Carlson Knives Logo
Menu

Ohio

Ohio Knife Laws

Ohio knife laws are quite complicated, especially when it comes to concealed carry. Here is a deeper look into what the laws entail.

Ohio Knife Laws Quick Look:

Preemption? No.

Concealed carry? Allowed for legal knives that are not used as weapons.

Open carry? Yes.

Schools? No.

Off-limits places:

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

Length & critical dimensions: No general length or critical dimension for knife or blade length in Ohio.

Legal Types of Knives in Ohio

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

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

Illegal Types of Knives in Ohio

Ohio prohibits the possession, open carry, and concealed carry of ballistic knives.

Ohio Knife Ownership Law

It is legal to own all types of knives in Ohio, except ballistic knives, regardless of their blade length. However, local ordinances apply to blade length in some parts of the state. An example of this is the prohibition of knives with a blade length of 2.5 inches or more in Cleveland and Akron.

Ohio Knife Carry Laws

The possession of a knife and how you carry the knife are very important in Ohio.

Ohio Knife Open Carry Laws

Open carry is allowed for all legal knives in Ohio.

Ohio Concealed Carry Laws

Ohio concealed carry laws do not specifically prohibit the concealed carry of knives in the state (except ballistic knives) but it prohibits the concealed carry of deadly weapons, and some types of knives may be regarded as deadly weapons according to laws of the state.

Ohio Laws for Different Types of Knives

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

Ohio Ballistic Knife Laws

Ohio statutes refer to ballistic knives as any type of knife that has a detachable blade such that it is being propelled with the aid of a spring feature mechanism.

Ohio Deadly Weapon Knife Laws

Most of the restrictions on knives in Ohio, especially when it has to do with concealed carry, are based on the ability to prove that the knife is a deadly weapon.

Ohio statutes refer to a deadly weapon as any device or tool that has the ability to cause death, or designed to be specifically used as a weapon, or carried on a person with the intention of being used as a weapon.

With this definition, a knife could be seen as a deadly weapon in Ohio if:

  • It can inflict death.
  • It is designed to serve the purpose of a weapon.
  • It is carried and possessed on a person with the intention of using it as a weapon.

For these 3 scenarios, it will be a prohibition to conceal carry a knife.

Ohio Automatic Knife Laws

Knives that are categorized under Automatic Knives in Ohio are switchblades, spring blades, gravity knives, etc. Since the 12th of April 2021, Ohio made it lawful to purchase, manufacture, and design these knives.

Ohio Knife Law by Size

Ohio does not have a knife size or blade length law. However, local ordinances exist for blade lengths in some parts of the state such as Akron and Cleveland that prohibits the public possession of knives with a blade length of 2.5 inches and more.

Relevant Ohio 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:

  • ORC Ann. 2923.11 (2013)
  • State v. Port, 2006 Ohio 2783 (2006 Ohio App.)
  • Porello v. State, 121 Ohio St. 280 (1929)
  • State v. Pettit, 252 N.E.2d 325 (1969 Ohio App.)
  • Shipley v. State, 220 A. 2d 585 (1966 Md. App.)

Ohio Knife Offenses, Defenses, Restrictions & Penalties

They include the following:

Exceptions for Law Enforcement and Military

Ohio provides a reasonable exception for the concealed carry of weapons and the possession of knives in off-limit areas for law enforcement officers, military members, peace agents, and some federal and state employees. However, this exception will only apply when they are operating within the scope of their official duty.

Restrictions

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

  • It is a prohibition to possess knives within the premises of a school, and this includes events organized by schools and school vehicles. It is a prohibition to possess knives in buildings used for children's care or a daycare home.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives within the premises of any building used by a public or privately owned college, university, or educational institution. It is a prohibition to possess knives in law enforcement offices or any premises under the control of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification in Ohio.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in courthouses or during a court proceeding.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in capitol buildings of the state. It is a prohibition to possess knives in prisons, jails or any other correctional institution in the state.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in safety zones of airport terminals.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in institutions used for the treatment of mentally deranged and people with any other mental disability.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in any place that has a license to sell alcoholic beverages, if you are under the influence of alcohol, or if there is signage prohibiting the possession of weapons on such premises.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in places of churches, mosques, and other places of worship. It is a prohibition to possess knives in any private building, property, or vehicle, as long as there is a post that prohibits weapons.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in state government buildings without permission.
  • It is a prohibition to possess knives in places that are prohibited by gun laws of the state.

In Ohio, there is no preemption law for knives. Therefore, possession, carry and restriction of knives are not the same in all parts of the state. Municipalities and counties have various restrictive ordinances.

Penalties for Offenses

Most offenses related to knives in Ohio have to do with the possession of a deadly weapon or violating the off-limit regulation. Either of these offenses is treated as a 5th-degree felony and will carry penalties of about 12 months’ imprisonment or a payable fine of $2,500 or both.

Ohio Knife Law FAQs

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

  • How Long Can a Knife Be in Ohio?

Ohio does not have any law concerning the length of a knife blade in the state. However, some parts of the state like Akron and Cleveland require that knives with a blade length of 2.5 inches or more cannot be possessed publicly.

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

Ohio legalizes the open carry of all types of knives with an exception of ballistic knives.

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

It is illegal to carry ballistic knives in Ohio.

  • What about legislative and/or constitutional issues?

Ohio allows cities, municipalities, counties, and districts to enact local ordinances and regulations for the use of knives.

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

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

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

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

  • Can a minor carry a knife in Ohio?

In Ohio, minors that are less than 18 years old are not allowed to carry knives that can be termed deadly weapons.

  • Are swords legal in Ohio?

Yes, swords are legal in Ohio.

  • Are switchblades legal in Ohio?

Yes, switchblades are legal in Ohio, except for carrying them concealed as a weapon.

  • Are folding knives legal in Ohio?

Yes, folding knives are legal in Ohio, except for carrying them concealed as a weapon.

  • Are fixed blade knives legal in Ohio?

Yes, fixed blades are legal in Ohio, except for carrying them concealed as a weapon.

  • Are butterfly knives legal in Ohio?

Yes, butterfly knives are legal in Ohio, except for carrying them concealed as a weapon.

  • Are automatic knives legal in Ohio?

Yes, automatic knives are legal in Ohio, except for carrying them concealed as a weapon.

  • Are ballistic spring-assisted knives legal in Ohio?

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

  • Are throwing knives legal in Ohio?

Yes, throwing knives are legal in Ohio, except for carrying them concealed as a weapon.

  • Are karambits Legal in Ohio?

Yes, Karambits are legal in Ohio, except for carrying them concealed as a weapon.