Knife Laws In Michigan

Michigan has complicated knife laws which are not knife-friendly. These laws permit limited carrying and ownership of knives.

The rights to own knives are open-ended, and usually, gravity knives, switchblades and automatic knives are illegal to buy, own, sell or carry. Luckily for those who love balisong knives, you can legally own this type in the state of Michigan.

This state law allows for open carry of any legal knife, but a fixed blade knife is illegal for concealed carry except hunting knives and other corner cases.​

Knife Laws in Michigan

However, several individual municipalities keep their knife ordinances. Most of these regions don’t allow open carry of a knife with blades above 3” and since Michigan lacks preemption law. All the restrictive local ordinances and state laws combined makes carrying of knives with lengths of above 3” difficult.



The balisong knife which is also called butterfly knife is legal. There are several other legal knives such as pocket knives, hunting knives, throwing stars and Bowie knives. Others include stilettos, daggers, dirks, large blade knives, dipstick blade, and belt buckle knife.

By Michigan state law, any knife that is legal to possess can be openly carried legally. However, this law is often superseded by local ordinances.


Michigan law prohibits owning, possessing, transporting, buying, selling, receiving or giving of switchblades, automatic knives or gravity knives.

It’s illegal to carry a knife which has a blade of a length longer than 3” if it’s carried with the intention of harming someone and this includes self-defense as an intent to harm.

Length Limit

Any knife with a length of 3” is banned from carrying in Michigan if the intention of taking it is to harm someone whether defensively or offensively. It means that the state doesn’t limit open carrying blade length as long as the person carrying it doesn’t use it to threaten or attack someone. Usually, local ordinances impose the 3 inches length limit irrespective of the intent of carrying.

Concealed Carry

In Michigan, section § 750.227 govern concealed carry of knives. The statute prohibits concealed carry of a double-edged knife with a fixed blade which can be used for stabbing. Hunting knives adapted to this purpose are exempted.

Any knife that is illegal to be concealed carried can’t be carried in a car except when stored in an inaccessible location. Having them locked inside a container means that it's inaccessible making it legal because they are not considered carried. It permits for transportation of those knives that are allowed to have but banned to carry open or concealed.

Other Knife Laws

The conceal carry laws in Michigan are very strict. The laws concerning open carry are wide and constrained in practice by imposing restrictions on local ordinances. Any knife owner should exercise careful analysis and caution when deciding to carry a particular knife.


With some thorough analysis and investigation, Michigan laws are not confusing. You can own any knife you want except for the few illegal types. Concealed carry limits using a knife to harm others and also limits stabbing knives.