In Delaware, as in many states, the laws regarding the possession and carrying of knives are clearly outlined to promote safety and prevent criminal activity. Understanding these laws is crucial for residents and visitors who wish to comply with legal regulations regarding the ownership and carrying of various types of knives in the state. This guide will delineate the specifics of knife laws in Delaware, including the types of legal and illegal knives, carrying laws, restricted locations, and exceptions for law enforcement or military personnel.
Types of Knives
In Delaware, individuals are generally allowed to own and possess various types of knives including but not limited to:
- Pocket knives
- Folding knives
- Utility knives
Delaware has specific prohibitions against the possession, sale, or transfer of certain types of knives which are considered dangerous or that can be easily concealed, these include:
- Gravity knives
- Knives having a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring, or other device in the handle of the knife.
Open carry of legal knives is generally permitted in Delaware for individuals who are not prohibited due to a criminal record or other disqualifying factors. It is advised to carry knives in a manner that does not indicate an intention to use the knife as a weapon.
The concealed carry of any knife (except for a pocket knife having a blade less than three inches in length) without a permit or recognized exemption is considered a crime in Delaware.
Certain locations in Delaware have restrictions on carrying knives, these include:
- Schools and educational institutions
- Government buildings
- Correctional facilities
- Private properties where knives are prohibited
Law Enforcement or Military Exceptions
Law enforcement officers, members of the armed forces, and other government agencies while acting in the course of their official duties are exempted from many of the prohibitions and restrictions on carrying knives that apply to the general public.
Consequences of Law Violation
Violation of knife laws in Delaware can result in serious consequences, including:
- Criminal charges ranging from misdemeanors to felonies depending on the severity of the violation.
- Fines and penalties, which can be substantial.
- Potential imprisonment depending on the nature of the violation.
- Seizure of the illegal knife.
Adhering to the knife laws in Delaware is imperative for ensuring the safety and legal compliance of individuals in the state. Understanding the distinction between legal and illegal knives, complying with carrying laws, and respecting restricted locations are important aspects of abiding by the law. Special allowances are provided for law enforcement and military personnel, recognizing the necessities of their official duties.
Delaware Code Title 11. Crimes and Criminal Procedure § 1442.
Delaware Code Title 11. Crimes and Criminal Procedure § 1446.
The Official Website of the Delaware Judiciary
Delaware State Police Website