There is a common myth about the legislative status of butterfly knives. The general perception is that butterfly knives are illegal, not true at all. Different states have own law regarding balisongs, or butterfly knives. Where are butterfly knives illegal, and why?
Let’s discover together!
Why Butterfly Knives or Balisongs are Illegal?
Let’s not brag about the structural status of balisongs. All of us know how the concealed blade works and the functionality of double handles. These features have made balisongs knives the most lightweight weapons for crimes.
Any knife can be a dangerous weapon if it is used to threaten someone. Butterfly knives are foldable, portable, and multipurpose. Understandably, it can be used as a potentially deadly weapon to threaten or harm someone due to its lethal specification.
These knives are banned in different regions of the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Germany, France, and Canada.
Where are Butterfly Knives Illegal?
Now, we will explore the countries where butterfly knives or balisongs are illegal in public places.
- United Kingdom:UK government classified balisongs as lethal & offensive weapons in 1989. You can own butterfly knives in the UK but carrying them in public places is a serious crime. Moreover, you can not lend, hire, import, or sell any out-the-front knife.
- Germany:Before 2003, all knives were legal to bring in any public place. But, after Erfurt Massacre, laws regarding weapons in Germany were thoroughly scrutinized. After July 2003, butterfly knives were banned from buying, selling, trading, importing, carrying, and crafting.
- Switzerland:You can not carry a balisong in public places in Switzerland. Trading, importing, lending, and bringing these knives are prohibited in Switzerland by law.
- Australia:The Australian law prohibits using any automatic knife that can be opened by gravity, button, centrifugal force, pressure, zip locks, or device. You will need a valid/lawful reason to carry or own a butterfly knife
- Philippines:The law in the Philippines is interesting. If your balisong is less than a specific size, it will be considered a utility knife. First, there are two criteria if the blade size is less than palm, and the second is can’t be opened with one hand. The balisong with these two factors will be considered as a utility knife, not a weapon.
- Canada:Like other western countries, butterfly knives are illegal to use unless exempted before the law. Canadian law classifies these knives as gravity knives and ban to use, own, trade, import, and carry. It can be used at home as a utility knife, though.
The US States Where Butterfly knives are illegal:
State laws are considered a legislative ordinance for knives. A butterfly knife is illegal or not in a specific state depends on the state’s law and jurisdiction. Let’s check out some of the American states where balisongs are illegal to carry in public places.
Q1#.Are butterfly Knives Illegal in Ohio?
Yes, In Ohio, concealed type of out the front knife is illegal. If your butterfly knife for household use, you can undoubtedly own them but even carry them. But, concealed-type butterfly knives are strictly prohibited.
Q2#.Are butterfly Knives Illegal in Pennsylvania?
The Pennsylvanian state law on knife strict about using any sort of gravity, pen, pocket knives, device, centrifugal force knife of any kind. In this state, you cannot possess, sell, carry any balisongs.
Q3#.Are Balisongs Illegal in California?
According to California’s law, if the balisong blade’s size is more than 2 inches long, it’s illegal to carry these types of knives in public places.
Q4#.Are Butterfly Knives Illegal in Wisconsin?
Balisongs knives are legal inside your property but not outside of your property. You can use a butterfly knife for domestic purposes only inside your home in Wisconsin; it’s illegal to carry a knife in a public place.
Q5#.Is a butterfly knife Illegal to possess in the state of Nevada?
In Nevada, concealed carry of Balisongs blade less than 3.5 inches are allowed to keep, trade, and carry. It’s legal in Nevada to buy, sell, trade, or own butterfly knives.
Knife Laws in Tennessee:
Tennessee Knife law permits the legal use of balisongs knives.
Hawaii Knife Laws
According to the Hawaii knife law, selling, carrying, manufacturing, trading, and lending is a punishable crime. Violation of this law may result in 3-5 years in prison.
New York Knife Law:
In New York state law, Balisongs fall into different categories than gravity knives and switchblade knives. If you have a hunting or fishing license, you can own balisongs under these licenses.
Utah Knife Law:
In Utah, you can carry a knife if it’s concealed.
Let’s check this complete table to find out the legal information for using butterfly knives and state laws for carrying a balisong. This table is for OTF knives, and in the last column of the table, you will find out whether this information/law is applicable for Balisongs and butterfly knives as well or not.
States Possession legislation Sale Law Laws Open Carry Acts on Concealed Carry Are butterfly knives counted as the same thing? US Federal Law Lawful under legislative ordinance Can be sold under state laws but can’t be imported outside the USA Lawful, no barrier on size Lawful Yes Alabama Knives Law Legal under state law Lawful Lawful Lawful Alaska Knife & Weapon Law Legal under state law Lawful Lawful Lawful Arizona State Law Legal under state law Lawful Lawful Lawful if over 21 years old Arkansas Law on Knives & Blades Legal under state law Allowed Allowed Allowed California Laws on Knives & Blades Allowed if blade is less than 2″ Allowed if blade is less than 2″ Allowed if blade is less than 2″ Allowed if blade is less than 2″ Yes Colorado Knives rule Allowed Allowed Allowed Allowed No Connecticut Law on Balisongs Blade Sizes Allowed Allowed Allowed if blade is not more than 1.5″ Allowed if blade is not more than 1.5″ No Delaware Knife & Weapon act Illegal, regardless of usage and size of the blade Illegal Illegal Illegal No District of Columbia Laws of Knives & Blades Illegal, regardless of usage and size of the blade Illegal Illegal Illegal No Florida Knives Law Allowed Allowed Legal Illegal (if you have gun permit than its legal) N/A Georgia Laws of Knives Lawful Lawful for adults (above 18 years) Lawful if blade is not more than 5″ (any length with is Lawful with gun permit) Lawful if blade is not more than 5″ (any length is legal with gun permit) Hawaii Butterfly Knives law Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal No Idaho Laws on weapons Lawful Lawful Lawful Lawful if blade is less than or equal 4″ No Illinois acts on Knives Lawful for people over 21 and have a valid FOID Card Lawful for people over 21 and have a valid FOID Card Lawful for people over 21 and have a valid FOID Card Lawful for people over 21 and have a valid FOID Card Yes Indiana weapon Laws Lawful under state law Lawful under state law Lawful under state law Lawful under state law No Iowa Knives law Completely Lawful Lawful Lawful Lawful if blade is not more than 5″ No Kansas Knives law Lawful under state law Lawful under state law Lawful under state law Lawful under state law N/A Kentucky Laws on knives Allowed under state law Allowed Allowed Illegal N/A Louisiana State Knives law Allowed under state law Allowed Allowed Allowed N/A Maine Knives regulations Allowed under state law Allowed Allowed Allowed Yes Maryland Pen knives Laws Allowed under state law Illegal Legal Illegal No Massachusetts Regulation on Knives Legal under state law Allowed Illegal Illegal No Michigan Law for Knife Legal under state law Lawful Legal Legal No Minnesota Knife Regulation Illegal, regradless of useage and size of the blade Illegal Illegal Illegal No Mississippi Knives Law Legal under state law Legal regardless of size Legal regardless of size Completely Illegal No Missouri State law for weapons & knives Legal under state law Lawful Lawful regardless of size Illegal Yes Montana Knife law Lawful under state law Lawful Lawful regardless of size Illegal No Nebraska law for deadly knives Lawful under state law Lawful Lawful regardless of size Lawful if blade is not more than 3.5″ N/A Nevada Laws for butterfly knives Lawful under state law Lawful Lawful regardless of size Lawful No New Hampshire Lawful under state law Lawful Lawful regardless of size Lawful No New Jersey Laws for Butterfly knives Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal No New Mexico Knife Law Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Yes New York Laws for Balisong knives Lawful w/ Valid Hunting and Fishing License Lawful w/ Valid Hunting and Fishing License Lawful w/ Valid Hunting and Fishing License Lawful w/ Valid Hunting and Fishing License No North Carolina Lawful under state law Lawful under state law Lawful Illegal No North Dakota Allowed under state law Allowed Allowed Illegal Ohio Laws for knives & Balisongs Legal under state law Totally Illegal Allowed Illegal No Oklahoma Legal under state law Allowed Allowed Illegal No Oregon Laws for Knives Legal under state law Legal Allowed Illegal Yes Pennsylvania Illegal (ex. called Curio) Illegal (ex. called Curio) Illegal Illegal No Rhode Island Allowed, No license required Totally Allowed Allowed Allowed if blade is under 3″ No South Carolina Knife Laws Allowed, No license required Allowed, regardless of size Allowed Allowed N/A South Dakota Allowed, No license required Allowed, regardless of size Allowed Allowed N/A Tennessee Allowed, No license required Allowed, regardless of size Allowed Allowed No Texas Allowed, No license required Allowed, completely Allowed if blade is less than 5.5″ Allowed if blade is less than 5.5″ Yes Utah Knife Acts Allowed, No license required Allowed Allowed Situational, Variability Yes Vermont Knives Regulation Allowed, No license required Allowed if blade length is 3″ Allowed Legal No Virginia Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal No Washington Illegal Totally Illegal Illegal Illegal No West Virginia Allowed for people over 18 Allowed Allowed for people over 18 Completely Illegal No Wisconsin Allowed Allowed Allowed Allowed Yes Wyoming Knife rule Allowed Allowed Allowed Situational/Varies N/A
Now you know, where are butterfly knives illegal and why? This knife falls under weapon control policy in many states. To know the details, you may check out the Wikipedia page.
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Where in the world are butterfly knives illegal? ›
In New Zealand, balisongs are illegal. In Norway, balisongs are illegal. In the Philippines, it is now generally illegal to carry one without identification or a proper permit in the streets of the capital because of their prevalent use in crime and altercations.Where are butterfly knives illegal in the US? ›
The states that ban butterfly knives include Hawaii, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Washington. Butterfly knives are not allowed to be owned or used at all in these three states. Carrying or even owning a butterfly knife in these states could lead to severe legal penalties.What makes butterfly knives illegal? ›
Under California Penal Code 21510 PC, butterfly knives are classified as a form of switchblade. Carrying, possessing in public, selling, or otherwise transferring a butterfly knife is illegal under this legislation.Why are butterfly knives illegal near Seattle WA? ›
In the state of Washington, these knives are considered “spring blade knives.” This means that one is not legally allowed to sell, possess, dispose of, or manufacture butterfly knives.Are butterfly knives illegal here? ›
Under Penal Code 21510 PC, butterfly knives are considered a form of a switchblade and are illegal in California. Specifically, it is a crime to carry, possess in public, sell, or otherwise transfer a butterfly knife.Is butterfly knife illegal in Texas? ›
Under Tex. Penal Code § 46.01 (2012), it's legal to own and openly carry knives, along with throwing stars (and any other type of throwing knife), swords, spears, switchblade knives, pocket knives, and Balisongs (butterfly knives).Are butterfly knives illegal in New York? ›
If your knife has a fixed blade less than four inches long, it is perfectly legal to carry it in New York. However, if the knife is a folding knife, balisong or “butterfly knife,” a “gravity knife,” or any form of pilum ballistic, it is illegal to possess on your person in New York.What knives are illegal in the US? ›
- Knife blades cannot be longer than 5.5 inches.
- Certain types of knives, such as switchblades, spring-loaded knives, swords, spears, and daggers are also outlawed.
Which knives are illegal in New York? Possession of switchblades, pilum ballistic knives, metal knuckle knives, cane swords, and “Kung Fu stars” is prohibited. Some knives are not illegal, but become illegal based upon how they are used or possessed.Are butterfly knives harmful? ›
Plus, butterfly knives can be extremely dangerous. With enough skill, they can be opened extremely quickly (like a switchblade) and cause serious harm.
What is the difference between balisong and butterfly knife? ›
Balisongs, often referred to as butterfly knives, are typically recognized by their two-handle design. A balisong is defined as a knife with two folding handles that rotate on pivots to become a sheath. Despite its simple definition, there are many unique features that differ from one balisong to another.Is a butterfly knife an offensive weapon? ›
Offensive per se i.e. those items made for the use of causing injury to the person. Examples are a truncheon, a rice flail, a butterfly knife.Why are butterfly knives illegal in Oregon? ›
When carried openly, there are no legal consequences for carrying a butterfly knife in Oregon. However, because they fall under the stabbing category, they are illegal to carry concealed. As long as you don't attempt to hide these knives on your person, you can carry butterfly knives freely.Are butterfly knives illegal in Louisiana? ›
While some places have bans that prevent people from selling or even owning certain kinds of knives, Louisiana doesn't restrict knife ownership in that way. You can own anything from a so-called butterfly knife or a dirk to a switchblade in Louisiana.Is a butterfly knife illegal in Tennessee? ›
It is legal to own any type of knife in Tennessee including automatic, ballistic, switchblade, butterfly and “assisted opening” knives. There are no restrictions on the blade length of any knife being carried. Further, Tennessee makes no distinction between open and concealed carry of knives.Can I keep a butterfly knife in my car? ›
Butterfly Knives are Illegal to carry in California. The laws concerning butterfly knives are not specifically detailed in the California Statutes. However, the California Courts have determined that butterfly knives fit within the definition of switchblades.Are butterfly knives illegal near New Jersey? ›
Lawful Possession of a Knife
The list of knives that are not illegal in New Jersey include: It is legal to own disguised knives like lipstick knives. Butterfly knives.
Switchblade knives, a category that includes gravity and butterfly knives, are prohibited. It is likely that assisted opening knives would be included within the switchblade prohibition. See the discussion below concerning automatic knives.Are butterfly knives illegal in Georgia? ›
List Of Knives Legal to Own in Georgia. -Balisong knives or butterfly knives are legal. -Bowie knives, switchblades, and all other large knives are legal. -Throwing stars and throwing knives are legal.Are butterfly knives illegal in Arizona? ›
It is legal for anyone over the age of 21 to possess any of the following knives in any city in Arizona: Pocket/Folding Knife. Butterfly Knife. Switchblade.
Is butterfly knife legal in Virginia? ›
It is legal to own any type of knife in Virginia. It is illegal to conceal carry a dirk, bowie knife, switchblade, machete, ballistic knife, throwing starts or oriental darts, or any knife of a like kind. It is legal to open carry any type of knife.Are butterfly knives illegal in Kentucky? ›
There are no illegal knife types under the law, so as long as a knife is carried openly, it is legal to wear it.Are butterfly knives illegal in Pennsylvania? ›
Pocket knives, daggers, razors, box cutters, butterfly knives and Bowie knives are also legal in Pennsylvania. The state does not currently restrict knives over a certain blade length. Pennsylvania residents older than 21 can apply for a concealed carry permit.Are butterfly knives illegal in Colorado? ›
State law prohibits knowingly possessing an illegal weapon, which includes gravity and switchblade knives. 1 Knowingly possessing an illegal weapon is a class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by 6 to 18 months imprisonment, a $500 to $5,000 fine, or both imprisonment and a fine. Section 18-12-102, C.R.S.What is the most illegal knife in the world? ›
A ballistic knife is essentially a blade attached to a hollow handle that fits inside of another outer hollow handle, which contains a coil spring.What is the most banned knife? ›
Ballistic knives are the most banned knives in the country, and the fed says there are good reasons behind the restraint order.What knives are illegal in Florida? ›
Illegal Knives in Florida
Under Florida law, it is illegal to manufacture, display, sell, own, or possess any ballistic or self-propelled knife. Any person found with a ballistic knife will be charged with a first degree misdemeanor.
Under New York City law, it is illegal to carry a knife with a blade longer than four inches, unless it is a work-related tool or is being used for activities like hunting or camping. And under state law, it is illegal for a person under the age of 16 to carry a "dangerous" knife.Why is gravity knife illegal? ›
A knife is not illegal because it is designed to open by the force of gravity and lock into place; the knife is illegal when it actually does open by the force of gravity and locks into place by means of a procedure used by the District Attorney's office to identify a gravity knife, called the “wrist flick test.”Are brass knuckles illegal in NY? ›
In the eyes of both New York weapon lawyers and prosecutors, there is no distinction between possessing an illegal knife or metal knuckles. Both of these weapons violate New York Penal Law 265.01(1).
Can a butterfly knife break? ›
Also, since butterfly knives aren't fixed blades, they have more parts that can break than a fixed blade and are therefore (you guessed it) more susceptible to breaking when used for prying.Why were butterfly knives invented? ›
The word "balisong" is thought to have originated there. Filipinos from the Tagalog region, employed the balisong as a self-defense and pocket utility knife. Before conventional razors were introduced in the Philippines, hollow-grind balisongs were also used as straight razors.What are training butterfly knives called? ›
A balisong trainer is a standard balisong / butterfly knife without a blade. It is 100 percent legal in the us and, unlike a knife, you can't cut yourself. The butterfly trainer will help you learn how to flip without getting injured but, note, you can develop bad habits if you stay on the trainer too long.What brand of knife has a butterfly? ›
Benchmade, based in Oregan began in 1979 as the Pacific Cutlery Corporation. Founded by Les de Asis, the company mainly made balisong or “butterfly” knives. Today, the iconic butterfly logo which marks all of their blades is an homage to those early days of the company.Who invented butterfly knife? ›
The butterfly knife, sometimes referred to as Batangas blade, is a lethal weapon that in the hands of a skilled professional can be opened faster, than a western switchblade. Perfecto de Leon introduced the knife in 1905 where most of the butterfly knives originated from barrio Balisong Taal, Batangas.Are safe butterfly knives illegal? ›
any parts of devises that could be used are allowed to be confiscated in customs or by local law enforcement, the butterfly knife (bail-song) is illegal to; own.Are butterfly knives illegal in Canada? ›
Prohibited knives: Any knife that has a blade that opens automatically by gravity, by centrifugal force, or by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in or attached to the handle of the knife (butterfly knives, switchblades, etc.) is a prohibited item and is considered an illegal item under the ...What are the 3 types of offensive weapons? ›
Offensive weapons fall into three categories: Those made for causing injury to the person. These include: machetes, swords, flick knives, truncheons. These weapons are classed as having no innocent quality.Are butterfly knives legal in Florida? ›
Automatic knives, switchblades, and butterfly knives are legal to own in Florida. They can be legally carried in the open similar to other knives. If you want to concealed carry any automatic knife, regardless of the blade size, you must possess a concealed carry permit.Are butterfly knives illegal in Nevada? ›
No, butterfly knives are generally legal under Nevada knife laws. However, people who take a butterfly knife with a blade of at least two (2) inches long to a school may face criminal charges if they are also trespassing, loitering, causing a nuisance, or defacing school property.
Are butterfly knives illegal in Missouri? ›
It is legal to own Balisong knives, sometimes called butterfly knives. It is legal to own undetectable knives–knives that will not set off metal detectors. It is legal to own throwing stars and throwing knives and even throwing axes. It is legal to own Bowie knives and other large knives.Are OTF knives legal in Florida? ›
Also, minors under 18 years old should never carry a switchblade. However, there are some exceptions to this prohibition, including knives carried for lawful purposes such as fishing, hunting, or camping. Therefore, otf switchblades are legal if you open-carry and use them for outdoor sports.What are the knife laws in Alabama? ›
Alabama has one of the most relaxed knife laws in the U.S.A. You can practically own any knife that you wish. The state law does not restrict its people from owning any kind of knife. Simply put, there are no forbidden knives under Alabama law. This makes the Yellowhammer State a haven for tactical knife enthusiasts.Are butterfly knives illegal in Iowa? ›
It is legal to own the following types of knives: Switchblades and automatic knives. Balisong or butterfly knives. Dirks, daggers, stilettos and other stabbing knives.Are butterfly knives illegal in Wisconsin? ›
What knives are legal to own in Wisconsin? 2015 Wisconsin Act 149 allows for the possession and concealed carry of switchblade, butterfly, bowie, daggers, dirks, ballistic, and hidden knives unless you have been convicted of a felony.What are the knife laws in Utah? ›
It is LEGAL to own and carry any type of knife in the State of Utah as long as you are not a restricted person as defined in 76-10-503. Legal knives include a butterfly knife, dirk, dagger, stiletto, bowie knife, automatic*, gravity*, switchblade* or a disguised knife (in a belt buckle, necklace, etc.)Are butterfly knives legal in Europe? ›
Generally forbidden are automatic and semi-automatic knives, throwing knives, butterfly knives and fixed knives with a parry bar. Knives disguised as objects are also prohibited. In general, you should not carry anything concealed.Are butterfly knives illegal in Germany? ›
Any kind of Balisong and OTF's are strictly banned. Never bring one of those to Germany without an official permit, not even a press sample in a locked box. The possession of Butterfly knives and OTF's is a penal offence, that can be penalized with up to one year in prison or financial penalty.Are butterfly knives illegal in UK? ›
Banned knives and weapons.
|Knife or weapon type||Description|
|Butterfly knife or 'balisong'||A blade enclosed by its handle. Designed to split down the middle to reveal the blade without using a spring or other mechanical means.|
Unlike in the United States, it is illegal to carry knives (of any length) off base in Greece without the express permission of the competent Greek police authority, according to Lt.
Are butterfly knives legal in Italy? ›
The only knives which are per se illegal to possess are balisong/ballistic knives.Are flick knives illegal in Australia? ›
You also can't carry weapons like flick knives, daggers, butterfly knives or knuckle knives, swords, nunchakus, knuckle-dusters, shanghais, blow guns, imitation firearms, capsicum spray, slingshots, weighted or studded gloves, throwing stars or catapults without a special exemption or permission from police.What is the knife law in Scotland? ›
It is an offence to carry any sharp or bladed instrument in a public place, with the exception of a folding pocket knife where the cutting edge of the blade is 7.62 cm (3 inches) or less.Are butterfly knives illegal in Alabama? ›
Legal Knives in Alabama
A balisong, also known as a butterfly knife, is legal to own. Knives with automatic or assisted opening systems are legal, despite the common misconceptions about them. This includes gravity knives and switchblades. It is also legal to have a toothpick knife, a stiletto, or a dirk.
It is legal to own any type of knife in Tennessee including automatic, ballistic, switchblade, butterfly and “assisted opening” knives. There are no restrictions on the blade length of any knife being carried. Further, Tennessee makes no distinction between open and concealed carry of knives.What is the most illegal knife? ›
A ballistic knife is essentially a blade attached to a hollow handle that fits inside of another outer hollow handle, which contains a coil spring.What is the knife law in Ireland? ›
Possession of knives and other articles. 9. —(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), where a person has with him in any public place any knife or any other article which has a blade or which is sharply pointed, he shall be guilty of an offence.Are knives illegal in France? ›
Knives are now classified as category D weapons. The law in force in France - which governs the possession, carrying and transport of weapons - is clear and states that the purchase and possession of knives is free. Whereas the carrying and transporting of such weapons without legitimate reason is normally prohibited.