Knives have always been a part of life and culture. This is true for many different cultures and countries, including Indiana. It is not surprising then that there are different laws about what type of knives people can carry, as well as how old you need to be to purchase one.
As the prevalence of knives has increased in society, so have the laws regulating it. Many people are under the false impression that Indiana’s knife laws are vague or complicated, but the truth is that the state has relatively simple knife regulations.
The History of the Indiana Knife Laws
Knives became a prohibited item in Indiana during the 1950s after fears arose from gang violence. However, those who were found carrying knives by those not authorized to do so were subject to harsh punishment such as lengthy prison sentences or hefty fines.
The history of Indiana’s knife law dates back to 1897 when it was enacted as a measure to control blacksmiths. Over time, more restrictions were added until finally in 1951, another law was passed which prohibited carrying knives with blades longer than five inches.
The Knife Law had been amended twice before its repeal by the General Assembly in 2018. First in 1973 and then again in 1984 when the state legislature revised it.
Illegal Knives in Indiana
The law defines “illegal knives” as any knife with a blade that is more than three inches long, has a fixed blade or a blade that can be quickly deployed.
In Indiana, there are only two knives that are illegal because they can be considered as dangerous weapons or prohibited weapons. These two types of knives include the dirk knife and any knife with a blade that is over three inches long.
The following items are illegal knives in Indiana:
- Butterfly knife
- Ballistic knife
- Sword cane
Types of Knives that Come with Penalties
Knives that are considered as legal include knives used for cooking according to the law, hunting knives, and pocket knives.
Knives that come with penalties are generally the type of knives carried by criminals like murders and robbers. The need for these types of knives is higher than any other types due to their violence-prone nature.
It’s important to be aware of which type you are handling so you can avoid any penalties.
Knives come in many shapes and sizes, but there are three main categories: folding, fixed blade knives, and concealed knives.
Folding knives often come with a penalty because they can easily fold into the knife’s handle, making it difficult to see if the knife is open or closed.
Fixed Blade knives
Fixed Blade knives are illegal in some places because they cannot fold up into their handle – making it easy to see if the knife is open or closed.
Concealed knives are illegal in most places because they are undetectable by metal detectors – rendering them essentially invisible to security personnel during an inspection.
The most common type of knives that comes with penalties is the switch blade knife. It is illegal to be in possession of this type of knife without a valid reason and it can lead to imprisonment or hefty fines if found guilty in court. There are also other types such as the butterfly knife and the balisong which fall under this category due to similar actions when they’re used offensively.