Colorado Knife Laws

Updated for 2023

Colorado’s knife laws are intricate, reflecting a balance between individual rights and public safety. This comprehensive guide delves into the legal nuances of knife ownership and carry in Colorado, offering detailed insights into statutes, case law, and municipal regulations.

Statutory Framework and Legal Interpretations

Colorado knife regulations are primarily governed by the following statutes:

  • Colorado Revised Statutes § 18-12-101 to 18-12-108: These sections provide definitions and general provisions regarding the possession and use of knives.
  • Colorado Revised Statutes § 18-12-102: Specifically addresses the prohibition of possession of ballistic knives, classifying it as a class 5 felony.
  • Colorado Revised Statutes § 18-12-105: Outlines the unlawful carrying of concealed weapons, including knives with blades over 3.5 inches.

Significant legal cases that have influenced Colorado knife laws include:

  • People v. Garcia (2010): Clarified the definition of a “knife” in the context of concealed carry.
  • People v. Ford (2012): Addressed the legality of carrying certain types of knives in public spaces.

Local Municipality Knife Laws

Colorado’s municipalities have the authority to enact their own knife laws, leading to a diverse legal landscape. Notable examples include:

  • Denver: Prohibits the carry of switchblades and gravity knives.
  • Boulder: Has specific ordinances regarding the carry and use of knives in public spaces.
  • Aurora: Imposes restrictions on the types of knives that can be carried and the manner of their carry.

Practical Information

Understanding the practical aspects of knife carry in Colorado is crucial for compliance:

  • Concealed Carry: Knives with blades over 3.5 inches are subject to concealed carry restrictions.
  • Open Carry: Most types of knives can be openly carried, but local laws may impose additional restrictions.


  1. What are the Penalties for Illegal Knife Carry in Colorado? Penalties range from fines to imprisonment, depending on the offense’s severity and the specific statute violated.
  2. Can I Carry a Knife for Self-Defense in Colorado? Yes, but the knife must comply with state and local laws regarding blade length and type.
  3. How Do Colorado’s Knife Laws Apply to Collectors? Collectors can own various types of knives, but carrying them outside the home may be subject to legal restrictions.
  4. Are There Exceptions to Knife Carry Laws for Outdoor Activities? Colorado law provides exceptions for carrying certain types of knives for hunting, fishing, or lawful outdoor activities.
  5. What Should I Know About Traveling Through Colorado with Knives? Be aware of both state laws and local ordinances, as they can vary significantly across different municipalities.

Conclusion and Legal Compliance

Colorado’s knife laws are complex and require careful consideration for compliance. This guide provides a thorough understanding of the legal landscape, but it’s essential to stay updated on any changes and consult legal professionals for personalized advice.

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