Minnesota Knife Laws

Minnesota Knife Law 101: Everything You Need to Know

Knife laws in Minnesota are more liberal than in many other states. But still, you have some obligations while owning and carrying different knives within the state.

Understanding the knife law here can be tricky as it is a composition of several sections and subsections.

According to Section 609.02 of the 2021 Minnesota Statutes, carrying any dangerous weapon with an intent to harm others is illegal.

If you don’t have any unlawful intention, you can own and carry all types of knives except switchblade knives with automatic openings.

You can carry any utility knife, open or concealed within the state border. Even knives designed to be weapons are legal to carry if you have no evil intent.

But the reckless use of such knives is illegal. And carrying all legal knives in certain areas like schools or courthouses without prior authorization is also illegal.

We will explain Minnesota knife laws in plain English for you to understand easily.


Let’s quickly check the highlights of the Minnesota knife laws.

Statewide Preemption

There is no statewide preemption regarding knife laws in Minnesota. Different local governments can apply their own laws.

For example, the legal knife length limit differs in Minneapolis and Woodbury.

Concealed Carry

As long as you carry a legal knife, concealed carry should not be an issue in this state.

But in the case of carrying an illegal knife, both open and concealed carry will be illegal.


Though owning and carrying most knives are legal in Minnesota, you can face penalties for doing so in a school zone, as defined in Section 152.01.

Section 152.01

Critical Dimensions

There is no certain length limit for knife blades in Minnesota. But some cities have their own limit, where carrying knives with a blade more than three or four inches is illegal.

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Two types of punishments can be applicable depending on the type of crime.

There can be imprisonment from 90 days to one year and fines from $1000 to $3000.

List of Illegal Knives in Minnesota

Now comes the most important part of the article, where we list all the illegal knives in the state.

Fortunately, the list is very small, and you can carry almost all knives in Minnesota.

Check the following list of illegal knives.

  • Switchblade knives with automatic openings
  • Knives that are not designed as tools when you have an evil intent
  • Reckless use of any knife designed as a weapon
  • Metal knuckles

That’s it! You can own and carry knives of any length with lawful intent in Minnesota.

But the restrictions can extend based on where and how you carry the knife. Check that too.

A. Illegality In Certain Areas

As we have already mentioned, schools are weapon-free zones according to the law.

Carrying a knife on a school ground is completely illegal unless you have authorization from the regulatory body or you are a law enforcement personnel.

B. Illegality In Local Governments

Though there is nothing mentioned in the statutes regarding local governments, carrying an illegal knife in a public housing zone is punishable according to paragraph (b) under section 609.66.

paragraph (b) under section 609.66

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

Manufacturing or selling legal knives isn’t an issue in Minnesota. But you can’t manufacture, sell, transfer, or possess an illegal knife according to the law.

Switchblade knives or metal knuckles will fall under this restriction.

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

According to Section 609.66 Subdivision 1 (a) (5), possessing any dangerous weapon, including a knife, for an unlawful purpose is punishable.

If this impacts interstate commerce, it can be considered a felony.

Penalties and Punishments for Carrying Illegal Knives

Let us clarify paragraph (b) under Subdivision 1. It states the sentences that apply to anyone found guilty under paragraph (a).

If you carry a knife in a public housing zone, school zone, or park zone, as described in section 152.01, you may be imprisoned for up to one year or fined up to $3000. Or both, depending on the severity of the crime.

Carrying a knife on residential premises other than the zones described in the previous section has different penalties.

If you are caught in a criminal act, in this case, you will be sentenced to a maximum of 90 days of imprisonment or a fine of up to $1000 or both.

List of Legal Knives in Minnesota

As there isn’t a prohibition on maximum knives, what size knife is legal to carry in Minnesota?

Fortunately, you can carry any sized knife in most cities unless you have any unlawful intent.

Below is a list of legal knives to carry.

  • Balisong knives
  • Bowie knives
  • Throwing knives
  • Utility knives
  • Pocket knives
  • Multi-tools
  • Disguised knives
  • Dirk knives
  • Stilettos
  • Daggers

As you have no restriction on carrying concealed knives, you can carry a knife in car in Minnesota.

Knife Length Limit in Minnesota

Minnesota knife laws have no certain restrictions about the blade length of the knife you own or carry.

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Unless you intend to harm others, you are good to carry any sized knives. But different cities have their own legal limits.

For example, Minneapolis has a legal knife length limit of four inches. But the maximum length can’t be more than three inches in Woodbury.

So, you need to check your local laws before carrying any knife that can be identified as a dangerous weapon.


Unless you have a good understanding of Minnesota knife laws, it might be risky to go out with a knife.

As the law statutes are too difficult to consume, we explained them in a simple way so that you know which knife is legal or illegal to own and carry.

Give attention to small details so that you don’t miss any critical section of the law.

One wrong step and you can be guilty of an offense that can send you to prison for one year. So, having a clear idea of the law is a must to keep safe.

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