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Iowa knife laws

Iowa knife laws
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Knife laws in the state of Iowa govern the types of knives that can be owned and carried by individuals in various settings. These laws specify the different kinds of knives that are permissible and those that are prohibited, the regulations surrounding their carriage (open or concealed), locations where carrying knives is restricted, as well as exceptions for law enforcement and the military. Violating these laws can result in various consequences.

Types of Knives

Legal Knives

In Iowa, individuals are generally permitted to own and possess a wide variety of knives, including but not limited to:

Illegal Knives

As of my last update, Iowa law doesn’t specifically prohibit the possession of any type of knife based on blade length or type. However, it’s essential to refer to current legislation to verify if any changes have occurred regarding the legality of specific kinds of knives.

Carrying Laws

Open Carry

Open carry of knives is generally permitted in Iowa. Individuals can openly carry most types of knives without significant restrictions, as long as the intention is not to use the knife unlawfully against another person.

Concealed Carry

Concealed carry of a knife in Iowa can potentially be subject to restrictions, particularly if the knife is considered a dangerous weapon, which includes any instrument or device designed primarily for use in inflicting death or injury upon a human being or animal. Whether a knife qualifies as a “dangerous weapon” may depend on its characteristics and the manner in which it is carried.

Restricted Locations

Carrying knives, irrespective of the type, is generally prohibited in certain locations in Iowa, including:

  1. Schools and school grounds
  2. Government buildings
  3. Courthouses
  4. Prisons and jails
  5. Private properties where weapons are explicitly prohibited

Law Enforcement or Military Exceptions

Law enforcement officers and members of the military are typically exempt from the restrictions imposed on the general public concerning the possession and carrying of knives. They are permitted to carry knives and other weapons as required for the performance of their official duties.

Consequences of Law Violation

Violating knife laws in Iowa can result in criminal charges, which might range from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on the nature of the violation. Penalties can include fines, imprisonment, or both. Additionally, individuals found in violation of these laws may face confiscation of the weapon.


While Iowa permits the ownership and open carry of most types of knives, it is essential to remain informed about potential restrictions, particularly concerning concealed carry and restricted locations. Individuals should consult current state statutes or a legal expert to get the most up-to-date information on Iowa knife laws.


Iowa Code Section 724 – Weapons

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