Ohio Knife Laws

Ohio Knife LawsKnife Laws in Ohio are descriptive pretty much but easy to catch. Ohio’s knife ownership law is not that strict but bearing or carrying knife law especially in a concealed way is offensive and you need to have the clear ideas about those laws.

We are here to help you provide the best explanations of the statutes.


Knife Possession Laws

There is no restriction to own or possess any knife in Ohio. But according to “dangerous ordnance” list, ballistic knives are prohibited to operate or activate anywhere and this sort of knife is recommended to keep in the museum or as a trophy, curio or souvenir. The code §2923.11: Definitions” mentions this clearly.

Knife Carry Laws

There is no strict law for open carry of knives. Especially, knives which are legal can easily be carried openly by anyone anywhere except for the restricted places such as schools, courthouses or government buildings etc.

Carrying concealed knives: It is illegal to carry concealed any deadly weapon and dangerous ordnance knowingly. And the law is very strict in Ohio. The definitions of the deadly weapons and the dangerous ordnances are mentioned thoroughly in the code §2923.11: Definitions.”


The Definition of Deadly Weapon: according to the definitions of the laws in this State, deadly weapons are specifically any device, instrument or anything which can cause serious injury even death and these are designed as a weapon.

“(A) “Deadly weapon” means any instrument, device, or thing capable of inflicting death, and designed or specially adapted for use as a weapon, or possessed, carried, or used as a weapon.” (Source: https://law.justia.com/codes/ohio/2006/orc/jd_292311-671.html)

The Definition of Dangerous Ordnance: dangerous ordnances are not allowed to be operated or activated and they are about to be kept in the museum as a trophy or souvenir etc. They are not for regular uses.

“(5) Dangerous ordnance; that is inoperable or inert and cannot readily be rendered operable or activated, and that is kept as a trophy, souvenir, curio, or museum piece.” (Source: https://law.justia.com/codes/ohio/2006/orc/jd_292311-671.html)

The code “§ 2923.12: Carrying concealed weapons” mentions the concealment issue in details. And here are some lines from the detailed statutes. To know more about the concealment laws, you can look for yourself in the statutes. (Source: https://law.justia.com/codes/ohio/2006/orc/jd_292312-c3f.html)

“(A)  No person shall knowingly carry or have, concealed on the person’s person or concealed ready at hand, any of the following:

(1) A deadly weapon other than a handgun;

(2) A handgun other than a dangerous ordnance;

(3) A dangerous ordnance.”

: This law is not allowed for some individuals. They are,

  • Any law enforcement officer
  • Officers, employees, agents or other authorized individuals of Ohio or the US.
  • Anyone who is authorized or has the license to carry dangerous weapons concealed on the purpose of his/her duties.

(Source: https://law.justia.com/codes/ohio/2006/orc/jd_292312-c3f.html)

“(C) (1)  This section does not apply to officers, agents, or employees of this or any other state or the United States, or to law enforcement officers, authorized to carry concealed weapons or dangerous ordnance and acting within the scope of their duties.”


Ohio Knife Laws for Sale or Transport

There is separate law or prohibition for selling, manufacturing or furnishing some particular knives. It is illegal for any person to manufacture, sell, furnish or possess for sale any switchblade knives, brass knuckles, gravity knives or any other automatic knives, blackjack, billy etc. and similar categories.

But any law enforcement agency, especially in police work, is authorized to this and they are the exception.

The code “§ 2923.20: Unlawful transaction in weapons” tells in details about it. (Source: https://law.justia.com/codes/ohio/2006/orc/jd_292320-9c4b.html)


“(A) No person shall:

(3) Manufacture, possess for sale, sell, or furnish to any person other than a law enforcement agency for authorized use in police work, any brass knuckles, cestus, billy, blackjack, sandbag, switchblade knife, springblade knife, gravity knife, or similar weapon;”


Blade Length of the Knives

Ohio has no particular blade length limit for the knives when it is about knife possession and in open carry. But when it is about concealment issue, the ideal blade length of the knives is required 2.5”, though it is illegal to carry knives concealed without any blade length limitation.


Restricted Places for Knives

Ohio’s educational institutions are strictly knife-free zone. Possession or carrying of knives is illegal here. Courthouses, public gatherings, government buildings etc. and other authorized places are highly prohibited to possess or carry any kind of knives or deadly weapons. But authorized individuals are the exceptions in their duties.


How would you defend yourself when you are charged?

If you are found with a deadly weapon with you, do not tell the officer that you are carrying this to defend you. Because the moment you are telling this, your knife is considered as the “deadly weapon” under the Ohio Law.

You can answer the question simply that you are carrying this for cutting fruits or anything. Always answer with inoffensive explanations even if you are carrying them for another reason and you want to get out of it!

If any cop asks you if you have any weapon with you, you should answer him that you don’t have any weapon but you do have a regular pocket knife to peel off the fruit you have with you! Do not admit that you are carrying a weapon and try not to disclose the matter even though you don’t have any other bad intention. This might bring you into a big trouble.

You will not be charged if you carry a knife openly or even clipped to your pocket. And if you still are carrying it as a weapon, it won’t matter until you carry it concealed such as under the seat or trunk or anywhere not visible.

So, do not carry knives concealed even if you do not have any bad intention. This will be a total danger. And do not carry a larger blade size because the more the blade size is, the deadly or dangerous it is considered.


Knives that are Legal in Ohio

Apart from the restrictions, some knives are fully legal in Ohio. They are,

  • All kinds of pocket knives are legal.
  • Balisong knives are legal.
  • Switchblades, gravity knives, and other automatic knives are legal to own but to sell or manufacture.
  • 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.
  • All sorts of undetectable knives are legal.


Sum up to the Ohio Knife Laws

Ohio knife laws are broad but they are not tricky. Only the concealment is a big matter here like the most other States. Carrying knives with license or authorization is not an issue.

On the other hand, knife owners are happy because there is no restriction to possess knives in their private houses (except the ballistic ones).






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