New Jersey Knife Laws


To put it bluntly, New Jersey kind of sucks for knife owners.  This state prohibits one from owning any gravity knife, switchblade, dagger, dirk, stiletto, ballistic knife, or other dangerous knives “without any explainable lawful purpose.”  One can presume that keeping these knives within the home would count as a lawful purpose, but unless you’re going hunting or fishing with the appropriate knife for such activities, you’d better just leave anything else at home.

What Kinds of Knives are Legal in New Jersey?

The law is incredibly vague here.  If you haven’t been convicted of a violent crime and have a lawful purpose for owning knives, then nothing is off-limits to you.  However, what New Jersey considers to be a lawful purpose is rather vague.  I would imagine that hunting and fishing are lawful purposes, but other than that, the state isn’t very clear.

  • You can own any knife you wish if you haven’t been convicted of a violent crime and have a good purpose
  • Pocket knives can be carried openly or concealed as long you don’t intend to use it unlawfully
  • Knives with blades less than 10″ total (or 5″ visible) may be sold to minors

What Kinds of Knives are Illegal in New Jersey?

New Jersey is fond of its knife restrictions, to say the least.

  • You cannot own a gravity knife, switchblade, dirk, dagger, stiletto, or any other dangerous knife without an explainable lawful purpose – SELF-DEFENSE WHEN OUTSIDE THE HOME DOESN’T COUNT!
  • You cannot sell a blade of more than 5″ or 10″ total length to a minor
  • If you’ve been convicted of a violent crime, you cannot own gravity knives, switchblades, dirks, daggers, stilettos, or other dangerous knives
  • Same goes for the mentally ill
  • You cannot bring your knife to school
  • To be on the safe side, don’t transport your knife

Be aware of local laws as well, for there are no state preemption laws in New Jersey.

Relevant Statutes

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