Knife Laws In New Jersey

Carrying any knife is illegal if a court or policeman decides that.

Nearly the only reason to carry a knife in New Jersey is during fishing or hunting.

The knife owner should always possess a valid fishing or hunting license.

Knife Laws in New Jersey

The New Jersey state doesn’t have preemption rule, and thus local governments can enforce their ordinances. Some even trump the strict laws imposed by the state and totally ban knife carrying.



• It’s legal to own folding pocket knives having bias towards closure or detent

• It’s legal to own bowie knives

• It’s legal to own balisong knives

• It’s legal to own throwing knives and throwing stars

• It’s legal to own disguised knives such as lipstick blades

These legal knives can be carried openly if there is an explainable lawful purpose except for felons, intoxicated persons, and individuals with severe mental illness.


• It’s illegal to own gravity knives

• It’s illegal to own switchblades

• It’s illegal to own dirks

• It’s illegal to own stilettos

• It’s illegal to own daggers

Length Limit

The knife laws in New Jersey doesn’t specify the blade length limit. Any knife which is used as a dangerous weapon or that used to cause harm is considered a dangerous weapon. They are therefore illegal.

Conceal Carry

New Jersey knife laws don't mention anything about conceal and open carry of legal knives, but concealment might raise questions about the lawful use. Conceal carry of a legal knife isn’t illegal but justifying the lawful purpose can be difficult except for hunting knives.

Other Knife Laws in New Jersey

Some local ordinances sometimes legalize carrying a knife in this state. However, most don't interfere with the knife rights; the law prohibits carrying a knife in sidewalk, public road, square, or park unless the mayor declares a state of emergency.

Most local ordinances ban carrying a knife when a state of emergency is declared but doesn’t make any effort to impede carrying or ownership beyond the overall state rules. To be safe, leave knives at home unless you are going to fishing or hunting.


Anyone can own the legal knives except for felons and mentally ill people. They can legally own these knives as long as their purpose is lawful.


  • N.J. Stat. § 2C:39-7 (2013)