North Dakota Knife Laws

Table of Contents


North Dakota Knife Law is a set of laws involving the possession, sale, use, and transport of knives. Knives can be used as a tool and they also need to be treated as such. The law says that knives cannot be carried or possessed in public without a valid North Dakota Concealed Weapon Permit.

North Dakota law defines a knife as any instrument that has a cutting edge, which is capable of inflicting severe cuts, and includes ice picks. Knives are not considered unusual weapons.

Knives are blades that are made for cutting or slashing. The ones that are considered to be deadly weapons are handguns, machine guns, shotguns, rifles, and any other type of firearm. A knife has a blade that is more than three inches in length. Basically it means that you can’t have a knife if it has an blade length less than three inches or more than six inches.

Buying, Selling, and Transporting Knives

Knife ownership in North Dakota is not illegal. The following restrictions are imposed on the sale, purchase, and transportation of knives in the state.

  • Knife blades cannot exceed 12 inches.
  • You are not allowed to carry concealed blades over 6 inches long.
  • Knife owners are required to have a valid ND Driver’s License or ID card.
  • You can’t buy knives at any vending machine or gas station in ND.
  • There is no restriction on purchasing knives through mail order, internet, or telephone orders within the state.

The law in North Dakota is not ambiguous when it comes to knives. You can carry knives of any length openly or concealed. You must have a permit if you carry them over 3 inches long, but most people won’t need this.

North Dakota has some surprisingly lax knife laws, for example, there is no blade length limit for carrying open or concealed in North Dakota with the exception of Bowie-type knives with blades longer than 3 inches; however, there are many restrictions on how you can transport them.

Unlawful Carrying or Displaying Weapons is a Class B Misdemeanor, with a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and/or $1,000 fine. For this crime, it does not matter whether the knife was conceal or unconcealed.

It is illegal to carry any type of knife with a blade 4″ long or longer onto school property, without permission from the district’s school board.

It is illegal to carry any type of switchblade onto school property without permission from the district’s school board.

What You Can Carry With You

The state of North Dakota Knife law is a very controversial topic. If you live in North Dakota, then you will be glad to know that the state does not prohibit people from carrying knives.

There are not any restrictions on blade length, so long as it is under 4″.

It is legal to conceal carry knives that are less than 3″ long, but they must be hidden from view.

Misdemeanor charges for carrying a concealed weapon with a blade shorter than 3″ can result in up to 30 days incarceration and/or up to $500 fine.

It is illegal to carry knives with blades longer than 4″ unless you have a valid hunting license. This law only applies to hunting knives, not all types of knives.

The only knives that North Dakotans are allowed to carry on their person are folding knives with blades less than four inches in length.

That means a North Dakotan can still carry a knife unless it is a switchblade, dirk, stiletto, ballistic knife, or any knife with a blade longer than four inches.


In North Dakota, it is illegal for any individual to conceal or carry a dirk, dagger, or other dangerous weapon. In some instances people may be deemed exempt from this law if they have a license to carry the weapon. The law does not mention specifically what constitutes a dangerous weapon but it can be interpreted to include knives.


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