Massachusetts knife laws are among the most convoluted and difficult to interpret in the nation. The following is a general primer on Massachusetts' knife laws that has been assembled from various sections of existing law, regulations, and rulings made by courts.
Concealed carry? No.
Open carry? Yes.
Length & critical dimensions: Automatic knives with blade length of more than 1.5 inches are prohibited.
The types of knives legal in Massachusetts include the following:
NB: These knives are only legal to own.
There are no illegal knives to own
In Massachusetts, the laws concerning knife ownership are very liberal. There are no restrictions on a person's right to own any type of legal pocket knife. Ownership of large knives like Bowie knives and other large fixed-blade knives is also unrestricted.
However, there are few restrictions on possession.
Some of the gun carry laws in Massachusetts include the following:
In Massachusetts, it is illegal to openly carry a switchblade, dirk, dagger switchblades, dirks, daggers, stilettos, ballistic knives, double edge knives, and knuckle knives. It is also illegal to openly carry any weapon perceived as dangerous.
In Massachusetts, it is illegal to conceal carry switchblade, dirk, dagger switchblades, dirks, daggers, stilettos, ballistic knife, double edge knives, and knuckle knives
Different knife laws in Massachusetts include the following:
In Massachusetts, it is illegal to possess an automatic or switchblade knife that has a blade more than 1.5 inches long. They are also prohibited from open and concealed carry.
In Massachusetts, it is legal for adults over the age of 18 years old to purchase knives of any kind and carry them outdoors in public areas in any manner they choose. However, it is illegal to carry or display a knife in a manner that can easily be mistaken for a firearm.
Switchblades are not legal to possess, open or conceal carry in Massachusetts. Exception: Automatic knives with blade lengths less than 1.5 inches are legal to own for citizens over the age of 18 years.
Massachusetts law expressly prohibits the concealed carry of dangerous weapons, even if they are capable of being folded or retracted into the handle. Possession is not an issue as a matter of law and many people do not realize this until they are arrested for violating the concealed hand knife statute.
In Massachusetts, it is illegal to transport automatic and other switchblade knives outside your home or place of business without them being secured in a container that would prevent an average person from accessing the weapon. It is also against the law to transport daggers.
There are no limitations on the length of a legal knife in Massachusetts except automatic knives.
Massachusetts knife laws and penal codes include the following:
There are a variety of possible legal defenses for knife charges in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts law does not provide a minimum or maximum penalties for violations involving the possession of knives. This is up to the court's discretion where the case is tried. However, it is clear that punishments usually increase with repeated offenses and there may be additional penalties depending on the type of weapon.
A proper defense can make a world of difference in any criminal case including charges involving knives or other weapons.
Massachusetts knife laws and penalties include the following:
U.S.C. Title 18 §1716 Carrying a concealed dangerous weapon (CCDW) is generally a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment for up to one year in jail.
As part of the punishment for CCDW, the defendant may be sentenced to probation with up to a year of jail or prison time. This is in addition to any prison time that s/he may receive for the underlying crime because it is considered part of an enhanced penalty.
Massachusetts law expressly prohibits the concealed carry of dangerous weapons, even if they are capable of being concealed. This includes firearms and other weapons such as knives, clubs, or brass knuckles. This offense is a misdemeanor and the penalty for carrying a concealed weapon in Massachusetts is up to two and one-half years in prison.
Massachusetts law provides that it shall be illegal to have or possess any machine gun, assault weapon, or another firearm within school premises. A violation of this law is considered a misdemeanor, and an offender may be sentenced to up to two and one-half years in prison.
Some of the most frequently asked questions and answers about Massachusetts knife laws include the following:
In Massachusetts, the length of a knife is not specifically addressed in statute. Thus, like most states, the common law governs whether it is legal to carry and conceal a knife. However, automatic knives must not be more than 1.5 inches long
Most knives are legal to own, but not legal to carry in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts has no laws prohibiting individuals from carrying pocket knives and folding knives as long as they do not pose any danger.
Massachusetts has no laws regarding the sale, transfer, or ownership of a knife.
Massachusetts law prohibits individuals from brandishing a knife in a public way to intimidate someone. Brandishing is considered offensive and threatening behavior towards another person, even if the individual has no intention of causing physical harm with the knife.
However, you have a right to defend yourself with a knife if attacked.
Yes, a minor can legally carry and own a knife in Massachusetts.
Yes, it is legal for an individual to own and carry swords in Massachusetts.
Yes, switchblades are legal to own in Massachusetts, but not to open or concealed carry.
Yes, folding knives (not automatic) are legal to own and carry in Massachusetts.
Yes, fixed blade knives are legal to own and carry in Massachusetts.
Yes, butterfly knives are legal to own, open and conceal carry in Massachusetts.
Yes, automatic knives are legal to own and carry in Massachusetts.
Yes, Massachusetts has no laws prohibiting ownership. carry and use of throwing stars and knives.
Yes, spring-assisted knives are legal to own and carry in Massachusetts.
No, gravity knives are prohibited in Massachusetts.
No, Massachusetts has banned the ownership, possession or use of karambits.
No, Massachusetts has banned the ownership, possession or use of dirk knives.
No, the ownership or possession of a ballistic knife is illegal under Massachusetts law.