New York Knife Laws – All You Need To Know

by ECL Writer

New York is a vibrant and bustling city that is known for its food, fashion, and culture. However, it is also a city with strict laws and regulations, especially when it comes to weapons. The state of New York has some of the most stringent knife laws in the United States, and it is important for anyone who carries a knife to be aware of these laws. In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com will explore the New York knife laws, including what types of knives are legal to carry and own, where you can carry them, and the penalties for violating these laws. Whether you are a resident of New York or just visiting, understanding the knife laws can help you avoid legal trouble and ensure that you are able to carry and use your knife safely and responsibly.

Overview Of New York Knife Laws

The possession, sale, and use of specific types of knives are subject to some of the tightest regulations in the country in New York State. The laws are meant to reduce the possibility of knife-related accidents and crimes in public areas. All knives, including switchblades, folding knives, and other bladed weapons are covered under the knife laws.

Some knife varieties, such as switchblades and gravity knives, are forbidden under New York law. These knives are prohibited, and anyone found in possession of one could be charged with a serious crime. Moreover, carrying knives in public locations is prohibited. In most cases, carrying a knife with a blade longer than four inches is prohibited in public spaces including courts, schools, and government facilities. Criminal charges and severe legal repercussions may follow from carrying a knife in certain locations.

Nonetheless, there are some exclusions to the New York knife laws. For instance, some regulations may not apply to those who work with knives, such as chefs, hunters, and fishermen. However, as long as specific guidelines are followed, buying and transporting knives is allowed in New York.

It is significant to remember that breaking the law regarding knives in New York may have serious repercussions, such as fines, jail time, and a criminal record. Hence, it is crucial that anyone who wishes to own or use a knife in New York is informed of and compliant with the state’s knife regulations.

What Knives Are Illegal In New York State?

The New York Criminal Law considers several blades to be prohibited to possess. A person is accused of criminal weapon possession if they are discovered to be in possession of any of these knives. The following knives are categorically prohibited in New York:

  • Switchblades
  • Metal Knuckle knives
  • Ballistic knives
  • Plastic knuckles
  • Cane swords
  • Machetes
  • Razors

It is illegal for a person who is a non-citizen to carry a knife. All of the aforementioned knives are prohibited in New York because they are lethal weapons and may result in significant injury to others. If you have a license, you are allowed to carry certain knives for specific activities like fishing or hunting.

Are Karambits Illegal In NY

Karambits are legal in New York for utility or hunting purposes, provided the blade is no longer than three inches. However, double-edged Karambits are considered deadly weapons and are illegal to carry. New York’s knife laws are intricate and reflect the state’s concern for public safety, with various restrictions and exceptions depending on the type of knife and its intended use. Some key points to consider when carrying a Karambit in New York include:

  • Karambits are allowed for hunting or agricultural purposes, but double-edged Karambits are not.
  • The blade length should not exceed three inches.
  • It is important to keep the knife concealed to avoid violating New York’s strict knife laws.

Please note that different municipalities within New York may have their own specific regulations, such as Buffalo prohibiting the open carry of knives on city property or Rochester banning carrying pointed knives except for pocket knives with blades of three inches or less. Always be aware of the specific laws and regulations that apply to your situation and seek legal advice if you have any questions or concerns.

Exceptions To New York Knife Laws

New York State has some of the strictest knife laws in the United States, and it is important to be aware of the laws to avoid legal trouble. However, there are some exceptions to these laws that allow certain individuals to carry and use knives for specific purposes.

One of the most notable exceptions is for law enforcement officers. Police officers are allowed to carry any type of knife that is necessary for their duties, including automatic knives, gravity knives, and switchblades. Similarly, members of the military, while on active duty, are also allowed to carry knives that are necessary for their duties.

Another exception to the New York knife laws is for individuals who use knives as part of their job. For example, chefs and butchers are allowed to carry and use knives as long as they are using them in the course of their work. Similarly, carpenters, electricians, and other tradespeople are allowed to carry knives that are necessary for their work.

Additionally, individuals are allowed to carry certain types of knives for recreational purposes. For example, hunters are allowed to carry hunting knives, and fishermen are allowed to carry fishing knives. These knives must be carried in a sheath or case, and they cannot be concealed.

It is important to note that even with these exceptions, individuals are still subject to the laws regarding the possession and use of knives in New York. It is always wise to exercise caution and to be aware of the specific laws and regulations that apply to your situation.

Legal Knife Length New York

In New York, the legal knife length is determined by the specific municipality or transit authority. However, some general guidelines can be found in the search results:

  • New York City Ordinance: Under four (4) inches maximum blade length.
  • New York State law: Prohibits carrying a knife with a four-inch or longer blade.
  • New York City Administrative Code: Under a four-inch blade length limit and requires knives to be carried completely concealed.

Keep in mind that these laws may vary depending on the location within New York. Some municipalities, such as Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, have their own specific regulations. It is essential to be aware of the local knife laws in your area to avoid potential legal consequences.

Penalties For Violating New York Knife Laws

Penal Code 265.01 is a class “A” misdemeanor that if found guilty carries a maximum one-year prison sentence. Yet, the law permits prosecutors to “bump up” your case to a class “D” felony of Penal Code 265.02 if you have any past criminal history (1). A court may impose a prison term of up to seven years in this situation. On the other hand, NYC has local legislation that can result in up to 15 days in jail.

Carrying Knives In Public Places In New York

If specific conditions are met, carrying a knife could result in criminal prosecution. In New York, carrying a knife in plain sight is illegal and is punishable by a misdemeanor. Second, the prosecutor in charge of the case may upgrade the charge to a low-level felony if the defendant has a criminal history. Finally, stiffer punishments may result from having a knife while committing another offense.

How To Legally Transport Knives In New York

Transporting knives in New York can be a bit tricky due to the state’s strict knife laws. However, it is possible to transport knives legally by following a few important guidelines.

First and foremost, it is important to note that it is illegal to carry any knife that is considered a weapon, such as switchblades or gravity knives, in public places in New York. However, if you need to transport a knife for a specific purpose, such as going hunting or to a job site, you can do so legally as long as you follow certain rules.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that any knife you transport must be stored in a closed and locked container. This means that you cannot carry a knife in your pocket or backpack, even if it is in a sheath or case. Instead, you should place the knife in a hard-sided case, such as a toolbox or gun case, that can be locked.

In addition, you should always carry your knife directly to and from your destination, without making any unnecessary stops. This means that you cannot stop for lunch or run errands while transporting a knife. Instead, you should go directly to your destination and then return home with the knife.

It is also important to keep in mind that different types of knives may be subject to different rules. For example, if you are transporting a hunting knife, you should make sure that it is sheathed and placed in a separate compartment from your other hunting equipment, such as your firearm.

By following these guidelines, you can transport knives legally in New York without running afoul of the state’s strict knife laws. However, it is always wise to be aware of the specific laws and regulations that apply to your situation and to seek legal advice if you have any questions or concerns.

Comparison Of New York Knife Laws To Other States

Knife laws can vary significantly from state to state, and it is important to be aware of the specific laws in the state where you live or plan to travel. Here is a brief comparison of New York knife laws to some other states:

  • Texas: Texas has some of the most lenient knife laws in the United States. Almost all types of knives, including switchblades and automatic knives, are legal to own and carry openly in Texas. However, some local laws in Texas may be more restrictive.
  • California: California has relatively strict knife laws, similar to those in New York. Certain types of knives, such as switchblades, are illegal to own or carry in California. Additionally, California has laws prohibiting carrying knives in certain locations, such as schools.
  • Florida: Florida has relatively relaxed knife laws. Most types of knives, including switchblades and automatic knives, are legal to own and carry in Florida. However, certain types of knives, such as ballistic knives, are illegal.
  • Illinois: Illinois has some of the most restrictive knife laws in the United States. It is illegal to carry any type of knife that can be used as a weapon, including certain types of folding knives, in Illinois. However, certain types of knives may be legal to carry if they are being used for a specific purpose, such as hunting or fishing.
  • Georgia: Georgia has relatively lenient knife laws. Most types of knives, including switchblades and automatic knives, are legal to own and carry openly in Georgia. However, local laws may be more restrictive.

It is important to note that this is just a brief comparison of some state knife laws and that there may be additional laws and regulations that apply. If you have any questions or concerns about knife laws in your state, it is always wise to seek legal advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Karambits Legal in New York?

Karambits are legal in New York. They are allowed to use for hunting or agricultural purposes and should have a blade length of not more than three inches. 

They are legal for a utility or everyday use. However, Karambits with double-edged blades falls under the category of deadly weapons, which is illegal to carry under New York State law.

Are throwing knives legal in New York?

Yes, throwing knives is illegal in New York. Knives such as throwing stars, double-edged swords, and throwing knives are mainly used as weapons that are illegal in New York State. 

These knives are dangerous and may cause serious bodily injury if used unlawfully. However, it is possible to legally own these knives if you have a binding fishing or hunting license.

Are balisongs legal in New York?

In New York, balisong is a legal knife. Balisong is considered a deadly weapon, due to which New York law does not allow the owners to conceal and carry it. It is illegal to carry the knife concealed and therefore should be carried open and unconcealed.

Are Swords legal in New York?

Swords are legal as long as they are used in the kitchen. However, according to New York law, it is illegal to possess a sword with unlawful intent against others. A cane sword is illegal to carry. There is a concealed blade within it that is often used as a sword or stiletto.

Is it legal to carry a knife on school grounds or college campuses?

Unfortunately, New York State law does not ban the carrying of a knife on school grounds or college campuses. Section 265.01A and 265.06 of New York Penal law relate to unlawful weapons on school premises that do not include knives. 

But all schools are required to establish rules of conduct concerning the carrying of weapons that apply to teachers, visitors, and students. Schools must make sure that knives are not carried on school buses or property.

Can a minor carry a knife in California?

Under New York State law, it is illegal for a person below the age of 16 to carry a “dangerous knife.” Knives such as stilettos, daggers, machetes, dirk, or any other deadly tool with intent for unlawful use fall under the category of “dangerous knife.” 

Young persons are barred from using any of the knives considered dangerous and may cause grave bodily injury.  However, the prosecutors believe it is difficult to prove that a minor possessed a knife for unlawful purposes. And also when they are found with box cutters, razors, or other household tools. 

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