Minnesota Knife Laws


Minnesota, the land of 10,000+ lakes…  It turns blue like a broken pregnancy test every single year.  Minnesota is a strange place where the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul) decide every single election owing to the fact that more than 60% of the state’s population lives there.  Even still, the rural areas are dominated by conservatives.  This has resulted in a state that manages to both maintain the wordiest, most cryptic, and archaic laws on the books while staunchly refusing much-needed reforms in other areas.  You have liberals standing against the Second Amendment on one hand while conservatives maintain a stranglehold on preventing things like criminal justice reform.

What does this mean for knife ownership?  Minnesota is one of the states that still forbids switchblades.  However, it’s fairly lenient in other areas.  You can carry either open or concealed any legal knife, for example.

What Kinds of Knives are Legal in Minnesota?

All knives except for switchblades and metal knuckles are legal in Minnesota, including Balisongs, which were a point of confusion for a while.  While that’s kind of archaic and stupid, Minnesota also doesn’t have many laws regarding the carrying of knives.  Of course, this doesn’t mean that police or courts won’t try and set precedence.

On that note, Joe Hoppe of District 34B has introduced HF2567 which would legalize switchblades.  This was in 2017, but as of yet, switchblades are still illegal.

  • Balisongs, disguised knives, Bowie knives, multi-tool knives, etc. are all legal
  • All legal knives can be carried openly or concealed without issue, provided you don’t intend to harm anyone

Be aware that if someone sees your knife and gets scared (and don’t underestimate how easy it is for people to do this), the court can force you to pay a deposit (surety) as a promise that you won’t hurt anyone.  Unlike some states, I can’t find anything that states you have to be behaving in a threatening manner or brandishing your knife recklessly.

What Kinds of Knives are Illegal in Minnesota?

  • Switchblades are forbidden
  • Metal knuckles are forbidden (the exception being the museum clause)
  • You cannot bring knives into government buildings
  • You cannot bring knives to school

Relevant Statutes

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