New Jersey Knife Laws

Understanding New Jersey’s Knife Laws: What You Need to Know

We all know that Garden State, New Jersey, has numerous mind-blowing outdoor attractions. And you cannot get over these attractions in one go.

Similarly, you can read the New Jersey knife laws but will not understand them in one go.

The New Jersey state’s knife regulations can be so perplexing. Regarding that, numerous times, the police mistakenly detain individuals under the impression of carrying an illegal weapon.

Therefore, being aware of the Knife laws in New Jersey will help you avoid pointless teasing and expensive court appearances.


  • Statewide Preemptive action: None
  • Secret Carrying of Knife: It is not an issue in New Jersey.
  • Schools: The New Jersey State law does not allow possession of any weapon within the premises of the educational institute or school unless the individual has the institute’s permit to carry the weapon. Moreover, possessing a weapon on the institute’s premises for unlawful use is the fourth degree of crime.
  • Critical Dimensions of Knife: Any knife with five inches or more blade or 10 inches complete length from blade to handle can be sold to minors.

List Of Illegal Knives In New Jersey

As per New Jersey’s knife statutes, anyone possessing below knives mentioned is convicted of a fourth-degree felony. Moreover, an individual may encounter up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine.

These illegal knives in New Jersey are:

  • Switchblade
  • Gravity Knife
  • Dirk
  • Metal Knuckle
  • Ballistic Knife
  • Slingshot
  • Billy
  • Dagger
  • Blackjack
  • Sand Club
  • Stiletto
  • Any other razor blades fitted in a wood handle.

In short, it is completely forbidden to use any of the blades mentioned above or other dangerous, lethal knives in Garden State.

For Instance

You have a switchblade in your pocket and are driving through a check post in New Jersey. Upon checking, the policeman finds that you are carrying a switchblade.

So in such a case, you can be penalized as per new jersey state law for possessing the forbidden knife.

Illegal Use Of A Knife In New Jersey

In new jersey, if you use a knife unlawfully, regardless of the knife type, you will be charged as per NJS 2C:39-4, Possession of a weapon act for unlawful purposes.

The Penalty

This kind of crime is considered a third-degree felony, leading to 3 to 5 years behind bars and up to a $15000 fine.

For Instance

You can certainly keep an ordinary kitchen knife in your home because that’s the need of every home.

But if you leverage the kitchen knife to open a safe in someone’s house or use it against another person to threaten or harm, you will be penalized as per NJS 2C:39-3, prohibited weapons.

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Illegal Trade Of A Knife

While you can use the knife for lawful reasons, it is also not prohibited to trade them. But here is the catch.

According to NJS 2C:39-9.1, it is illegal to sell the following knives to anyone under the age of 18 years old:

  • Combat knife.
  • Hunting knife or a survival knife.
  • A knife with a five-inches or longer blade, or a whole length of the knife including the handle and blade, is ten inches or longer.

The Penalty

If you are found selling the mentioned knives in New Jersey, you will be considered doing a fourth-degree crime.

Moreover, you might encounter up to 18 months imprisonment and a $10000 fine.

In addition, someone who sells an illegal knife to anyone in New Jersey, regardless of age, is convicted of breaking the NJS 2C:39-9(d) law.

This unlawful sale of prohibited weapons is considered a fourth-degree crime, and you can encounter up to 18 months in prison and a $10000 fine.

But you can go around the law if you possess a license for being a knife retailer or collector when selling the knife.

In addition, it is protected if the claimed juvenile showed credentials proving he was at least 18 years old or if his demeanor could persuade a sensible adult that he was older than 18.

Illegal Transportation of a Knife

The list of prohibited knives we mentioned earlier is also not allowed to transport.

If you transport a prohibited knife without a license, you will be penalized as per NJS 2C:39-9(d).

The Penalty

The unlawful transportation of an illegal weapon is a fourth-degree crime, and you might encounter 18 months in jail and a $10000 fine.

Possession Of A Knife On School Premises

Possessing a knife within the school premises is a crime. Moreover, if you carry a knife without having a consent letter from the school authorities, you will be penalized according to NJS 2C:29-5(e).

The Penalty

This one is also a fourth-degree crime and is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and up to a $10000 fine.

Possession of a Knife During Robbery

If someone uses a knife during a robbery and hurts someone with the knife or even threatens someone to harm, he/she will be penalized as per NJS 2C:15-1.

The Penalty

The robbery itself is big misconduct that charges you with a second-degree crime. You might encounter a 5-10 years imprisonment and up to $100,000 fine.

Now, if someone is found doing robbery with a knife and found to hurt, kill or seriously injure someone, they will be convicted of a first-degree crime.

And as a consequence, an individual can expect 10-20 years behind bars. Moreover, it is also worth noting that a robbery convict with a knife is prone to the “No Early Release Act” (NERA).

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According to NERA, an individual must complete 85% of the sentence before release.

Possession Of A Knife During An Aggravated Assault

Using a knife during an argument or fight results in charge of Aggravated Assault as per NJS 2C:12-1.

You have to note that even if the victim suffers no injury during the fight, it will still result in Aggravated assault charges.

The Penalty

Aggravated assault, considered a second-degree crime, can lead to 5-10 years imprisonment. Moreover, you cannot expect an early release as it matters to the “No Early Release Act” (NERA).

You must complete at least 85% of the sentence before getting parole.

Lawful Knives In New Jersey

After the Second Amendment, there was a lot of confusion regarding knife passion. Let’s first look at the second amendment statement.

Despite appearances, the Second Amendment applies to more than only firearms. Knives are included in the definition of “arms.”

Therefore, the State cannot interfere with your freedom to possess or carry a knife unless there are special circumstances.

The Garden State allows for some knives to own and possessed; however, you should be mindful that the types mentioned above of knives are prohibited from owning and used regardless of the lawful or unlawful purpose.

The list of the legal knives to own in New Jersey are:

  • Bowie knives or other large single sides knives are permitted.
  • Butterfly knife and Balisong knife are allowed.
  • Throwing stars and throwing knives or any other martial art knives are permitted to own.
  • Undetectable knives are legal.
  • Disguised knives such as that pens, lipstick or cane shapes, etc. are legal.
  • All types of pocket knives will not lead to penalization.

Exceptions In The Knife Law Of New Jersey

Some exclusion for New Jersey residents allows them to carry a weapon or knife legally. That is:

  • If you are a US Armed forces associate and serving the nation, you can own the weapon.
  • You can have a knife or weapon if you are a Federal law enforcement officer serving the nation.
  • New Jersey state police workers can also own the weapon.
  • Sheriffs, prosecuting attorneys, and other workers sanctioned to carry weapons can own the knife.
  • You can carry a knife if you are a worker of the Department of Corrections and perform the duties.
  • Any citizen working for the US government gets the license to own a weapon for their duties.
  • A spy or detective of the State Police department can carry a weapon or knife for the official reasons of their obligations.
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Individuals Who Can Never Possess Knife In New Jersey

Some individuals cannot carry knives or weapons in Garden State due to particular problems.

  • Anyone convicted of a felony who has committed any felony, like kidnapping, murder, escaping arrest, burglary, or serious sexual abuse.
  • Anyone who has ever had a mental condition and been hospitalized for it.

Anybody, including all individuals who own, possesses, or deal with any weapons, is convicted of a fourth-degree crime.

Possessing Knives In Vehicles

New Jersey code 2C:39-2 also provides insight into carrying a knife in a car in New Jersey.

According to the code, the knife will be considered to be in the ownership or possession of all of the passengers of the vehicle unless:

1. If it is discovered with passengers, it will be deemed in that person’s ownership.

2. If the weapon is hidden from the passengers, the vehicle driver, the vehicle’s owner, or the individual who borrowed or rented the car shall be assumed to be in charge of the knife.

3. Suppose the automobile is a taxi and the knife or weapon is discovered in the passenger’s area. In that case, all travelers or passengers are assumed to be in possession of it.

Moreover, the driver is supposed to control the weapon if there are no passengers in the car.


Below we are mentioning some of the most common questions that you may ask regarding New Jersey knife law.

What size of a knife is lawful to carry in New Jersey?

The legal knife length in New Jersey is somewhere between 5-10 inches.

Are there any Laws for minors to carry a knife in New Jersey?

The New Jersey state law does not define any kind of statute for minors carrying a knife.

Can you Carry a Pocket Knife in New Jersey?

It is prohibited to carry anything with a sharp edge or blade in Garden State. However, a pocketknife, except a folding pocket knife with a blade shorter than 7.62cm or 3 inches, is allowed to carry.


Is it lawful to carry a knife in New Jersey? The 2nd Amendment permits the possession of knives.

However, possessing specific knife types is considered a felony of the fourth degree in New Jersey, and owning particular styles of knives is prohibited.

Moreover, regardless of whether knives are permitted or prohibited, using it with unlawful intentions is a third-degree offense punishable by up to 3-5 years in jail and a penalty of up to $15,000.

Blades can be used in various unlawful ways, such as as a weapon of menace or during a robbery.

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