Know Idaho Knife Laws [Knife Rules In Simple]

Idaho Knife Law Made Simple: What You Need to Know

We need to use knives for doing chores every now and then. But, if you live in Idaho, using knives without knowing the appropriate law can get you in trouble.

For example, Idaho knife laws tell us that you can get arrested for carrying a knife that has a blade length of more than 6 inches.

In addition to that, you can concealed-carry legal knives even if you don’t have a weapon permit.

Now, these are not the only knife laws in Idaho that you have to abide by. There are also a bunch of other regulations that you must know.

Luckily for you, we have provided all the info you need right below.

So, without further ado, let’s check it out right now!

Important Highlights

Let’s take a look at the knife laws in Idaho at a glance:

  • Statewide preemption: Statewide preemption exists in Idaho.
  • Concealed-carry: You can concealed-carry all legal knives without any additional permit.
  • Schools: Pocket knives with a blade length of less than 2.5 inches are allowed in schools.
  • Legal knife length: Carrying any knife above 6 inches of blade length is considered a misdemeanor.

List Of Illegal Knives In Idaho

At this point, we’ll look at some knives that are considered “deadly” by the state law of Idaho:

  • Dirks
  • Bowie knife
  • Daggers

Now, let’s dig a bit deeper into each of these illegal knives:

1. Dirks

Any dirk knife is considered a “deadly weapon” by the law of Idaho according to § 18-3302. It’s because dirks fall into the category of knives that mostly have more than 6 inches of blade length.

§ 18-3302

In addition to that, dirk knives are not used for culinary or food service purposes. As a result, they cannot be considered a “utility item” that serves a particular purpose in society.

Therefore, Idaho law holds you accountable if you carry a dirk (both in open-carry and concealed-carry states).


As per section 18-3302D of Idaho law, any personnel caught carrying a dirk will be convicted of committing a major misdemeanor.

section 18-3302D

As a result, he or she can get fined up to $1,000 or get an imprisonment sentence for up to 1 year.

Or, both the punishments can be invoked on the personnel if the court sees it to be fit.

2. Bowie Knives

A Bowie knife is a weapon that can be used for hunting and butchering. This particular knife is also termed “deadly” by the law of Idaho.

Resultantly, it is a misdemeanor to carry this knife in public places, according to § 18-3302.

However, if you have a license for appropriate usage of this knife, you may not get convicted of a crime for carrying it.

Examples of “Appropriate” usage can be storing the knife in an antique store, manufacturing and supplying the Bowie knives for the armed forces, or using it for other lawful purposes.


Carrying a Bowie knife in concealment is a major crime in Idaho.

Hence, law enforcement officers can arrest you anytime without a warrant for the act of carrying it in the public domain.

3. Daggers

Daggers are double-edged or single-edged blades that have an average blade length of 5 to 7 inches. As a result, most daggers fall in sections of knives that have 6 inches or more blade length.

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This is why they are illegal to be used, carried, transported, transferred and sold in public domains.

In addition, the above-mentioned characteristics of daggers also make them illegal in Idaho in a concealed-carry state. So, carrying daggers in public places can get you in trouble very quickly.


The penalty for carrying a dagger is the same as all other illegal knives. As the state deems this knife to be “deadly”, you can be accused of a major misdemeanor for carrying daggers openly.

In turn, you can get sentenced to up to 1 year of confinement or get charged $1,000.

Illegality Of Using Knives In Idaho

In this section, let’s have a look at how and where using knives might be illegal in Idaho.

A) Illegality In Certain Areas

Mind you, carrying legal knives can be illegal, depending on the place and time.

So, let’s check out which places have strict knife laws in Idaho:

In Schools

It is prohibited by the law of Idaho state that anyone within the school territory must not carry any knife that has a blade length of 2.5 inches or more.

If the person carrying a larger blade is found to be under 18, he will be subjected to the punishment given by the juvenile court.

On the other hand, any adults carrying knives in the school will be subjected to full punishment by the court.

In public Buildings And Courthouses

Public buildings such as government offices, police stations, shopping malls, and public courthouses are off limits to anyone carrying any type of knife.

Only the armed forces can carry certain types of knives (upon carrying an order to use them) for maintaining law and order.

Any civilian found carrying, possessing, transferring, or transporting any knives will be subjected to punishments of up to $1,000. Or the individual can also be sentenced to up to 1 year of imprisonment.

In Public Events

The rules of carrying knives are similar as well for public events such as national sports activities, national festivals, etc.

Any personnel carrying an illegal knife, such as dirks, daggers, or bowie knives, can be arrested by a peace officer anytime without any warrant.

In Military Installations

Military installations such as air bases, army bases, and naval bases are highly secured territories of the United States government.

Therefore, any civilian carrying a knife with a blade length over 6 inches will be considered a 3rd-degree offender.

Apart from that, according to federal law(15 U.S. Code Chapter 29), personnel carrying illegal blades such as switchblades and ballistic knives can be arrested without any warrant.

However, any person in contract with the armed forces for manufacturing or distributing any sort of knife will not be convicted of the crime of carrying.

This means that manufacturing transporting, or transferring knives of any size inside military installations for legalized contract manufacturers is legal.

In Vehicles

Carrying a knife in a car in Idaho can be illegal or legal based on the type of knives you are willing to carry.

For example, knives such as dirks, daggers, and bowie knives are illegal to be carried on vehicles. Plus, ballistic knives and switchblades are also illegal in vehicles as well.

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However, any other type of knife having a blade length of 6 inches or less is not illegal at all.

On the contrary, carrying knives with more than 6 inches of blade length in a vehicle can be forgiven if the vehicle is locked and in a stationary position.

B) Illegality In Local Governments

As we have already mentioned above, there is statewide preemption regarding knife-carrying in Idaho.

Now, local governments in the state of Idaho have not imposed any additional laws for carrying knives.

So, as long as your knife length is not above 6 inches, you will not be convicted as an offender.

C) Illegality Based On Concealed And Open Knives

Illegal Knives (such as daggers and dirks) cannot be carried in a concealed-carry state.

In fact, concealing any illegal and deadly knives can be the cause for being subjected to larger punishments by the court.

To carry a dirk, dagger, or other illegal knives in concealment, you need to get special permission from the local government.

This permit is generally only provided to knife manufacturers who are in contact with the police or the army for manufacturing and distributing knives.

However, you may open-carry any other knife that is “unspecified” by law as long as the knife does not cause any discomfort to the general population.

On the other hand, all legal knives, such as pocket knives, can be carried both in concealed or open-carry manner.

D) Illegality Of Possession, Selling, Manufacturing, Importing, Trading

Buying, selling, importing, exporting, or transferring all sorts of illegal knives is considered to be a misdemeanor (at the same level as carrying an illegal knife).

Hence, any person related to distributing or merchandising illegal knives (such as dirks, and daggers) can be subjected to up to 1 year of imprisonment by the court.

Additionally, the court can also fine the personnel up to $1,000 based on the degree of his/her misdemeanor.

E) Illegality To The Degree Of Significance Such As Impact On Interstate Commerce

Legal knives can be manufactured, exported from, or imported into Idaho without the requirement of any additional license.

However, manufacturing and exporting knives with over 6 inches of blade length requires a government-provided license for the trade.

Anyone caught doing interstate commerce with illegal knives without any government-provided license will be convicted as a major law offender.

This can enable peace officers to arrest the person involved in the commerce of illegal knives without any warrant.

Penalties And Punishment For Carrying Illegal Knives

Carrying illegal knives can have little to huge consequences, depending on the intent of usage of the knife.

If any person carrying any illegal knives is caught in the act of using the knife in a deadly or “unlawful” manner, he can be charged as high as $1,000.

And at the same time can be sentenced to 1 year of imprisonment. Here, “illegal” knives refer to any knife having a blade length of more than 6 inches.

However, if the personnel carrying illegal knives is not caught using the knife for “unlawful” purposes, the punishment can be as small as 6 months of imprisonment or a $300 fine.

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List Of Legal Knives

As we have already mentioned, knives under 6 inches of blade length are generally lawful to be carried in Idaho.

However, let’s see a list of knives that are expressly legal in Idaho:

  • Pocket knives
  • Switchblades
  • Chef’s knife
  • Bread knife
  • Utility knife
  • Fillet knife
  • Tomato knife
  • Butcher knife
  • Kitchen knives and many more

Legal Knife Length In Idaho

If you’re wondering what size knife is legal to carry in Idaho, the answer is simple. Any knife having more than 6 inches of blade length is generally considered illegal to carry.

However, certain knives with blade lengths less than 6 inches can also be illegal, based on their usage.

For example, a Bowie knife is fully illegal to carry in an open-carry or concealed-carry state in Idaho (regardless of its length).

Different Laws For Different Kinds Of Knives

Depending on the structure of the blade, some knives can be illegal to use although they are not explicitly mentioned by the law of Idaho.


Machetes usually have large blade lengths (above 6 inches).

Therefore, machetes can be illegal to carry unless the person carrying the machete has a lawful license for its usage.


Swords are practically large-size knives that can be double-edged or single-edged.

Since swords do not comply with the legal length of blades in Idaho, they’re illegal to carry or possess.

Butterfly Knives

Butterfly knives are considered illegal to carry according to federal law. It’s because their blades can be concealed by their two-parted handles.

Due to this law, butterfly knives are also illegal to carry in schools and public buildings.

Exceptions In The Knife Law Of Idaho

Switchblades are a type of knife that is illegalized by federal laws.

However, due to the statewide preemption of Idaho State, this knife is legal to be carried if the blade length is under 6 inches.

That means that although switchblades are illegal in other states, they’re not illegal to be carried according to the law of Idaho (as long as the blade length doesn’t exceed 6 in).

List of Relevant Laws

Here’s a list of the laws that the police forces of Idaho strictly follow regarding carrying knives:

1.§ 18-3302

Note: § 18-3302(2) clearly mentions dirk, bowie and daggers to be “deadly”.


Note: § 18-3302D mentions that carrying daggers or dirks is considered a misdemeanor.

3. federal law(15 U.S. Code Chapter 29)

Note: U. S. Code § 1241- Definitions

Note: Note: U. S. Code § 1242- Laws regarding interstate-commerce

Note: U. S. Code § 1243- Laws regarding selling or buying knives

Note: U. S. Code § 1244- Exceptions in law

Note: U. S. Code § 1245- Laws regarding ballistic knives


Well, there you have it, people. As you can see, Idaho knife laws are a bit relaxed compared to other neighboring states.

You will generally not be convicted of a crime for open-carrying a knife that has a small blade.

But, you cannot concealed-carry dirk, daggers, or bowie knives in public places.

Thank you so much for dropping in today, you guys are the bee’s knees!

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