Quick Legal Facts
Ohio law provides that one may not carry in a concealed manner a "deadly weapon," as that term is statutorily defined.
Ohio law prohibits the possession of a "deadly weapon" on school grounds.
In Ohio, it is illegal for any person to
manufacture, possess for sale, sell, or furnish to any person other than a law enforcement agency for authorized use in police work, any brass knuckles, cestus, billy, blackjack, sandbag, switchblade knife, springblade knife, gravity knife, or similar weapon.
R.C. § 2923.20(A)(3). (Emphasis added.) A violation of the preceding statute is a misdemeanor of the second degree. Also, as in most jurisdictions, ballistic knives are forbidden by Ohio law. R.C. § 2923.11(J)
Regarding concealment, Ohio law provides that one may not carry a “deadly weapon” in a concealed manner. The term “deadly weapon” is statutorily defined as follows.
(A) Deadly weapon means any instrument, device, or thing capable of inflicting death, and designed or specially adapted for use as a weapon, or possessed, carried, or used as a weapon.
R.C. § 2923.11(A). Under this statute, persons carrying a conventional folding knife or a knife easily opened with one hand have been charged with possession of a deadly weapon. For example, in the case of State of Ohio v. Cattledge, 2010-Ohio-4953, 10AP-105, Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District October 12, 2010, a conventional lock blade folding knife with a thumb stud was found to be a deadly weapon. The Cattledge Court reasoned:
…[T]estimony demonstrated the knife has an additional design element of a knob appendage on the blade, can be opened with one hand using the knob appendage, and has a blade that locks into the open position, all of which are factors that weigh in favor of the knife being deemed a weapon. These characteristics are confirmed by our own review of the knife. Furthermore, this court observes that the knife also has a serrated blade and a sharp blade tip, and the knife can be opened with one hand by flicking the wrist. The ability to open the knife with one hand by either using the knob or flicking the wrist also takes the knife out of the realm of an “ordinary” pocket knife.
Knife owners should be aware that the bias toward closure language, which was incorporated into the Federal Switchblade Act in 2009, and which served to qualify or amend the definition of switchblades in various American jurisdictions, is not part of Ohio law.
As noted above, it is illegal to possess for sale, sell or furnish a “switchblade knife, spring blade knife, gravity knife, or similar weapon;” (other than for police work) R.C. § 2923.20(A)(3).
No. Caution must be exercised in cities and municipalities, particularly Cleveland, which may have enacted more restrictive knife laws. Also, persons travelling by boat on Lake Erie may sail into Canadian territory or territory under the jurisdiction of other states.
Ohio law prohibits the possession of a “deadly weapon” on school grounds. R. C. § 2923. 122.
City of Akron v. Rasdan
105 Ohio App. 3d 164 (decided June 21, 1995)
City ordinance banning knives violates substantive due process.