There is a common myth about the legislative status of butterfly knives. The general perception is that butterfly knives are illegal, not true at all. Different states have own law regarding balisongs, or butterfly knives. Where are butterfly knives illegal, and why?
Let’s discover together!
Why Butterfly Knives or Balisongs are Illegal?
Let’s not brag about the structural status of balisongs. All of us know how the concealed blade works and the functionality of double handles. These features have made balisongs knives the most lightweight weapons for crimes.
Any knife can be a dangerous weapon if it is used to threaten someone. Butterfly knives are foldable, portable, and multipurpose. Understandably, it can be used as a potentially deadly weapon to threaten or harm someone due to its lethal specification.
These knives are banned in different regions of the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Germany, France, and Canada.
Where are Butterfly Knives Illegal?
Now, we will explore the countries where butterfly knives or balisongs are illegal in public places.
- United Kingdom: UK government classified balisongs as lethal & offensive weapons in 1989. You can own butterfly knives in the UK but carrying them in public places is a serious crime. Moreover, you can not lend, hire, import, or sell any out-the-front knife.
- Germany: Before 2003, all knives were legal to bring in any public place. But, after Erfurt Massacre, laws regarding weapons in Germany were thoroughly scrutinized. After July 2003, butterfly knives were banned from buying, selling, trading, importing, carrying, and crafting.
- Switzerland: You can not carry a balisong in public places in Switzerland. Trading, importing, lending, and bringing these knives are prohibited in Switzerland by law.
- Australia: The Australian law prohibits using any automatic knife that can be opened by gravity, button, centrifugal force, pressure, zip locks, or device. You will need a valid/lawful reason to carry or own a butterfly knife
- Philippines: The law in the Philippines is interesting. If your balisong is less than a specific size, it will be considered a utility knife. First, there are two criteria if the blade size is less than palm, and the second is can’t be opened with one hand. The balisong with these two factors will be considered as a utility knife, not a weapon.
- Canada: Like other western countries, butterfly knives are illegal to use unless exempted before the law. Canadian law classifies these knives as gravity knives and ban to use, own, trade, import, and carry. It can be used at home as a utility knife, though.
The US States Where Butterfly knives are illegal:
State laws are considered a legislative ordinance for knives. A butterfly knife is illegal or not in a specific state depends on the state’s law and jurisdiction. Let’s check out some of the American states where balisongs are illegal to carry in public places.
Q1#.Are butterfly Knives Illegal in Ohio?
Yes, In Ohio, concealed type of out the front knife is illegal. If your butterfly knife for household use, you can undoubtedly own them but even carry them. But, concealed-type butterfly knives are strictly prohibited.
Q2#.Are butterfly Knives Illegal in Pennsylvania?
The Pennsylvanian state law on knife strict about using any sort of gravity, pen, pocket knives, device, centrifugal force knife of any kind. In this state, you cannot possess, sell, carry any balisongs.
Q3#.Are Balisongs Illegal in California?
According to California’s law, if the balisong blade’s size is more than 2 inches long, it’s illegal to carry these types of knives in public places.
Q4#.Are Butterfly Knives Illegal in Wisconsin?
Balisongs knives are legal inside your property but not outside of your property. You can use a butterfly knife for domestic purposes only inside your home in Wisconsin; it’s illegal to carry a knife in a public place.
Q5#.Is a butterfly knife Illegal to possess in the state of Nevada?
In Nevada, concealed carry of Balisongs blade less than 3.5 inches are allowed to keep, trade, and carry. It’s legal in Nevada to buy, sell, trade, or own butterfly knives.
Knife Laws in Tennessee:
Tennessee Knife law permits the legal use of balisongs knives.
Hawaii Knife Laws
According to the Hawaii knife law, selling, carrying, manufacturing, trading, and lending is a punishable crime. Violation of this law may result in 3-5 years in prison.
New York Knife Law:
In New York state law, Balisongs fall into different categories than gravity knives and switchblade knives. If you have a hunting or fishing license, you can own balisongs under these licenses.
Utah Knife Law:
In Utah, you can carry a knife if it’s concealed.
Let’s check this complete table to find out the legal information for using butterfly knives and state laws for carrying a balisong. This table is for OTF knives, and in the last column of the table, you will find out whether this information/law is applicable for Balisongs and butterfly knives as well or not.
|States||Possession legislation||Sale Law||Laws Open Carry||Acts on Concealed Carry||Are butterfly knives counted as the same thing?|
|US Federal Law||Lawful under legislative ordinance||Can be sold under state laws but can’t be imported outside the USA||Lawful, no barrier on size||Lawful||Yes|
|Alabama Knives Law||Legal under state law||Lawful||Lawful||Lawful|
|Alaska Knife & Weapon Law||Legal under state law||Lawful||Lawful||Lawful|
|Arizona State Law||Legal under state law||Lawful||Lawful||Lawful if over 21 years old|
|Arkansas Law on Knives & Blades||Legal under state law||Allowed||Allowed||Allowed|
|California Laws on Knives & Blades||Allowed if blade is less than 2″||Allowed if blade is less than 2″||Allowed if blade is less than 2″||Allowed if blade is less than 2″||Yes|
|Colorado Knives rule||Allowed||Allowed||Allowed||Allowed||No|
|Connecticut Law on Balisongs Blade Sizes||Allowed||Allowed||Allowed if blade is not more than 1.5″||Allowed if blade is not more than 1.5″||No|
|Delaware Knife & Weapon act||Illegal, regardless of usage and size of the blade||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||No|
|District of Columbia Laws of Knives & Blades||Illegal, regardless of usage and size of the blade||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||No|
|Florida Knives Law||Allowed||Allowed||Legal||Illegal (if you have gun permit than its legal)||N/A|
|Georgia Laws of Knives||Lawful||Lawful for adults (above 18 years)||Lawful if blade is not more than 5″ (any length with is Lawful with gun permit)||Lawful if blade is not more than 5″ (any length is legal with gun permit)|
|Hawaii Butterfly Knives law||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||No|
|Idaho Laws on weapons||Lawful||Lawful||Lawful||Lawful if blade is less than or equal 4″||No|
|Illinois acts on Knives||Lawful for people over 21 and have a valid FOID Card||Lawful for people over 21 and have a valid FOID Card||Lawful for people over 21 and have a valid FOID Card||Lawful for people over 21 and have a valid FOID Card||Yes|
|Indiana weapon Laws||Lawful under state law||Lawful under state law||Lawful under state law||Lawful under state law||No|
|Iowa Knives law||Completely Lawful||Lawful||Lawful||Lawful if blade is not more than 5″||No|
|Kansas Knives law||Lawful under state law||Lawful under state law||Lawful under state law||Lawful under state law||N/A|
|Kentucky Laws on knives||Allowed under state law||Allowed||Allowed||Illegal||N/A|
|Louisiana State Knives law||Allowed under state law||Allowed||Allowed||Allowed||N/A|
|Maine Knives regulations||Allowed under state law||Allowed||Allowed||Allowed||Yes|
|Maryland Pen knives Laws||Allowed under state law||Illegal||Legal||Illegal||No|
|Massachusetts Regulation on Knives||Legal under state law||Allowed||Illegal||Illegal||No|
|Michigan Law for Knife||Legal under state law||Lawful||Legal||Legal||No|
|Minnesota Knife Regulation||Illegal, regradless of useage and size of the blade||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||No|
|Mississippi Knives Law||Legal under state law||Legal regardless of size||Legal regardless of size||Completely Illegal||No|
|Missouri State law for weapons & knives||Legal under state law||Lawful||Lawful regardless of size||Illegal||Yes|
|Montana Knife law||Lawful under state law||Lawful||Lawful regardless of size||Illegal||No|
|Nebraska law for deadly knives||Lawful under state law||Lawful||Lawful regardless of size||Lawful if blade is not more than 3.5″||N/A|
|Nevada Laws for butterfly knives||Lawful under state law||Lawful||Lawful regardless of size||Lawful||No|
|New Hampshire||Lawful under state law||Lawful||Lawful regardless of size||Lawful||No|
|New Jersey Laws for Butterfly knives||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||No|
|New Mexico Knife Law||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Illegal||Yes|
|New York Laws for Balisong knives||Lawful w/ Valid Hunting and Fishing License||Lawful w/ Valid Hunting and Fishing License||Lawful w/ Valid Hunting and Fishing License||Lawful w/ Valid Hunting and Fishing License||No|
|North Carolina||Lawful under state law||Lawful under state law||Lawful||Illegal||No|
|North Dakota||Allowed under state law||Allowed||Allowed||Illegal|
|Ohio Laws for knives & Balisongs||Legal under state law||Totally Illegal||Allowed||Illegal||No|
|Oklahoma||Legal under state law||Allowed||Allowed||Illegal||No|
|Oregon Laws for Knives||Legal under state law||Legal||Allowed||Illegal||Yes|
|Pennsylvania||Illegal (ex. called Curio)||Illegal (ex. called Curio)||Illegal||Illegal||No|
|Rhode Island||Allowed, No license required||Totally Allowed||Allowed||Allowed if blade is under 3″||No|
|South Carolina Knife Laws||Allowed, No license required||Allowed, regardless of size||Allowed||Allowed||N/A|
|South Dakota||Allowed, No license required||Allowed, regardless of size||Allowed||Allowed||N/A|
|Tennessee||Allowed, No license required||Allowed, regardless of size||Allowed||Allowed||No|
|Texas||Allowed, No license required||Allowed, completely||Allowed if blade is less than 5.5″||Allowed if blade is less than 5.5″||Yes|
|Utah Knife Acts||Allowed, No license required||Allowed||Allowed||Situational, Variability||Yes|
|Vermont Knives Regulation||Allowed, No license required||Allowed if blade length is 3″||Allowed||Legal||No|
|West Virginia||Allowed for people over 18||Allowed||Allowed for people over 18||Completely Illegal||No|
|Wyoming Knife rule||Allowed||Allowed||Allowed||Situational/Varies||N/A|
Now you know, where are butterfly knives illegal and why? This knife falls under weapon control policy in many states. To know the details, you may check out the Wikipedia page.