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North Carolina knife laws

North Carolina knife laws
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In North Carolina, knife laws are established to regulate the possession, carrying, and use of various types of knives. The laws are designed to promote safety and prevent crime while preserving the rights of individuals to own knives for lawful purposes such as hunting, fishing, or as a tool for work. This document delineates the specific categories of knives that are permissible and restricted, as well as detailing carry laws, restricted locations, exemptions, and the potential consequences of violating these laws in North Carolina.

Types of Knives

Legal Knives

In North Carolina, individuals are generally permitted to own and possess a wide variety of knives. These include, but are not limited to:

Illegal Knives

As of the last update, there are no specific types of knives that are completely banned or classified as illegal for ownership in North Carolina. However, there may be restrictions on carrying certain types of knives concealed or bringing them into certain locations.

Carrying Laws

Open Carry

Open carry of knives is generally legal in North Carolina. Individuals are allowed to carry most types of knives openly without specific restrictions. However, it is advised to exercise caution and awareness of the surrounding circumstances when carrying knives openly, especially larger, more dangerous types of knives.

Concealed Carry

Concealed carry laws are a bit more stringent in North Carolina. Concealing any “deadly weapon”, which can include certain types of knives, particularly those viewed as being intended for use as a weapon rather than a tool, could potentially be subject to legal penalties. It is generally considered illegal to carry concealed, any bowie knife, dirk, dagger, or any sharp-pointed or edged instrument with the intention to use it as a weapon.

Restricted Locations

In North Carolina, carrying knives are restricted in certain locations, including:

  1. Schools and educational property
  2. State buildings and properties
  3. Any premises where carrying weapons are prohibited by the owner or by law

Law Enforcement or Military Exceptions

Law enforcement officers, members of the military, and other government officials may be exempt from certain restrictions pertaining to the carry and possession of knives, especially while in the line of duty or when required as a part of their official equipment.

Consequences of Law Violation

Violation of knife laws in North Carolina can have serious consequences. If found carrying a concealed weapon unlawfully, individuals might face charges that range from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Penalties might include fines, imprisonment, or both. Additionally, the weapon in question will likely be confiscated.


In North Carolina, while the ownership and open carry of many types of knives are generally permitted, it is important to remain cognizant of the restrictions regarding concealed carry and carrying in restricted locations. Compliance with these laws will help to prevent potential legal complications and ensure the safety and well-being of both the individual and the community.


North Carolina General Statutes

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