The laws that govern knife ownership and rights to carry knives in Hawaii are moderate.
A person is free to own and carry blades that are single-edged, and pocket knives anywhere within the state. The statute does not impose length limit.
However, a few blades such as those that are double edged, gravity knives, switchblades, balisongs ballistic knives are illegal and must not be carried either open or concealed. If found violating these laws, the blade will be confiscated and destroyed.
Sections §134-53, §134-51 and §134-52, are concerned with deadly weapon, butterfly knives and switchblades. One is free to own and carry pocket knives, machetes, large or single-edged knives, Bowie knives, and single edged undetectable knives. The knives may be possessed, owned and carried openly. Also, one can carry daggers, stilettos and double-edged blades. The blades can be possessed and carried in or within one’s private premise.
Any person found carrying double edged knives, daggers, stilettos and dirks in public or in their cars is liable for prosecution. Similarly, one can own throwing stars, lipstick knives, sword canes, belt knives (buckle), but must not carry them outside his home. Carrying a knife that double edged is out rightly illegal and anyone found committing this offence faces a misdemeanor charge and will have his knife destroyed. The switchblade and butterfly knives are highly forbidden; they cannot be manufactured, possessed or transported in the state. These are knives with blades that open automatically. Section H.R.S. § 134-52 provides that anyone found manufacturing, transporting, selling, or transferring these knives shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
The law in Hawaii does not set legal length limit on knives. However, the number of cutting edges, the method of deploying, and how the blades can be folded determine whether owning, possessing, and carrying the knife in public is illegal or not. In a case of State verses Giltner the appellant who had been convicted of carrying a six and a half inch sea hunter divers knife because the use was lawful was absolved from the crime.
You can carry all types of legal knives either concealed or openly. However, you cannot carry either concealed or openly any illegal knife in Hawaii. You cannot conceal and carry daggers, dirks, knives with knuckles such as WWI trench knives. HRS § 134-51 (2012) prohibits carrying concealed weapons such as pistol, metal knuckles, slug shot, black, dagger or dirk either in your vehicle or upon the persons one’s self. If found in possession of any of the knives enumerated above, you will be arrested even when the warranty of arrest has not been issued.
Other applicable knife laws in Hawaii
Hawaii knife laws are straight forward and unambiguous. They allow one to own, carry all types of knives regardless of the size as long as they are single-edged. Double edged knives are all banned; they include switchblades, ballistic knives, baisongs and gravity knives. The law prohibits owning these knives. The only exceptions to this are people who engage in swimming, diving and boating activities. These people can carry knives that are double-edged, which they can use for their own safety while near or in the water. However such people are required to understand the law that governs use of such blades.