Knife Laws Maryland
In Maryland, you can own any knife you want. But you have to face restrictions when it is about carrying them openly or concealed.
Some particular dangerous knives are illegal both carrying concealed or openly but are absolutely legal when you own them.
Knife laws for the minors are also strict here in Maryland.
Knife laws are pretty complicated here and you have to remember these with little things very carefully. Hope this article will help you get through this.
Knives that are Illegal to own in Maryland
There are no knives illegal to own in Maryland. Even where many States ban many dangerous knives completely, there Maryland gives you the access to own them.
Restrictions for Carrying Knives
A person cannot carry concealed some dangerous weapons/knives. A person cannot even carry openly some dangerous weapons/knives with the intent to harm someone. These both are illegal.
It has been told in the code Criminal Law 4-101 (c).
“(c) (1) A person may not wear or carry a dangerous weapon of any kind concealed on or about the person.
(2) A person may not wear or carry a dangerous weapon, Chemical Mace, pepper mace, or a tear gas device openly with the intent or purpose of injuring an individual in an unlawful manner.”
Those who violate the law (c) (1) or (2), or who carries those particular dangerous weapons concealed or openly with the intent of injuring or killing another, he/she will be punished by the highest sentence of imprisonment.
Take a look at the law for yourself at the code 4-101 (d) (2).
“(d) (2) For a person convicted under subsection (c) (1) or (2) of this section, if it appears from the evidence that the weapon was carried, concealed or openly, with the deliberate purpose of injuring or killing another, the court shall impose the highest sentence of imprisonment prescribed.”
Which are the Dangerous weapons/Knives?
The code has also mentioned the names of those particular dangerous weapons/knives as well.
- Star knife or throwing stars means a device that consists of several sharp-pointed blades.
- dirk knives, Bowie knives, switchblade knives, gravity knives, star knives or throwing stars, sand-clubs, metal knuckles, razors, and nunchaku etc. are mentioned as the dangerous weapons as well as knives.
So, carrying these mentioned ones concealed or openly with the intent of hurting someone or attempting a crime is illegal in Maryland.
See the Law at the code 4-101 (4) & (5).
“Code 4-101: (4) ‘Star knife’ means a device used as a throwing weapon, consisting of several sharp or pointed blades arrayed as radically disposed of arms about a central disk.
(5) (i). ‘Weapon’ includes a dirk knife, bowie knife, switchblade knife, star knife, sand club, metal knuckles, razor, and nunchaku.”
Exception: Dangerous weapon/knife does not include a penknife and that is not a switchblade either. A penknife to some extent is also known as the regular pocket knives.
Penknives that do not work as the automatic knives, or the blades opening automatically with hand pressure, or the use of inertia or gravity; are legal to carry concealed or open anywhere with having any blade length.
The code 4-101 (5) (ii) mentions this.
(5) (ii). “Weapon” does not include:
(1) a handgun; or
(2) a penknife without a switchblade.”
Restrictions for Selling Switchblades & Ballistic Knives
Those who sell, barter, and display a switchblade knife or a switchblade penknife and shooting knife or ballistic knife are guilty of a misdemeanor.
Switchblade penknife and penknife both are different from each other. Adding more to this, here a switchblade and a switchblade penknife has been indicated as the knife having a blade that opens automatically by a hand pressure. Gravity knife and other automatic knives are included too.
A shooting knife means a device that is designed to propel a knife with highly compressed ejector spring and is also known as the ballistic knife.
In the code 4-105, the laws for switchblades and shooting knives or ballistic knives are mentioned with the penalties. (Source: https://codes.findlaw.com/md/criminal-law/md-code-crim-law-sect-4-105.html)
“4-105 (a) A person may not sell, barter, display, or offer to sell or barter:
(1) a knife or a penknife having a blade that opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring, or other devices in the handle of the knife, commonly called a switchblade knife or a switchblade penknife; or
(2) a device that is designed to propel a knife from a metal sheath by means of a high-compression ejector spring, commonly called a shooting knife.”
If anyone violates the code 4-105 (a), he/she will be punished by,
- Imprisonment of not more than 12 months and/or,
- A fine of not less than $50 and not more than $500.
4-105 (b) “A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or a fine of not less than $50 and not exceeding $500 or both.”
Laws for the Minors
Knife laws for the minors are the most different in Maryland than the other states.
A minor should not carry a dangerous weapon/knife between 1 hour after sunset and 1 hour before sunrise both concealed or openly. Otherwise, he/she will be guilty of a misdemeanor.
This law is not allowed in two particular situations and those are,
- On an authentic or lawful hunting trip,
- If a minor is engaged on the way back from a lawful shoot, sports events, authentic military or civil activity that requires carrying dangerous weapons.
The code 4-101 (3) (ii) describes this law. (Source: https://codes.findlaw.com/md/criminal-law/md-code-crim-law-sect-4-101.html)
“(3) (ii) A minor may not carry a dangerous weapon between 1 hour after sunset and 1 hour before sunrise, whether concealed or not, except while:
- on a bona fide hunting trip; or
- engaged in or on the way to or returning from a bona fide trap shoot, sports shooting events, or any organized a civic or military activity.”
If a minor violates the laws above will be punished by,
- Imprisonment of not more than 3 years and/or,
- A fine of not more than $1,000.
The code 4-101 (d) (1) mentions the law. (Source: https://codes.findlaw.com/md/criminal-law/md-code-crim-law-sect-4-101.html)
“(d) (1) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both.”
Knives Laws in School
A person cannot carry or possess a knife or a deadly weapon on a public school property. If anyone does, he/she will be guilty of a misdemeanor and the punishment is given in code 4-102 (c).
The punishment will be,
- Imprisonment of not more than 3 years and/or,
- A fine of not more than $1,000.
The code 4-102 (b) & (c) explain clearly. (Source: https://codes.findlaw.com/md/criminal-law/md-code-crim-law-sect-4-102.html)
“(b) A person may not carry or possess a firearm, knife, or deadly weapon of any kind on public school property.”
“(c) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both.”
Other than the laws above, some person can still carry or possess knives on any school property. The laws above won’t be applied to,
- A law enforcement officer on his or her duties.
- A parent or related to a student who is a retired law enforcement officer attends a school.
- A person hired authentically for guarding the school property.
- A person attending an organized shooting program on school premises for educational purposes.
The details are mentioned in the code 4-102. (Source: https://codes.findlaw.com/md/criminal-law/md-code-crim-law-sect-4-102.html)
“(a) This section does not apply to:
(1) a law enforcement officer in the regular course of the officer’s duty;
(2) an off-duty law enforcement officer or a person who has retired as a law enforcement officer in good standing from a law enforcement agency of the United States, the State, or a local unit in the State who is a parent, guardian, or visitor of a student attending a school located on the public school property;
(3) a person hired by a county board of education specifically for the purpose of guarding public school property,… (i)… (ii)… (ii)…
(4) a person engaged in organized shooting activity for educational purposes;”
Knives that are Legal to Own in Maryland
There are restrictions for carrying knives openly or concealed. But owning knives are not problematic here. Other than the restrictions above, legal knives to own in Maryland are;
- All sorts of pocket knives are legal to own.
- Balisong knives and butterfly knives are legal to own.
- Switchblades, gravity knives, and other automatic knives are legal to own.
- Dirks, daggers, and stilettos are legal to own.
- Knives that cannot be detected are legal to own.
- Throwing knives and throwing stars and other martial arts’ weapons are legal to own.
- Ballistic knives are legal to own.
- Bowie knives are legal to own.
- There are some knives that are covered or disguised under some stuff like pen, lipstick, belt etc. These knives are legal to own too.
Sum up to the Knife Laws in Maryland
There is no restriction for a fixed blade length for any particular knife in Maryland knife laws. Carrying knife laws whether it is concealed or openly, is restricted to some dangerous knives. Laws for minors are sort of uncommon than the other states.
Otherwise, whenever you want to own any knife and keep that in your house, you can easily pick one without any fear.