Based on the fundamentals of federalism, the United States only has one federal law for knives, which is the Switchblade Knife Act of 1958 amended in 2008. This law is applicable to those traveling between states as well as internationally. It applies if you are traveling to another state, living in a federal district, or are stepping into a federal area such as military camp.
Each U.S state has knife laws but a few of them have more advanced laws than others. Moreover, the local municipals keep enforcing their own laws for knife. For instance, if you live in Montgomery, Alabama, you need to adhere to the knife laws of both Alabama and Montgomery. In case you travel to Birmingham, Alabama (1 hour 20 minutes away), you also need to abide by the knife laws of Birmingham. While traveling, you need to adhere to the knife laws of all the municipals falling in between the two cities.
A Brief Overview of Knife Laws
In the U.S.A, the knife laws are usually split into two categories: Carry and Ownership laws. Carry laws prohibit a person from carrying a few open or concealed knives. For instance, a few states prohibit covering up a knife of more than a certain length, while its open carry is considered legal. These banned knifes are those that are banned from carrying are usually those that have no utility purposes but are only used as weapons.
On the other hand, ownership laws prohibit owning a few types of knives that are believed to be dangerous. These knives are what unlawful individuals carry. In some states, the law even prohibits the use of a knife for a crime or even its aggravated show off. For instance, robbery with knife is worse than only robbery without it and is liable for double punishment.
Knives That You Can Take
If you really do not want to come in a federal trap, consider carrying a knife that is legal, usually everywhere. Therefore, consider investing in a knife that is only for utility use, not for any dangerous use such as Bowie knife. Keeping this in mind, a majority of leatherman’s, multi-tool, and pocketknives should be your target for purchase. Moreover, ensure that the length of blade is at most up to 3 inches or below it.
Because a lock knife is dissimilar to a folding pocket knife, it is prohibited to carry it around regardless of the blade length, until there is no critical reason. A lock knife has a spring that holds the closed blade as well as a locking mechanism to lock the blade once extended. While such a knife is not offensive, having it in a public place without a genuine purpose is an offence.
Similarly, having a multi-tool with a banned blade or pointed stuff in a public place is also an offence, even if there are other parts of the tool, which are truly useful. Similarly, you are disallowed to carry any sharp object including knives in planes, courts, schools, and any edifice where blades are forbidden. There are some exceptions of course, some pocket knives are allowed on planes.