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Can Felons Carry Knives?

Knives can prove to be useful tools. Exploiting the functionality of a knife across multiple areas is what makes it a great tool. Going camping is unheard of without a knife at your side. A long trip can also be a place to take a knife with you.

Since the beginning of history, humans have used tools to help them. The most common ones are blades or in this case knives. Knives can be found almost everywhere, and they are present in our houses, in our garage, or at a diner.

can felons carry knives

Circumstances where knives are illegal do exist. This can be a sign for ex-convicts and felons as to not carry one. They can be carried in your pocket and used for daily tasks. Handling and carrying knives carefully is especially important for a felon. Ex-convicts already feature a changed legal status, so it is best to stay informed.

A Deeper Look Into Knife Laws And Rules

Across the U.S.A. there are different rules which apply to each state when it comes to carrying a knife. Individuals with prior convictions should be aware of how each state’s law affects them.

Some types of dangerous knives are forbidden. Two main laws govern this area, ownership and carry laws. Ownership refers to actually owning a knife. The carry law is to be addressed when a person is outside of the home. Varying regulations seek to define if it can be carried openly or concealed.

can felon carry knives

State rules define carry as held on one’s person and others refer to having it in a car within reach. Some laws say that concealed can refer to being put in the car, out of sight.

  • Carry Law: What you can have with you when you leave the house.
  • Ownership Law: Regulate the actual right to have something, even if you never use it. This includes your house, car, or any other place you could be.

No Carry Knife Areas

There will always be areas where one cannot carry a knife. You cannot bring a knife to a school, a courtroom, and other government buildings. Also, individuals cannot bring knives onboard planes, or into a military base (excluding military personnel).

Blade Types

A common pocketknife has a blade of under roughly 4 inches. There are multiple types of knives and each serves a role. Since laws can suffer changes, and you can never be too careful, individuals might want to stay on the safe side.

can the felon carry knives tips

Here is a list of common knives that may help in identifying what type can be carried or not.

  • Fixed blade – It features no folding mechanism. Commonly found in the kitchen.
  • Folding blade – The blade will fold into the handle when not used.
  • Switchblade – A type of knife that opens automatically, either by pressing a button or device. The mechanism can also be triggered with the help of inertia or gravity.
  • Assisted opening knife – One must use force to open this knife, pushing out the blade with the help of a spring or mechanism. These are not the same as switchblades.
  • Gravity knife – The blade will fall and open up via gravity.
  • Stiletto – Thin knife used mainly for stabbing.
  • Dagger – A knife that features sharp edges on both sides of the blade.

Legal Knives To Carry

There is a commonsense limit that a felon should not cross when carrying a knife. A 4-inch knife could be that one. Considering all things, the safest way to go about would be 2.5 inches. This is the length of multi-tool devices, it includes utility knives and Swiss Army knives.

Statistics tell us that 1 out of every 3 Americans has a criminal record. This means that approximately 70 million individuals may not carry a knife. The right to carry a knife can be dealt with through constitutional rights. An ex-convict may have a limited set of rights as the burden of felony impacts these rights.

State Laws

Laws regarding knives are custom per state as mentioned before. An ex-felon should always be aware of where he/she travels and look up the information related.

The following are some examples that define certain state laws:

  • Kansas – It is a state that has restricted the possession of weapons for felons, knives may be included.
  • Utah – Restricts the selling of dangerous weapons to a felon, this may include knives.
  • Texas – Features the prohibition of any knife with a blade longer than 5 ½ inches.

Should A Felon Carry A Knife?

The answer is a tricky one. Considering certain aspects that govern the ownership and carry of blades and knives the best way to go about it is to stay safe. Having a short knife or a utility tool that has a knife attached seems to be fine.

Cases, when even the above examples may prove to be dangerous, may arise. Because of this, the best way to go about these cases is to inform of the knife in possession. An individual needs to make authorities aware of the fact that he/she is carrying a knife. It is especially true if the knife is concealed.

can the felon carry knives

When stopped for a routine traffic check or any other circumstance you may want to disclose that you are carrying/owning a knife. If the knife is under your possession inform the authorities.

Also, take extra care in areas where knives are strictly prohibited.

Hunting and fishing may provide a safe area where a felon is may be able to carry a knife.

Closing Words

There are circumstances where carrying a knife is safe. Other situations may pose a threat. A felon will always need to be more attentive to the later ones. As it stands there are also alternatives where ex-convicts may feel more in tune with the place, they reside in. Some states are more opened to individuals with past misdemeanors, felonies, and convictions.

Manipulating knives in public must be done with consideration. Slowly take them out, gently use the knife, and not make any sudden movements. Always keep it in a protective sheath.

The key is to stay informed and in line with what is legally accepted and not.


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About Eugene Casey

Eugene works in a busy employment agency in Chicago and has nearly 20 years of experience in finding clients the perfect job. His philosophy is simple, the right match for the right position is nearly always a win-win for both the employee and the company.

When he isn't working or writing for us, he enjoys cooking and exploring the United States, one state at a time.

He lives with his wife Lisa and their two German Shepherds, Wilber and Gus.

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