Knife Laws In North Carolina

North Carolina allows a broad range of legal knives and open carry rights, but limits lawful conceal carry.

In this state, it’s legal to own and carry openly any knife.

Those among included are gravity knives, switchblades, and large knives. It’s illegal to own ballistic knives and other blades that are deployed in an “explosive” way.

Knife Laws In North Carolina

Any weapon or knife carried such that it’s inaccessible to the occupants of the car is legal. Since the North Carolina knife laws lack preemption rule, most communities impose their knife ordinances.



Anyone in Tar Heel State may own a broad range of knives, and some of these include:

• Pocket knives

• Bowie knives

• Daggers

• Stilettos

• Dirks

• KA-BAR knives

• Machetes

• Swords

• Balisong knives

• Fishing and hunting blades

Gravity and switchblades are also allowed as long as they don’t deploy explosively. All legal knives can be openly carried without any restrictions on blade length.


• It’s illegal to carry knives in prisons, courthouses, and schools openly

• It’s illegal to carry knives concealed or openly at funeral processions, parades, and picket line demonstrations held at health care facilities.

• Some knives are forbidden even for police officers, and they can only possess them when they are examining or collecting them for evidence or training. Some of these knives are spring loaded projectile knives and ballistic knives.

Length Limit

The knife laws in North Carolina doesn’t restrict the length of the blade on legal knives. The regular pocket knife should have a small blade so as it can be carried concealed. The law doesn’t specify the length in real measures when referring to small.

Conceal Carry

Most knives are prohibited from conceal carry, and these include daggers, dirks, bowie knives, stilettos, gravity knives, switchblades, razors, and other dangerous weapons. Those banned includes fixed-blade, thrown, folding knives, single and double edged, and it prohibits all conceal carry.

Regular pocket knives are exempted. A pocket knife has its edge and points enclosed by its handle when closed. The blade of the pocket knife must be small. However, the law doesn’t specify in actual measurements. Another condition is that the blade must fit in a purse or pocket. A knife that opens by throwing, explosive action or spring-loading doesn’t fall under those exempted by the law.

The law allows for conceal carry any knife when participating in an activity that requires that knife. Conceal carrying when going to the activity or during the return is allowed

Other Knife Laws in North Carolina

The North Carolina knife laws are friendly when it comes to open carry and ownership of knives but strict when it comes to concealing carry. Since the state laws lack preemption laws, local ordinances impose different knife laws. Some of the laws enforced include the prohibition in public parks, restrictions on blade length for carrying, etc.