Michigan Knife Laws

Michigan Knife Laws 101: A Comprehensive Guide

Knife laws in Michigan aren’t as tough to understand as in many other states. But still, you may face a tough time finding the exact law and understanding its meaning.

In such cases, the chance of breaking the law and facing punishment increases significantly.

We will break the Michigan knife laws down into simple sentences. You can easily understand which knife is legal or illegal to own and carry within the state.

We will also clarify a few terms mentioned in the law to eliminate all confusion.

According to the MCL 750.226, you can carry a knife openly unless you have any unlawful intent.

Knives like a dagger, dirk, stiletto, double-edges, or fixed blade knives with a blade length of more than three inches are illegal to carry concealed.

We will elaborate on Michigan knife laws in this article. Make sure you stick to the end.


Before diving into the details, check the most important facts about the knife laws in Michigan.

Statewide Preemption

No statewide preemption, so the knife law may not be the same in all counties. A knife can be legal to own and carry in one county and illegal in another.

Concealed Carry

Only pocket knives and knives with one edge can be conceal-carried in Michigan.


According to Section 750.237a, you can’t carry any knife, open or concealed, on school property without prior authorization from the school board.

Critical Dimensions

In most cities of Michigan, the maximum legal knife length is three inches for fixed blade and double edge knives.

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If a person is found guilty of carrying concealed weapons, he or she will be subjected to imprisonment for up to five years in prison or a fine of up to $2500.

List Of Illegal Knives In Michigan

Many knives were illegal to carry, open or concealed, in Michigan before 2017.

But in 2017, they amended the law, and it is now legal to carry switchblade knives, mechanical knives, or automatic knives under Section 750.226a.

The following knives are illegal to carry concealed. But you can carry them open.

  • Dagger
  • Dirk
  • Stiletto
  • Double-edged knives
  • Fixed blade knives with a blade length of more than three inches
  • Any stabbing instrument of any length
  • Other dangerous weapons that can be used to assault someone

However, all these knives can be open-carried unless you have any unlawful intent. Open carry refers to carrying a knife in such a manner that anyone will easily notice the knife on the person.

For example, if you carry a knife in the armband and it is visible to everyone, it won’t be illegal.

But if you hide the knife under your socks or pants, it will be considered concealed carrying.

A. Illegality In Certain Areas

Though most knives are legal to carry open in Michigan, you can’t carry them in certain areas like courthouses or schools without prior authorization.

You can’t concealed-carry any fixed blade knife or other stabbing instruments that appear to be dangerous.

If you violate this section, you can be punished by imprisonment up to five years and fines up to $2500, according to Section 750.227.

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B. Illegality In Local Governments

Carrying a knife of any type is illegal in local government offices, no matter open or concealed.

C. Illegality Of Carrying, Possession, Selling, Manufacturing, Importing, Trading

Manufacturing or trading knives isn’t illegal in Michigan. You can have any knife in your possession within a property owned by yourself.

D. Illegality To The Degree Of Significance Such As The Impact On Interstate Commerce

If you carry anything dangerous that can impact interstate commerce, it will be a punishable offense according to Michigan knife laws.

Penalties And Punishments For Carrying Illegal Knives

If a person is arrested with an illegal knife, he or she will be guilty of a felony. The punishment for this offense can be of two types.

  • You may face an imprisonment of up to five years in state prison.
  • Or, you may be fined up to $2500 depending on the severity of the crime.

List Of Legal Knives In Michigan

Do you want to know what size knife is legal to carry in Michigan?

Unless the knife has a blade length of more than three inches, it is legal to carry open or concealed.

Some other knives are also legal to carry open or concealed, regardless of their blade length.

Check the list below –

  • Pocket knives or jack knives
  • Knives with only one edge
  • Hunting knives while hunting
  • Multi-tools or swiss knives
  • Arrowheads or artifacts made of stone

Knife Length Limit In Michigan

The length of the knife blade is only considered when you carry a knife in car in Michigan or concealed.

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In such cases, the blade length should not exceed three inches for double-edged and fixed blade knives.

But the length won’t matter if you carry the knife open or possess the knife on your personal property. The length limit is almost the same in all cities.


As a good citizen, you should always be aware of Michigan knife laws. Even if you violate the law unknowingly, it might cost you a fortune.

So, it is better to have a clear idea of what knife is legal or illegal to own and carry in the state.

In this article, we tried to categorize legal and illegal knives based on state law. You also got to know the penalties for violating the laws.

So, be careful about carrying a knife outside your personal property and never concealed-carry an illegal knife.

You can check the law references to have more detailed knowledge about the laws.

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