Maine Knife Laws In Simple English

Understanding Maine’s Knife Laws: What You Need to Know

Maine is a state where one can often find carrying a knife useful. The Pine Tree State is all about the rocky coastlines, pristine forests, and outdoor activities.

Thus, carrying a knife is, at times, necessary. Yet, as a tourist or citizen, you also have to be aware of the Maine knife laws.

Undoubtedly, the laws can be intimidating at first when you look at them. Small details such as legal length, concealed carry/open carry, and penalties are mostly written in camouflage.

As a result, getting the correct information in the clearest way possible is compulsory.

Well, when it comes to knives, we have decoded the laws in Maine. We will give you an easy-to-understand explanation of the legislation.

So without further ado, let’s begin.


Before we dig in deep, highlights are the most effective section for you to discover the laws in the least time possible. So we have made one for you as well;

  • Bowie knife, Dirks, and Stiletto are the only illegal knives
  • Switchblades are only illegal in federal law and not in local law
  • The legal length is 3 inches for switchblade and gravity knives
  • All legal knives become illegal if displayed in a threatening manner
  • No concealed carry restrictions on knives as long as they are legal
  • Conceal carrying an illegal knife has penalties of a fine of up to $2,000 and a year of jail time.
  • No restrictions on sale or transfer

List Of Illegal Knives In Maine

Maine state is somewhere you do not need to think about much when it comes to knives. The knife laws in Maine are overall quite lenient. As most of the knives are legal here, the list of illegal knives is very short.

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Here are the knives that you should worry about as they are illegal;

  • Bowie knife
  • Dirks
  • Stiletto

Nevertheless, any knife can get illegal if used in the wrong way. The § 2001-A is all about the correct usage of the knife rather than the knife category it belongs.

Thus, the penalties are included even though it was a legal knife. We will discuss it further in the article.

List Of Legal Knives In Maine

Before we dig further on, let’s take a look at the legal knives in Maine. Even though you know that most of them aren’t illegal, a short list will not hurt.

Moreover, it reassures you if you find the knife that you were willing to carry.

Here are the knives that you can carry without any fear;

  • Throwing Stars
  • Throwing Knives
  • Cane Knives
  • Belt Knives
  • Lipstick Knives
  • Automatic Knives
  • Balisong Knives
  • Hunting Knives
  • Gravity Knives

You might be surprised to see automatic knives on the legal knife list of Maine, whereas it is illegal in most states. Moreover, it was banned in Maine till 15th October 2015.

Let’s dig a bit deep with automatic knives as there’s a lot to know about them.

Automatic Knives

As mentioned, automatic knives or switchblades were banned from the state of Maine till 2015.

Knives that open their blade with a switch, flick, lever, or push mechanism are considered automatic knives/switchblades.

Even though it is not banned in this Pine Tree state, the Federal law interferes with their law here.

In short, Federal law is the father of all laws and must be followed in every state.

As per the Federal Law U.S. Code § 1243;

Section 1243

Thus even though the §2001-A (1) law permits you to carry/own automatic knives, it isn’t when you get into bigger trouble.

Section 2001 A (1)

If you get into serious trouble and an automatic knife is involved, you will face federal law. Here, automatic knives are strictly prohibited.

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On the other hand, you will face local laws if the law that is broken isn’t that serious.

Displayed In A Threatening Manner

There is a term “Displayed in a threatening manner” in the Maine laws.

It means that if a knife is employed in the attack on or defense of a person, the knife itself becomes illegal. Despite the knife type it falls under.

Overall, a person who consciously or knowingly inspires in another person the fear of serious physical harm is guilty of criminal threat.

Thus, if you ever trigger fear in someone else even with a hunting knife, it’s considered an illegal knife.

Concealed Carry

In every state, the laws for concealed carry are different. Whether you are trying to hide it from others portrays different meanings to individual states.

As per Maine, the laws aren’t that strict when it comes to concealed carry or open carry.

Whether you carry a knife in car in Maine or in your pocket, it plays almost no significance.

However, if you do concealed carry on the illegal knives that are mentioned above, then you will be titled a Class D criminal.

The §2001(B) conveys;

Section 2001 (B)

So you get the idea of how concealed carry or open carry doesn’t matter if it’s not on the illegal list.

What Size Knife Can I Carry in Maine?

As almost everywhere there is a legal knife length, this article is incomplete without this section.

A knife’s length is generally measured from the tip of the blade to the bolster of the knife.

Surprisingly, there are no restrictions on the length of the knife unless it’s a switchblade or a gravity knife.

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If it’s one of them then you have to maintain a 3 inches blade for it to be legal.

Limitations On The Sale Or Transfer

Now that you know what size knife is legal to carry in Maine, let’s get to know about the limitation on sale or transfer when it comes to knives. Thankfully, there are none.

You can sell a knife or buy a knife despite your age. Moreover, import or export from/to other states as long as it’s legal in that state as well.


As mentioned before, you will be classified as a Class D criminal if you break one of the knife laws. Here you will get up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

On the other hand, breaking laws such as the “Displayed in a threatening manner” or harming someone with it will lead to more serious penalties.


To conclude, that was all you needed to know about Maine knife laws. The laws are relatively simple to uphold, as you can already tell.

For instance, although switchblades are illegal in other states, they are permitted in the Pine Tree state.

Moreover, there are no legal length issues that you have to worry about.

We must acknowledge that the importance of public safety has also been highlighted here. When it comes to violent behavior with a knife, the law is strict.

All laws are suspended in this case, and lawful knives can become prohibited. The court will rule against you if you use or try to use a knife in a violent manner in Maine.

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