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

Despite how short and liberal Connecticut Knife Laws are, they leave a fair amount of latitude and confusion about the specific types of knives that can be owned or carried in the state.

So let’s take a deep dive and see if we can make things a bit more black and white.

Quick Notes Version Of Connecticut Law

Legal Knives

In general, Connecticut has very few laws regarding what types of knives can be owned.

Legal knives include:

  • Balisong/butterfly knives
  • Switchblades
  • Gravity knives
  • Dirks, stilettos, daggers, and push knives
  • Bowie knives (or other large fixed blade or folding knives)
  • Disguised knives eg. belt buckle knives, cane knives, lipstick knives, etc.

Long story short, basically any type of knife that you can think of is legal to own if all you’re going to do with it is have it in your home. There are, however, laws that make certain knives illegal for carrying in public.

Illegal Knives

Connecticut knife law has several restrictions about the length of knife that can be carried.

These laws apply whether you are carrying the knife openly or concealing it. In other words, do not leave your property with the following knives:

  • Automatica knives (including switchblades) over 1.5″
  • Stilettos (OTF knives)
  • Knives 4″ or over with a single cutting edge (meaning a 4.00″ blade is illegal)
  • Double edge knives over 1.5″

Note that lengths refer to the EDGED PORTION of the blade, not the length of the overall knife or blade. Blade length is supposed to be measured using the AKTI Protocol (with a 1/8″ variance allowed) but law enforcement is not required to observe the variance.

Other Regulations To Be Aware Of

Because the penalty for breaking many of Connecticut’s knife laws is a felony (meaning a fine and jail time) you’ll want to be aware of a few more things so you can keep your nose clean:

  • Transport of “Illegal Knives” Knives of the “Illegal” list that are techincally legal to own can only be carried or used on private land with the permission of the land owner. If you are going camping on private land, any knives that are not legal for carry must be transported in the trunkn where they cannot be accessed.
  • Age limit. There is no age limit for owning or carrying knives in the state of Connecticut. However, most stores will not sell a knife to a person under 16 years old without a parent present.
  • “Lisence” to carry. Knives with a blade longer than 4″ can be carried if you have a fishing or hunting lisence and are activity engaged in the sport.
  • Automatic knives. In Connecticut, automatic knives are categorized as having a “spring release device.” This leaves it a big ambigous about whther assisted knives without a spring release are legal but most consider them to be fine only if the blade is under 1.5″ Automatic knives can be carried by firefighters and first responders that carry ID with them.
  • Schools are off-limits. Any sort of “dangerous weapon” cannot be carried at schools K-12 (either public or private) or at any school-sponsored activities.

As a finishing note for our summary, I will say that just because a knife is “legal” does not mean you won’t get in trouble for carrying it. While you might be fine in court, ornery police officers can make your life miserable. Do your best to stay as far within the laws as possible.

State Knife Law of Connecticut

According to the constitution of Connecticut, Article 1 (Section 15) every citizen has the right to bear arms for self-defense. If you have a CCW you can carry pretty much any gun you want.

Knives, however, are a different story.

The ownership of a knife or a blade is unrestricted in Connecticut as long as it is in your home. Selling and buying are also permitted but you need to know some basic legislation for carrying the knives in different places. Moreover, you cannot hide knives or blades while traveling.

A minor under 18 years cannot buy, sell or carry blades and knives without legal permission.

Specific Sections:

Related Information?

Connecticut State Knife Legal Cases

Carry Law of Connecticut

According to Section 53-206 of the 2011 Connecticut Code (Title 53 crimes, Chapter 943) carrying a knife in the streets or public place is an offense against public safety and peace.

As per Section 53-206, carrying any dangerous weapon is prohibited which has an automatic spring release. Blades above 4” are restricted to carry. If you carry knives without any permission, then you have to compensate five hundred dollars or be imprisoned for three years. Automatic knife and stilettos cannot be carried more than 15”. If you carry it, then the penalty is not less than $500- or three-years imprisonment.    

Concealment Carry Law of Connecticut

Many knives are illegal in Connecticut such as switchblades and pocket knives. Carrying knives by hiding is an offender against the law of

Connecticut. The infringement of the law can penalize you with three years imprisonment and a $500 fine. You may be imprisoned for five years or compensated with $1,000 fine if you carry the illegal blades and knives in vehicles without permission.

Limit of the Length of Knife in Connecticut

According to the Connecticut Knife Law, you cannot carry any knife which is longer than 4.5”. Moreover, the blade of the knife should not be longer than 1.5”. Only some people are allowed to carry large knives who require knives and blades in their profession like butchers, barbers, hunters, and military departments.

Exception of Using Knives

According to codes 53-206 & 29-38, if the knife is required for your profession like fishing, the work of butcher, barber, security guard, or in the armed force, then you won’t be penalized for using or carrying knives. However, you have to show your fishing, hunting, or another license of your profession. Moreover, people are allowed to carry knives, blades, and other sharp elements when they are shifting to another place or changing their house.

Types of Legal Knives in Connecticut

All the citizens and migrants of Connecticut need to follow the legal regulations of the Connecticut Knife Law for buying, using, carrying, and selling different types of knives. Let us discuss some legal knives and blades of Connecticut:

  1. Razor Blade – According to Section 53-207, carrying or using razor is not an offense.  
  2. Bowie Knife – Bowie is a hunting knife that is often used by hunters and the butchers. However, it is allowed to use in Connecticut.
  3. Ballistic Knife – Ballistic Knife is a part of a switchblade and as per the Switchblade Act, citizens and migrants in Connecticut can carry Ballistic Knife but with the permission.
  4. Undetectable Knives – These knives are hard to detect because they are hidden knives and the handle of these knives is made of plastic, titanium, carbon fiber, ceramic, fiberglass and zytel. Lipstick knife and a pen knife are some of the examples of undetectable knives.
  5. Dirks/Daggers – This is a knife without a handguard. It is a deadly weapon, so you need to take permission from the authority for using dirk or dagger.
  6. Gravity Knife – This knife has a spinning motion to propel the blade out of the handle. It opens with a push.
  7. Balisong – Usually, this fanning or flipping knife is used for self-defense. It is allowed in Connecticut.
  8. Pocket Knife – The length of the pocket knife should be less than 1.5”.

Note

As per Section 53-207, you cannot carry any deadly knife and blade openly without legal permission.

Types of Illegal Knives in Connecticut

Not all knives are allowed to use and carry in Connecticut. You should know about the prohibited blades and knives in Connecticut because using illegal knives may put you in jail for a long time:

  • Any blade or knife longer than 4” is illegal.
  • Automatic or concealed knife over 1.5” are illegal.
  • Stilettos are illegal in Connecticut because of its pointed blade.
  • Switchblade over 1.5” is illegal as per Connecticut Knife law.
  • According to Section 53-206, you cannot carry metal or brass knife, knuckles, dirk and blackjack knife.
  • You cannot carry throwing stars, batons, and nightsticks also.

Penalties for Carrying and Using Illegal Knives

If you use, buy or carry illegal knives, then he or she will fall guilty under Class E felony as per Section 53a-3. According to Section 53-206 of Connecticut Knife law, you have to compensate $1,000 or you will be imprisoned for five years.

Restricted Places to Use and Carry Knives in Connecticut

According to Connecticut Knife Law, there are many places where you are not permitted to carry knives and blades. You may have to compensate if you carry any sharp tools in such places.

  1. Schools – According to Section 53-207 of Connecticut Knife Law, you cannot carry knives and blades in office. You need to take the permission of the authority of the school or any educational institute for carrying or using a knife.
  2. Vehicles – According to Section 29-38 of Connecticut Knife Law, any person who carries any deadly weapon or a knife in public transports will be imprisoned for three years under Section 53-206 and he or she will be charged $500.   
  3. Government Buildings – Knives are restricted in government buildings like a bank, post office and court. If you carry knives and weapons in the government building, then the penalty for that will be $500.
  4. Public Places – You cannot carry knives and blades openly in streets, markets, fairs, and bus stand. If you are changing your home and carrying knives or other sharp tools, then keep the proof for that, so that you can show it to the investment officer of the state.

Bottom Line

The usage of knives is not restricted in Connecticut if it is used or carried legally by taking permission. Any wrong usage put you inside the lock-up. So, as a citizen of the state, it is your responsibility to follow the regulations of Connecticut Knife Law for buying, using, selling, and carrying. Rules and regulations are made for your safety, so you should follow them for yourself and for the safety of other citizens or migrants in the state.

Switchblade?

Balisong?

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