Colorado Knife Laws

Updated for 2021

Knife laws in America differ from one state to another. Some states have quite lenient and friendly knife laws, while others may have stringent laws. The state of Colorado is among the states having tricky and rigid knife laws.

There are specific knives that are illegal to carry, openly or concealed, within the state. And if a person is found carrying an illegal knife, it is considered a misdemeanor or felony punishable under the law of Colorado. To help you understand the law better, we bring you this article about knife laws in Colorado. 

We will walk you through the legal and illegal knives in Colorado and laws pertaining to the possession and use of knives.

What knives are Explicitly Illegal in Colorado

Ballistic knives are explicitly illegal to carry in Colorado. If any person possesses an illegal knife, it falls under the class 5 felony, which includes a sentence of one to three years in Colorado State Prison or a fine of $1000 to $100,000. 

Further, it is considered a class 2 felony if a person concealed carries a knife outside of their business place, on property owned, or in a private vehicle. The class 2 felony includes a sentence of 3 to 12 months in jail or a fine of $250 to $1000.

Knife Size Regulations in Colorado

The state of Colorado forbids carrying a concealed knife, apart from a fishing or hunting knife, that is longer than 3.5-inches. It is a class 6 felony to own a knife with a blade length more than 3.5-inches on school, private, or public property. A person who violates this knife law may face 1 to 18 years in jail or a fine of $1000 to $100,000.

Local Municipality Knife Laws in Colorado

As per section 18-12-105.6 of Colorado law, the local ordinances are restricted in the case of firearms in private vehicles. A weapon used for hunting or lawful protection is permitted to be carried in a private vehicle statewide without violating the inconsistent local ordinance. 

Various Colorado municipalities like Denver and Boulder have ordinances that restrict the use and possession of knives. 

Switchblades And Gravity Knife Laws

Switchblade and gravity knives are now legal in Colorado state. Switchblade knives are knives that automatically open when pressure is exerted on a button or spring. Whereas, the force of gravity is applied to open gravity knives.

These knives are still illegal in some cities and municipalities, including Denver, Boulder, Aurora, and Lakewood. However, it is illegal everywhere to conceal carry these knives with a blade length of more than 3.5-inches.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Karambits Legal in Colorado?

The Colorado state allows carrying all types of knives except for ballistic knives. All the legal knives can be carried openly. However, it is illegal to conceal carry a knife with a length exceeding 3.5-inches, except a hunting or fishing knife.

Are Throwing Knives Legal in Colorado?

Throwing knives or ballistic knives are illegal in Colorado. The Colorado law has used the term “dangerous weapon” for a ballistic knife. It states that a person commits a class 5 felony if they deliberately possess a dangerous weapon.

Are Balisongs Legal in Colorado?

In Colorado, balisongs are legal to own and carry. All knives that are legal to carry in Colorado must have a blade length less than 3.5-inches.

Are Swords Legal in Colorado?

The state of Colorado does not place any restriction on the knife blade that is openly carried. Swords, machete, a hunting knife, or a bowie knife are all legal to carry openly within the state. However, to conceal carry the knife, the blade length should not exceed more than 3.5-inches.

Is it Legal to Carry a Knife on School Grounds or College Campuses?

It is illegal to carry deadly weapons, like knives, on school grounds or college campuses in Colorado. Carrying a knife unlawfully on school grounds is a class 6 felony that includes a punishment of 1 to 18 months in prison or a $1000 to $100,000 fine. Some exceptions to this law are:

  • The knife is in a vehicle while at the grounds of a public or private college, seminary, or university. However, it does not apply to pre-K, middle school, lower school, or high school.
  • The individual is traveling in his private vehicle and carrying the knife for self-defense.
  • The individual is a school resource officer.
  • The deadly weapon is owned for an official educational program.

Can a Minor Carry a Knife in Colorado?

There is no age restriction in Colorado for carrying a knife. But, it is illegal to conceal carry any knife having a length more than 3.5-inches, with the exception of a hunting or fishing knife.

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