Quick Legal Facts
Not an issue.
Schools are weapons free zones.
The Minnesota Criminal Code defines the term “dangerous weapon” as follows:
“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.
Minn. Stat. § 609.02. (Emphasis added.) Although knives are not mentioned in the definition of dangerous weapon, the phrase “device designed as a weapon and capable of producing death or great bodily harm” could be construed by police officer or prosecutor to include a knife that appears to have been designed as weapon. In the case of In re Welfare of S.M.L., (071811 MNCA, A10-166,1 Court of Appeals of Minnesota, filed July 18, 2011), the court concluded that a lock blade knife with a three inch blade was not a dangerous weapon, but went on to say that certain knives, such as bayonets, daggers, balisongs, and knuckle knives, are commonly understood to be dangerous weapons. See In re Welfare of C.A.D.,(050801 MNCA, CX-00-1922 Court of Appeals of Minnesota May 8, 2001) (Buck knife not a dangerous weapon).
Automatic or switchblade knives are specifically prohibited in the State of Minnesota. It is a crime to manufacture, transfer or possess a switchblade knife.
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):
(4) manufactures, transfers, or possesses metal knuckles or a switchblade knife opening automatically; or
Minn. Stat. § 609.66. (Emphasis added.) Knife owners are advised that the “bias toward closure” language is not incorporated into the Minnesota statute to clarify the definition of a “switchblade knife opening automatically.” There is a risk that Minnesota might treat an assisted opening knife as a switchblade, especially if the design of the knife has the appearance of a weapon.
Concealment is not an issue in Minnesota. There are no knives which may be legally carried openly but not concealed or vice versa. Under Minnesota law, criminality derives from intent to use the knife for an unlawful purpose.
Schools are weapons free zones. Never carry knives on school grounds or in a courthouse in Minnesota. Violation of the school grounds’ prohibition and courthouse prohibitions are felonies, with a maximum imprisonment of five (5) years and a fine of $10,000.00. § 609.66.
None. Knife owners should check local laws, particularly in larger cities such as Minneapolis and St. Paul.