Quick Legal Facts
The concealed carry law contains an exception for "an ordinary pocket knife."
It is unlawful to sell or furnish a "bowie knife" or "dirk" to a minor.
Knives may not be possessed openly or concealed on school grounds.
The State of North Carolina generally has liberal knife laws.
North Carolina places restrictions on concealed carry. The law contains an exception for “an ordinary pocket knife,” but it specifically prohibits any “bowie knife”, “dirk”, “razor” or “dagger”:
§ 14-269. Carrying concealed weapons.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person willfully and intentionally to carry concealed about his person any bowie knife, dirk, dagger, slung shot, loaded cane, metallic knuckles, razor, shuriken, stun gun, or other deadly weapon of like kind, except when the person is on the person’s own premises.
(b1) It is a defense to a prosecution under this section that:
(1) The weapon was not a firearm;
(2) The defendant was engaged in, or on the way to or from, an activity in which he legitimately used the weapon;
(3) The defendant possessed the weapon for that legitimate use; and
(4) The defendant did not use or attempt to use the weapon for an illegal purpose. The burden of providing this defense is on the defendant.
(d) This section does not apply to an ordinary pocket knife carried in a closed position. As used in this section, “ordinary pocket knife” means a small knife, designed for carrying in a pocket or purse, that has its cutting edge and point entirely enclosed by its handle, and that may not be opened by a throwing, explosive, or spring action.
N.C. Gen. Stat. §14-269. (Emphasis added.) Section 14-269 does not mention automatic knives directly, but it clearly states that knives opened with a “spring action” are not ordinary pocket knives for purposes of the law. Therefore, concealed carry of automatic knives in North Carolina is not recommended.
Although Section 14-269(b1) offers an affirmative defense to prosecution, the burden of proving the affirmative defense is on the knife owner. Proving an affirmative defense is expensive and risky, considering that a person can only assert an affirmative defense after he or she has been arrested and prosecuted.
The third element is a problem since it requires “proof of a negative.” Open carry, which is not restricted, is a viable option.
In addition, North Carolina law prohibited ballistic knives or any spring-loaded projectile knives are prohibited under North Carolina law. Such devices may not be possessed, sold, given, loaned, manufactured or transported by anyone, including police officers. The statute provides:
(a) On and after October 1, 1986, it shall be unlawful for any person including law enforcement officers of the State, or of any county, city or town to possess, offer for sale, hold for sale, sell, give, loan, deliver, transport, manufacture or go armed with any spring loaded projectile knife, a ballistic knife, or any weapon of similar character. Except that it shall be lawful for a law-enforcement agency to possess such weapons solely for evidentiary, education or training purposes.
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-269.6.
It is unlawful to sell or furnish a “bowie knife” or “dirk” to a minor § 14-315. It is also unlawful to cause, encourage or aid a minor to possess any knife or any sharp-pointed or edged instrument on school grounds. 14-269.2 (e)
Knives may not be possessed openly or concealed on school grounds § 14-269.2 (d)