Knife Laws In Massachusetts

Knife laws in this state are confusing in as far as carrying them outside one’s home is concerned.

Basically, all knives and blades may be owned but you cannot carry them concealed or openly. Also, it is against the law to sell or manufacture some types of knives in the entire state, even though they can legally be owned. This leaves residents with one option; to procure them from other states.

Also, dangerous weapons are illegal in the state. This means legal knives can become illegal as soon as they are perceived to be dangerous by another person. So, if you love blades, you need to be a little bit cautious to avoid ending up in jail.

Knife Laws in Massachusetts


Ownership and possession of blades is not regulated. However, selling, transferring, or giving away a knife is illegal. Blades such as pocket knives, swords, Bowie knives, throwing stars, daggers, machetes, disguised knives, throwing stars and switchblades can be owned and carried.



It is illegal to manufacture and sell certain types of knives in Massachusetts. They include dirks, double edged and fixed blades, automatic knives that are 1.5“ long, sword canes, ballistic knives, knives with build in knuckles, and shuriken knives. However, you may buy these knives out of the state and carry them home in the owner’s car inside locked boxes. Alternatively you may purchase them online and get them shipped to your home address. Chapter 269 outlaws the carrying of dangerous weapons specifically in section § 10. These knives include daggers, stilettos, dirks, ballistic knives, double edged blades, fixed or folding automatic knives, switchblades and locking knives. These blades cannot be carried open or concealed. Any one violating this rule faces between 2.5- 5 years jail sentence. If it is the first offence, USD 50 fine may be slapped on them.

Note that it is illegal to possess or carry a knife in government buildings, prison, courthouse, at a school sponsored event and on school ground. In addition, it is also illegal to possess or carry anything that is perceived dangerous.

Length Limit

There are a few restrictions on length limits that govern ownership of knives in Massachusetts. It is against the law to carry blades that are longer 1.5’’ since such knives are classified as illegal weapons.

Concealed Carry

You may freely conceal and carry pocket knives, kitchen knives, and Swiss army blades. However, care must be exercised because if the knives are not used properly they become outlawed

Other knife laws in Massachusetts

Since there is no pre-emption laws, ordinances restrict carrying of knives throughout the state. For instance a maximum of 2.5” blade length must be obeyed in carrying concealed knives if you find yourself in Somerville, Salem, Revere, New Bedford, Lawrence and Boston. You must therefore be ready to comply with ordinances and still follow the restrictive state laws.

The law further prohibits carrying stiletto, ballistic knife, dagger and dirk in the car; specifically the passengers area. Also, the law bans carrying of double edged bladed, automatic knives with knuckles and anything or anything that is a dangerous weapon. When being arrested for a crime or disturbing the peace, you will be charged with unlawful carry.