Oregon Knife Laws

Oregon’s Knife Laws Explained: What You Need To Know

Oregon is one of the most well-known and common places in the US, and it’s right next to the capital Washington, D.C. But when carrying a knife in any US state like Oregon, there are laws you need to follow.

Breaking these can lead to fines of over $1000 and possibly even confinement. This is why tons of people wonder about the Oregon knife laws.

There aren’t laws on possessing or carrying knives out in the open, but you can’t conceal carry any type of automatic knife, ice pick, dirk, dagger, or balisong.

You won’t have to worry about the knife length limit as there is none.

There’s more to cover, so we’ll go all over the knife laws in Oregon, the various illegalities in certain cases, the penalties, and much more today.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Legal Facts

  • Preemption Statewide: No
  • Concealed Carry: Some knives are restricted to carry concealed.
  • Restricted Knives: There are no restricted knives to possess, but it’s prohibited to conceal carry automatic knives, semi-automatic assisted knives, dirks, daggers, butterfly knives, and ice picks.
  • Schools: All types of knives are prohibited in schools, including pocket knives.
  • Banned Dimensions: None noted.

Relevant Laws

166.360: Definitions

166.240: Carrying concealed knives.

166.270: Possession of weapons by anyone who has committed a felony.

166.260: Exceptions

166.370: Possession of dangerous weapons, knives, and firearms in courts or public buildings, including exceptions.

Oregon Knife Laws

We’d usually start off with a list of all the illegal knives in Oregon, but there aren’t illegal knives as long as you’re carrying them out in the open as an adult and don’t plan to commit a crime with them.

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Automatic knives and some other specific knives are restricted, but only when carried concealed. These knives include:

  • Automatic Knife (switchblade knife)
  • Assisted opening knife
  • Butterfly knife
  • Dirk
  • Dagger, or
  • Ice pick

Illegality Based On Other Factors

There are more laws about illegality in specific cases and such.

We’ll be covering all of them here —

Illegality Based On The Area

Areas like schools, universities, public buildings, government buildings, courts, etc, prohibit carrying any type of dangerous weapons that also includes knives as per law 166.370.

ORS 166.370

So carrying even a small pocket knife isn’t legal there, especially for schools.

Illegality For Carrying Open Or Concealed Knives

In Oregon, factors like the legal knife length don’t matter much, but whether the knife is concealed or not is the biggest factor in the knife laws.

In a nutshell, you can carry any type of knife open as long as you’re an adult.

However, if you carry any type of dangerous knife such as balisongs, dirk, dagger, assisted opening knives, or automatic knives, that can hurt someone whether accidentally or intentionally concealed, it’s illegal as per 166.240.

ORS 166.240

Slingshots and metal knuckles aren’t categorized as a knife, but it’s still considered dangerous weapons and, therefore, they are illegal to carry concealed.

Besides, if you had a driver’s license, you could even carry a knife in car in Oregon.

Illegality Of Manufacturing, Selling & Activities Related

In Oregon, there are no laws regarding manufacturing, selling, trading, or importing knives.

So if you’re not selling or trading a dangerous weapon such as an automatic knife to a minor, you’re good to go.

But to adults, you can trade, sell, manufacture, carry, possess, and import any type of knife to another adult or business.

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Illegality To A Point Of Impact With Interstate Commerce

Just like most other states in the US, including Oregon, knowingly distributing or transporting dangerous knives such as switchblades and firearms for interstate commerce is illegal.

But it’s completely fine and legal for other knives that are not considered illegal by federal law or other states involved in the commerce.

Illegality On Minors

In Oregon, there aren’t laws specifically restricting minors from carrying knives.

But just like a lot of other US states, dangerous knives such as switchblades are illegal to give to a minor, whether it’s for selling, trading, or even possessing.

But as for any other knife, it’s legal to open or concealed carry as minors in public.

Illegality About Knife Length

If you’re wondering the question, “what size knife is legal to carry in Oregon” there are no laws regarding the legal length of the knife.

So you won’t have to worry about the size of the knife, but rather the type of knife and whether it’s concealed or not.

So whether it’s a small 4-inch pocket knife or a huge 12-inch butcher’s knife, you can carry it legally.

Local Government Illegalities

Although there is no preemption statewide in Oregon, and local governments can modify the knife laws or make some of their own, that doesn’t happen in any local government of Oregon.

Punishments After Illegally Carrying Knives

The penalties for carrying a knife illegally in Oregon are much more serious than in a lot of other states.

If you possess a firearm or dangerous weapons such as knives of any type in public buildings, courts, schools, or government buildings, it’s instantly a Class C felony.

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You can get a fine as high as $125,000 and imprisonment for up to 5 years.

Other than that, carrying prohibited knives, such as automatic knives, dirks, daggers, etc., concealed will be a Class B felony.

This will come with a fine of up to $2,500 and a prison sentence of up to 6 months.

Oregon Knife Law Exceptions

As per 166.260, the exceptions in Oregon and their knife laws apply to a few particular groups of people. They’re not restricted from carrying knives in schools, courts, school buildings, or any other place, regardless of how it’s carried.

The list includes:

  • A parole or probation officer
  • Verified federal officers
  • Law enforcement officers
  • Anyone working in the military
  • People working to fight crime, such as police officers or assistants of police officers
  • Anyone in the safety department, such as firefighters
  • Guards of prisons, asylums, and jails
  • Wardens or superintendents on duty
  • Any legally verified guard
  • Licensed fishermen


Now, we hope your confusion about the Oregon knife laws is gone. There aren’t laws about knife length or illegality for minors, but you can’t carry any type of knife in public or government buildings such as schools and courts.

You can’t conceal carry the ones considered dangerous weapons like automatic knives, switchblades, assisted automatic knives, balisongs, dirks, ice picks, and daggers.

Besides, some other tools like slungshots, metal or brass knuckles, and blackjack are also prohibited to carry concealed.

But other than that, there’s not much else to think about when carrying a knife in Oregon. You can carry any type of knife out in the open legally too.

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