Delaware Knife Laws

Table of Contents

The Criminal Code of Delaware prohibits the possession, manufacture, sale, or purchase of certain knives. This includes switchblades (long knives with a blade that opens automatically by pressing a button), ballistic knives (knives with blades that can be fired from the handle), daggers (long slender double-edged blade used in stabbing), stilettos (long slender blade with one sharp edge and one dull edge used in stabbing), machetes (large heavy blade with a long edge on the outside and a sharp edge on the inside) and any knife that is made of metal.

Besides the usual limitations on age and state law, the law also prohibits knives that are designed for utility. General household tasks such as opening a package or cutting a piece of string are considered as utility knives, which is why they are prohibited under this law.

There is a limit to how many knives you can have before going over the legal limit. For example, you are allowed to have 10 long blades before going over your limit.

Delaware’s knife laws are strict, but also reasonable.

Knives that are legal in Delaware can be carried openly or concealed on your person as long as they do not violate the length restrictions. If you conceal your weapon on your person you must have a valid concealed carry permit to do so.

Knife Laws by Category

Knives are among the most popular and versatile tools in the kitchen, and there are many different types of knives. Regulations for carrying knives vary by category.

In Delaware there are three different categories that the law recognizes: deadly weapons, offensive weapons, and tools. In some states knives can fall into all three categories depending on the blade length and other factors.

It is important to note that there are different laws for each category of knife so it is possible that a given category of knife could be considered legal in one area but illegal in another.

Dangerous Weapons Offenses Involving Knives

For example, in Delaware, a person is guilty of possession of a deadly weapon if the person knowingly has in their possession or under their control:

(1) any dirk, dagger, billy, dangerous knife other than a switchblade knife, straight-edged razor or safety razor;

(2) nunchaku sticks;

(3) shuriken;

(4) throwing stars.

There are different charges for knives depending on if they are considered deadly weapons, otherwise known as “dangerous weapons”. If an individual is carrying a dangerous weapon upon or about their person and they are not authorized to do so, then they will be charged with carrying a deadly weapon.

The severity of a knife crime can vary depending on the circumstances. For example, a person who is brandishing a knife and threatening to harm others will likely face more severe consequences than someone who accidentally carries a pocketknife in their bag and never uses it to threaten anyone.


In Delaware, the weapon-related statutes criminalize carrying any dangerous or deadly weapon or causes injury to another person with that weapon. The statutes also prohibit any person from (1) possessing, selling, giving, lending, buying, receiving or transferring any deadly weapon; (2) possessing at one’s place of residence an unregistered firearm; (3) knowingly furnishing false information when applying for a firearm license; or (4) willfully damaging or destroying any register firearm.


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