Knife Laws In Colorado

Carrying a knife of more than 3 ½ inches in Colorado is illegal.

However, if the knife is less than 3 ½ inches, you may carry it even if you are travelling in a private means of transport.

This article looks at illegal, legal, concealed carry and the length limits that should be observed when you choose to carry a knife in Colorado.

Knife Laws in Colorado


Certain knives including pen-knives, belt knives, daggers and dirks are legal to own. Also, all knives that are less than 3.5 inches including hunting and fishing knives can be owned and carried in public. However, when you carry a balisong knife, you do so at your own risk since no case has ever been presented to the court involving these knives. No precedent exists and so the judge may decide to imprison you if you are found carrying one.


Illegal Knives

Gravity knives, ballistic knives and switchblade knives are illegal to possess and carry in public. Chapter 12 of revised Colorado laws classifies these knives as illegal and should not be owned or carried in public. Specifically, knives that use a mechanical trigger or centrifugal force are classified as illegal. Similarly, gravity knives and switchblades are illegal weapons and possessing them can subject the owner to a class 5 felony if it is the first violation and a class 4 felony if it is the second or third violation. Also, it is important to note that any legal knife with metal knuckles is classified as illegal. A class 6 felony is committed if any person knowingly brings illegal knives in high school, junior school, middle school, private college, private elementary school or in the university, if the knife is not to be used for demonstration or exhibition purposes.

Length Limit

As a state, Colorado does not place a length limit on openly carried knives, which could be carried in public. One can carry a Bowie knife, a machete, a sword or a hunting knife in public without violating any law. However, the state has laws that places a limit of 3.5 blade length on all concealed knives. Section 1 subsection f of 18-12-201 allows one to carry a blade of more than 3.5” as long as it is a hunting or a fishing knife.

Concealed Carry

A person who carries a concealed knife that is more than 3 ½’’ in length is said to have violated the law and could be prosecuted. However, if the person, at the time of carrying such a concealed weapon had a written and valid permit, he will not be deemed to have committed any felony.


Colorado laws allow one to possess and carry many types of knives such as Bowie, daggers, dirks, pen knives and can knives. These knives can be carried in the open without any worry. However, carrying ballistic, gravity and switchblade knives is illegal and restricted. It is also illegal to carry concealed knives that are larger than 3.5 inches except if they are to be used as hunting or fishing knives. Therefore, it is important that you check and ensure that the knife you want to carry is legal. Talk to your attorney before you set out with a knife so as to remain on the safe side of the law.