North Carolina Knife Laws

north Carolina knife lawsNorth Carolina has got strict knife laws like New York for both carrying and owning them.

There are prohibitions for minors too and other restrictions are explained broadly in the statutes of the laws.




Knives Possession Laws in North Carolina

Possessing, selling, manufacturing, transporting, delivering or loaning any ballistic knives or any knives that are spring-loaded projectile or similar to those are unlawful or illegal in North Carolina. In fact, this law is also for the law enforcement officers.


In case of an emergency such as education, training purposes, evidentiary purposes; possessing these types of knives would be lawful.

This is what the law says in the code 14-269.6. (Source:

“(a) On and after October 1, 1986, it shall be unlawful for any person including law enforcement officers…to possess, offer for sale, hold for sale, sell, give, loan, deliver, transport, manufacture or go armed with any spring-loaded projectile knife, a ballistic knife, or any weapon of similar character. Except that, it shall be lawful for a law-enforcement agency to possess such weapons solely for evidentiary, education or training purposes.”


Knife Carrying Laws in North Carolina


Concealed Carrying of Knives

Concealed dirks, daggers, bowie knives, slung shots, metallic knuckles, razors, or any other deadly weapons intentionally and knowingly is unlawful as well as strictly illegal in North Carolina.


People who are not aware of this law can defend himself if he can prove that he was not carrying them knowingly or intentionally. But you would not carry these dangerous knives or weapons without any reason, right? If you have any particular reason to defend yourself, you can apply one but do not risk any.


Also, it is mentioned in the statute that, a person can carry these knives concealed on his or her own premises or in the private houses.

See for yourself what the statute “§ 14‑269: Carrying concealed weapons” tells about this. (Source:

“(a) It shall be unlawful for any person willfully and intentionally to carry concealed about his person any bowie knife, dirk, dagger, slung shot, loaded cane, metallic knuckles, razor, shurikin, stun gun, or other deadly weapon of like kind, except when the person is on the person’s own premises.”


Open Carrying of Knives

There is no prohibition for carrying knives openly in North Carolina. But remember you do not expose yourself as a terrorist or you are not attempting any crime.


Defense of Carrying Knives Concealed

People who are charged for carrying the illegal knives concealed with them, they can defend themselves if they are in any of the situations. But, proving the defense shall always be upon the defendant’s burden or responsibility. (Source:

So, the defenses would be,

  1. If the defendant got engaged in an activity and that required using the illegal weapon but of course legitimately.
  2. In the same situation, the defendant possessed the weapon with him or her.
  3. If the defendant did not use or tried to use those knives or weapons for any illegal purposes and he or she comes to prove that confidently.

*Note: “The burden of proving this defense is on the defendant.”

“(b1) It is a defense to a prosecution under this section that:

(2) The defendant was engaged in, or on the way to or from, an activity in which he legitimately used the weapon;

(3) The defendant possessed the weapon for that legitimate use; and

(4) The defendant did not use or attempt to use the weapon for an illegal purpose.”

This whole section is not applicable for the pocket knives. So, the ordinary pocket knives are not illegal to carry concealed.

*Note: “(d) This section does not apply to an ordinary pocket knife carried in a closed position.”



Knife Laws for the Minors

Minors are restricted to possess dangerous knives. Especially the bowie knives and dirks are strictly prohibited to sell or offer to a minor in North Carolina. This law is mentioned in the code 14-315.


Knife Laws for Schools

Schools and other educational institutions are prohibited to possess and also to carry any knives openly or concealed. The details are given in the code 14-269.2.


Legal Knives in North Carolina

Knives which are with no restrictions or prohibitions are,

  • All kinds of pocket knives are legal.
  • Balisong knives are legal.
  • Switchblades, gravity knives, and other automatic knives are legal.
  • Knives that are disguised under pen, cane, lipstick or belt buckles etc. are legal.
  • Dirks, daggers, stilettos and other double-edged knives are legal to own but to carry concealed.
  • Bowie knives and other large single-edged knives are legal to own but to carry concealed.
  • All sorts of undetectable knives are legal.


Final Words

Knife Laws in North Carolina are easy to be understood and there are options to defend yourself even if you are arrested.

Do not risk yourself by carrying illegal knives concealed if it is not too emergency and you have reasons to prove that.






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