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Tennessee knife laws

Tennessee knife laws
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In the state of Tennessee, knife laws are established to govern the possession, carrying, and use of various types of knives and bladed instruments. Understanding these laws is crucial for residents and visitors to ensure they are in compliance, avoiding potential legal complications. The regulations address the type of knives that can be owned, carried openly or concealed, and delineate restricted locations where possessing a knife is prohibited. Exceptions exist for members of law enforcement and the military. Violating these laws can lead to various consequences.

Types of Knives

Legal Knives

In Tennessee, individuals are generally allowed to own and possess a wide variety of knives. These may include but are not limited to:

Illegal Knives

There were no specific types of knives that were completely banned for possession in Tennessee.

Carrying Laws

Open Carry

Open carrying of knives is generally permissible in Tennessee. There are no specific statutes that expressly forbid the open carry of knives, irrespective of the blade length. However, the manner in which a knife is carried and used can potentially lead to criminal charges, such as if used in a threatening or dangerous manner.

Concealed Carry

Concealed carry laws are more nuanced. Tennessee law does not explicitly prohibit the concealed carry of knives, including those with blades longer than 4 inches. However, carrying a knife with the intent to use it as a weapon against another person could result in criminal charges.

Restricted Locations

Even though knife possession and carry are relatively permissive, there are specific locations where knives are restricted, which typically include:

  1. Schools and educational institutions
  2. Government buildings
  3. Airports and secured areas
  4. Private properties where knives are prohibited by the owner

It is advisable to check with local municipalities for any additional restrictions on carrying knives in certain locations.

Law Enforcement or Military Exceptions

Law enforcement officers and members of the military are often exempt from the general restrictions on carrying knives. They are generally allowed to carry knives both openly and concealed while in the performance of their official duties or while in uniform.

Consequences of Law Violation

Violating knife laws in Tennessee can result in various consequences, depending on the severity and nature of the violation. These might include:

  1. Fines
  2. Community service
  3. Probation
  4. Imprisonment

Severe violations, such as using a knife in the commission of a crime, can result in more substantial penalties.


In Tennessee, the knife laws are relatively liberal, allowing for the possession and carry of most types of knives. However, there are still crucial aspects to consider, including restrictions on where knives can be carried and the potential for criminal charges if a knife is used in a threatening or harmful manner. It is always advisable for individuals to remain informed about the most current laws and to exercise caution and responsibility when carrying a knife.


Tennessee Code

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