New York is one of the most strict states when it comes to knife laws. Many find its knife laws vague and unclear, and downright contradictory.
However, as one of the most populated states in the continental United States, New York has maintained these laws for years to make sure their state doesn’t fall into a pool of chaos.
It is very easy to violate a New York knife law. Even if you’re carrying a small pocket knife for self-defense, a wrong dimension or incorrect blade length can land you in jail if you’re not careful.
This is why we’ve tried to give you a crystal clear idea about what knife is legal to carry, and which is not in New York. Keep reading to learn more.
Quick Legal Facts
Here are some quick legal facts about the knife laws of New York. Take a look at them to refresh your memory.
Pilum Ballistic knives, Switchblades, Stilettos, Machetes, Metal Knuckle knives, Cane Swords, Kung Fu Stars, and Undetectable knives.
Pilum Ballistic knives, Cane Swords, Kung Fu Stars, Metal Knuckle knives, Stilettos, Switchblades, and Undetectable knives are considered illegal for concealed carry in New York.
Any unlawful weapon, including a knife, is prohibited within school grounds regardless of how it’s carried, concealed, or open.
Schools include Elementary school, Middle school, Secondary school, College, Graduate school, and Post-graduate school.
Minors or people under the age of 16 may not carry dangerous weapons, including dangerous knives and illegal knives.
Major Cities With Knife Ordinances
Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, and Syracuse.
Unavailable (local law supersedes state law)
Illegality isn’t based on knife dimension, hence there’s no specific size knife that is legal to carry in New York.
List Of Illegal Knives In New York
Ballistic knives, Switchblades, Metal Knuckle knives, Stilettos, Cane Swords, Kung Fu Star Knives, as well as undetectable knives, are illegal to own and carry in New York.
According to New York Penal Law Section 265.01, carrying any of the aforementioned knives is considered criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.
What Is A Ballistic Knife?
According to New York Penal Law Section 265.00 5-a, a pilum ballistic knife is an automatic spring-loaded knife where the blade can be forcefully ejected by applying hand pressure on the handle.
It is capable of inflicting serious tissue damage.
What Are Switchblades?
According to New York Penal Law Section 265.00 4, a switchblade is another spring-loaded knife that can be opened automatically by applying hand pressure on the handle.
This one, however, doesn’t eject the blade, rather flips out of its handle.
What Are Metal Knuckle Knives?
According to New York Penal Law Section 265.00 5-b, a metal knuckle knife is a foldable piece of weapon, which, when opened, can function as either a metal knuckle or a knife, or both at the same time.
What Are Stilettos?
According to New York Penal Law Section 265.00 5-c, a stiletto is an automatic spring-loaded dagger/stabbing knife with a long, slender neck and a sharp blade.
The blade is hidden inside the handle and can be opened by applying pressure on a switch or the handle itself.
What Is A Cane Sword?
According to New York Penal Law Section 265.00 13, a cane sword is a cane, swagger stick, or walking stick, within which a blade or stiletto is concealed, and can be used to inflict physical damage.
What Is A Kung Fu Star Knife?
According to New York Penal Law Section 265.00 15-b, a kung fu star knife is a disc-like object with sharpened edges all around the circumference. It is primarily used as a throwing weapon.
What Are Undetectable Knives?
According to New York Penal Law Section 265.00 5-d, an undetectable knife refers to any knife-like instrument or weapon that was commercially manufactured to be used as a weapon and cannot be detected by metal detectors or magnetometers.
These are especially dangerous since they cannot be picked up by any scanners, and hence can be transported anywhere by concealment.
Illegality Based On Different Factors
The knife laws in New York are not really lenient, and you will find the illegality of knives based on a wide range of factors.
Here you can check out in which cases you are not allowed to own or carry a knife in NY.
Illegality Based On Areas
According to New York Penal Law Section 265.01-A (criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds), it is illegal to knowingly carry a dangerous weapon or a knife inside the premise of any land or building that is being used for educational purposes.
This includes Kindergarten, preschool, Middle school, High School, Community College, University, Graduate School, Post-graduate school, Any day-care facility, and any vehicle that is being used for the transportation of school children (school bus).
It is important to note that this law exempts anyone who is a member of any law enforcement agency, a peace officer, or a security guard with a special armed guard registration card.
However, under no circumstances can a school authority authorize the usage of a knife or dangerous weapon inside school premises. Violation of this law is considered criminal possession and is a class E felony crime.
It is illegal to open and concealed carry any knives inside public transportation, such as buses and trains in New York City. It is also illegal to carry any dangerous and illegal knife inside airports and important government and federal buildings.
Illegality Based On Local Governments
The state of New York does not have preemption, meaning local governments such as municipalities, cities, and counties can practice their laws that overrule the existing state law.
Usually, these laws are stricter than existing state laws.
Four local governments in NY have been practicing stricter knife laws. If you’re living in any of these cities or municipalities, it might be a good idea to take a good look at these laws.
City Of Buffalo, New York
According to Buffalo city section 180-7, it is illegal to openly carry any knife within the city-owned property. You cannot display a weapon or carry them openly.
New York City, New York
According to New York City Administrative Code 10-133-b, they have a specified legal knife length. it is illegal to conceal carry any knife that has a blade 4 inches or longer than that.
According to New York City Administrative Code 10-133-a, it is illegal to openly carry any knife in public places such as courthouses, parks, public transportation, and such.
Unless you’re authorized or are a current member of a law enforcement agency, you are not allowed to openly carry any knife. Violating these laws is punishable by up to 15 days in jail, a fine of 300 dollars, or both.
Rochester City, New York
According to Rochester City Section 47-2, it is illegal to carry a knife that has a blade longer than 3 inches. It is also illegal to sell knives and dangerous weapons to anyone under the age of 18.
Nor shall anyone who is 18 or younger carry a knife or a dangerous weapon on their person.
Syracuse City, New York
According to Syracuse City Section 16-12, it is illegal to openly carry a dirk, dagger, razor, sword, bowie knife, or anything that has the potential to inflict physical damage on another person.
It is also illegal to carry any dangerous weapon with the intent of unlawful usage.
Illegality Based On Concealment
New York doesn’t have any concealment laws. You can conceal carry any legal knife on your person as long as you don’t intend to unlawfully use it against another.
However, it is illegal to conceal carry the aforementioned illegal knives. It is also illegal to conceal carry knives in certain no-weapons zones, such as schools, airports, and courthouses.
New York has also banned concealed carrying of deadly weapons and knives in public places.
Illegality Based On Age
According to New York Penal Law 265.05, it is illegal for a minor, or anyone under the age of 16, to possess or carry any dangerous knife.
Anyone who violates this law shall be considered a juvenile delinquent.
Illegality Based On Criminal Record
According to New York Penal Law 265.02-1, it is illegal for anyone to carry a dangerous knife who has been convicted of a crime in the past. It is also illegal for anyone to carry any legal or illegal knife if they have a prior criminal record.
This is considered to be criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.
Illegality Based On Citizenship
According to New York Penal Law 265.02, it is illegal for anyone who is not a citizen of the United States to carry any dangerous knives.
This is also considered to be criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.
Illegality Based On Possession And Trade
According to New York Penal Law 265.10, it is illegal to manufacture or order to manufacture Switchblade knives, Pilum Ballistic knives, Metal Knuckles, Undetectable knives, and Kung Fu Star knives.
Manufacturing illegal knives is a class A misdemeanor.
According to New York Penal Law 265.10, it is illegal to transport or ship as merchandise Pilum Ballistic knives, Kung Fu Star knives, Metal Knuckles, Switchblade knives, and Undetectable knives and.
Transporting illegal knives inside state lines is a class A misdemeanor.
According to New York Penal Law 265.01, it is illegal to sell any illegal knives. It is considered to be a class A misdemeanor, and a class D felony if one has a prior criminal record.
According to New York Penal Law 265.05, it is illegal to sell any illegal or dangerous knives to an underage minor or anyone under 16 years old. It is considered to be a class A misdemeanor.
Penalties And Punishment For Carrying Illegal Knives
New York has severe penalties and punishments for the carrying and distribution of illegal knives. They are discussed below –
Acquiring, owning, possessing, and carrying any illegal knife such as Switchblades, Ballistic knives, Metal knuckles, Cane Sword, or Kung Fu Stars is criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.
It is a class A misdemeanor, and is punishable by from 15 to up to 364 days in prison, up to 3 years of probation, and a fine of up to 1000 dollars or more.
Carrying a dagger, dangerous knife, illegal knife, dirk, razor, machete, undetectable knife, or stiletto – to unlawfully use it against another person is a class A misdemeanor and is punishable by the abovementioned penalty.
Carrying a dangerous knife or deadly weapon while being an illegal immigrant in the United States is a class A misdemeanor. Along with the usual punishments, it is also punishable by deportation.
Criminally possessing a weapon while having a prior criminal record is criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree. It is a class D felony and is punishable by 2-7 years in prison.
Carrying an illegal knife, or dangerous knife inside the ground or premises of a school or educational institution is considered criminal possession of a weapon. It is a class E felony and is punishable by 1-4 years of probation.
Possessing, carrying, or owning a dangerous knife under the age of 16 is considered unlawful and, as a punishment, will be declared a juvenile delinquent by the court.
Manufacturing or ordering illegal knives such as Switchblades, Ballistic knives, Metal knuckles, Cane Sword, or Kung Fu Stars to sell or distribute them is a class A misdemeanor.
Transporting illegal knives is also a class A misdemeanor. As you have seen before, it is punishable by 1 year in prison, 3 years of probation, or a fine of up to 1000 dollars or more.
Selling illegal knives is a class A misdemeanor. Selling illegal and dangerous knives to a minor (16 years and younger) is also a class A misdemeanor and is punishable accordingly.
List Of Legal Knives
You can carry any knife in New York, as long as it’s not a Ballistic knife, Switchblade, or any other aforementioned illegal or deadly knife. These knives listed below are legal to own in New York.
- Hunting knife
- Gravity knife
Exceptions In The Knife Law Of New York
While New York is very stringent about individual knife usage, it exempts a lot of these laws for the members of law enforcement agencies and others in the line of public service, as well as some understandable exemptions.
Some of these exemption statutes are given below.
According to New York Penal Law Section 265.20, Police officers, Peace officers, and authorized military personnel who are currently in the service in the pursuit of official duty are exempted and are allowed to carry illegal knives such as switchblades.
They’re also allowed to carry these knives in no-weapons zones such as schools.
According to New York Penal Law Section 265.20, a person carrying a valid license for hunting or fishing is exempt from the Switchblades law and is allowed to use a Switchblade during the entirety of their activity.
New York remains a stubborn part of the country that is not willing to change its way of knife ordinance. Public safety is something New York is not willing to sacrifice.
So, if you’re someone who carries a knife for self-defense or needs it for work, just be careful not to break the law, even accidentally.
We hope this article has helped you find your answer regarding New York Knife Laws. Thanks for reading.