New York Knife Laws

Updated for 2021

Carrying certain types of knives in New York City is considered a grave criminal offense under state law. The illegal possession of a knife in the New York state violates Penal Law 265.01(1). It could land you up in jail if found guilty of possessing an illegal knife.

However, many people find New York knife laws ambiguous and unclear.

It is super important for people to understand what these laws are and how they can protect themselves from any inconvenience in the future.
This comprehensive guide will take you through different aspects of New York knife laws. It will make it easy for you to gain clarity. So, keep on reading to get acquainted with the knife laws in New York.

What knives are explicitly illegal in New York

Possession of some knives is considered illegal under the New York Penal Law. If an individual is found possessing any one of these knives, they are charged guilty of criminal possession of a weapon. Following types of knives are explicitly illegal in New York:

  • Switchblades
  • Metal Knuckle knives
  • Ballistic knives
  • Plastic knuckles
  • Cane swords
  • Machetes
  • Razors

It is illegal for a person who is a non-citizen to carry a knife. All the above-mentioned types of knives are illegal in New York as they are deadly weapons and may cause serious harm to others. It is possible to carry these knives for particular purposes such as fishing or hunting, provided you have a license.

Knife Size regulations in New York

There is no knife size restriction in New York state law.

However, according to New York City law, a knife with a blade size of four inches or more is illegal to carry. It is possible that people possess the same knife size in the kitchen and is also available in the US stores. 

Under circumstances of illegal possession of a knife that is four inches or longer is punishable for up to 15 days in jail or a fine irrespective of any unlawful intent. The police officers must act with discretion under such circumstances and enforce the law effectively.

Local Municipality Knife Laws in New York

The restrictions of carrying a knife vary across cities of New York. Therefore, it is significant to be aware of the laws and protect yourself from any trouble. 

In this section, we have discussed knife laws in different cities of New York. So, here is what you should know:

Buffalo Knife Laws

 It is prohibited to openly carry or show weapons that include knives on city-owned property under section 180-7. So, the Buffalo knife laws do not allow displaying of any knives or carrying them openly.

New York City Knife Laws

The administrative code 10-133 states that the knife’s blade should not exceed four inches in length. Also, it must be concealed when carrying.

In New York City, people rely heavily on public transportation. The NYC law prohibits carrying dangerous tools or weapons on the vehicle of the NYC transport authority.

Rochester Knife Laws

According to section 47-2, carrying a pointed knife is banned, except for a pocketknife having a blade length of three inches or less.

Syracuse Knife Laws

The carrying of a sword, razor, dirk, bowie knife, or any such weapon having the potential to cause severe harm to the body is prohibited under section 16-12. No one is allowed to carry weapons that are considered deadly and intend to use them for unlawful purposes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Karambits Legal in New York?

Karambits are legal in New York. They are allowed to use for hunting or agricultural purposes and should have a blade length not more than three inches. 

They are legal for utility or everyday use. However, Karambits with double-edged blades fall under the category of deadly weapons, which is illegal to carry under the New York State law.

Are throwing knives legal in New York?

Yes, throwing knives is illegal in New York. Knives such as throwing stars, double-edged swords, and throwing knives are mainly used as weapons that are illegal in New York State. 

These knives are dangerous and may cause serious bodily injury if used unlawfully. However, it is possible to legally own these knives if you have a binding fishing or hunting license.

Are balisongs legal in New York?

In New York, balisong is a legal knife. Balisong is considered a deadly weapon, due to which New York law does not allow the owners to conceal and carry it. It is illegal to carry the knife concealed and therefore should be carried open and unconcealed.

Are Swords legal in New York?

Swords are legal as long as they are used in the kitchen. However, according to New York law, it is illegal to possess a sword with an unlawful intent against others. A cane sword is illegal to carry. There is a concealed blade within it that is often used as a sword or stiletto.

Is it legal to carry a knife on school grounds or college campuses?

Unfortunately, the New York State law does not ban the carrying of a knife on school grounds or college campuses. Section 265.01A and 265.06 of New York Penal law relates to unlawful weapons on school premises that do not include knives. 

But all schools are required to establish rules of conduct concerning carrying of weapons that apply to teachers, visitors, and students. Schools must make sure that knives are not carried on school buses or property.

Can a minor carry a knife in California

Under the New York State law, it is illegal for a person below the age of 16 to carry a “dangerous knife.” Knives such as stiletto, dagger, machete, dirk, or any other deadly tool with an intent for an unlawful use fall under the category of “dangerous knife.” 

Young persons are barred from using any of the knives considered dangerous and may cause grave bodily injury.  However, the prosecutors believe it is difficult to prove that a minor possessed a knife for unlawful purposes. And that also when they are found with boxcutters, razors, or other household tools. 

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