Virginia knife laws are some of the most confusing laws in the United States. Let's take a look at what they are and how you can be charged under Virginia knife laws.
Concealed carry? Unlawful to conceal carry some types of knives.
Open carry? Legal
Schools? Prohibited on school property but not otherwise.
Length & critical dimensions: Only knives with blade length less than 3 inches are allowed on school premises.
The types of knives legal in Virginia include the following:
There are no illegal knives in Virginia
Virginia Knife Ownership Law
You must be at least 16 years old to purchase a knife in Virginia. It is also unlawful for anyone under 18 to carry a concealed weapon, which includes a knife. You can get a license to carry concealed weapons at the age of 18.
Some of the gun carry laws in Virginia include the following:
You can openly carry any type of knife the law does not prohibit, which includes switchblades.
It is unlawful to carry any concealed weapon, including knives. Concealed weapons include most folding knives with a blade longer than 3 inches.
Other types of prohibited knives for concealed carry are:
Different knife laws in Virginia include the following:
In Virginia, automatic knives are defined as any type of knife that has a spring-loaded blade which is released by activation, which is covered under Virginia Code Section 18.2-311 (A).
In Virginia, the term "butterfly knives" is not given any name or definition in the state's code section 18.2-308. However, it is clearly illegal to carry a concealed weapon in Virginia.
Bowie knives are legal to own and open carry in Virginia, but it is illegal to conceal any type of knife or blade over 3 inches. In Virginia under Code Section 18.2-311 (A) and (C), it is unlawful for anyone, including students, to carry a concealed weapon on school property.
Virginia Other Prohibited Knives Laws
A number of other types of knives are also unlawful in Virginia under Code Section 18.2-308 including dirks and daggers, ballistic knives, gravity knives, switchblades, or automatic knives. Virginia Code Section 18.2 – 311 (F) also makes it illegal for civilians to carry a concealed weapon, which includes knives.
It is legal to own any type of knife in Virginia as long as its blade length is less than 3 inches. It is legal to openly carry any type of knife of this length.
Virginia knife laws and penal codes include the following:
In Virginia, legal defenses for knife charges may be related to the following:
It is not illegal for law enforcement or military personnel to conceal or hide a weapon. A concealed weapon found on an officer can be confiscated, but it cannot be used against the officer in court for prosecution purposes. Also, law enforcement will not charge an officer for carrying a concealed weapon, and will not retrieve a weapon from the officer, unless it is suspected that the law has been violated.
A violation of the provisions of Virginia laws and knife offenses related to Code Section 18.2-308 (J) is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail and a $2500 fine, but only if no one was injured during the commission of the crime. If someone was hurt or injured, then the crime becomes a Class 6 felony, which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $2500 fine.
Unlawful possession or concealment of a knife is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.
Transporting an unlawful knife as defined under Code Section 18.2-308 (F) is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail and a $2500 fine.
Carrying an unlawful knife on school property is a Class 1 misdemeanor, but if the weapon becomes visible during the commission of an unarmed assault it escalates to a felony conviction.
Using any type of knife for the purpose of fighting, even if it is not a weapon legally defined as a dangerous or deadly weapon, is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or a $500 fine.
Violating the clause on knives carried outside of vehicles under Code Section 18.2-308 (A) is punishable by up to 90 days jail and/or a $500 fine.
In Virginia, there is a 50% chance that your knife charge will become a felony if you are carrying the weapon in public while committing a crime. There is also an automatic 5-year enhancement for using any type of knife during the commission of another crime.
Some of the most frequently asked questions and answers about Virginia knife laws include the following:
In the state of Virginia, it is legal to carry a knife with a blade no longer than 3 inches. It is illegal however to conceal this type of weapon on your person or in any "recessed driveway."
In the state of Virginia, it is illegal to carry a knife that has no working trigger lock or safety device.
There are a number of types of knives that are legal to carry in Virginia. For example, pocket knives and survival knives are all allowed under state laws. However, there are certain restrictions on the length of blade allowed on such weapons.
Pocket knives with blades less than 3 inches in length are legal to carry in Virginia.
In the state of Virginia, it is legal to sell or transfer ownership of a knife in many situations. The most important aspect of this law, however, is that transferring possession of an illegal weapon is a felony offense.
In the state of Virginia, brandishing a weapon is generally considered to be a form of assault. In general, assault laws punish individuals who display weapons in an aggressive or threatening manner with up to 12 months in prison and/or fines reaching $2500.
In the state of Virginia, it is illegal for individuals under the age of 18 to carry any type of knife.
In the state of Virginia, swords are legal to own or carry. However, it is illegal to conceal a sword that cannot be seen by other individuals unless an individual has a valid concealed weapons permit.
In the state of Virginia, switchblades are illegal to conceal carry but legal to own.
Yes, folding knives are legal to carry in Virginia. However, a folding knife cannot be opened with one hand while the individual is driving any type of motor vehicle.
In the state of Virginia, it is legal to own fixed blade knives. However, the law does have a clause that states an individual cannot conceal a knife that has any type of hilt or handle guard.
In the state of Virginia, butterfly knives are illegal to conceal carry, but legal to own.
In the state of Virginia, automatic knives are illegal to conceal carry and legal to own.
In the state of Virginia, spring-assisted knives are illegal to conceal carry and legal to own.
In the state of Virginia, gravity knives are legal to own but illegal to conceal carry.
In the state of Virginia, throwing knives are legal to own but illegal to conceal carry.
In the state of Virginia, it is legal to own karambits. However, it is illegal to conceal carry a karambit with a blade longer than 3 inches.