Washington Knife Laws

Washington Knife LawsWashington’s knife laws are pretty strict (such as other states like new york knife laws) than the previous States like Virginia Knife Laws. Here you will get knife prohibitions to own, restrictions to conceal carry and even in open carry.

But the restrictions to the dangerous knives are expected for the security of any State and Washington has got its laws already.

Though the statutes are a bit tricky to understand, we are going to give you the explanations along with them.

Knife Possession and Carry Laws

It is unlawful or illegal if anyone sells, manufactures, and possesses metal knuckles, slung shots, sand clubs, spring-bladed knives or other automatic knives and also known as switchblades such as boot knife and gravity knives and these kinds.

The code “9.41.250: Dangerous weapons — Penalty” mentions these illegal dangerous weapons.

“Every person who:
“(1) Manufactures, sells, or disposes of or possesses any instrument or weapon of the kind usually known as slung shot, sand club, or metal knuckles, or spring blade knife, or any knife the blade of which is automatically released by a spring mechanism or other mechanical device, or any knife having a blade which opens, or falls, or is ejected into position by the force of gravity, or by an outward, downward, or centrifugal thrust or movement;”


Knives that are Legal to Own and Possess

Other than the restricted ones, all knives are legal to own and possess in Washington and there is no prohibition.

These are,

  • All sorts of pocket knives are legal.
  • Hunting, fishing or other utility knives are legal.
  • Knives that are disguised under things like a pen, cane, lipstick or belt buckles etc. are legal.
  • Balisong or butterfly knives are legal.
  • Bowie knives and other large single-edged knives are legal.
  • Dirks, daggers, stilettos and other double-edged knives are legal.
  • Ballistic knives are legal.
  • Throwing stars, nun-chu-ka, throwing knives etc. and other martial arts’ weapons are legal.
  • All sorts of undetectable knives are legal.

Knife Conceal Carry

The statute about carrying concealed dangerous weapon is exceptional than the other states like New York knife laws. It says that if anyone carries any dirks, daggers, or other dangerous weapons with the intention of concealing them and this has to be furtively carried. So, if anyone secretively carries those knives and he or she has the intent of concealing them actually, this would be illegal and punishable.

The code says,

“(2) Furtively carries with intent to conceal any dagger, dirk, pistol, or other dangerous weapons;”


Knife Open Carry

There are knife open carry restrictions in Washington as well whereas, most of the States only emphasize on the concealed carry issue.

If anyone carries, displays, or exhibits any daggers, swords, knives or any instrument that can cut or stab anything and these can cause any bodily injury to anyone or are threatening for any other person, it will be unlawful or illegal and the person shall be punished.

So, any kind of knife or dangerous knife is illegal to carry openly. Also, if you are intended to harm anybody or anything, you are in trouble, my friend!

Punishment: Whoever violates this law “shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor” and all these are mentioned in the section RCW 9.41.270: “Unlawful carrying or handling—Penalty—Exceptions”.

“(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.”

“(2) Any person violating the provisions of subsection (1) above shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.”


In some situations and for some individuals, the subsection 1 will not be applicable. These are,

  • If anyone is in the place of business or on his own place then carrying those dangerous knives openly would not be illegal. Also, carrying knives concealed while someone is on his or her own residence would not be considered as illegal.
  • When someone is on his or her duty for the sake of the public and these are authorized.
  • If anyone is threatened by any unlawful force and to protect himself from that, in a word, to protect oneself or others from an unlawful act, it can be legal carrying or using knives openly.
  • When somebody is a member of the military forces and from any of the govt. authorized forces and he or she is on his or her duties.

The code RCW 9.41.270 mentions all the exceptions thoroughly. Take a look at “Unlawful carrying or handling—Penalty—Exceptions”.

“(3) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to or affect the following:

(a) Any act committed by a person while in his or her place of abode or fixed place of business…”

“… (e) Any person engaged in military activities sponsored by the federal or state governments.”


Knife Laws in the Schools

It is unlawful to carry or possess any sort of knives or dangerous knives in school or other educational institutions’ premises. Nan-chu- ka sticks, throwing stars, and martial arts’ weapons are also added to the dangerous weapons’ list here. The details are given in the statutes no. “RCW 9.41.280: “Possessing dangerous weapons on school facilities—Penalty”

“(1) It is unlawful for a person to carry onto, or to possess on, public or private elementary or secondary school premises, school-provided transportation, or areas of facilities while being used exclusively by public or private schools:

(b) Any other dangerous weapon as defined in RCW 9.41.250;”

“(c) Any device is commonly known as “nun-chu-ka sticks,” consisting of two or more lengths of wood, metal, plastic, or similar substance connected with wire, rope, or other means;

(d) Any device, commonly known as “throwing stars…”

Sum up to the Knife Laws in Washington

Knife laws in Washington are sort of descriptive but they are strict as well. Before you plan for carrying or possessing any knives outside, know the laws first. The knife possession law might be little less stressing but when you are caught with a knife concealment issue, this would be problematic. Also, know the restricted places such as schools, courthouses, and other govt. buildings before carrying or possessing one.












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