West Virginia Knife Laws


West Virginia has straightforward knife laws, which is a blessing for anyone reading them.  Most restrictions are age-related, with people over the age of 21 being able to carry both openly and concealed any dangerous weapon, people over 18 but not 21 being able to carry concealed dangerous weapons only with a license to do so, and minors being unable to carry a dangerous weapon at all.

What Kinds of Knives are Legal in West Virginia?

There are no prohibited knives in West Virginia, and the only restrictions on carrying knives come in the form of age-related restrictions, which is sensible.

  • All knives are legal, including Bowie knives and switchblades
  • Persons over the age of 21 can carry any knife they want openly or concealed
  • Persons between the ages of 18 and 21 can conceal-carry dangerous weapons with the proper license

What Kinds of Knives are Illegal in West Virginia?

The nice thing about West Virginia is that there are no prohibited knives and the restrictions are clear and sensible.  The law doesn’t hide behind vagueness, either.  Even better, there are no local laws to have to worry about.

  • Minors cannot own dangerous weapons
  • Persons between the ages of 18 and 21 cannot own or carry dangerous weapons without a license
  • You cannot bring your knife to school or a courthouse

What’s a Dangerous Weapon?

‘Deadly weapon’ means an instrument which is designed to be used to produce serious bodily injury or death or is readily adaptable to such use. The term ‘deadly weapon’ shall include, but not be limited to, the instruments defined in subdivisions (1) through (8), inclusive, of this section or other deadly weapons of like kind or character which may be easily concealed on or about the person. For the purposes of [§ 61-7-11a], in addition to the definition of ‘knife’ set forth in subdivision (3) of this section, the term ‘deadly weapon’ also includes any instrument included within the definition of ‘knife’ with a blade of three and one-half inches or less in length. . .

Relevant Statutes

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