Missouri Knife Laws

Missouri Knife Law Made Simple: What You Need to Know

Knives are incredibly imoprtant for any household, and they’re used for many things. But since knives are dangerous, there are some knife laws you have to follow.

And in a country like Missouri, not following the laws can get you hefty punishment.

Because of this, many people ask about the Missouri knife laws. Thankfully, Missouri isn’t very strict with its knife laws.

As long as you’re not carrying a knife over 4 inches in length, you should be fine. There aren’t any laws on minors too, and there aren’t any specifically restricted knives.

However, there’s much more to it than just that. So today, we’ll be covering all about the knife laws in Missouri, the punishment and penalties for it, the exceptions, and illegality based on certain aspects. Let’s begin

Quick Legal Facts

  • Statewide Preemption: No.
  • Concealed Carry: Yes, in most cases, but not in specific areas such as schools.
  • Restricted Knives: In the case that the city’s local government forbids it, switchblades can be prohibited. But in most cases, switchblades won’t be illegal as that law got removed in 2012.
  • Schools: Knives aren’t allowed in schools, not even pocket knives.
  • Critical Dimensions: Any knife over 4 inches is illegal.

List Of Relevant Laws

571.010: Definitions and knives considered “deadly weapons.”


571.030: Possession, manufacturing, and transport of certain knives.


571.107: Illegality of concealed firearms.


Missouri Knife Laws

As mentioned earlier, there aren’t any specifically banned knives in Missouri. As long as you consider the legal knife length, you can even carry a concealed knife as a minor.

But in some areas, you cannot carry a switchblade knife. This law was changed in 2012, but it’s still around in some areas of Missouri. So you should always consider this.

There are many other laws you need to follow, though. You’ll find different restrictions in different areas, and some actions with knives aren’t legal.

All of these are mentioned below in detail —

Illegality In Certain Areas

As you might expect, certain areas like schools, courts, and government buildings have knives completely banned without a permit.

Any deadly weapon, such as firearms or knives, is forbidden, even pocket knives.

In a police station, you can carry a knife if you want to return it. And at an airport, you can hand in the knife to security and let them pack it in a bag for you; this way, you can carry it, as per 571.107.

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But as long as you don’t try to hide the knife, you won’t have to worry about bringing it to an illegal area except in courts and schools.

Illegality Based On Concealed Or Open Knives

In Missouri, there aren’t any laws regarding concealed carry. So any knife under 4 inches can be carried concealed, and anything over that length can be carried concealed with a permit and out in the open.

You can carry knives concealed as a minor, too, as Missouri prioritizes the length of the knife over the age of the carrier or whether it’s concealed or not.

Illegality Of Carrying, Possession, Selling, Manufacturing, Importing, & Trading

Missouri has no laws relating to selling, manufacturing, importing, or trading knives. There are no restrictions as long as it’s legal and the person doing these is over 18.

However, according to code § 1243, it’s illegal if you’re doing these with dangerous weapons such as firearms or a switchblade knife.

This law has one of the heaviest punishments, so make sure not to use firearms for trading.

Section 1243

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

Knowingly transporting and distributing knives in interstate commerce is illegal for all sorts of deadly weapons such as knives and firearms.

This includes pocket knives, too, and applies to all areas of the US.

But even though the switchblade knife was considered legal after 2012, moving it through borders is still illegal.

Illegality For Minors

There are no restrictions on carrying knives for minors in Missouri. So even as a minor, you can carry any knife under 4 inches out in public concealed.

If you have a driver’s license, you can even carry a knife in car in Missouri.

Illegality Based On Length Of Knife

In Missouri, the most important knife law is the length. Exceeding the legal length can lead to a hefty punishment, which is why many people ask what size knife length is legal to carry in Missouri.

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In short, It forbids any knife with a blade length of over 4 inches.

Keep in mind that the knife itself can be over 4 inches, including the handle, but the blade of the knife can’t be over that length.

Illegality In Local Governments

Missouri has no statewide preemption, so a local government can slightly change the laws for the area.

However, there aren’t many local governments that actually do this, and even if they do, it isn’t major.

In some areas, switchblades might be illegal, so always look up the local government laws of your area before trying to carry a switchblade in public.

Penalties For Carrying Knives Illegally

The penalties and punishments for carrying knives illegally in Missouri are extreme, even though there aren’t many laws about them.

Carrying a concealed knife illegally can lead to a Class B misdemeanor, leading to a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 6 months of confinement.

If you intend to use a pocket knife or any other type of knife for malicious purposes such as harming someone else or threatening them, it’s a Class E misdemeanor.

This can lead to up to 4 years of confinement and a fine of up to $10,000.

List Of Legal Knives In Missouri

As mentioned before, there aren’t any specifically restricted knives in Missouri except a switchblade in some cases.

It’s intuitive that if there aren’t any illegal knives, everything else should be legal, but some people get confused as knives like Bowies are often banned in other countries.

So here’s a list of all the knives you might think are illegal, which in reality, are legal in Missouri —


Bowies are one of the most common knives that people think are illegal. It’s illegal in a lot of areas of America, but it’s legal in Missouri. You could even carry it concealed if you’d like.

Gravity Knives

Gravity knives are a type of knife where the blade is hidden in the handle of the knife, but through the help of gravity can be revealed.

Most of the time, these knives are under 4 inches in blade length, so it’s legal in Missouri.

Balisongs / Butterfly Knives

Balisons, often known as butterfly knives, are another type of knife people often think is illegal. However, this is not the case in Missouri, as the length of the blade is under 4 inches.

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Double Sided Knives

Any type of double-sided knife is legal in Missouri as long as it’s under the legal knife length.

Toothpick Knives

Slim dagger-like knives such as toothpick knives are often illegal in other countries but not in Missouri.


A stiletto is another kind of thin dagger or stabbing knife. They’re usually very small and thin, so it’s not illegal.


Dirks is a type of dagger, and just like other thin knives, they’re sometimes considered illegal. They’re legal in Missouri, though.

All of these dagger-like stabbing knives used to be illegal, but they’re not illegal anymore.

Folding Knives

All types of folding knives are legal in Missouri.

Exceptions In The Knife Laws Of Missouri

Here are all the exceptions in the knife laws of Missouri —

  • State, council, and municipal peace officers that have finished their training.
  • Keepers of prisons, jails, and penitentiaries.
  • Wardens and superintendents at work.
  • Any person who works to eliminate civil or criminal activities, such as the police and military.
  • Any federal probation or flight deck officer active on duty.
  • Probation or state parole officers.
  • Security advisors or legally verified guards.
  • Medical examiners or assistants, coroners, and deputy coroners.
  • Anyone with a completed firearms safety training course.
  • Members of the safety or fire department on duty.


Hopefully, now you have a good idea of all the Missouri knife laws. Thankfully there aren’t that many strict knife laws there, so you can carry any knife under 4” concealed.

Switchblades technically aren’t illegal, but we still recommend you not to carry them as they might be illegal in some areas.

And aside from not bringing it in areas like schools, you won’t have to worry about anything else. Carrying it as a minor is legal too, and you can even carry it concealed.

If you need to bypass the knife length for your professional work, you can get a permit for it if you’re an adult. With all that said, cheers!

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