Knife Laws In Kentucky

Kentucky has laws that awards blade owners extensive rights but has restrictions that are vaguely worded on carrying concealed knives.

In 2013, there was an effort to eliminate contradictions by the legislation to unify and rationalize knife laws.

However, the legislation failed and thus there still exists contradicting local ordinances.

Knife Laws in Kentucky


Kentucky places no limit on blade ownership. One can buy and sell, display or carry all types and sorts of knives including pocket knives, Bowie knives, daggers, KA-BAR knives, bayonets, stilettos, hunting knives, clasp knives, and utility knives. It is also legal to own exotic knives, throwing stars, martial arts, undetectable knives machetes, balisong knives, disguised knives like comb dirks, belt buckle blades and dagger necklaces. Also, it is important to note that knives that are illegal in other states could be owned in the state of Kentucky. They include ballistic knives, switchblades, and gravity knives. One can open carry all types of knives including machetes anywhere in the state. Concealed carry is restricted but the rules governing it are vague.



It is illegal to possess and carry deadly weapons in school. KRS 527.070 provides some limited options. Minors too have restrictions provided in KRS 527.100. When it comes to possession of knives, throwing stars and knuckles are treated as dangerous weapons. In the case of Kennedy v. Commonwealth in 1976, it was found that any weapon could be considered deadly, if the user convinces the victim that the weapon he possesses is actually life threatening. Also, no one should conceal and carry anything that is categorized as a deadly weapon. If they do so, they are deemed to have committed a misdemeanor.

Length Limit

The state laws do not impose any limit in as far as the knife’s length is concerned. One can open carry a knife of any length.

Concealed Carry

Kentucky permits its residents to conceal and carry knives. However, the right is somehow curtailed in sect. § 527.020, KRS laws of 2012, which forbids carrying concealed deadly weapon without a permit. Anyone who violates this is deemed to have committed a misdemeanor. Deadly weapons are defined in Sec. § 500.080, and include all knives except ordinary hunting and pocket knives. The law does not define ordinary hunting pocket knife, thus, it does not clearly state the permissible length. A person who conceals and carries a deadly weapon is guilty. Carrying knives that are not ordinary hunting and pocket knives is not well defined and so this is a gray area in the Kentucky knives laws.

Other Blade Laws in Kentucky

Kentucky laws prohibit knives on schools ground or building, prison, and court house. There are also other towns such as parks that are declared weapon free. Note that open carry remains the safest and most viable option to anyone who wants to carry a blade other than hunting and pocket knife. Anyone who wants legally conceal and carry blades should acquire a concealed weapon license. The license is issued to a 21 year old person who passes several citizen and criminal background checks. The applicant must meet common sense qualifications and should be appropriately trained.