state knife laws feature

Minnesota Knife Laws

The knife laws in Minnesota are very long and wordy. Unless you have formal training, the laws are almost cryptic. This article will explain the law in plain English as well as give you a detailed analysis of the law.

What is Legal to Own

  • Balisong knives are legal to own.
  • Dirks, stilettos, daggers, and other stabbing knives are legal to own.
  • Disguised knives like lipstick knives are legal to own.
  • Bowie knives are legal to own.
  • Throwing stars and throwing knives are legal to own.
  • All other knives are legal to own.
  • Only switchblades are illegal.

What is Legal to Carry

  • Knives with utility purposes are legal to carry.
  • Knives that can be used as weapons are legal to carry as long as you do not have the intent to harm others.
  • It is illegal to recklessly use a knife that was designed to be a weapon.
  • It is illegal to carry a knife that was designed to be a weapon (and not a tool) with the intent to harm others.

Those are the general guidelines, read further to see the full details on what you can and can not own and carry.

What the Law States

Dangerous Weapons General (Paragraph a)

Minn. Stat. § 609.66 (2012)

609.66 DANGEROUS WEAPONS

Subdivision 1. Misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor crimes.

(a) Whoever does any of the following is guilty of a crime and may be sentenced as provided in paragraph (b):

(1) recklessly handles or uses a gun or other dangerous weapon or explosive so as to endanger the safety of another; or

(2) intentionally points a gun of any kind, capable of injuring or killing a human being and whether loaded or unloaded, at or toward another; or

(3) manufactures or sells for any unlawful purpose any weapon known as a slungshot or sand club; or

(4) manufactures, transfers, or possesses metal knuckles or a switch blade knife opening automatically; or

(5) possesses any other dangerous article or substance for the purpose of being used unlawfully as a weapon against another; or

[…]

(b) A person convicted under paragraph (a) may be sentenced as follows:

(1) if the act was committed in a public housing zone, as defined in section 152.01, subdivision 19, a school zone, as defined in section 152.01, subdivision 14a, or a park zone, as defined in section 152.01, subdivision 12a, to imprisonment for not more than one year or to payment of a fine of not more than $ 3,000, or both; or

(2) otherwise, including where the act was committed on residential premises within a zone described in clause (1) if the offender was at the time an owner, tenant, or invitee for a lawful purpose with respect to those residential premises, to imprisonment for not more than 90 days or to payment of a fine of not more than $ 1,000, or both.

The law bans the reckless use of knives, possession of switchblades and metal knuckles, as well as possession of “any other dangerous article” to harm others.

If you use your knife in a responsible way, I don’t see you having a problem with the first part of the law.

The ban on switchblades and metal knuckles were enacted because those items were closely linked to crime at one point in the past. This leads us to two questions: what is a switchblade and what is a metal knuckle?

What is a Switchblade in Minnesota?

The unpublished opinion of State v. Quimby in 2008 defined a switchblade is a spring-powered knife that opens when a button is pressed. This would mean that, in Minnesota, balisong knives, also called butterfly knives, are not banned.

Note that unpublished opinions do not establish precedence in the common law system. What this means is that a court can still find a knife as a “switchblade” even if it doesn’t match the definition set by State v. Quimby.

But, knowing what a court determined a switchblade to be in the past gives you an idea of what it’ll determine a switchblade to be in the future. Future behavior is best predicted by past behavior.

What are Metal Knuckles in Minnesota?

We all know what metal knuckles look like, they are those metal things that you thread your fingers threw to give your fist extra weight for a punch. However, if you have a metal knuckle that only has two holes, would it still be a metal knuckle? What if the metal knuckle is apart of a knife’s handle like what is commonly found in WWI trench knives?

Well, Minnesota courts have not decided on this yet but, in some states, WWI trench knives and other knives with knuckles are illegal where as, in other states, knuckled knives are not illegal.

Since this is still up in the air, I wouldn’t carry around my WWI trench knife or my push knife in Minnesota. Since there are no real utility uses for either knives, the police might give you an “extra through” examination to see what you’re up to once they find those knives. If there is possibility to prove that you have intent to harm, you can be charged with (a)(5).

Limits on Dangerous Weapons with Intent to Harm

Section (a)(5) bans the use of dangerous weapons to harm others. The definition of dangerous weapon is:

Minn. Stat. § 609.02 (2012)

609.02 DEFINITIONS

Dangerous weapon. –“Dangerous weapon” means any firearm, whether loaded or unloaded, or any device designed as a weapon and capable of producing death or great bodily harm, any combustible or flammable liquid or other device or instrumentality that, in the manner it is used or intended to be used, is calculated or likely to produce death or great bodily harm, or any fire that is used to produce death or great bodily harm.

The law here is very broad. When one has intent to harm others, anything designed specifically to hurt others and capable of producing great harm is illegal to possess. Lets break this definition down piece by piece to fully understand what it means. (The phrase “other device or instrumentality that…” means items similar to combustible or flammable liquids and do not extend beyond that–they are talking about bombs there).

For an item to be a dangerous weapon, it had to be made for the purpose of harming others. The case of P.W.E. in 2001 found that the state must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the knife’s purpose was as a weapon and not as a tool for it to fit in the definition of a dangerous weapon. This excludes multi-tools, hunting knives, box cutters, and lots of other knives from being called dangerous weapons. Stilettos, dirks, daggers, push knives, WWI trench knives, lipstick knives, and other knives that lack utility use are dangerous weapons only if the state proves that such a knife can produce death or great bodily harm. (Also see C.R.M 2000).

Even if a knife is a dangerous weapon, you can still carry it if you do not have the intent to use the knife as a weapon. This is a good time to discuss the legality of butterfly knife carry in Minnesota.

Are Balisong Knives Legal to Carry?

The law has not banned the carry of butterfly knives since it has only banned switchblades and the definition of a switchblade does not include butterfly knives. However, for example, a Benchmade 62 is 4.25″ in blade length which is enough to cause death or grave harm to others. Originally, balisong knives were designed as tools but, during the 80’s, the image of balisongs and gangs started to merge. Because of this, some states have determined that balisong knives have no utility whereas other states have found that balisongs are not weapons.

There are no cases in Minnesota law that defines if a balisong knife is a weapon or not but it is 100% legal to carry as long as you do not have intent to harm others. If you are accused of having the intent to harm others, it is then up to the courts to decide if the balisong knife you carried was designed as a weapon or not.

Carrying Dangerous Weapons Sureties

Minn. Stat. § 625.16 (2012)

625.16 CARRYING DANGEROUS WEAPONS

Whoever shall go armed with a dirk, dagger, sword, pistol, or other offensive and dangerous weapon, without reasonable cause to fear an assault or other injury or violence to person, family, or property, may, on complaint of any other person having reasonable cause to fear an injury or breach of the peace, be required to find sureties for keeping the peace, for a term not exceeding six months, with the right of appealing as before provided.

This law says that, if you carry, open or concealed, a dangerous weapon and someone gets scared, they can make the court force you to place a sureties (deposit) to ensure that you won’t hurt someone.

Dangerous Weapons in Schools (Paragraph d)

Minn. Stat. § 609.66 (2012)

609.66 DANGEROUS WEAPONS

Subd. 1d. Possession on school property; penalty.

(a) Except as provided under paragraphs (d) and (f), whoever possesses, stores, or keeps a dangerous weapon while knowingly on school property is guilty of a felony and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $ 10,000, or both.

(b) Whoever uses or brandishes a replica firearm or a BB gun while knowingly on school property is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

(c) Whoever possesses, stores, or keeps a replica firearm or a BB gun while knowingly on school property is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(d) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), (b), or (c), it is a misdemeanor for a person authorized to carry a firearm under the provisions of a permit or otherwise to carry a firearm on or about the person’s clothes or person in a location the person knows is school property. Notwithstanding section 609.531, a firearm carried in violation of this paragraph is not subject to forfeiture.

(e) As used in this subdivision:

(1) “BB gun” means a device that fires or ejects a shot measuring .18 of an inch or less in diameter;

(2) “dangerous weapon” has the meaning given it in section 609.02, subdivision 6;

(3) “replica firearm” has the meaning given it in section 609.713; and

(4) “school property” means:

(i) a public or private elementary, middle, or secondary school building and its improved grounds, whether leased or owned by the school;

(ii) a child care center licensed under chapter 245A during the period children are present and participating in a child care program;

(iii) the area within a school bus when that bus is being used by a school to transport one or more elementary, middle, or secondary school students to and from school-related activities, including curricular, cocurricular, noncurricular, extracurricular, and supplementary activities; and

(iv) that portion of a building or facility under the temporary, exclusive control of a public or private school, a school district, or an association of such entities where conspicuous signs are prominently posted at each entrance that give actual notice to persons of the school-related use.

(f) This subdivision does not apply to:

(1) active licensed peace officers;

(2) military personnel or students participating in military training, who are on-duty, performing official duties;

(3) persons authorized to carry a pistol under section 624.714 while in a motor vehicle or outside of a motor vehicle to directly place a firearm in, or retrieve it from, the trunk or rear area of the vehicle;

(4) persons who keep or store in a motor vehicle pistols in accordance with section 624.714 or 624.715 or other firearms in accordance with section 97B.045;

(5) firearm safety or marksmanship courses or activities conducted on school property;

(6) possession of dangerous weapons, BB guns, or replica firearms by a ceremonial color guard;

(7) a gun or knife show held on school property;

(8) possession of dangerous weapons, BB guns, or replica firearms with written permission of the principal or other person having general control and supervision of the school or the director of a child care center; or

(9) persons who are on unimproved property owned or leased by a child care center, school, or school district unless the person knows that a student is currently present on the land for a school-related activity.

(g) Notwithstanding section 471.634, a school district or other entity composed exclusively of school districts may not regulate firearms, ammunition, or their respective components, when possessed or carried by nonstudents or nonemployees, in a manner that is inconsistent with this subdivision.

Don’t bring weapons to school kids. Go back a few paragraphs to see what dangerous weapons mean. The difference between the general definition of dangerous weapon and what is banned from schools is that, as long as a knife is able to do grave harm and has no genuine purpose to be at school, it is a dangerous weapon (A.J.S.D. 1998). The state does not have to prove that the knife was designed for harming others.

Dangerous Weapons in Court (Paragraph g)

Minn. Stat. § 609.66 (2012)

609.66 DANGEROUS WEAPONS

Subd. 1g. Felony; possession in courthouse or certain state buildings.

(a) A person who commits either of the following acts is guilty of a felony and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $ 10,000, or both:

(1) possesses a dangerous weapon, ammunition, or explosives within any courthouse complex; or

(2) possesses a dangerous weapon, ammunition, or explosives in any state building within the Capitol Area described in chapter 15B, other than the National Guard Armory.

(b) Unless a person is otherwise prohibited or restricted by other law to possess a dangerous weapon, this subdivision does not apply to:

(1) licensed peace officers or military personnel who are performing official duties;

(2) persons who carry pistols according to the terms of a permit issued under section 624.714 and who so notify the sheriff or the commissioner of public safety, as appropriate;

(3) persons who possess dangerous weapons for the purpose of display as demonstrative evidence during testimony at a trial or hearing or exhibition in compliance with advance notice and safety guidelines set by the sheriff or the commissioner of public safety; or

(4) persons who possess dangerous weapons in a courthouse complex with the express consent of the county sheriff or who possess dangerous weapons in a state building with the express consent of the commissioner of public safety.

Subd. 2. Exceptions. –Nothing in this section prohibits the possession of the articles mentioned by museums or collectors of art or for other lawful purposes of public exhibition.

Don’t bring weapons to a court building or the state capitol buildings. The government doesn’t want people to disturb the processes of government. So much so that they made it a felony, a grave offense of at least 1 year in prison.

Conclusion

The simplified version of the law is: you can own any knife you would like in Minnesota as long as it is not a switchblade and you can carry any knife, open or concealed, as long as you do not have the intent to harm others. There are more details than that and they were discussed in the article.

Note that this is not legal advice and there is no client-attorney relationship. There are also county laws that come into play as well so be sure to look up those. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment box below.

References
  • CARRYING DANGEROUS WEAPONS. Minn. Stat. § 625.16 (2012). Retrieved on January 30, 2019 from LexisNexis database.
  • DANGEROUS WEAPONS. Minn. Stat. § 609.66 (2012). Retrieved on January 30, 2019 from LexisNexis database.
  • DEFINITIONS. Minn. Stat. § 609.02 (2012). Retrieved on January 30, 2019 from LexisNexis database.
  • In re A.J.S.D., 1998 Minn. App. LEXIS 1062 (Minn. Ct. App. Sept. 15 1998). Retrieved on January 30, 2019from LexisNexis database.
  • In re Welfare of C.R.M., 611 N.W.2d 802, 2000 Minn. LEXIS 342, 4 No. 25 Minn. Lawyer 11 (2000). Retrieved on January 30, 2019from LexisNexis database.
  • In re Welfare of P.W.F., 625 N.W.2d 152, 2001 Minn. App. LEXIS 383, 5 No. 17 Minn. Lawyer 23 (2001). Retrieved on January 30, 2019 from LexisNexis database.
  • State v. Quimby, 2008 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1441, 12 No. 51 Minn. Lawyer 49 (2008). Retrieved on January 30, 2013 from LexisNexis database.
Peter Stec
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Comments

  1. Just curious if you are allowed to carry a 9-inch bowie knife that is scout carried (above the butt) I got a few tools on the sheath, such as a fire starter, etc, Am i allowed to carry this? i release that minneapolis and st paul would probably be not, but how about outside those?

  2. I have a bowie knife that has 9 inch blade, is it legal to scout carry? I also have a fire starter container on my sheath, so i can use my knife as a utltity.

    1. Er, scout carry is when i carry it behind me, above the butt.

  3. Is it legal to carry a machete in your car? It has a sheath. This would be considered a tool right?

  4. So I have a 9inch stainless steel stiletto and I usually keep it in my pocket when I’m not home is that illegal for me to carry around? Bc
    I’m still not so sure.

    1. I would imagine a spring-assisted knife of any type fits the bill, Chris. If you press a button and a blade pops out, you’re probably making a bad decision by taking it out and about.

  5. Federal law trumps state LAW, state LAW trumps local laws and such.
    I.E. if state LAW says you can Cary a gun openly and a county or town says you can’t
    Then state LAW trumps and is the law.
    Why is it that in Minnesota local laws can Trump state laws?
    If you remember your history, there was a war fought in this country that settled this issue,
    It was called the CIVIL WAR. Which was not fought over slavery but over a states right to
    govern itself .

    1. If there is a local law, the local leos are responsible for holding it up. State law doesn’t void local laws or local officials wouldnt bother making them. Nether would states bother.

      This is why the dea, a fredreal branch of law enforcement, can arrest people in places like California and Colorado for braking federal cannabis laws when state wide, it is legal.

      If there is no law on the same topic in a smaller scale, i.e. locally, than the state law takes precedent.

      Laws are confusing, I used to think a federal law would be the standard and state laws could only restrict and clarify on those. An city laws could restrict and clarify on state laws… but apparently that’s not the case, even tho that does seem to be how most laws work.

      Id suggest if your worried, call a lawyer for clarification. Hopefully they can tell you.

  6. Brass/metal knuckles are a felony crime to possess in Minnesota. Just figured I’d add this as I’ve seen a friend get arrested for a “paperweight” out of it’s box.

  7. Is is illegal to have a fixed blade knife (BArk River Bravo 1 LT) in a car trunk when traveling through Minnesota, S. Dakota, Montana, Utah and California? I have no intention to carry that knife in public except in Yellowstone and Grand Tetons parks.

  8. What if I want to buy a knife to put in a case for show, is there a max blade length

  9. Ive been in love with knives ever since i got my first one at the age of five. And ive always wanted an automatic OTF. The only problem is they are illegal. Is there any way i can get one/ get a license to own one?

  10. Someone else already made a comment referencing this subject but I thought I’d ask to see if there’s more info.

    If you carried a KA-BAR knife without intent to harm others, as in you don’t intend to go and start stabbing people, which makes carrying the knife legal even though it’s designed as a weapon, but you have the reason of self defense for carrying, would this be construed as intent to harm others, since you would be using the knife to violently defend yourself, which is also legal, or would be a viable reason? I know this is kind of hard to pin down, but I thought I’d ask.

  11. I’m planning a move to Minneapolis. My knife collection is all pretty OK, according tho what’s stated here…With one exception. I have a Boker Kalashnikov auto (not an OTF, an out-the-side with a 3″-ish blade)) But, it is spring loaded, and deploys with a push of a button. Should I sell it or gift it before I move?

    It’s technically Illegal in New Mexico too, but I bought it with no problems here.

  12. If your worried about your 15 year old have a pocket knife, you’ve got serious issues.

  13. With all the room the law leaves the officer to determine what is a “weapon” all the real outlaws have started carrying things like Big Hammers ( I like a ball peen), Big wrenches ( pipe wrench, adjustable wrench, strap wench), Baseball bat (better have a glove and a ball doesn’t hurt either ) Pry bar. or in other words “real tools”

  14. I own three microtechs, I was active in special forces for ten years, do I have the right to own and carry these in Minnesota, I also have my EMT. Any help would be appreciated.

  15. OK So I carry an 7inch military knife(bayonet) in my backpack and i would much rather carry it on my hip or a spot strapped on to my person so it will be easily accessible. Because its a big knife, would it cause me any trouble to have it holstered on me?

  16. Great article indeed but you seem to have completely avoided the topic of less permissive jurisdictions in MN. There are differing knife laws in ever MN city and there is no state preemption .

  17. What about length of the blade. what’s the legal length in Minnesota or is there even one?

  18. My 15 year old just purchased a “pocket knife” with a 3 in blade off the internet without our consent. We have taken it away but I am wondering if there is a specific age you need to be to carry such a knife?

    1. Depends on the knife. For a pocket knife with a 3 IN blade he can own

    2. There is no age-restrictions. Just think about all the cub-scouts running around with their whittling chips, I for one used a knife when I was around ten years old.
      But of course if you don’t think that he is mature enough…..

    3. There is no limit to the age as long as the blade is of legal length in your area this in Minnesota being over 6″

    4. think of why he would carry said knife. if hes gonna take it to the woods and use it to protect himself from animals and to cut stuf like sticks and ropes and stuff then with your consent he should be able to carry that knife. i would suggest he wears it openly visible like clipped to his sine or around his neck. then theres no concern of it being concealed with intent to harm others. but even if its in his pocket and is a good young man he shouldnt have any trouble. im 33 and have carried a knife since i was 8 and got my first boy scout knife.i know i grew up in different times but morals and knife laws in minnesota have been about the same.

  19. Helpful commentary – I loved the info . Does someone know where my assistant can get ahold of a blank TX TREC 9-9 example to type on ?

  20. Aaron,
    I agree completely with your explanation on certain knife styles, more easily being seen as a weapon only design.

    I have to disagree with your final statement “But I feel like i have to point out that there are safer and more legitimate ways to carry weapons into public if you’re concerned enough about your personal safety to want to do so.
    Ironically, a conceal-carry permit and a firearm are a much safer pair than a big knife and an excuse. ”

    Within 21 feet even or sometimes further depending on the person utilizing the knife, someone wielding a knife is actually more dangerous within short ranges than someone with a gun. Now this is a matter of knowledge and knife training, but a fixed blade in the 7-9″ range, is great for defense utilizing various grips, and offense. Someone running at you from a short distance, requires a trained marksman to be able to compensate and still hit the intended target zone. If you are able to hit a threat but that threat has not been stopped completely and/or disarmed within 21 feet momentum and adrenaline are likely to assist the threat in closing the gap capable of inflicting serious injury.

    I couldn’t get the url to post but youtube 21′ rule, Bruce Lee even talked about it. A well trained officer or individual with an unconcealed holstered firearm, requires more than 21′ to successfully unholster an openly carried firearm, move out of the way of the attacker, and get two shots dead center, according to statistics. Personal skill and readiness in the situation impact this as its just an average statement. but its something to look into.

    Like I said google “21 foot rule” and tons of stuff come up. I advocate for appropriate safe use of any dangerous item firearms, knives, broom sticks, chair legs, etc. And do not want to see basic rights taken away from people due to bad ownership. However, I want to state that most criminals do not purchase weapons legally, just like most drug addicts do not require a legal means to get their drugs.

    Criminalizing and increasing restrictions for citizens that pass background checks and legally purchase firearms does absolutely nothing to slow down someone buying a weapon illegally from the back of cousin ray-ray’s trunk. So the reality of restricting gun owners who are using firearms positively, like shooting sports, hunting, etc and taking away their ability to protect themselves if needed from the people who purchase weapons illegally, is the most illogical thought pattern I have ever heard off, besides the supreme illogical idea that Trump thinks people acutally believe that’s his real hair. I really am curious about our country, and where we will be at in 2-10 years.

  21. I find it funny today, my fiancée, daughter and I went hiking. I carry around my regular 7 inch fixed blade survival knife, a Gerber multi-tool, and a set of 3 throwing knives that are dull except the tip. Which I throw for competition and for fun. So while my fiancée and daughter where playing in the lake, I was throwing them at the target.

    After our Hike we decided to go to the Wild Rise Festival in Deer River, we had been there for 20 min, and where just letting our daughter ride a few rides, get some festival food and leave. We where on our way to get food and go, when I was surrounded by three Deputies. They ran my info, took my ID and my conceal and carry card ( I did not have a firearm on me, or in my vehicle.) They stayed within inches of me, they all felt the need to walk me past everyone present completely surrounding me, and put them in my vehicle. I had honestly forgot I had them on my belt, as I work with a tool belt often its normal for me to have things hanging on my hips. I had them primarily covered by my T-shirt and my only reason for having them on me was that I use them for camping, hiking, etc. I have taught many survival classes, and teach my daughter different things in the woods. Tracking, animal sign, and how to make things out of other things. Today I taught her how to strip slices of bark and braid them together to make a type of rope or something to tie up a tarp for a shelter.

    Now, I understand as I am going to school to be a federal law enforcement officer, the idea of at a event keeping people secure. And I will admit I look angry even when I am not. I was more upset about the need to pull me aside, then present me as some sort of walk of shame through the entire event, to my car to drop them all off. Even my multi-tool I was instructed I could not have on me. I have absolutely no criminal record, I have not and am not on probation, never had anyone feel the need to get a restraining order on me, so I had absolutely no history showing that I pose a threat to anyone unless I needed to protect my family.

    I am curious if I legally did something incorrect or if there was justification for surrounding me with three officers and escort me to my car. More than anything doing it in front of my daughter was what really ticked me off. So I am curious if I misunderstood laws I have read or if just ended up in a situation of bored sheriffs deputies? Let me know. either way I complied.

  22. I use and carry for my every day use an otf style knife. I live in a rural area, and I use my knife daily to cut bale twine, ropes and open mail, etc. It has a blade length of 3.25 “. It’s in my pocket daily, whether I’m in the field or at church on Sunday. To me, it’s an essential tool I use daily. I suppose it’s considered illegal because it’s an automatic, but it never leaves my pocket when I’m in town. I don’t know what the big deal is, but I figure as long as it stays in my pocket, there shouldn’t be any problems.

  23. Is there an age restriction on how old you have to be to carry a fixed blade knife?

  24. So it is illegal to have a switchblade ex: microtech OTF knife even if it is just for collecting purposes and never leaves your home?

  25. I was thinking about buying a Karambit and I wanted to know if it was illegal to own one before I buy it…

    (LIVE IN COTTAGE GROVE)

    1. I’m not trying to be a knife snob here, I feel like there’s an important thing to point out about the knife in your link.

      I know it’s listed as a hawkbill, but it’s really a karambit, which are frequently, and incorrectly, listed as hawkbill knives. A modern karambit is essentially designed as a weapon.
      Even if its legitimately being carried as a tool, it’s big and it LOOKS like a weapon, which will sometimes be enough to cause legal trouble for the person who has it.

      Additionally, the finger ring in karambits are sometimes counted as knuckle-bracers, which can result in sort of a two-for-one weapons charge situation.

      This is a proper hawkbill knife, if you REALLY need to carry something as a weapon, this will have a comparable effect. It’s not as exciting or intimidating, but the person getting slashed by it might not be very concerned about how neat it looks.

      http://www.amazon.com/SZCO-Supplies-Hawkbill-Pruning-Knife/dp/B007C1R6AC/ref=sr_1_9?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1462611525&sr=1-9&keywords=hawkbill+knife

      But I feel like i have to point out that there are safer and more legitimate ways to carry weapons into public if you’re concerned enough about your personal safety to want to do so.
      Ironically, a conceal-carry permit and a firearm are a much safer pair than a big knife and an excuse.

  26. Be really careful having “self-defense” as your reason for carrying a knife. That kind of suggests you are carrying a weapon. Do you do anything else with your knife? Open letters, cut rope, splice wiring, whittle sticks? I would strongly suggest one or all of these be your stated reason for carrying a knife. If you happen to be unlucky enough to find yourself in a self-defense situation, anything you have at hand is open game for protecting yourself. That includes that knife you carry around for cutting the occasional rope and opening your mail.

  27. I would like to know about laws relating to age for purchasing knives.

    1. Personally, I am currently 13, 2 years ago when I was 11 I bought a assisted opening knife (legal to carry) at a ace hardware store in new hope and they had no problems with it. So I don’t believe there is any age restrictions on buying knives.

    1. Im also in Mankato, I’ve spoken with local cops and they say to keep on 5.5 inches or less

  28. I own a 68 inch katana, blade is 49 inches and isnt sharp, and I wanted to know if I will be able to carry this on Halloween. It will obviously be visible and was wondering what the law for this is. I live in St Louis County

    1. I realize this post is 7 months old by now, but I figured I’d drop my 2 cents for the sake of the subject matter.

      Even if the law doesn’t say you can’t carry a sword in public, it’s best to use common sense here. Halloween is always a time of heightened security awareness for civilians and law enforcement alike. Weather it’s sharp or not, carrying your katana with it’s blade included is almost guaranteed to get you into some pretty serious trouble, even if you never take it out.

      If you’re committed to your costume though, I recommend looking up how to deconstruct the sword (if you dont know how to already), and replacing the blade with a stiff slat of wood or plastic that reaches about 4 to 6 inches from the guard.

      This way you can carry the handle connected to the scabbard and retain the authenticity of your costume, and if anybody gets nervous or the police feel like they need to pull you aside, you can show them that you took the blade out and the item is just for show.

      Worst case scenario there is that they confiscate the “sword” so it doesn’t scare anybody, and send you on your way.

      After the night is over you can put the sword back together at home and retain the value of your investment.

      If the costume somehow requires that you have the blade, however, then it’s probably best to pick something else. You could risk taking the sword, blade and all, with you and getting caught, but It’s just not worth potentially getting charged for possession of a dangerous weapon.

  29. so i was thinking about buying a boisong knife (live in ST.paul area) and i have no clue what the max blade lengh is?

  30. I have a WW1 trench knife that opens pretty fast due to the spring inside of it- its not a button so it isnt the exact definition of a switchblade but it still has that spring.. I carry it in case a situation of selfdefence because Im a girl usually out at night for late shifts, I go to school far from where I live and im alone most of the time. Would it be illegal for me to carry this knife around (excluding school zones)? It measures about 4 1/2 inches closed.

    1. Depends where you live. 3.5″ blade is usually the max in many city ordnances. But in Texas you can carry an RPG and be cheered for “Standing Your Ground”.

  31. I have a friend who was at a store and was handling a knife that was for sale. He cut his hand with it.

    Now the dealer says he has to buy it for $275 because he can not sell a blade that has cut someone.

    True or False?

    1. NO! He’s BS’ing your friend. It would be a real long shot if there was such a statute or ordnance on the books. This is an easily defensible case if it came to a court hearing. A lot would depend how your friend “got” the knife . . . if it was offered by seller or not . . . I would assume it was.

  32. So, if I have a 7 inch Ka Bar I can carry it as long I am not intending to do any harm to anyone? Is it ok if I just have it for protection?

    1. I once asked an officer friend of mine in Duluth what the general rule of thumb was. He took my knife opened it and laid I the blade across on the palm of his hand. He explained that of a knife is wider than an officers hand, they tend just to take them. You can fight it, but until you do, they are taking it with them.

    1. leave the handgun in your vehicle (locked of course) while you are in a courtroom or police station or anywhere on school property.

    2. Best to head to the court house and ask about it there.

  33. So I have a 7 inch survival knife, and a 12.2 inch Bowie Knife (blade length), and I can carry them as long as they’re sheathed and my reason is self-defense? And I’m responsible? And I mean no harm to the good citizens of Minnesota? Sounds good to me. I’ve got more knives coming in too. Two more Bowie Knives and a Short Sword. So, my last question, is there a limit to how many knives a person(s) is carrying on their person concealed?

    1. I’d ask your local police that…. there probably is no LEGAL established limit but you have to thnk how would a prosecutor spin it if you have say 5 knives on your person & are not a cop or security guard & don’t have any death threats against you…. my 2 cents

  34. Minneapolis and St. Paul have CITY ORDINANCES in addition to State law… example: is St. Paul… a fixed blade knife can have no more than a ONE INCH blade is carried in public… look it up..

    “…Knife shall mean dirk, dagger, stiletto, switchblade knife, spring blade knife, push button knife, a folding knife with a blade in excess of four (4) inches, a machete, a bayonet, or any fixed-blade knife, carried in a concealed manner or within reach of any person in a motor vehicle…”

    “…Concealed manner shall mean having the object on the person in such a manner so that it is not completely visible to any other person. Having a knife in a sheath shall be considered as having the knife concealed, irrespective of position of the sheath on the person…”

    “…
    Sec. 225.02. Possession of weapons and non-lethal firearms prohibited.permanent link to this piece of content
    (a)No person shall keep, carry or have in his possession on any public street or being a trespasser upon the premises of another or in a public place in the city any military-type weapon, or any assault weapon, or any stolen weapon, or any knife, except military personnel or peace officers engaged in the course of their duties,…”

  35. This is really quite comprehensive as far as the statutes are concerned (anyone reading this must remember that there might be governing case law as well that has not yet been codified into statute, as well as home rule jurisdictions that can pass ordinances that act as governing law regardless of state law, and local ordinances that may also restrict things such as blade length, & whether a fixed blade is legal or not).

    But you forgot the statute that deals with throwing knives, which is Minnesota Statutes, section 624.63, “Dangerous Exhibitions”. The text of the law is as follows:

    “Every proprietor, lessee, or occupant of any place of amusement, or any plat of ground, or building, who shall use or allow it to be used for the exhibition of skill in throwing any sharp instrument at or toward any human being, or who shall aim or discharge, or allow to be aimed or discharged, at or toward any human being, any bowgun, pistol, or firearm of any description, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”

  36. I would clarify that from what I know, it is not illegal to own items like switchblades/automatic knives or “metal knuckles” AKA brass knuckles in Minnesota. These can be bought endlessly at gun and knife shows, retailers, via mail order, and pawn shops in Minnesota. What IS illegal is to carry them in public. For knife aficionados and collectors, its perfectly legal to own as many of these things as you want.
    Its unfortunate that so many things have been banned or regulated because of “former use by gangs”…weapons charges are much more often than not plea bargained away. Crooks carry and maybe use these and get the charge dropped as its minor compared to whatever real crime was that they committed. Laws rarely impede the criminals, but restrict the victims.

  37. I have a question would it be legal to conceal and carry a 3 inch defence knife if like it says u dont use it recklessly or open or show it and don’t have a bad intent?

  38. by the way, since I presented the question as a hypothetical, please mentally replace all the “I”‘s with “you”‘s 🙂

  39. Hypothetical question. Say you normally carry a legal foldout (such as my benchmade stryker [one hand thumb deployed, but fully manual]) and your brother calls you and asks you to pick up your niece from school (he has called in advance so they know you’re coming). Not wanting to cause any problems, I leave it in the car and go in to pick her up. The question I have is (and it was not an issue, but could have been), since the car was on school property, was that a violation of the statute?

  40. Ramsey county, in their parks and rec laws, limit the “blade length”to no more than three inches. as for the other questions…not sure.

  41. i just have some questions 1 what is the maxuimum length of blade you can carry 2 what are the laws about carring a fixed blade and how does the law measure them from the blade on a fixed blade or the entire fixed blade knife from the end of the handle to the tip of the blade 3 i heard rumers about some exeptions to the rule about auto knifes are there any and if so what are they

    please reply thanks
    trevor jech

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