Indiana knife laws are very fair and somewhat strait forward. This article will give you a briefing of what is allowed and not allowed under the law, what the law says, and an explanation of what that means. This article will also cite case precedence that has shaped the meaning of Indiana knife law.
What is Legal
- Balisong knives are legal.
- Bowie knive are legal.
- Dirks, daggers, and stilettos are legal.
- Assisted knives are legal.
- Disguised knives like cane knives, lipstick knives, and belt knives are legal.
- Switchblades and other automatic knives are legal.
What is Illegal
- Ballistic knives are illegal. (to possess and/or manufacture and/or sell)
- (Chinese) Throwing stars are illegal. (to possess and/or manufacture and/or sell)
Restriction on Carry
There are no limits to concealed or open carry as long as you do not bring a knife to school. The Indiana state code is available for anyone to read online but the excerpts below contains the code as well as an explanation.
What the Law Says
Ban on Ballistic Knives
Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-5-2 (Effective July 1, 2017)
35-47-5-2. Knife with a detachable blade.
It is a Class B misdemeanor for a person to manufacture, possess, display, offer, sell, lend, give away, or purchase any knife with a detachable blade that may be ejected from the handle as a projectile by means of gas, a spring, or any other device contained in the handle of the knife.
Indiana’s prior code made the manufacture, possession, display, sale, loan, gifting, or purchase of a knife that opens automatically a Class B misdemeanor, but effect July 1, 2013, that section of the code has been stricken.
Limits on Knives at Schools
Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-5-2.5 (Effective 2017)
35-47-5-2.5. Possession of knife on school property or on a school bus.
(a) As used in this section, “knife” means an instrument that:
(1) consists of a sharp edged or sharp pointed blade capable of inflicting cutting, stabbing, or tearing wounds; and
(2) is intended to be used as a weapon.
(b) The term includes a dagger, dirk, poniard, stiletto, switchblade knife, or gravity knife.
(c) A person who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally possesses a knife on:
(1) school property (as defined in IC 35-31.5-2-285);
(2) a school bus (as defined in IC 20-27-2-8); or
(3) a special purpose bus (as defined in IC 20-27-2-10);
commits a Class B misdemeanor. However, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor if the person has a previous unrelated conviction under this section and a Level 6 felony if the offense results in bodily injury to another person.
(d) This section does not apply to a person who possesses a knife:
(A) the knife is provided to the person by the school corporation or possession of the knife is authorized by the school corporation; and
(B) the person uses the knife for a purpose authorized by the school corporation; or
(2) if the knife is secured in a motor vehicle.
Unlike other states where you can bring pocket knives under a certain blade length to schools, you can not bring any knife to a school in Indiana unless it is approved by the school or left in your car.
Limits on Throwing Stars
Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-5-12 (2017)
35-47-5-12. Manufacture, sale or possession of Chinese throwing star.
(a) A person who:
(2) Causes to be manufactured;
(3) Imports into Indiana;
(4) Keeps for sale;
(5) Offers or exposes for sale; or
(6) Gives, lends, or possesses; a Chinese throwing star commits a Class C misdemeanor.
(b) As used in this section, “Chinese throwing star” means a throwing-knife, throwing-iron, or other knife-like weapon with blades set at different angles.
You cannot have throwing stars in Indiana. You can have throwing knives if there is only one blade or blades in the same angle. Fortunately, most throwing knives are not sharp and, as long as it has only one blade, you should be fine. The types of throwing knives that have multiple blades at different angles are ones that have a front and back tip.
Throwing axes, hatchets, and tomahawks are legal as long as the blades are in the same angle (most are).
Conclusion to Indiana Knife Laws
It is legal for you to own everything except ballistic knives and throwing stars. You can not bring knives to school no matter the length or type.
Why did Indiana ban throwing stars? I don’t really know since you can’t typically kill or even seriously injure someone with a throwing star (of course, as with any item – even a dinner fork can do damage under certain circumstances and in the hands of certain people). No matter how hard you throw a star, it’ll only leave a cut or small puncture wound. Illinois also banned throwing star. I’m pretty sure there’s an interesting story behind that legislation!
Note that I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. If you need real legal advice, talk to a lawyer. There are also county laws that come into play as well so look up your local municipal code. If you have any questions, post it in the comment box below.
*updated July, 2019