North Dakota Knife Laws

North Dakota’s Knife Laws Explained: What You Need To Know

A fun fact about North Dakota knife laws is that there is no prohibition on knives in the state.

Instead, it talks about dangerous weapons and certain knives that are considered dangerous in particular situations.

So, knowing which knife is legal or illegal to own and carry is extremely tricky unless you completely understand the laws related to dangerous weapons.

According to Section 62.1-01-01, switchblades, machetes, scimitars, stilettos, swords, or any knife having a blade of longer than five inches are considered dangerous weapons.

Carrying such weapons concealed is illegal according to the law. But there is no restriction on openly carrying any knife regardless of its type, action, or blade length.

Section 62.1-01-01

We will now go deeper into the North Dakota Century Code to explore everything that permits or restricts the possession or carrying of knives.

Besides legal and illegal knives, you will also know the punishments for violating the law.

Let’s begin.


Know some quick facts about the knife laws in North Dakota to remember easily.

Statewide Preemption

No statewide preemption applies to the knife law or, more specifically, weapons law. Different cities can have different provisions.

Concealed Carry

Knives listed as dangerous weapons cannot be concealed carried unless the person has a license to do so. Concealed carry refers to carrying on the person or in a vehicle.


Schools are weapon-free zones according to the law. No dangerous weapons can be possessed or carried on school property.

Critical Dimensions

Any knife having a blade over five inches is considered a dangerous weapon and is illegal to carry in North Dakota.

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If you violate the laws regarding dangerous weapons, you will be punished by imprisonment of up to 360 days or a fine of up to $3000 or both.

List Of Illegal Knives In North Dakota

As we have already stated, a knife isn’t illegal as long as its blade length doesn’t exceed five inches and you carry the knife openly.

In the case of concealed carry, the following knives will be illegal in North Dakota.

Check them out –

  • Gravity knives or switchblades
  • Machete
  • Scimitar
  • Sabre
  • Stiletto
  • Sword
  • Dirk Knives
  • Dagger
  • Or any knife having a blade longer than five inches

Though the knives excluded from the list are generally legal, the rule can change based on certain factors.

See the breakdown below –

A. Illegality In Certain Areas

Knives listed as dangerous weapons are illegal to carry, open or concealed, in schools, churches, public gatherings, and publicly operated buildings.

Certain individuals are exempted from the law according to Section 62.1-02-05.

Section 62.1-02-05
Section 62.1-02-05
Section 62.1-02-05

B. Illegality In Local Governments

The possession of any dangerous weapons in any building run, owned, or leased by local governments is illegal.

Only persons having a dangerous weapons license or authorized by the government can carry such weapons in local government buildings.

C. Illegality Based On Concealed And Open Knives

Any knife is legal to carry openly in North Dakota. But if you carry a knife in a car in North Dakota that is listed as illegal, you will be convicted of concealed carry.

Carrying on a person in a way that isn’t visible under general observation is also illegal, according to the law.

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

Though carrying knives openly is permitted, manufacturing, importing, or trading knives will require certain licenses from the appropriate authority.

No dangerous weapons can be sold or transferred to a minor, according to the law.

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

Though there isn’t any clear provision about this, any impact on interstate commerce caused by dangerous weapons will be punishable under general provisions.

Penalties And Punishments For Carrying Illegal Knives

As penalties are spread into a wide group of sections, it is crucial to know the minimum punishments for misdemeanors or felonies.

Section 62.1-02-01

According to Section 62.1-02-01, a person can face the following punishments upon violating the laws.

  • Imprisonment for a maximum of 360 days and losing the weapons license, if any, for five to ten years.
  • Fine of up to $3000, at the discretion of the court, depending on the severity of the crime.
Classification & Penalties For Misdemeanors

List Of Legal Knives In North Dakota

We won’t list legal knives this time because all knives are legal to carry openly.

You can even carry knives listed as illegal above if you have a dangerous weapons license.

Knife Length Limit In North Dakota

According to the law, the legal knife length limit in North Dakota is five inches, regardless of the knife type.

And this limit only applies to knives carried concealed. Any sized knives can be openly carried within the state.


This article focused on the legality of knives according to North Dakota knife laws.

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Though there is no direct restriction on knives, certain knives are considered dangerous weapons and illegal to carry concealed. There is no restriction on carrying any knife openly.

Upon violating the laws, you may face the consequences such as imprisonment or fine, depending on the class of the crime.

Now that you know what size knife is legal to carry in North Dakota, it will be much easier for you to be careful while carrying knives of any sort.

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