Pennsylvania has some knives completely banned which means you cannot own those knives or even carry. Knife open carry laws are strict here too and for this, concealment is not the main factor here.
It was mentioned in the Pennsylvania statute that, any citizen of this State has the right to bear arms in case of self-defense and for the sake of the State. But this State does not recognize this law currently for bearing knives showing a specific reason for self-defense.
There is a lot more to know about the knife laws in Pennsylvania. Know more in details about it in this article. Hope this might help!
Knife Possession & Carrying Laws
It is a misdemeanor of the first degree if anyone (except for the authorized personnel) possesses, uses, repairs, makes, sells or buys any offensive weapon.
Definition of Offensive Weapons: The statue clearly mentions what the offensive weapons are. Offensive weapons include blackjacks, metal knuckles, daggers, knives, razors or any instrument that are used for cutting, automatic knives or switchblades etc. which can cause serious bodily injury or even death.
The code “§ 908- Prohibited offensive weapons” explains this and defines what offensive weapons are. (Source: https://codes.findlaw.com/pa/title-18-pacsa-crimes-and-offenses/pa-csa-sect-18-908.html)
“Offense defined.– (a)a person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree if, except as authorized by law, he makes, repairs, sells, or otherwise deals in, uses, or possesses any offensive weapon.
“Offensive weapons: … any blackjack, sandbag, metal knuckles, dagger, knife, razor or cutting instrument, the blade of which is exposed in an automatic way by switch, push-button, spring mechanism, or otherwise, any stun gun, stun baton, taser or other electronic or electric weapon or other implement for the infliction of serious bodily injury which serves no common lawful purpose.”
So the banned knives are double-edged or pointing knives such as daggers and switchblades or other automatic knives. So, these types of knives are banned for both owning and carrying (openly or concealed).
Also, the word “common lawful purpose” means showing any lawful purposes to bear the knives. For example, bearing knives for hunting, fishing, cutting etc. and giving these reasons behind carrying a knife is common lawful purposes.
What to do when you are charged?
It is not always going to work to defend you claiming you are carrying knives for lawful purposes. The total situation depends on the police officer and how you expose this to them. You may also get into trouble if you cannot prove yourself right. On that case, you might get into legal trouble and face the court.
It does not necessarily mean that showing lawful purposes will always end up taken as granted legally. So when you are carrying knives in Pennsylvania, make sure you have authorized permission. Even the lawful purposes are not granted if they are shown carrying in the wrong place. And of course, you have to have the legal permit for this lawful purpose you are showing to the police officer.
Knife laws both for owning and carrying in Pennsylvania are strict and you need to have the proper idea before attempting carrying or owning one.
Knives that are Legal
As there are restrictions on most of the knives to carry and even to own, still there remain some knives which are risk-free. These are,
- All kinds of pocket knives are legal.
- Balisong knives are legal.
- Knives that are concealed under stuff like a pen, cane, lipstick or belt buckles etc. are legal.
- Bowie knives and other large single-edged knives are legal.
- All sorts of undetectable knives are legal.
- Hunting, fishing or other utility knives unless you can prove the legality.
- Throwing knives, throwing stars, nunchaku and other martial arts’ weapons are legal.
Knife Laws in the Schools
Pennsylvania is stricter with its laws than the most other States. So, it is also illegal here to carry or possess any kind of knives or weapons on the school premises or in other educational institutions. These places are weapon and knife free zones.
Knife laws in Pennsylvania are very straightforward and effective. Legal or authentic permission is needed here to carry knives even they are normal hunting or fishing knives. Do not carry knives with large blades because this would be problematic too. Large bladed knives are considered as offensive or deadly weapons also. Do not carry any type of knife or weapon that can harm anybody. Also your expose while carrying knives should be positive.
Those knives which are banned totally as well as illegal to own or carry, you cannot own or possess them anywhere not even in your private house. So, know the laws properly before you decide to purchase one.