Kentucky Knife laws

kentucky knife laws

Kentucky knife laws are unique than the other states.

There are no knives illegal to carry and own in Kentucky and is a very knife-friendly state like the new mexico knife laws. Only concealment issue is a big matter of fact here.

All kind of knives (except for the pocket knives and the hunting knives) are considered as dangerous/deadly weapons and carrying concealed these knives is illegal here.


Knives that are Legal to own and carry in Kentucky

According to the knife laws in Kentucky, all sorts of knives are legal to carry open and own even though they are considered as deadly/dangerous weapons.

  1. All kind of pocket knives is legal.
  2. Ballistic knives are legal.
  3. Bowie knives are legal.
  4. Balisong and butterfly knives are legal.
  5. Switchblades and other automatic knives are legal.
  6. Gravity knives are legal.
  7. Knives that are disguised under lipstick, pen, cane, belt etc. are legal.
  8. Dirks, daggers, and stilettos are legal.
  9. Undetectable knives are also legal in Kentucky.

So, owning, carrying openly, manufacturing, displaying, transferring, buying and selling any kind of knives is legal in Kentucky.


Concealment of knives is a big issue

You can open carry any knives you want, there are no restrictions. You can carry pocket knives and hunting knives concealed too. But all other knives are illegal to carry concealed in Kentucky.

Code 527.020: Carrying concealed deadly weapon says about carrying concealed weapons.

“(1) A person is guilty of carrying a concealed weapon when he or she carries concealed a firearm or other deadly weapon on or about his or her person.”



Deadly Weapons

In the code 500.080: Definitions for Kentucky Penal Code, the deadly weapons are mentioned. Billy, nightstick, blackjack, slapjack, nunchaku, and artificial knuckles etc. are considered as the deadly weapon. The pick point is any knife except for an ordinary pocket knife and hunting knife is mentioned as a “deadly knife” here in the statement.

“(4) “Deadly weapon” means any of the following:

(a) A weapon of mass destruction;

(b) Any weapon from which a shot, readily capable of producing death or other serious physical injuries, may be discharged;

(c) Any knife other than an ordinary pocket knife or hunting knife;

(d) Billy, nightstick, or club;

(e) Blackjack or slapjack;

(f) Nunchaku karate sticks;

(g) Shuriken or death star; or

(h) Artificial knuckles made from metal, plastic, or other similar hard material;”


Carrying concealed a firearm or any of a deadly weapon is illegal in Kentucky. So, except the ordinary pocket knives or hunting knives, all other knives are illegal to carry concealed.


The Penalty for concealing a deadly weapon

If anyone is arrested for carrying a concealed deadly weapon, s/he is going to be punished by a Class A misdemeanor. It will be a Class D felony if the person has been convicted of possessing, using or displaying a deadly weapon earlier.

Code 527.020 (10) “Carrying a concealed weapon is a Class A misdemeanor unless the defendant has been previously convicted of a felony in which a deadly weapon was possessed, used, or displayed, in which case it is a Class D felony.” 



It will not be considered as concealed when a deadly weapon is placed or found in an enclosed container, compartment, and storage space in a vehicle as built-in original equipment, in a seat pocket and if the compartment is mechanized as locked, unlocked or any other option.

The details are explained in the code 527.020 (8).

Code 527.020 (8)A loaded or unloaded firearm or other deadly weapons shall not be deemed concealed on or about the person if it is located in an enclosed container, compartment, or storage space installed as original equipment in a motor vehicle by its manufacturer,

including but not limited to a glove compartment, center console, or seat pocket, regardless of whether said enclosed container, storage space, or compartment is locked, unlocked, or does not have a locking mechanism.”

Who can carry concealed deadly weapons?

There are some individuals who are allowed to carry concealed weapons.

  • Those who have a license to carry knives can carry concealed deadly knives.
  • Court officers and certified court security officers on their duties.
  • United States mail carriers on their duties.
  • Agents or messengers of particular companies on their official duties.


The code 527.020 (2) says about it.

“Code 527.020 (2) Peace officers and certified court security officers, when necessary for their protection in the discharge of their official duties;

United States mail carriers when actually engaged in their duties; and agents and messengers of express companies, when necessary for their protection in the discharge of their official duties, may carry concealed weapons on or about their person.”

Legal Defense When you are Charged

If you are not any of the above individuals who have their permit for carrying weapons concealed and still if you are charged for carrying one and you did not have any intention to harm anybody with that, you can defend yourself by,

  1. Proving confidently that you had no idea about the laws of the state.
  2. You did not know the knife you were carrying was deadly or dangerous.
  3. You can prove yourself not guilty if you were carrying those for any special and good purpose.
  4. Though all these depend on the situation. If you are hit by the fear, you will be in trouble for sure. You need to be confident with your good intention.

Those ideas are just given for in case you are in trouble. But you will not carry a dangerous weapon concealed just like that and for nothing.

As this state does not have any strict laws for the knives but this concealment chapter, so you need to be careful with this issue in Kentucky.


Knife Laws for the Schools

Anyone cannot possess or carry any weapon as well as knives in school premises. Any public or private school campuses, grounds, library, recreation area, field, or any other buildings related to the school property are included in the restricted area.

If anyone knowingly possesses or carries a weapon, he/she will be charged with a Class D felony.

Code 527.070 depicts the unlawful possession of a weapon on school property.

“(1) A person is guilty of unlawful possession of a weapon on school property when he knowingly deposits, possesses, or carries, whether openly or concealed, for purposes other than instructional or school-sanctioned ceremonial purposes, or the purposes permitted in subsection

(3) of this section, any firearm or other deadly weapon, destructive device, or booby trap device in any public or private school building or bus, on any public or private school campus, grounds, recreation area, athletic field, or any other property owned, used, or operated by any board of education, school, board of trustees, regents, or directors for the administration of any public or private educational institution.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to institutions of post-secondary or higher education.

(4) Unlawful possession of a weapon on school property is a Class D felony.”


Sum up to the knife laws in Kentucky

Here in Kentucky, concealment of knives is the only issue to remember when you are dealing with knives here. But pocket knives and hunting knives are in safe side for always.

Where almost in all other states of America, switchblades, ballistic knives, dirks, daggers etc. are illegal to carry or own, there Kentucky has got the friendliest knife laws with no doubt.








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