Colorado Knife Law – The Complete Guide (In Plain English)

This article was created to be a brief synopsis of the law according to my understanding and is not legal advice. Knifeade is not a legal service provider. Using this site does not create a client/lawyer relationship. Because knife laws can be interpreted differently by different people and entities it is recommended that you consult legal counsel for specific information and guidance.

I’ll admit it, Colorado knife law is a complex and confusing topic (just like every other state I’ve written about).

However, it’s important to understand what types of knives are legal/prohibited and the restrictions for carrying them in public before purchasing or owning one.

Colorado has different regulations than other states when it comes to age limits on ownership as well as concealed carry laws for pocket knives – so don’t risk being fined by not knowing the details.

In this blog post we’ll explore colorado knife law in depth; from understanding which kinds of blades are allowed to learning about exceptions that can be made if you break any rules. So buckle up, because here’s everything you need to know about colorado knife law.

Types of Knives Legal in Colorado

Folding Pocket Knives:

Folding pocket knives are the most common type of knife found in Colorado. These knives have a blade that folds into the handle and is held closed by a locking mechanism. They come in many shapes, sizes, and styles and can be used for everyday tasks such as cutting rope or opening packages.

Fixed Blade Knives:

Fixed-blade knives are also legal to own in Colorado. These types of knives have blades that do not fold into the handle but instead remain fixed in place when opened. They tend to be larger than folding pocket knives and often feature a guard at the base of the blade to protect your fingers from slipping onto it while using it. Fixed-blade knives are typically used for more heavy-duty tasks such as skinning game or chopping wood.

Prohibited Knife Types in Colorado

Automatic Knives (Switchblades):

Automatic knives, commonly referred to as switchblades, are prohibited in the state of Colorado. These knives have a blade that is automatically deployed with the press of a button or other mechanical device. Switchblade knives are illegal to own and carry in Colorado regardless of whether they are concealed or openly carried.

Gravity Knives:

Gravity knives are also prohibited in the state of Colorado. These types of knives feature blades that can be released from their handles by using gravity or centrifugal force, allowing them to be opened quickly and easily without having to use any type of mechanical device.

Dirks, daggers, and stilettos are all considered dangerous weapons under Colorado law and therefore cannot be owned or carried either openly or concealed within the state’s borders. A dirk is defined as a double-edged stabbing weapon while a dagger typically has one edge for cutting purposes but may also have two edges

A stiletto is similar to both dirks and daggers but features an elongated slender blade designed primarily for thrusting attacks rather than slashing ones like its counterparts do.

Knives with a blade longer than 3.5 inches are prohibited in Colorado, so it is important to be aware of the laws when considering which pocket knife to buy and carry. Now let’s look at the restrictions on concealed carry of knives in Colorado.

Concealed Carry Laws for Knives in Colorado

Definition of Concealed Carry in Colorado:

In the state of Colorado, concealed carry is defined as carrying a weapon that is not visible to the public. This includes knives with blades longer than three and a half inches.

It should be noted that while folding pocket knives may be legally carried concealed in some circumstances (such as when traveling), balisong (butterfly) knives are never allowed to be carried concealed under any circumstance within the state’s borders.

In Colorado, concealed carry of knives is subject to certain restrictions. Open carry laws for knives in the state will be discussed next.

Open Carry Laws for Knives in Colorado

Open carry of knives is legal in the state of Colorado, with some restrictions. Open carry means that a person can visibly and openly display their knife on their body or clothing without it being concealed from view. This article will provide an overview of open carry laws for knives in Colorado, including definitions and restrictions.

Definition of Open Carry in Colorado

In the state of Colorado, open carry refers to carrying a weapon (in this case a knife) outside one’s clothing so that it is visible to others. It does not refer to concealing the weapon on one’s person or within one’s clothing or vehicle. In other words, if you are wearing your pocketknife clipped onto your belt loop where everyone can see it, then you are engaging in open carry according to the law.

Restrictions on Open Carry of Knives in Colorado

Lastly, certain cities have additional regulations regarding weapons such as Denver which prohibits anyone from possessing any “dangerous instrument” including any kind of bladed item over 3 ½ inches long even if worn visibly outside one’s clothing while traveling through city limits.

Overall, these rules ensure that individuals who choose to engage in open carry do so responsibly by following local laws and using common sense when handling their weapons around other people.

Open carry laws for knives in Colorado can be confusing, so it is important to understand the restrictions on open carry of knives and age restrictions for knife ownership and carrying. Next, we will look at the age restrictions for knife ownership and carrying in Colorado.

Age Restrictions for Knife Ownership and Carrying in Colorado

In Colorado, the age restrictions for knife ownership and carrying depend on whether you are open carrying or concealing a knife. The minimum age to own or possess a knife in Colorado is 18 years old. This means that anyone under the age of 18 cannot legally purchase, carry, or use any type of pocketknife without parental permission.

When it comes to open carry laws for knives in Colorado, there is no minimum age requirement as long as you do not conceal the weapon.

However, if you choose to conceal your pocketknife then you must be at least 21 years old before doing so. It is important to note that even though there is no minimum age requirement for open carry of knives in Colorado, some cities may have their own ordinances which restrict minors from carrying certain types of weapons including pocket knives.

Therefore, it’s always best to check with local law enforcement before attempting to open carry a pocketknife in public places such as parks and schools.

In Colorado, it is important to understand the age restrictions for owning and carrying a knife. Penalties for violating these laws can be severe, so it’s essential to know what they are before carrying or purchasing a pocket knife. Next, we will look at the penalties for breaking Colorado’s knife laws.

Penalties for Violating Knife Laws in Colorado

Violating knife laws in Colorado can result in serious penalties. Depending on the severity and nature of the violation, a person may face fines or jail time.

For minor violations such as carrying an illegal type of knife, a person may be fined up to $500 and/or sentenced to up to six months in jail. Examples of illegal knives include switchblades, gravity knives, dirks, daggers, and stilettos. Additionally, it is against the law for anyone under 18 years old to own or possess any kind of pocketknife without parental consent.

More serious violations such as using a knife during the commission of another crime can lead to more severe punishments including longer prison sentences and higher fines. For example, if someone uses a weapon like a pocketknife while committing robbery they could face additional charges that carry stiffer penalties than just robbery alone would have carried.

It is important for people who are interested in owning or carrying pocketknives in Colorado to understand what types are legal and which ones are not so that they do not inadvertently break the law by possessing an illegal type of knife or carrying one concealed when it is prohibited by state law.

It is also important for people under 18 years old who want to own pocketknives to get permission from their parents before doing so since minors cannot legally purchase them without parental consent even if they are legal types of knives otherwise allowed by state law.

Violations of Colorado’s knife laws can result in serious penalties, such as fines and jail time. Fortunately, there are some exceptions to the rules regarding carrying and owning knives that may provide relief from these consequences.

Exceptions to the Rules Regarding Knife-Carrying and Ownership in Colorado

In Colorado, there are certain exceptions to the rules regarding knife carrying and ownership. For example, members of the military or law enforcement may be allowed to carry certain types of knives that would otherwise be prohibited for civilians. Similarly, hunters and fishermen may also possess certain types of knives that would otherwise be illegal for civilian use.

Additionally, some activities such as martial arts training or blacksmithing require the use of specific styles of knives which may not typically be legal in Colorado but can still legally be used during those activities with proper supervision from a qualified instructor.

Furthermore, individuals who work in occupations such as culinary arts or woodworking often need to have access to specific types and sizes of pocketknives while on the job; these individuals will usually receive an exemption from local laws if they can demonstrate their necessity for a particular type or style of knife while performing their duties at work.

FAQs in Relation to Colorado Knife Law

Can you legally carry a knife in Colorado?

Yes, you can legally carry a pocket knife in Colorado. The state does not have any laws that prohibit the carrying of pocket knives with blades shorter than 3.5 inches in length. However, it is important to note that some cities and counties may have their own ordinances regarding the possession and use of certain types of knives, so it is best to check local regulations before carrying a knife.

Do remember that all individuals must abide by federal law when transporting or possessing any type of weapon across state lines.

What is a legal knife in Colorado?

In Colorado, pocket knives with blades shorter than 3.5 inches are generally considered legal to own and carry. However, there are some exceptions such as butterfly knives or switchblades which may be illegal in certain circumstances. It is important to check local laws before purchasing a knife as they can vary from city to city. Additionally, it is always best practice to keep the blade concealed when carrying a pocket knife in public places for safety reasons.

Can you carry an OTF knife in Colorado?

It is illegal to carry an OTF (out-the-front) knife in Colorado. This includes any type of automatic or switchblade knife. Possession and sale of these types of knives are prohibited by state law. It is also illegal to possess a gravity knife, which is defined as any knife with a blade that can be released from the handle by the force of gravity or centrifugal force. Violation of this law may result in criminal charges being filed against you.

Are switchblades legal in Colorado?

Switchblades are not legal in Colorado. The state has strict laws regarding the possession and use of switchblades, which include automatic knives with a blade that opens automatically by pressing a button or other device located on the handle.

It is illegal to carry, possess, sell, give away, or manufacture any type of switchblade knife within the state. Violation of these laws can result in criminal charges and fines of up to $750.


In conclusion, it is important to understand the laws surrounding knives in Colorado before carrying or owning one. There are certain types of knives that are legal and others that are prohibited, as well as restrictions on concealed carry and open carry for those who wish to own a knife.

Additionally, there are age restrictions in place regarding the ownership and carrying of knives, with penalties for violating these laws. However, there may be exceptions depending on the situation so it’s best to research further if you have any questions about Colorado knife law.

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