West Virginia Knife Laws
West Virginia’s knife laws descriptive but not tricky. The knife-ownership laws are friendly. Whereas most of the States prohibit dangerous or deadly knives such as switchblades and ballistic knives, dirks, daggers etc, this State does not ban any knives to own or possess.
But the conceal carry of knives especially the dangerous ones are illegal here. To know more in details about the knife laws in West Virginia, this article may help you a lot.
Knife Possession Laws
As it is mentioned at the beginning that, there are no knives illegal to own or possess in West Virginia.
- All sorts of pocket knives are legal to own.
- Switchblades and other automatic knives are legal to own.
- Gravity knives are legal to own.
- Ballistic knives are legal.
- Hunting, fishing or other utility knives are legal to own.
- Knives that are hidden under things like a pen, cane, lipstick or belt buckles etc. are legal.
- Balisong or butterfly knives are legal.
- Bowie knives and other large single-edged knives are legal.
- Dirks, daggers, stilettos and other double-edged knives are legal.
- Throwing stars, nun-chu-ka, throwing knives etc. and other martial arts’ weapons are legal.
- All sorts of undetectable knives are legal.
Knife Carry Laws
Open Carry: knife open carry laws are also very friendly as the ownership laws. You can carry any kind of knives openly except for the restricted places. Schools, colleges, other educational institutions, courthouses, govt. buildings and places etc. are included in the restricted places.
Conceal Carry: concealment of knives is a big issue in this State. But if you have a permit or authorized license with you, you won’t be charged. The statute says that, if anybody carries a deadly weapon concealed and he or she does not have any lawful permission or authorized license, it will be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Punishment: The punishment increase when someone is a convict for the first and second or subsequent offense. For the first offense, a person will be punished by,
- A fine of not less than $100.00 to not more than $1,000.00 or in between.
- An imprisonment of not more than 1 year or 12 months in the county jail.
And for the second or subsequent offenses, a person will be guilty of a felony and be punished by,
- An imprisonment of not less than one year to not exceeding five years and in between in the penitentiary.
- A fine of not less than $1,000 to not exceeding $5,000.00.
The code “§61-7-3: Carrying deadly weapon without license or other authorization; penalties” explains all these.
“(a) Any person who carries a concealed deadly weapon, without a state license or other lawful authorization established under the provisions of this code, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars and may be imprisoned in the county jail for not more than twelve months for the first offense; but upon conviction of a second or subsequent offense, he or she shall be guilty of a felony, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in the penitentiary not less than one nor more than five years and fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars.”
Definition f Deadly Weapon
As carrying deadly weapons concealed are illegal and guilty of a misdemeanor, let’s know what is included in the deadly weapons actually.
In the subsection “DANGEROUS WEAPONS §61-7-2: Definitions” all definitions are given clearly and you can check here.
“(9) “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” also includes any instrument included within the definition of “knife” with a blade of three and one-half inches or less in length.”
Deadly weapons are those instruments or knives which are ready to be used and can cause serious bodily injury or even death. Also, those knives which are 3.5” inches (three and a half) of blade-length and above are also included in the deadly weapons’ definition.
In the definition of the knife; knives indicate dirks, daggers, stilettos, switchblades, gravity knives or any other instrument that can stab or cut anything dangerously and also any instruments with a blade of 3.5” inches of length and more than that.
So, you cannot carry these dangerous knives concealed. Also, if you attempt any kind of crime with any type of instruments or knives though they are not including the deadly weapons’ definitions, you will be charged and punished immediately. If you were carrying those in a concealed manner, your punishment might be increased.
Do not carry concealed any knives unless their blades are less than 3.5” inches in length without any legal permission or authorized license.
Knife Laws for the Minors
There is a specific law for the minors in West Virginia. Any minor who is under the age of twenty-one (21), cannot have any license to carry knives concealed. So, there is prohibition that you cannot carry knives concealed without a license and as you cannot make license before 21 years old, it is totally illegal for you to carry concealed any of the deadly knives.
Requirements for Making an Authorized License
You have to have all these qualities before applying for a license to carry knives concealed.
- Required to be at the age of 21 years old or above.
- You need to have the citizenship of the United States as well.
- Having no past records of having an addiction to drugs or liquor.
- Not having any records of been convicted of a felony.
- If you are not experienced with any mental hospital or mental illness.
The license is valid for five years and is renewable.
Knife Laws in the Schools
West Virginia’s schools are also knife or weapon free zone. Only the authorized person can possess or carry dangerous weapons on school premises.
Sum up to the Knife Laws in West Virginia
Knife laws in West Virginia are less tricky but as they are way broader than the other States, it might be complicated to be understood. But you are getting the friendliest knife-ownership laws here. You have to have the license if you are planning to carry dangerous knives concealed otherwise, do not go for it. Usually, most of the States consider minors before eighteen years old but here in West Virginia, you have to be twenty-one years old to get a license.