New Hampshire Knife Laws

Table of Contents


The New Hampshire Act regulates the sale, manufacture, and possession of knives. Knife laws in New Hampshire are very straightforward. Under the law, you are not prohibited from possessing any type of knife.

No person shall carry any dangerous weapon on school grounds or on any school bus, unless the person has written authorization from the school principal or has written authorization from a teacher who possesses a license to carry firearms under RSA 159:6.

Currently under Chapter 637-A:1-a knife is defined as any instrument that has a cutting edge or blade that is fitted to the end of a handle.

Under Chapter 637-A:2 anyone who does not have a valid license to carry concealed firearms will be required to have their knives in plain sight when in public.

What is the Difference between a Switchblade and an Automatic Knife?

Automatic knives are a type of blade that can be opened with just one hand. The blade will open automatically when the user pushes a button, tab, or lever on the knife’s handle. Switchblades are also known as automatic knives because they have the same features when it comes to opening them with just one hand.

The switchblade is a type of knife that has a spring-operated blade and it opens automatically by pressing a button on its handle, which is called a “switch”. This is why these knives are also called automatic knives.

Switchblades and automatic knives both have blades that open automatically but there are differences between them seen in their components and design aspects. Automatic knives usually have blades made from metal while switchblades often have blades made from stainless steel or carbon steel

Switchblades first appeared in the 1950s. They were legal to own but illegal to carry or purchase in many locations. In 1958, California, Massachusetts, and New York City all banned them from being carried. The federal Switchblade Knife Act of 1958 made it illegal for people to carry switchblades across state lines as well as importing them from overseas.

In 2016, the US Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on switchblades as unconstitutional because it was not found to have any “historical tradition” that would justify its ban on switchblades that have a “reasonable relation” to the public interest.

Switchblades have been banned because they can be easily hidden inside jackets or other garments so police cannot detect them when they search for weapons.

Switchblades are illegal in many countries because they conceal the sharp edge of the blade by folding it out of sight. Automatic knives are legal to own in the Untied States because their blades are fixed and not foldable into the handle like switchblades do. Switchblades have been outlawed because they can be concealed inside clothing making it hard for police


There are different types of knives that are illegal to own, carry, or transport in the state. Some of these include gravity knives, switchblades, daggers with blades four inches or longer, metal knuckles, throwing stars and ballistic knives.

The New Hampshire Knife Laws serve as a guide for understanding what is legal for people in this state to have and/or do with regards to knives. It is important to go over these laws before making any decisions on what type of knife someone can purchase or carry in this state. Carrying a knife without a professional purpose is prohibited by law.


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