Michigan Knife Laws

Table of Contents

Michigan Knife Laws are a system of laws that regulate the buying, possessing, and carrying of knives. In Michigan, blade length is not a consideration for legality. The laws are based on the blade’s location and the knife’s intended use.

Michigan Knife Laws have been in effect since 1972 and have been amended many times since then to serve as an easy guideline for people living in Michigan.

Michigan Knife Laws are the state-level legislation that prescribes the use of knives. It is important to know these laws as it could be a matter of life and death.

Knife laws in Michigan are interpreted in different ways by various jurisdictions. These laws are often vague and the penalties include fines, prison time, or both.

Knife Restrictions and Penalties

The law states that an individual cannot purchase or carry a knife with a blade longer than four inches unless it is:

  • Unrestricted by law
  • For lawful hunting and fishing purposes
  • Designed for kitchen use and is not intended for general utility use
  • A folding pocketknife that is not prohibited by Section 223C of this Act.

Michigan law prohibits the sale, purchase, carrying, transportation, or possession of any knife or a double-edged non-folding stabbing instrument with a blade of at least three inches in length. That seems simple enough until you get to the definition of “carry.”

The Michigan knife laws prohibit the carrying of any knife on your person that has a blade that is over three inches long. A pocket knife or hunting knife has a blade that is over 3″ long when it is open or closed. So if your pocket knife or hunting knives are open and you put them in your pocket when not actively using them, they will be considered to be “on your person.”

Knife restrictions and penalties in Michigan are determined by the type of knife, the circumstances, intent and date of conviction. People convicted under this provision face a $200 fine or up to 93 days in prison or both for their first offense.

The Michigan Knife Laws are changing, with three major changes in effect. First, if you are caught carrying a knife with an automatic blade, you will face significant penalties including fines and prison time. Second, if you are found to be carrying a knife with concealed intent, you will also face significant penalties including fines and prison time. Third, if you are found to be throwing or projecting any item with the intention of doing harm or killing someone at any time it will be considered unlawful use of a weapon by inducement which carries very severe penalties. This could be punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.

Michigan Knife Laws bestow the following restrictions:

  • If you are over 18 years old you can carry a knife up to 5 inches long concealed on your person without breaking the law
  • It is legal for an individual living in his or her own home to possess a “stiletto” knife or any other type of knife for protection purposes without breaking the law

A person may have their knife confiscated if they are violating any of the restrictions listed below:

  • Trying to enter a prohibited area, such as a school
  • Involved in an altercation or fighting
  • Committing crimes
  • Carrying an open container of alcohol on their person


Michigan state law prohibits people from carrying or possessing a number of different types of knives. These include automatic, electric and non-electric knives. Lawmakers also prohibit people from possessing any type of blade if they intend to use it to harm others.


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