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Colorado

Colorado Knife Laws

Colorado knife laws are not as straightforward as they may seem. Here is an in-depth analysis of what they entail.

Colorado Knife Laws Quick Look

Preemption? Limited to the possession of knives in private vehicles within the state

Concealed carry? For legal knives with blade length less than 3.5 inches.

Open carry? Every knife except ballistic knives.

Schools? No.

Off-limits places:

  • Schools
  • Courthouse and courtroom.
  • Hospitals, nursing homes, and health centers.
  • Mosques, churches, and other places of worship.
  • Detention and correctional homes.

Length & critical dimensions: The required blade length for concealed carry of a knife in Colorado is 3.5 inches or shorter. Conceal carry of knives with blades longer than 3.5 inches is illegal in Colorado.

Legal Types of Knives in Colorado

Knives that are legal according to Colorado law include the following:

  • Balisong knives.
  • Gravity Knives.
  • Balisong Trainers.
  • Belt Knives.
  • Cane Knives.
  • Undetected Knives.
  • Bowie Knives.
  • Dirks.
  • Daggers.
  • Stilettos.
  • Stabbing knives.
  • Bowie knives.
  • Sword.
  • Spear.
  • Switchblade knives.
  • Pocket Knives.

Illegal Types of Knives in Colorado

Colorado prohibits the possession, open carry, and concealed carry of ballistic knives and throwing star knives.

Colorado Knife Ownership Law

It is completely legal to own any type of knife in Colorado, regardless of the blade length, except ballistic and throwing knives.

Colorado Knife Carry Laws

Colorado knife laws for open and concealed carry in the state include the following:

Colorado Knife Open Carry Laws

Colorado allows the open carry of all legal types of knives, regardless of their blade length.

Colorado Concealed Carry Laws

Concealed carry of legal knives is allowed in Colorado, but the knife must have a blade length of 3.5 inches or shorter. Colorado prohibits the concealed carry of knives with a blade length of more than 3.5 inches, with exceptions to knives used for either hunting or fishing activities.

Colorado Laws for Different Types of Knives

Colorado statutes have various definitions for different types of knives in the state, and they include the following:

Colorado Ballistic Knife Laws

Colorado knife law defines ballistic knives as knives with a blade designed to be forcefully released from its handle with a spring-loaded feature or a form of explosive charge.

Colorado Blackjack Laws

Colorado statutes refer to blackjacks as weapons that have a striking end, and encase a lead piece or any other form of weighted substance, has a handle end, a spring shaft or strap that intensifies on impact, and is operated with the hand. The statute also categorizes weapons like billy, sand club, and sandbag as blackjack.

Colorado Knife Definition According to Knife Laws

According to the state statute, a knife is defined as dirks, daggers, stilettos, or any similar device that has a blade length of more than 3.5 inches, or any other deadly tool that can cause injuries, stabbing, tearing, and cutting, and yet is not a fishing or hunting tool used for sport.

Colorado Knife Law by Size

According to knife laws in Colorado, a knife should have a blade length of more than 3.5 inches. Concealed carry laws in the state also prohibit the possession of knives with a blade length of more than 3.5 inches except for hunting and fishing knives. However, knives with a blade length of 3.5 inches or shorter can be carried concealed and openly.

Colorado knife laws explain that blade length is calculated from the distance between the blade’s tip to the point it adjourns with the handle.

Relevant Colorado Knife Law Statutes & Penal Codes

Some of the relevant knife law statutes and penal codes, concerning legal and illegal knives, ownership, possession, carry and use of knives include the following:

  • 18-12-101
  • 18-12-102
  • 18-12-105
  • 18-12-105.5
  • 18-12-105.6

Colorado Knife Offenses, Defenses, Restrictions & Penalties

They include the following:

Exceptions for Law Enforcement and Military

Colorado statutes provide an exemption for law enforcement officers, peace officers, and members of the military for the conceal carry law of the state. The section of the statute defines these employees of the state as Resource Officers.

In terms of knife possession, these resource officers are allowed to conceal carry knives with blade lengths of more than 3.5 inches during the course of their official duties. They can also possess knives in off-limits places like schools.

Restrictions

Colorado knife laws restrict the possession of knives in some areas. The instances for this include the following:

  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in school buses or any vehicle that is used to transport school students.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in any gathering, event, or function that is organized by a school management
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in a school hostel or any building that is rented for school purposes.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in a stadium or during a professional sporting event.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in or within the premises or a courthouse.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in restricted areas of an airport.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in any building or property that is government-owned.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in places of worship, except permitted by those in charge of the place.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in a prison or any building used for criminal detention.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in any mental institution.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in a building that is used for the storage or nuclear power
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in any places that have been prohibited by federal laws.

Colorado has partial preemption for knife law in the state and it is quite limited relative to other states. The preemption law covers residents of the state that possess a knife in private vehicles while traveling within the state. If you are moving around for business purposes, the knife must remain in the car when you alight.

Some parts of the state like Denver and Boulder have enacted local ordinances for the use of knives within their territory.

Penalties for Offenses

Some of the offenses related to the violation of Colorado knife laws, and their penalties include the following:

  • It is a class five felony to carry a ballistic knife whether openly or concealed. The penalty for this offense is a sentence of about 1-3 years’ imprisonment or a payable fine of between $1,000 to $10,000 or both.
  • It is a class two misdemeanor to carry a concealed knife if the blade is longer than three and a half inches. A knife is considered concealable if it is on you and placed out of sight, such as under a jacket. The penalty for this offense is a sentence of 2-12 months’ imprisonment and a payable fine between $250 to $1,000, or both.
  • With some exceptions, it is a class six felony to carry knives on school grounds whether openly or concealed. This includes all education levels from pre-k to postgraduate. The penalty for this offense is a sentence of 12 to 18 months’ imprisonment with a payable fine between $1,000 to $10,000 or both.

Colorado Knife Law FAQs

Some of the most frequently asked questions and answers about Colorado gun laws include the following:

  • How Long Can a Knife Be in Colorado?

The required blade length for concealed carry of a knife in Colorado is 3.5 inches or shorter. Conceal carry of knives with blades longer than 3.5 inches is illegal in Colorado.

  • What types of knives are legal to carry in Colorado?

Colorado legalizes the open carry of all types of knives with an exception of ballistic knives and throwing star knives.

  • What types of knives are illegal to carry in Colorado?

It is illegal to carry ballistic knives and throwing star knives in Colorado.

  • What about legislative and/or constitutional issues?

Colorado has partial preemption law in some instances. But local ordinances are still allowed.

  • Can I sell or transfer ownership of a knife in Colorado?

The sale and ownership transfer of legal knives is not prohibited in Colorado.

  • Is it Illegal to scare someone with (brandish) a knife in Colorado?

Brandishing of knives or any other type of weapon is prohibited in Colorado.

  • Can a minor carry a knife in Colorado?

Although there is no fixed age for the possession of knives in Colorado, knives that fall into the category of deadly weapons, and those with a blade length of 3.5 inches and longer cannot be carried by minors.

  • Are swords legal in Colorado?

Yes, swords are legal in Colorado, but they must be carried openly.

  • Are switchblades legal in Colorado?

Yes, switchblades are legal in Colorado.

  • Are folding knives legal in Colorado?

Yes, folding knives are legal in Colorado.

  • Are fixed blade knives legal in Colorado?

Yes, fixed blades are legal in Colorado.

  • Are butterfly knives legal in Colorado?

Yes, butterfly knives are legal in Colorado.

  • Are automatic knives legal in Colorado?

Yes, automatic knives are legal in Colorado.

  • Are ballistic spring-assisted knives legal in Colorado?

No, Colorado prohibits all types of ballistic knives in the state.

  • Are throwing knives legal in Colorado?

No, Colorado prohibits the use of throwing knives.

  • Are karambits Legal in Colorado?

Yes, Karambits are legal in Colorado.

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