Quick Legal Facts
Items on the dangerous weapon list cannot be carried in a concealed manner (dagger, razor, stiletto, switchblade knife, knife having a blade exceeding five inches in length).
Schools are classified as weapons free zones. Knives should not be carried.
Any knife with a blade length exceeding five (5) inches is considered a "dangerous weapon."
At a Glance:
The public carry of a knife within the statutory definition of a “dangerous weapon” may have adverse legal consequences if the individual in possession has criminal intent or is intoxicated. Knives that are per se “dangerous weapons” include any dagger, razor, stiletto, switchblade knife, or knife having a blade exceeding five inches in length. Knives not within the per se class may be “dangerous weapons” if the state can establish certain elements within the definition.
702.7. Dangerous weapon (definition)
708.8. Going armed with intent
724.1. Offensive weapons (definition)
724.4A. Weapons free zones-enhanced penalties
724.4C. Possession or carrying of dangerous weapons while under the influence
724.28. Prohibition of regulation by political subdivisions
724.32. County courthouse-weapon prohibitions
Ballistic knives, which are classified as an “offensive weapon,” are forbidden. It is a felony to simply possess or “own” a ballistic knife.
Concealed carry of any “dangerous weapon” without a license is unlawful.
Restrictions on Sale or Transfer:
None noted except ballistic knives.
Restrictions on Carry in Specific Locations/Circumstances:
“Weapon-free zones” to include areas within 1000 feet of a school, 724.4A. Courtrooms and areas for judicial functions. 724.32. A political subdivision may regulate weapon possession on its property, provided it complies with the requirement of 724.28 (4).
Yes. 724.28. Prohibition of regulation by political subdivisions
“Switchblade” knives are included by name within the definition of “dangerous weapon.” The noun “switchblade” is not otherwise defined.
Dangerous Weapon Defined
The portion of the § 702.7 definition of dangerous weapons as it pertains to knives provides:
Dangerous weapons include but are not limited to any . . . dagger, razor, stiletto, switchblade knife, knife having a blade exceeding five inches in length, . . .
No definitions for “dagger,” “razor,” “stiletto,” or “switchblade” are provided. Blade length in excess of five inches is a separate category from the knife types named. Accordingly, for example, a “dagger” with a blade four inches in length is a “dangerous weapon.” There is no specified standard for blade length measurement.
Under the Influence
It is unlawful to publicly carry a dangerous weapon or have one within reach in a vehicle while intoxicated. The standard is .08 BAC which is the same standard for the operation of a motor vehicle. This applies to occupants of a vehicle as well as to the driver.
Possession of an “offensive weapon” such as a “ballistic knife” is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine in an amount between $750 and $7,500.
Carrying a dangerous weapon while under the influence and possession of a concealed dangerous weapon by a minor are serious misdemeanors.
Section 724.4A. Weapons free zones–enhanced penalties provides that where the violation occurs within a weapon-free zone, the defendant “shall be subject to a fine of twice the maximum amount which may otherwise be imposed for the public offense.”
Updated March 23, 2023, by Daniel C. Lawson