In the United States, knife laws can vary considerably from state to state, and sometimes even between different municipalities within a state. In North Dakota, the state legislature has set specific laws governing the ownership, possession, and carrying of knives.
Types of Knives
In North Dakota, individuals are generally permitted to own and possess a variety of knives. The following types of knives are legal to own and possess in the state:
- Pocket Knives – Small folding knives that are commonly used for everyday tasks.
- Utility Knives – Knives designed for general utility and tasks such as cutting rope or cardboard.
- Hunting Knives – Fixed blade knives primarily designed for hunting purposes.
- Collectible Knives – Knives that are primarily valued as collectibles and not intended for use as weapons.
As of the last update, North Dakota does not have specific statutes that categorically outlaw any particular types of knives based on their characteristics or blade lengths. However, it is illegal to carry a knife with an intent to use it as a weapon against another person, except for a pocketknife with a blade of four inches or less.
Open carry of knives is generally permitted in North Dakota. However, individuals must not carry a knife with the intention of using it as a weapon against another person (with the exception noted in the “illegal knives” section).
Concealed carry of knives is somewhat regulated in North Dakota. According to North Dakota law, it is considered a Class A misdemeanor to carry a concealed knife with a blade over 5 inches with the intention of using it as a weapon, except a folding pocketknife with a blade of 4 inches or less.
Certain locations are restricted for carrying knives in North Dakota. These typically include:
- Schools – Knives are generally prohibited on school grounds, including K-12 schools and universities.
- Government Buildings – Knives are typically not allowed in buildings that house government offices or agencies.
- Private Property – Individual property owners may prohibit the possession of knives on their property.
It is recommended to check specific local ordinances for more detailed information regarding restricted locations.
Law Enforcement or Military Exceptions
Members of the law enforcement or military are generally exempted from some of the restrictions applied to civilians. This includes carrying knives that might be considered as weapons, both openly and concealed, as a part of their official duties.
Consequences of Law Violation
Violation of knife laws in North Dakota can result in criminal charges. Carrying a concealed weapon illegally is generally considered a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in fines and/or imprisonment. The exact consequences may vary depending on the specifics of the case.
In North Dakota, the knife laws are relatively permissive, allowing for the ownership and open carry of most types of knives. However, there are restrictions on carrying knives concealed and in certain locations. Understanding and complying with these laws is essential for residents and visitors alike.
North Dakota Century Code (NDCC)
North Dakota State Legislature Website