Understanding Pennsylvania knife laws

When people consider weapons crimes, they may initially think of offenses with a firearm. Knives may also be involved in a weapons crime, though, and it is important to understand what Pennsylvania laws say about knives.

Knives are included under a Pennsylvania law discussing prohibited offensive weapons. According to, knives and other cutting tools that can possibly cause harm to another person are considered offensive weapons. Possessing, using or selling this kind of weapon is typically considered a first degree misdemeanor. Pennsylvania law also includes restrictions on when someone may carry a knife. Daggers and hunting knives usually cannot be carried and they also may not be opened or concealed in public.

There are some kind of knives people are legally permitted to own. Someone can typically own hunting knives and penknives. Butterfly and Bowie knives are also legal in Pennsylvania. Additionally, it is legal to have a knife that is concealed in an object such as a belt buckle.

Some types of knives are illegal in Pennsylvania. says that people are typically not allowed to own paratrooper knives. Switchblades are also illegal and usually cannot be sold or transported. Additionally, people generally cannot have ballistic knives. These types of knives are illegal because they utilize a spring, push-button or switch to open. While some people may think that daggers might be illegal, this is not always the case. People can usually have this kind of knife if they have it for a lawful purpose. Some people may not realize that boxcutters or razors are included under knife laws. They are legal when their blades cannot be opened automatically.



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