Missouri Knife Laws

Missouri Knife LawsKnife laws in Missouri are pretty relaxing for the knife-owners and for open carries. There, almost all kinds of knives are legal to own except for the switchblades.

Concealed carrying is a big issue here like the most other states. Here blade size also matters for particular knives.

We are going to discuss all these and provide possible explanations of the laws’ statements. Hope this article will get you through the ideas.

Knives that are Illegal to Own


According to Mississippi, switchblades and knuckles are illegal to possess, manufacture, transport, and repair or to sell.

The code 571.020.1 tells in detail about this.

“571.020.1. A person commits a crime if such person knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs, or sells:


(7) A switchblade knife;

(9) Knuckles”



There are some situations when the statement mentioned above won’t be applied to. These are identified in the section below. We have explained the statements given in the code 571.020.2 respectively in the detail.

The section mentioned earlier in 571.020.1 will not be applied or be affected to any of the followings,

  • Suppose you are a member of the Armed Forces, National Guard or a Government Law Enforcement Officer and you are on your official duties.
  • When someone is engaged in an authentic business or commercial transaction with an organization.
  • If it is about to display the weapon or knife in an exhibition or in a public museum.
  • When a lawful or authentic dramatic performance requires using weapons or knives as ornaments or curio, this does not claim as illegal.

Look the code 571.020.2 for yourself.

571.020.2. A person does not commit a crime pursuant to this section if his conduct:

(1) Was incident to the performance of official duty by the armed forces, national guard, a governmental law enforcement agency, or a penal institution; or

(2) Was incident to engaging in a lawful commercial or business transaction with an organization enumerated in subdivision (1) of this section; or

(3) Was incident to using an explosive weapon in a manner reasonably related to a lawful industrial or commercial enterprise; or

(4) Was incident to displaying the weapon in a public museum or exhibition; or

(5) Was incident to dealing with the weapon solely as a curio, ornament, or keepsake, or to using it in a manner reasonably related to a lawful dramatic performance…”


Knife Carrying Laws

Knife carrying laws in Missouri are strict for the concealing issues. There is an open carry law and concealed carry laws.


Open Carry Laws

You can carry any legal knives openly if you want. There is no restriction for open carry knives in Missouri. For example, you can carry any knives except for the switchblades and knuckles openly and this won’t be illegal here.


Concealed Carry Laws

There are strict restrictions for concealing knives. Anyone who knowingly carries a knife and other deadly weapons concealed is guilty of a crime. This is unlawful as well as illegal. According to Missouri, knife means some particular knives specifically.

The following statement 571.030.1 says about this clearly.

571.030.1. A person commits the crime of unlawful use of weapons if he or she knowingly:

(1) Carries concealed upon or about his or her person a knife, a firearm, a blackjack or any other weapon readily capable of lethal use…”


What does “Knife” mean according to Missouri?


According to the Missouri revised statutes 571.010 (Definitions), “knife” has an individual definition for which we can differentiate knives as well as the dangerous ones.

Here, knife means daggers, dirks, and stilettos types of sharp-edged or pointy and dangerous instruments that can easily cause serious injury or even death to anyone. But interestingly, an ordinary pocket knife that is less than four inches of blade size is not included in the “knife” according to the Missouri Knife Laws.

“2005 Missouri Revised Statutes – § 571.010. — Definitions.

(10) “Knife” means any dagger, dirk, stiletto, or bladed hand instrument that is readily capable of inflicting serious physical injury or death by cutting or stabbing a person. For purposes of this chapter, “knife” does not include any ordinary pocketknife with no blade more than four inches in length;”

So, knowingly carrying concealed dirks, daggers, stilettos and other sharp and pointy-edged knives are illegal here.


There are some individuals in particular situations that get the permit to carry knives concealed on behalf of their duty purposes. This is mentioned clearly in the statement 571.030.2.

So, it will not be illegal or unlawful when,

  • Peace officers who are on and off his/her duties carry knives concealed.
  • Keepers or other duty guards of prison cells or jails or other institutions that relate to crime section use or possess knives concealed on their duty purposes.
  • A member of the Armed Forces of the US on his/her duties or,
  • A member of the federal judiciary on his/her duties carries or possesses knives or other dangerous weapons concealed.
  • When someone is authentically or lawfully on the duty of some civil or criminal issues that require using knives concealed.
  • Anyone of the federal probation officers can carry knives concealed also.


Here is the code 571.030.2 in detailed.

571.030.2. Subdivisions (1), (3), (4), (6), (7), (8), (9) and (10) of subsection 1 of this section shall not apply to or affect any of the following:

(1) All state, county and municipal peace officers who have completed the training required by the** police officer standards… whether such officers are on or off duty…

(2) Wardens, superintendents and keepers of prisons, penitentiaries, jails and other institutions for the detention of persons accused or convicted of the crime;

(3) Members of the armed forces or National Guard while performing their official duty;

(4) … the members of the federal judiciary;

(5) Any person whose bona fide duty is to execute the process, civil or criminal;

(6) Any federal probation officer…”


Legal Defense when you are charged

You won’t be punished if you carry any knives concealed if you are any of them mentioned above. You can also carry a pocket knife of four inches or less than that concealed and you won’t be charged for that.

But, you should not carry any knife concealed unless you are not any of the exceptions. For this, you might fall into trouble even though your intention was not to harm anybody. So, it is better to be careful rather than go for the risks.


Blade Size of the Knives

There is a fixed blade size for the knives and that is four (4) inches in length. Knives more than four inches of blade sizes are considered as the dangerous ones like the most other states. Even pocket knives less than the four (4) inches or four inches in blade size are legal to carry concealed.


Laws for the Minors

There is no specific law for the minors in Missouri. But it is better if the minors are not given any of the dangerous knives before their matured age (at least 18 years old).


Knife Laws for the Schools

Schools in Missouri are also knife-free zones like the other states. No one is allowed to carry or possess any dangerous knives or weapons on the school premises except for the lawful or authentic personnel who are on their duties.


Knives that are Legal to Own in Missouri

Switchblades and knuckles are illegal here otherwise; all other knives are legal to own. Knives that are mentioned below are legal to own in Missouri.

  • All sorts of pocket knives.
  • Knives that are disguised under lipstick, pen, cane, belt etc.
  • Bowie knives.
  • Balisong knives.
  • All types of Undetectable knives.
  • Throwing stars, throwing knives and other martial arts weapons.
  • Dirks, daggers, and stilettos.


Sum up to the Knife Laws in Missouri

Missouri defines “knife” as some particular knives such as dirks, daggers, stilettos. These knives and some other dangerous sharp-edged knives are illegal carrying concealed here.

Only switchblades and knuckles are illegal here to own, manufacture and transporting.

Even after all these restrictions, knife laws in Missouri cannot be told as the critical one because to some point, the laws are friendly.










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