Indiana Knife Laws

Updated for 2021

Indiana has quite lenient and straightforward knife laws. Under the law, you may carry knives for self-defense. However, it is prohibited to use weapons and blades for violence.

This article on knife laws in Indiana, will help you gain a better understanding of all the rules and regulations. After reading through the article, you will be well-aware of the laws and can keep yourself safe from any trouble while in Indiana.

What knives are Explicitly Illegal in Indiana

Ballistic knives and throwing stars are illegal to use, buy, manufacture, carry, and sell in Indiana. Apart from these knives, there are no limitations in carrying concealed or open knives and blades within the state.

Knife Size Regulations in Indiana

The state of Indiana does not impose strict restrictions on the knife or blade length. Some localities of the state do not allow carrying knives with a blade longer than eight inches.

Local Municipality Knife Laws in Indiana

Indiana State does not have statewide preemption of local ordinances with respect to the carry and possession of knives. Some municipalities within the state may have their own ordinances that may be more restrictive than the state law. 

For instance, South Bend and Westfield enforce a general ban on carrying the knife within the limits of public parks. Whereas, Merrillville forbids concealed carry of all knives except for ordinary pocket knives with blades no longer than 2 inches. 

Ballistic Knife Law

According to section 35-47-5-2, a person commits Class B misdemeanor if he/she manufactures, sells, possesses, offers, displays, lends, purchases, or gives away any knife with a detachable blade that may be released from the handle as a projectile through a spring, gas, or any other device enclosed in the knife’s handle.

Throwing Stars Knife Law 

Under section 35-47-5-1, a person who manufactures, imports into Indiana, keeps for sale, offers or exposes for sale, or lends, gives, or possesses a Chinese throwing star commits a Class C misdemeanor. The Chinese throwing star used in this section is defined as a throwing knife, throwing iron, or other knife-like weapons set at different angles. 

So, it is illegal to own and carry throwing stars in Indiana. However, you may have throwing knives if they have only one blade or blades at the same angle. Throwing axes, tomahawks, and hatchets are permitted as long as the blades are at a similar angle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Karambits Legal in Indiana?

It is legal to own and carry Karambits in Indiana. The law of Indiana does not restrict carrying any knife openly or concealed.

Are Throwing Knives Legal in Indiana?

Under Indiana criminal code, you cannot possess or buy a ‘Chinese throwing star’ which is defined as a throwing knife, throwing iron, or other knife-like weapons with blades set at different angles. 

Anyone who violates the law will be charged with a Class C felony. However, throwing knives may be legal if they have a single blade or blades at the same angle.

Usually, most throwing knives are not sharp if they have a single blade so you can carry them. The throwing knives with multiple blades at the front and the back are considered illegal.

Are Balisongs Legal in Indiana?

In Indiana, it is legal to own and carry a balisong, or butterfly knife, open or concealed. Balisong knives can be used for fanning and flipping and are also often used as a gaming knife.

Are Swords Legal in Indiana?

Yes, it is legal for anyone over the age of 21 to carry any knife type, concealed or open, including swords. The state law does not impose restrictions on the blade length nor restrict carrying any kind of knife except for ballistic and Chinese throwing star knives.

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

Under section IC. 35-47-2.5, it is illegal to carry, sell, and use knives on school premises. Anyone who breaches the law and is found carrying knives and blades on school property will have to face a fine of $500, according to IC 35-31.5-2-285.  

As per section IC 20-27-2-8, it is also unlawful to carry knives on the school bus.

Can a Minor Carry a Knife in Indiana?

As per section 35-47-2-7, an individual cannot sell, transfer, or give any deadly or dangerous weapons or knives to any person under 18 years. A minor under 18 years of age can possess a dangerous knife only if he/she has permission from the parent or guardian.

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