Knives are an essential tool for our everyday life. But since knives are deadly, you need to follow some laws to carry them out in public.
As if you don’t follow the law, you’ll obviously get a fine and sometimes even confinement in areas of the US like Louisiana.
This is why many people ask about the Louisiana knife laws. Thankfully, Louisiana isn’t as strict with its knife laws as some other countries.
The only restricted knives are switchblades, and there’s no restriction on the age of the carrier or the knife length.
There’s more to it than just that, though. So today, we’ll be going all over the knife laws in Louisiana, illegality in specific circumstances, the penalties, the exceptions in the law, and more.
Without further ado, let’s begin.
Quick Legal Facts
- Statewide Preemption: No.
- Concealed Carry: It’s allowed but not allowed for switchblade knives.
- Restricted Knives: Switchblade-type knives only in concealed manner.
- Schools: All sorts of knives are illegal to carry on school grounds.
- Critical Dimensions: Rescue knives exceeding 5” in blade length.
List Of Relevant Laws
LSA-R.S. 14:94: Illegal use of dangerous weapons.
LSA-R.S. 14:95: Illegally carrying weapons.
LSA-R.S. 14:95.1: Possession of firearms and concealed carry of illegal weapons.
LSA-R.S. 14:95.2: Carrying weapons on school property.
LSA-R.S. 14:95.10: Possession of firearms or dangerous weapons for individuals convicted of domestic abuse and other offenses.
Louisiana Knife Laws
Normally we’d start off with a list of all the illegal knife laws in Louisiana, but since a switchblade is the only illegal knife, there’s not much to say.
In a nutshell, a switchblade knife is a type of knife where the blade is originally hidden.
But by the flick of a lever or by the press of a button, the blade can rapidly extend with force. All types of switchblade knives are illegal in Louisiana.
However, you should keep in mind that not all automatic knives are illegal.
For example, a gravity knife isn’t illegal in Louisiana even though it’s considered an “automatic knife.” This is because it needs assistance to unlock the knife, in this case, gravity.
But for a switchblade, it’s not assisted, and the process is completely automatic, making it illegal.
Aside from specific restrictions such as the legal knife length, here are all the cases where even regular legal knives can be illegal —
Illegality In Certain Areas
Knives are prohibited in schools completely, as per LSA-R.S. 14:95.2 for both adults and for students.
Even a simple pocket knife isn’t allowed there, and you’ll get a fine of up to $500 if you bring one and get caught.
It’s illegal in several other obvious places, such as government buildings, courts, and places with heavy security, such as police stations and airports.
However, you won’t get in trouble if you’re not carrying the knife concealed in areas like those.
Illegality Based On Concealed Or Open Knives
As mentioned earlier, concealed knives aren’t an issue as long as it’s not illegal as per the LSA-R.S. 14:95.
So carrying switchblades and other non-assisted automatic knives concealed is illegal, but carrying regular knives concealed isn’t illegal.
Switchblades aren’t always illegal, either. You’ll mainly get in trouble if you carry it concealed.
So if you plan on carrying them in public, get a permit or don’t carry them concealed.
Illegality Of Carrying, Possession, Selling, Manufacturing, Importing, & Trading
As an adult, there are no restrictions on selling, manufacturing, importing, or trading knives since no laws specifically forbid them.
You can even do these with a switchblade knife if you’re not carrying them in public or trading them for something illegal.
But other than that, there’s not much else to say. You can even do these as a minor if you have a license for it.
Illegality To The Degree Of Significance Such As Impact On Interstate Commerce
Knowingly transporting or distributing switchblade knives through borders is illegal in Louisiana for restricted knives.
As all the laws in Louisiana forbid switchblades and similar automatic knives and firearms.
Another thing to consider is the fact that the knife doesn’t need to be illegal in both countries.
Even if you distribute it to an area where switchblade knives aren’t illegal, it’s still prohibited.
Illegality For Minors
In Louisiana, there are no laws regarding the age of the carrier when it comes to knives.
So even as a minor, you can carry any type of knife with the exception of switchblades and non-assisted automatic knives concealed.
If you have a driver’s license, you can even carry a knife in car in Louisiana legally without getting in any trouble as a minor or an adult.
Illegality Based On Length Of Knife
If you’re wondering what size knife is legal to carry in Louisiana, there aren’t many restrictions on most knives.
So for professions like butchers, you can even carry an 11-inch butcher knife without issues.
However, rescue-type knives used for rescuing someone shouldn’t exceed a blade length of 5 inches in some cases.
This is mostly a local government law, though, and it’s made to ensure the safety of the person getting rescued.
Illegality In Local Governments
As mentioned in the beginning, there is no statewide preemption in Louisiana. This means that local governments can modify the knife laws freely to a specific set limit.
In most areas, the laws aren’t modified, though. But the three big cities where they’re modified are —
- Baton Rouge – Prohibits manufacturing, selling, owning, and trading switchblade knives entirely.
- New Orleans – Just like Baton Rouge prohibits all sorts of activities with switchblade knives entirely, including possession of the knives.
- Shreveport – Prohibits possession of firearms and knives in government facilities.
Penalties For Carrying Knives Illegally
In Louisiana, carrying knives illegally can result in a hefty fine of $500 or 6 months of confinement, even if you didn’t commit a crime.
In some cases, you can get both a fine and confinement, too.
But if you do commit a felony with a knife, you can be charged up to $2000 and confined for 1-2 years.
Committing a felony with illegal knives such as switchblades or non-assisted automatic knives can increase this penalty by a fine of up to $5000 and confinement for 5 years or more.
List Of Legal Knives In Louisiana
Although it’s intuitive that all non-restricted knives should be legal, there are tons of misconceptions people make about some knives, especially daggers and semi-automatic knives.
So here’s a list of all the legal knives you might think are illegal in Louisiana —
Bowies are often illegal in a lot of other areas in the US, so many people think it’s illegal in Louisiana too.
However, this isn’t the case, and you can even carry bowies concealed out in public legally.
Balisongs / Butterfly Knives
Butterfly knives are technically a type of automatic knife where the blade is originally hidden, but you can reveal it.
However, since it needs assistance to reveal the knife, it’s semi-automatic and not illegal in Louisiana.
Gravity knives are another type of automatic knife that is illegal in many areas of the US, such as New York.
But since it needs the assistance of gravity and can’t open if you’re facing up, it’s considered semi-automatic and therefore legal in Louisiana, just like butterfly knives.
Double Sided Knives
All types of double-sided knives are legal in Louisiana.
Knives like daggers such as stilettos, dirks, and toothpick knives are legal in Louisiana.
Although the blade of a folding knife is hidden at first, you need to manually put the blade up with your hand and with the help of gravity in some cases.
Because of this, they’re not considered fully automatic and are legal in Louisiana.
Exceptions In The Knife Laws Of Louisiana
Here are all the exceptions in the knife laws of Louisiana —
- Anyone working in the military.
- Guards of jails, prisons, and asylums.
- Superintendents and wardens on duty.
- Anyone working to eliminate crime, such as police officers.
- Security advisors and legally verified guards.
- Anyone with a complete course on firearms and knives.
- Members of the safety department such as firefighters.
- Security parole or probation officers.
- Medical examiners and assistants.
Hopefully, now you have a good idea on all the Louisiana knife laws. There aren’t really that many knife laws in Louisiana aside from the restriction on fully automatic knives and switchblades.
So you can even carry knives concealed as a minor and not worry about the knife length as long as it’s not for rescue.
All sorts of semi-automatic knives are legal, too, such as butterfly knives and gravity knives.
You should also keep in mind that switchblades aren’t always illegal, especially if you don’t carry them concealed.
So if you really need to carry it outside, just don’t carry it concealed.
If you’re lucky and you don’t seem like a threat to other civilians, you won’t get in trouble. With all that said, cheers!