?

  32. What is meant by “any knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or more in length”? Is the length along the curve, or a straight line from base to tip, or the longest line perpendicular to the base?
    This can make a big difference. My utility knife has a blade that’s less than 3.5″ if measured straight, but if measuring along the edge, it is longer than 4″.

  33. What determines if a knife is only for stabbing? I carry a fixed blade under 4″ with no serrations (crkt spew). Is this considered only for stabbing or am I ok??

  34. What about a flip open knife with a blade under four inches in length? A flipper is not by definition a switch blade, automatic, or spring “assisted” knife but I would like to be clear on the legality of carrying one.

  35. what is considered an edge? A blade, or a ground out bevel? the way i’m interpreting this is that as long i don’t have an edge ground out on it, i can carry what i want, where i want, how i want. I can, if i wanted to carry a Katana, as long as the edge is flat.

  36. How about carrying a knife with an edge longer than 4″ in a sheath ON MY PROPERTY (backyard etc) in the people’s republic of Connecticut?

  37. So, buying a steak knife with a blade longer than 4″ at the store and transporting it home can get everyone in the car arrested unless you have a hunting or fishing license? Is this the moron state or what…

  38. wow – our laws are whack – basically – they have written the law in such a way I could probably effectively interpret and then convict your ass with $1000 fine and 5 years over that Coke Bottle if I was a lawyer – Dam. I think it should be more clear – it sounds to me like “Anything considered dangerous” is enough to land a conviction.

  39. Any one know if it’s illegal to simply own brass knuckles in CT to keep at home…i know it’s illegal to carry them

  40. What if someone threw a larger cutlery knife like a stake knife but little longer in a backpack? Or in a vehicle in CT? How do you get knifes legally from a store to your home in CT? lol but seriously what if I carried a larger cutlery knife in a backpack in CT or a car/backpack

  41. 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.

  42. 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?

    • 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!

    • 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

  43. 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

  44. 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.

    • 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 🙂

    • 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

  45. 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.

  46. 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…

  47. 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.


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