Louisiana new knife laws are flexible and allow people to own all sorts of knives. The old laws restricted carrying and owning switchblades.
In 2012, the Senate Bill of Louisiana 78(SB78) amended some laws and provided a concise definition of knives that fall in this category. Thus, the new law allows switchblades to be carried by peace officers especially where such blades are to be used in rescue missions.
Unfortunately, the term rescue knife was not well defined and the circumstances under which it may be carried are not stated.
The laws allow knife enthusiasts to own a wide range of blades.
The states legislation supports ownership of knives. It is legal to own throwing stars, pocket knives, daggers, and large fixed blades. One can also own double edged blades such as stiletto, undetectable knives, hunting knives and Bowie knives. A person may also own single edged knives and throwing knives as well. In addition, it is legal to buy and own disguised blades like belt buckle blades and sword canes.
One is free to carry openly or conceal knives that are defined as legal in Louisiana. Even though, it is important to check local ordinances because they sometime supersede the state’s law. Note that one cannot legally carry a knife in schools, prison, school ground, courthouse and areas where meetings will be held.
In Louisiana, it is illegal to carry, own, or use switchblades. However, law enforcement officers are allowed to carry rescue knives that resemble switchblades. The law was amended in 2012 to allow carrying of switch blades like ‘gravity’ knives and knives that could be opened by pressing the blade projection. However, switch blades that are opened by a spring or a button or open-biased devices are illegal and cannot be owned or carried in Louisiana.
Carrying of automatic switchblade knives is illegal since these knives are treated as weapons. Manufacturing, owning, being found in custody or possession of these knives or similar instruments is illegal. However, this law does not apply on a knife that may be opened by manual pressure applied on the blade or any knife opened by inertia produced by the wrist, hand or any other movement.
Even though Louisiana does not impose length limit on knives, there are ordinances that limit the blade length that one can conceal and carry.
In Louisiana, legal knives can be concealed and carried. This means that you can conceal and carry all other types of knives other than automatic knives and switchblades. Louisiana does not have preemption laws but individual municipalities have laws that govern the blade length limit. The limits range from 2’’ to 4” or any other length are required by municipality ordinances.
Other knife laws in Louisiana
Louisiana laws contain a few passages that are vague even though the knife laws allow for greater freedom to people who want to own knives. It is important to note that Louisiana has enough law precedent that exempts baisong and one handed types of knife from the ban imposed on switchblades.