Pennsylvania Knife Laws

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Do We Need Knife Laws?

There are many reasons why we need knife laws. One is that there are many types of knives that can be used as weapons. Another is that people do not always know what the current knife law requirements are in their area, and they might accidentally break a law by carrying a weapon they didn’t know was illegal.

Knife laws are necessary because it provides safety to people who are using knives for different purposes. Knives are used in all kinds of activities, from hunting to cooking.

Knife laws are among the many different types of laws which are intended to regulate the sale, possession, and use of knives. Knife laws are often regulated by state law. There are currently no federal knife laws in place.

Penalties for Illegal Carrying of Knives or Other Deadly Weapon

The penalties for carrying a knife or other deadly weapon depend on the jurisdiction. In Pennsylvania, if you are found carrying a knife in public, you will receive a summary offense that carries up to 30 days in jail and up to $300 in fines.

The penalty for carrying a knife illegally depends on whether it is used or not. If it is not used, then the person could get up to 1 year in jail and/or $2,500 in fines. But if someone uses their knife illegally and they commit one of these crimes: assault, robbery, theft, murder–they could get up to 20 years in prison and/or $25000 in fines.

It is considered a felony to carry a knife without the intent to use it as an instrument for violence.

The penalties for breaking this law are different depending on the gravity of the violation or crime. A first time offense for carrying a knife without intent to commit violence is punishable by up to one year in prison and at least $1,000 in fines. A second offense carries up to two years in prison and at least $2,500 in fines.

Knife Length Restrictions in PA

Every state has their own set of laws for knives and Pennsylvania is no exception. The laws in Pennsylvania are similar to most other states; there are some minor differences, but they all follow the same general guidelines.

Pennsylvania law prohibits the possession of any knife with a blade more than two inches in length. There are exceptions to this, such as hunting knives or kitchen knives, but these are only valid if the blade length is less than two inches. This does not include switchblades or other types of automatic knives that have blades that open automatically when pressure is applied to a button on the handle

For all intents and purposes, this means that if you have your firearms license in Pennsylvania and want to carry a blade beyond the length of 3 inches (7.62 centimeters) in your pocket or on your person, you need to apply for an additional permit.

Knives with blades longer than 4 inches are considered an offensive weapon and can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances of possession.

What is Considered Right-to-Carry?

A knife is considered to be ‘open carry’ if it can be carried on your person, e.g. on your belt, in the pocket of your trousers, or on your ankle. A knife is considered to be ‘concealed carry’ if it cannot be seen by someone standing close by.

Right-to-carry laws are determined by state law and most states permit concealed carrying of knives so long as they are not banned as weapons under state law or city ordinance.

You can bring a pocket knife, kitchen knife, or hunting knife on your person. However, there are restrictions on the type of knives that are considered to be illegal weapons and these include:

  • A dagger
  • A dirk
  • A stiletto

For the kind of knives that are carried with us to protect oneself, there is a knife law that forbids one to carry them in public places except for when one is about to commit a crime or if they’re defending themselves against an attacker.


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