Rhode Island Knife Laws

Rhode Island Knife LawsJust like the previous States, Rhode Island knife laws emphasize on the concealment issue. Almost all kinds of dangerous knives are illegal when carried in a concealed manner. On the bright side, the open carry of legal knives is all right only if you don’t have any bad intention.

To know more about the laws, you can rely on this article.

Knife Possession and Carry Laws

It is illegal to possess or carry or attempt to use any blackjack, metal knuckles, and Kung-Fu weapons such as throwing stars or nunchaku etc. and any other instrument related to these types.

If anyone intentionally uses, carries or possesses any dirk, dagger, sword cane, bowie knife or other instruments similar to them which are designed for stabbing and cutting; it would be illegal or unlawful.

Carrying concealed any of the knives or instruments mentioned above, any razor, in fact, any kind of knives having a blade length exceeding three inches is illegal.

The statements in “RI Gen L § 11-47-42 (2012)mentions all these thoroughly. Take a look.

“§ 11-47-42 Weapons other than firearms prohibited – (a) No person shall carry or possess or attempt to use against another any instrument or weapon of the kind commonly known as a blackjack, slingshot, billy, sand club, sandbag, metal knuckles, slap glove, bludgeon, stun-gun, or the so-called “Kung-Fu” weapons.

(2) No person shall with intent to use unlawfully against another, carry or possess a crossbow, dagger, dirk, stiletto, sword-in-cane, bowie knife, or other similar weapon designed to cut and stab another.

(3) No person shall wear or carry concealed upon his person, any of the above-mentioned instruments or weapons, or any razor, or knife of any description having a blade of more than three (3) inches in length measuring from the end of the handle where the blade is attached to the end of the blade, or other weapon of like kind or description.”

So, in short, any kind of knives are legal to own or possess or to carry openly unless you are not attempting any crime and your intention is not bad except for the blackjacks, metal knuckles and martial arts or Kung-Fu weapons or throwing stars types knives or weapons because they are not legal here in any case. And concealing all these knives including any knife with more than three inches blade length is illegal.



The punishment for violating the laws explained above is,

  • Imprisonment for not exceeding one year and or,
  • A fine of not exceeding $1,000 (one thousand dollars)

And the weapon will be seized from the convict.

“Any person violating the provisions of these subsections shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, and the weapon so found shall be confiscated.”

Knife Laws For The Minors

There should be strict laws for the minors to carry or possess knives. Rhode Island is straightforward with its knife laws for the minors as well.

It is prohibited for any person to sell any blackjack, metal knuckles, Kung-Fu weapons or throwing stars, dirks, daggers, stilettos, sword cane, bowie knife, knife with more than three inches blade length etc. to a minor under eighteen (18) years old without any written permission or authorization of that minor’s legal guardian or parents is totally illegal here.

Exception: Any person who is involved in instructing or learning martial arts or Kung-Fu and he has the license of possessing or carrying these illegal weapons, this law will not be applicable for him.

Punishment: If anyone violates this law, he or she will be punished by;

  • Imprisonment for not less than a year to not exceeding five years and in between and or,
  • A fine of not less than $1,000 to not exceeding $3,000 and in between.

Also, the weapons which are found will be seized immediately. To know the law in details, you can check the code “RI Gen L § 11-47-42 (2012)”.


“(b) No person shall sell to a person under eighteen (18) years of age, without the written authorization of the minor’s parent or legal guardian, any stink bomb, blackjack, slingshot, bill, sand-club, sandbag, metal knuckles, slap glove, bludgeon, stun gun, paintball gun, so-called “kung-fu” weapons, dagger, dirk, stiletto, sword-in-cane, bowie knife, razor, or knife of any description having a blade of more than three inches (3″)…  commonly known as a Chinese throwing star, except that an individual… in the instruction of martial arts and licensed under § 5-43-1 may carry and possess… for the sole purpose of instructional use.”

“Any person violating the provisions of this subsection shall be punished by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than three thousand dollars ($3,000), or by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than five (5) years, or both, and the weapons so found shall be confiscated.”


Knife Laws in Schools

Rhode Island’s schools and other educational institutions are also knife and weapon free zone like the other States.


Final Words

Rhode Island does allow switchblades and other automatic knives to be owned or possessed or to be carried within the limited blade length whereas; most of the States consider switchblades as the most dangerous knives.

Knife laws in Rhode Island are not tricky but you just have to understand the rules about when, where and how to use, carry and own which type of knives.


Resources: https://law.justia.com/codes/rhode-island/2012/title-11/chapter-11-47/chapter-11-47-42

R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-42 (2012)






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.