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Pennsylvania knife laws

Pennsylvania knife laws
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Knife laws in Pennsylvania are a set of regulations that govern the ownership, possession, and transportation of knives in the state. The statutes aim to regulate the use and possession of different types of knives to ensure public safety. This article provides an in-depth overview of the current knife laws in Pennsylvania, detailing the types of legal and illegal knives, carrying laws, restricted locations, exceptions for law enforcement or military personnel, and the potential consequences of law violations.

Types of Knives

Legal Knives

In Pennsylvania, individuals are generally allowed to own a variety of knives, which include but are not limited to:

Illegal Knives

Pennsylvania law restricts the possession and use of several types of knives, primarily focused on those which may be considered offensive weapons. Illegal knives can include:

Carrying Laws

Open Carry

Open carry of knives is generally permitted in Pennsylvania as long as the knife is not categorized as a prohibited offensive weapon, and the individual is not intending to use the knife unlawfully against another person.

Concealed Carry

Concealed carry laws in Pennsylvania are a bit more restrictive. Carrying a knife concealed on one’s person is generally prohibited unless it is for a lawful purpose, such as a tool or for use during hunting, fishing, or other lawful activity.

Restricted Locations

In Pennsylvania, certain locations restrict the possession of knives regardless of their legal status. These locations can include:

  1. Schools and educational institutions
  2. Government buildings
  3. Courthouses
  4. Airports
  5. Private properties where knives are prohibited by the property owner

Law Enforcement or Military Exceptions

Members of law enforcement and the military are generally exempt from many of the restrictions on knife ownership and carry in Pennsylvania. These individuals are permitted to carry knives that might be considered illegal for civilians, and can carry knives in locations where they are otherwise restricted, as long as it is in line with their official duties.

Consequences of Law Violation

Violating knife laws in Pennsylvania can result in a range of consequences depending upon the nature of the violation. Penalties can include:

  1. Misdemeanor or felony charges
  2. Fines
  3. Imprisonment

Individuals found guilty of violating knife laws may also face additional civil consequences, such as being banned from certain locations or losing the right to possess knives or other weapons in the future.


Understanding and complying with knife laws in Pennsylvania is essential for ensuring the safety of both individuals and the community. While the state permits the ownership and open carry of many types of knives, it imposes strict restrictions on concealed carry and the possession of certain types of knives deemed to be offensive weapons. It is always recommended to consult legal advice or official government resources to understand the precise stipulations of the law in Pennsylvania.


Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, Title 18

Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin

Official Website of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

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