Maryland Knife Laws

Table of Contents

Maryland has a very strict knife law.

In Maryland, it is illegal to wear or possess in public any instrument that lacks a handle and that has a blade of three inches or more in length.

It is lawful for an individual who possesses a knife which has been classified as an illegal weapon, as defined by § 4-303(b) of the Criminal Law Article, may carry such knife or have it in his possession within the confines of his own

The law states that you can carry a knife if it is not concealed or on your person without any intention of harming anyone. It is unlawful to carry a switch blade knife, dagger, dirk, or stiletto within the state of Maryland.

Maryland Knife Laws for EDC, Hunting and Self-Defense

Everyday carry (EDC) is a collection of useful items that are consistently carried on person every day. The main reasons for having EDC are utility and preparedness; to help individuals overcome simple everyday problems, including possible emergency situations.

With the recent increase in crime rates, many people are looking for ways to protect themselves. One of the most effective ways to do this is with a knife.

Maryland Knife laws are very strict, and if broken it could lead to serious consequences. These laws are designed to protect you and others from getting hurt.

The legal age for owning a knife in Maryland is 18 years old. You also cannot carry any dangerous weapon on your person or in your vehicle unless it is locked or secure within arm’s reach, with the exception of knives that are carried for hunting purposes or camping purposes only.

Maryland is a state that does not allow for open carry of knives, meaning that you cannot have a knife on your person in public unless it is “fully sheathed.”

Maryland Knife Laws and Penalties

Carrying a knife is not a crime in Maryland without the intent to harm. In Maryland, it is illegal to carry a knife in public with the intent to use it against someone. If you are caught, you could be charged with a misdemeanor and face a maximum of 1 year in jail and/or a $1000 fine.

The most common offense for carrying a knife is carrying a dangerous or deadly weapon with intent to assault another person (MD Code Ann. § 4-101). However, if the person carries the dangerous or deadly weapon openly but does not have an intention to assault another person they can be charged with carrying a switchblade (MD Code Ann. § 4-105).

A person may not, on the grounds of or within a public school building or on school property, possess on his or her person any dirk, dagger, dangerous knife, razor blade, stiletto, switchblade knife, butterfly knife or knuckle knife. The only exceptions are if the person has written permission from the head of campus security to carry a dangerous weapon for self-defense. Individuals found guilty of violating this law will face fines up to $500 and possible incarceration.

Carrying a switchblade in Maryland is illegal and will result in a $500 fine and up to one year in prison. It is legal to carry a switchblade in Maryland as long as it has a blade length of less than three inches.

Violators face imprisonment of up to one year and/or fines up to $500 for their first offense. The penalty for subsequent offenses increases with each subsequent conviction, going up to a maximum of 10 years in prison and/or $2,500 in fines.

The following types of knives are allowed to be carried without penalty:

  • knives with blades less than 4 inches long
  • pocket knives that do not lock
  • knives used for fishing, hunting, or other sporting purposes
  • knives used for work purposes


Maryland Knife Laws are intended to protect people from unsafe knives, but some may be confusing to the average person.

It’s important to know where you are in accordance with the law when it comes to knives, because if you are caught with a weapon that is not legal in your state, you could face serious consequences.


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