Massachusetts Knife Laws


Massachusetts’ knife laws are written in a long, winding way.  Their law is full of difficult-to-understand run-on sentences, but we can hopefully make it easier for you to understand.

The first thing you need to know is that there are no knife bans in Massachusetts.  However, the law becomes muddled when it comes down to actually carrying knives.

Between the law and various legal cases in the state, it seems as though there are many knives (dirks, daggers, stilettos, switchblades, ballistic knives, double-edged knives, and knuckle knives) that you cannot carry, period.  It doesn’t matter if they’re being carried openly or concealed, you cannot have them on you.

On that note, if you have any kind of dangerous weapon on you if accused of a crime, you’ll be charged for that, too.

You’re allowed to carry Swiss army knives, kitchen knives, and folding knives if you don’t act in a way that makes people think you’re being threatening.

What Kinds of Knives are Legal in Massachusetts?

There are no prohibited or illegal knives in Massachusetts.  However, there are rather few knives you’re legally allowed to carry in the state.

  • You can own any type of knife you want
  • You can carry Swiss army knives, kitchen knives, and folding knives if you behave in an acceptable way

What Kinds of Knives are Illegal in Massachusetts?

While you can technically own any knife, you can barely carry any of them.

  • You cannot carry knuckle knives, dirks, switchblades, daggers, stilettos, ballistic knives, double-edged knives, or an automatic knife with a blade longer than 1.5″ – this includes inside your vehicle
  • You cannot carry Swiss army knives, kitchen knives, or folding knives if you behave in a threatening manner
  • It’s illegal to carry anything perceived as dangerous when being arrested
  • You cannot bring your knife to school

Relevant Statutes

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