New Hampshire Knife Laws. All You Need To Know

New Hampshire Knife Laws. All You Need To Know

Did you know that before the law was updated, it was against the law in New Hampshire to possess a stiletto, switch knife, dagger, or dirk knife?

But after the new New Hampshire Knife Laws law of 2010, everything changed.

You will be happy to know that now there are no restrictions on carrying any kind of knife in New Hampshire. But you are not allowed to carry it at any educational place or public place where it could have a bad impact on young people.

In this article, we are going to learn everything about knife laws in NH. Stick around till the end to find some interesting facts!


There would be many things that would be difficult for you to understand in this article. So we should better do it decently.

Let us first talk about the topics that we are going to discuss afterward.

  • No limit to concealed carry of a knife
  • Any individual who is not a convicted felon has the right to possess, acquire, sell, make, manufacture, gift, or receive any knife or blade
  • Other lawful bladed instruments may be carried concealed
  • Statewide preemption is available to restrict local governments from overturning state knife laws
  • Knives of any kind are prohibited in schools and public parks
  • Knife lengths are not regulated
  • When it comes to firearms, New Hampshire’s state government still has a lot of say

List Of Illegal Knives In New Hampshire

One of the earliest successes came in 2010 when New Hampshire eliminated all restrictions on knives by repealing a ban on:

  • Switchblades
  • Dirks
  • Daggers
  • Stilettos

It was the first time in the United States that a switchblade ban was overturned and that all knife laws in a single state were loosened.

However, anyone with a felony conviction for an offense against another person or their property, or a felony conviction for a drug-related offense, is prohibited from having any kind of knife.

Moreover, the use of metal knuckles is still banned in NH.

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What Do You Mean By Illegal Knives In New Hampshire?

The state of New Hampshire considers any weapon that is used, intended to be used, or threatened to be used in a way that is likely to result in death or serious bodily injury to be an illegal knife.

What we can see in the below picture is the definition of dangerous weapons given by the Del. Code tit. 11 § 222

Del. Code tit. 11 § 222

From the above picture, we can understand that any weapon with the potential to cause harm to others is a dangerous weapon.

Many knives are not a problem in New Hampshire because they are less likely to be intended for and capable of harming people according to previous law.

But the new law says something different. Read the whole article to learn more about the new law.

What Are The Rules For Legal Knives In New Hampshire?

To back up the right of its citizens to keep and bear arms, including knives, New Hampshire has passed a new law in support of HB 1178.

This law states that the state will not enforce any federal statute, regulation, or Presidential Executive Order that limits or regulates this right.

As we can see, anyone who isn’t a convicted felon now can manufacture, purchase, or sell any type of knife or blade. We now have access to knives such as daggers, as well as many more items that we will discuss later.

However, metal knuckles were always prohibited, as is the possession of knives having metal finger rings.

Chapter 159-E

The illustration above describes Chapter 159-E, which states that citizens have a right to bear certain weapons. Let us now seek the knives that New Hampshire has deemed legal.

Section 159:3 of Title XII of New Hampshire law,

“Public Safety and Welfare,” prohibits those found guilty of a federal criminal drug offense or even a felony against the other individual’s property or person from owning or carrying any knife considered lawfully to be a dangerous weapon.

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This is the only limitation on ownership rights imposed by the state.

With the exception of schools, school property, and a few additional government institutions, every type of knife that’s also authorized to acquire is likewise legal to carry publicly in any area.

As shown below, there are no restrictions on carrying hidden knives.

The Weapons That Are Legal In New Hampshire

Let us now look at the knives that are made legal in New Hampshire.

  • Gravity Knives
  • Switchblades
  • Balisong knives
  • Machetes
  • Swords
  • Bowie knives
  • Daggers
  • Dirk-knives
  • Martial arts throwing knives

Statutory Exemptions

The state of New Hampshire has retained extensive control over firearms policy. According to Section 159:26(I) of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes,

“No ordinance or regulation of a political subdivision may regulate the sale, licensing, use, possession, purchase, ownership, transportation, permitting, taxation, or other matter about firearms, ammunition, firearms components, or firearms supplies within the state.”

Section 159:26(II) of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes states that as of July 18, 2003, all local ordinances regulating the “sale, purchase, use, possession, licensing, ownership, permitting, transportation, taxation, or other matter about firearms, ammunition, firearms supplies, firearm components, or knives” were null and void.

What Size Knife Is Legal To Carry In New Hampshire?

Fortunately, there are no rules for the legal knife length in New Hampshire.

The length of a knife’s blade is not regulated by law in New Hampshire, even in situations where carrying or owning a knife is permitted.

Allowing Both Open And Concealed Carry

Owners of legal knives should not bring them to airports, hotels, or public places like schools or government offices.

Every state should take these safety measures, but New Hampshire’s widespread belief that its laws regarding knives are lax makes it especially crucial that they are enforced there.

It’s also important to remember that New Hampshire is a relatively small state surrounded by states that are not as knife-friendly as their own. Those on the road can easily visit neighboring states.

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One must always be aware of the legal boundaries within which they are operating when carrying a knife.

Locations That Are Off-Limits

While you are not prohibited from carrying a knife in any public place in New Hampshire except the courthouse, it is always wise to use caution when entering any potentially volatile environment, such as a school, government building, hospital, etc.


Yes, there are exceptions to carrying a knife in NH.

For example, Section 159:26(I) protects municipalities’ rights to enact nondiscriminatory zoning regulations and manage wildlife on land they own or control.

What Are The Punishments For Carrying Knives In NH?

As we have discussed above, currently, there are no laws in place for knife laws in New Hampshire.

After the new law in 2010, all of the restrictions on carrying a knife were removed by the government of New Hampshire.

Anyone is free to use any knife for carrying, use, protection, or other reasons. Things get worse only if the person uses the knife for any breakage of the law or goes beyond the territory.

The most obvious danger for a knife owner in New Hampshire is crossing the state line into Massachusetts, which has strict knife laws and felony convictions for violations thereof.


At last, we have come to the end of the topic “New Hampshire Knife Laws,” where we learned all the rules related to knives in New Hampshire.

To sum it up, we can say that currently, there are no laws existing for knives after the new law in 2010, where all the restrictions have been removed. It has been done for the common rights of the citizenry and their protection.

You just need to be sure that you don’t use it in public places with any wrong intention or outside the territory where there could be stricter knife laws.

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