The vast majority of states in America do allow butterfly knives. In fact, there are 42 states plus the District of Columbia in which butterfly knives are legal. Some of the other eight states do allow people to own butterfly knives but place severe restrictions on the usage of these knives.
The states that ban butterfly knives include California, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Washington. Butterfly knives are not allowed to be owned or used at all in these three states. Carrying or even owning a butterfly knife in these states could lead to severe legal penalties.
There are states that allow butterfly knife ownership, but greatly restrict how these knives can be used. These restrictions include:
Many other states, including those in which is it legal to own a butterfly knife require that the knife be carried openly. These states make concealed carry of butterfly knives illegal. It is important to fully research the laws and restrictions within the state before you purchase, possess, or travel with a butterfly knife.
Butterfly knives are illegal in some states for several reasons. First, they are often associated with violent crime. Many movies depict criminals using butterfly knives. Many knife enthusiasts feel that this is not a legitimate reason to ban these knives, as there is no data that shows criminals are more likely to use butterfly knives than other knives.
The other reason that butterfly knives are banned is the speed with which they can be deployed. Deploying a butterfly knife quickly requires a great deal of practice, but it can be done much faster than opening a standard folding knife. This has led some states and local jurisdictions to group butterfly knives with switchblades. Other jurisdictions ban butterfly knives together with other knives in the category of "gravity knives." There is some controversy about whether the speed with which butterfly knives can be deployed actually makes them a more effective weapon for the average criminal. Most fatal knife attacks have involved hunting knives or combat knives, not butterfly knives.
Butterfly Knife Legality
|Alaska||Legal||*For self defense|
|Arizona||Legal||*For anyone over the age of 21|
|Arkansas||Legal||*As long as you do not have the intent to stab someone|
|Colorado||Legal||*In a legal gray area|
|Florida||Legal||Butterfly knives concealed carry is allowed only with a valid permit|
|Illinois||Legal||Legal to own and possess|
|Iowa||Legal||Legal to use a Balisong knife but prohibits concealed carry of a Balisong knife.|
|Massachusetts||Legal||As long as a butterfly knife does not present an objective threat of danger in the state of Massachusetts|
|New Hampshire||Legal||You can legally own any type of knife provided you have not been convicted of a felony against the person or property of another or convicted of a felony drug related offense|
|North Carolina||Legal||Legal to own but illegal to carry in a concealed manner|
|North Dakota||Legal||Illegal to conceal carry a butterfly knife but it is allowed to own one and to carry it openly|
|Ohio||Legal||Illegal to conceal carry a butterfly knife but it is allowed to own one and to carry it openly|
|Oregon||Legal||Legal to own but illegal to carry in a concealed manner|
|Utah||Legal||Legal to own but illegal to carry in a concealed manner|
|Wisconsin||Legal||unless you have been convicted of a felony.|