North Carolina Knife Laws

Table of Contents

Introduction: North Carolina Knife Laws

Knife laws in North Carolina and other states prohibit and regulate the possession, carrying, and use of knives.

What is considered a knife? The term ‘knife’ is defined as any bladed hand-held device that can be used to cut or stab someone. This includes items such as box cutters, kitchen knives, hunting knives, and penknives.

Anything that could produce an injury if used unlawfully is considered a weapon under North Carolina law and any weapon carries with it the potential for serious consequences.

In the state of North Carolina, it is illegal to carry a concealed knife unless you have a valid hunting or fishing license.

No person shall wear or carry concealed about his person any “deadly weapon” which is not lawfully possessed by him.

Knife offenses are typically treated as a felony offense, which means that you can be sentenced to prison time for carrying a knife.

The penalties for possession of a knife vary according to the circumstances, including whether or not the person has any previous criminal history.

What are the Laws Regarding Concealed Carry of a Knife in North Carolina?

The laws are generally relaxed in North Carolina, but the state still maintains specific laws pertaining to concealed carry of knives.

North Carolina law states that it is illegal for anyone to carry a concealed knife. This includes both blades and guns. The only exception is when you are in your own house, car, or place of business.

Any person who carries concealed about his or her person any bowie knife, dirk knife, butcher knife, switchblade knife, metallic knuckles, blackjack or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm concealed about his or her person is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

What is Legal to Carry in Public Under North Carolina Knife Laws?

As of July 1st, 2017, North Carolina repealed its ban on switchblades and stilettos.

North Carolina law prohibits any person from manufacturing, selling or delivering any weapon that has a blade that is released by centrifugal force and/or gravity – such as a switchblade or stiletto. The ban does not apply to any person who manufactures these weapons for sale to the U.S. government or military or law enforcement personnel exclusively for use by such organizations.

Knives are legal to carry in public as long as they meet the following rules:

  • The knife must be open and carried openly; the blade must not be concealed.
  • The blade must not exceed 4 inches in length and may not be a dagger, dirk, or other stabbing instrument.
  • The knife cannot be carried with the intent to use it unlawfully against another person.
  • The knife cannot be carried for any unlawful purpose.
  • Pocketknives, hunting knives, fishing knives, kitchen knives and other such knives are allowed if they do not exceed 4 inches in length or can’t be used as a dagger, dirk or other stabbing instrument.


Knives are generally legal in North Carolina, but there are many restrictions on their use. As for what knives are considered prohibited, it is best to discuss with your employer or attorney.


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