Pennsylvania knife laws are simple, in that most of the time, there is no law against it. However, there are some laws that specify certain knives to be illegal.
The most important things when choosing a pocket knife is its blade length and whether or not it's allowed in your state. Below you can find details regarding both of those factors for Pennsylvania knife laws.
Concealed carry? Yes.
Open carry? Yes.
Length & critical dimensions: None
The types of knives legal in Pennsylvania include the following:
The types of knives illegal in Pennsylvania include the following:
You can own any of the types of knives listed above without needing to register or license them with the state. You can also carry your knives concealed without needing a permit or license to do so.
However, even with these laws in place, you are not allowed to bring any of the legal types of knives on school grounds (K-12) or state-owned properties such as bars and airports.
Some of the gun carry laws in Pennsylvania include the following:
You are allowed to openly carry any of the legal types of knives in Pennsylvania. The only restriction on open carry is that you cannot carry your knives while in possession of a firearm (unless they're both completely visible). If you do decide to bring your knife with such a setup, make sure it's completely visible at all times
You can carry any of the legal types of knives in Pennsylvania concealed without needing a license. However, you cannot conceal them while also in possession of a firearm
Different knife laws in Pennsylvania include the following:
It is legal to own, buy, sell, trade, or manufacture automatic knives in Pennsylvania. Automatic knives are not pre-empted by state law and they're also exempt from the switchblade definition.
It is legal to own, buy, sell, trade, or manufacture switchblades in Pennsylvania. You can also carry a switchblade concealed without needing a license. The one restriction related to this law is that you cannot carry your switchblades (concealed or not) on school grounds.
In Pennsylvania, there are a number of things that are regulated by the state and left unregulated by the city. However, no matter what kind of knife you're carrying (regardless if it's legal or illegal), you cannot bring it into a place where it is banned. Examples of this kind of place include schools, government buildings, and bars (remember that even your pocket knives are legal to carry in Pennsylvania).
It's perfectly legal to own, buy, sell, trade, or manufacture fixed-blade knives in Pennsylvania. You can also carry them concealed without needing a license.
There are no blade length restrictions in the state of Pennsylvania (in other words, you can own any size knife).
The state of Pennsylvania has two statutes that relate to offensive weapons: a definition of what constitutes an "offensive weapon", and a statute related to carrying such weapons.
Both statutes make it illegal to conceal your offensive weapons (which includes knives). They're also illegal to carry in a school or on any public property.
All daggers are considered weapons, and it is illegal to conceal them or carry them in schools.
In the state of Pennsylvania, a gravity knife "is any blade that is released from its handle or sheath by the force of gravity or the application of centrifugal force which, when released, is locked in place by means of a button, spring, lever or another device."
It's legal in Pennsylvania for anyone 18 years old or older to possess any kind of knife. In certain situations, minors under the age of 18 can also possess knives:
However, they cannot buy or sell their knives.
You are not required to have a permit or license in Pennsylvania to own, buy, sell, trade, manufacture, or carry any of the legal types of knives. The only exception is if you want to bring these types of knives onto school grounds (K-12).
The only size-based restrictions that exist are related to carrying concealed weapons. You can carry any type of knife (even a sword) concealed without needing a license as long as it's not on school grounds.
Pennsylvania knife laws and penal codes include the following:
They include the following:
If you are under investigation for or charged with a knife-related crime, there may be some legal defenses that apply to your case. Some of the most common legal defenses in these kinds of cases include:
There are many exceptions to Pennsylvania knife laws for the following groups:
While it's common to see light penalties for mere possession of a knife, some offenses can lead to steep fines and even jail time.
They include the following:
If you are convicted of carrying a switchblade or other types of knives in Pennsylvania (such as an automatic knife), you can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries a maximum $2,500 fine and one year in prison.
If you are convicted of any crime involving the illegal possession or sale of knives (such as an automatic knife), you can face additional penalties. These include :
If you have a second-degree misdemeanor conviction involving knives, then depending on the specific circumstances of your case, you could be charged with:
Some of the most frequently asked questions and answers about Pennsylvania knife laws include the following:
Knife length does not matter in Pennsylvania
You can carry any type of knife you want, including switchblades, as long as it is not categorized as an offensive weapon.
There is no specific length limit for pocket knives in Pennsylvania.
Any knife that is designed to be a weapon, as well as any type of knife that has a locking mechanism.
Yes. It is legal to sell or transfer ownership of a knife in Pennsylvania.
Yes. It is illegal to brandish a knife in public, which is considered assault. However, if you are threatened with force or violence and you draw your weapon for protection, then it will not be considered an offense.
Yes. There are no specific laws for minors in regards to carrying knives.
Yes. The only thing that makes a sword illegal is if it qualifies as an offensive weapon. This means that the blade is made of metal and designed to be used for inflicting harm on another person and/or self-defense (sword can be concealed).
Yes. It is legal to carry switchblades in Pennsylvania, as long as they are not classified as an offensive weapon (this includes a pocket knife with a blade that opens automatically by pressure on the handle or gravity).
Yes. It is legal to carry folding knives in Pennsylvania, as long as they do not have a blade that locks into place.
Yes. It is legal to carry fixed blade knives in Pennsylvania.
Yes. It is legal to carry butterfly knives in Pennsylvania, as long as the blade does not lock into place when it opens.
Yes. It is legal to carry automatic knives in Pennsylvania, as long as the blade does not lock into place when it opens.
No. It is illegal to carry spring-assisted knives in Pennsylvania.
No. It is illegal to carry double-edged knives in Pennsylvania.
Yes. It is legal to carry gravity knives in Pennsylvania.
Yes. It is legal to carry throwing knives in Pennsylvania, as long as the blade does not lock into place when it opens.
Yes. It is legal to own a knife in Pennsylvania without a license.
Yes. It is legal to own a karambit in Pennsylvania, as long as it does not lock into place when it opens.