Owning or carrying knives is legal in Ohio unless it falls under the deadly weapon category. So, you can technically carry any knife, open or concealed, according to the law.
But carrying certain knives concealed can be a misdemeanor or felony if you want to use the knives as weapons.
According to Section 2923.11 of Ohio Revised Code 2021, a knife will be considered a deadly weapon if it is designed to use as a weapon and can inflict death.
Though concealed carry isn’t an issue in general, doing the same in schools or courthouses is illegal.
You might already understand that knowing these statutes in detail is important to keep yourself from doing an unlawful activity.
We will explain Ohio knife laws in simple words here, so you can understand everything without any confusion.
Necessary sources will also be mentioned to verify the credibility. Let’s get into it.
Before we break down all knife laws in Ohio, take a look at some of the highlights here.
Yes, Ohio has statewide preemption effective from September 13, 2022. So local authorities can’t make stricter knife laws.
Concealed carry isn’t an issue unless someone carries a deadly weapon, as described in Section 2923.11.
Carrying deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance within a school safety zone is illegal according to the law.
As no certain prohibition on carrying knives is there, you will find no legal knife length limit in Ohio. You can carry knives of any length if it is not used as a dangerous weapon.
Violating knife laws can be punishable by imprisonment from 6 months to 12 months and fines from $1000 to $2500.
List Of Illegal Knives In Ohio
Though no knives are considered illegal unless they are used or carried as a weapon, you should know the list of knives that can be illegal when found concealed with the intention to committing a crime.
Here is the list.
- Switchblade knives
- Butterfly knives
- Gravity knives
- Dirk knives
- Ballistic knives
- Any other automatic knives
It is important to remember that when a person is arrested for carrying an illegal knife with criminal intention, it is the duty of the state to prove the weapon can inflict death.
Otherwise, the person may not be convicted.
Illegality Of Knives Based In Different Factors
The illegality of knives extends in a few other cases. Let’s now take a look at that.
A. Illegality In Certain Areas
As we have already mentioned, knowingly possessing or conveying any deadly weapon, including knives in a school safety zone is illegal according to Section 2923.122.
This will be considered a felony of fifth degree.
A similar statute is present in Section 2923.123, which states that possessing or conveying any deadly weapon, including a knife inside a court building is illegal.
B. Illegality In Local Governments
If a person is detained in a government facility, it is illegal to carry a deadly weapon, which also includes knives according to Section 2923.131.
It would be considered a first-degree misdemeanor.
C. Illegality Based On Concealed And Open Knives
Concealment is not an issue as long as you don’t carry a deadly weapon. You can carry a knife in car in Ohio without any issues unless you use it in unlawful activities.
D. Illegality Of Carrying, Possession, Selling, Manufacturing, Importing, Trading
Though manufacturing or importing knives isn’t illegal, if a person possesses dangerous ordnance to sell to another person without any federal license, it will be illegal in Ohio.
e. Illegality To The Degree Of Significance Such As The Impact On Interstate Commerce
Ohio doesn’t have any restriction on the interstate commerce of knives unless it’s not illegal in the other concerned state.
Penalties And Punishments For Carrying Illegal Knives
Any criminal offense will be elevated if you use an illegal knife or a dangerous ordnance during the crime. The punishments for the crime will also increase accordingly.
In general, violating knife carrying laws will cause the following penalties and punishments.
When convicted of concealed carrying of a dangerous ordnance for the first time, including knife, you might face imprisonment up to 6 months or fine up to $1000.
When the same offense happens in a school safety zone or courthouse, the imprisonment can extend up to 12 months, and the fine can increase up to $2500.
List Of Legal Knives In Ohio
All knives are legal in Ohio if it’s openly carried or even concealed carried without any criminal intention.
As you already know about the list of knives that are illegal to conceal carry with criminal intention, anything except them is legal and fine.
Still, see the clear list of knives legal to own and carry in Ohio without any condition.
- Pocket knives
- Multi tools
- Fixed blade knives
Remember, any knife with a spring or propulsion mechanism will be considered an automatic knife, and it can be illegal based on how you carry it.
Knife Length Limit In Ohio?
We didn’t talk about what size knife is legal to carry in Ohio because there is no clear ordinance on this. In general, knives with a blade length of less than 2.5 inches are considered harmless.
Inflicting death with such knives might not be possible in most cases. So, these knives are exempted from the law.
But if you have a knife blade longer than four inches, it can be used as a deadly weapon as defined in the law.
So, it is better not to carry a knife longer than that in a concealed manner.
Getting stuck into the crevices of the Ohio knife laws is very easy. It is because the law is stated in very long sentences, and they get amended from time to time.
So, keeping track of those laws is not easy for citizens.
But not knowing the law can make you guilty of a misdemeanor or felony of different degrees.
So, we went through the law statutes and extracted their core meaning for you to understand easily.
Check the knife law and remember the punishments before you possess a knife defined as a deadly weapon.
But to end with, we must admire how liberal Ohio is regarding the knife rights of its citizens.