Idaho 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.

Are you a pocket knife enthusiast living in the state of Idaho? If so, it’s important to know the laws regarding knives before buying or carrying one.

This complete guide to knife laws in the state of Idaho can help answer your questions and provide insight into what is legal and illegal when it comes to owning, using, selling, distributing, or even possessing knives.

Or, at least, it will as long as I can tolerate muddling through more pages or legal documents.

Overview of Idaho Knife Laws

Knife laws in Idaho are designed to ensure the safety of citizens while allowing individuals to carry knives for recreational and utilitarian purposes.

In order to understand what types of knives are allowed in Idaho, it is important to first define a knife. A knife is defined as any instrument or device with a sharpened blade that can be used for cutting or stabbing.

This includes pocketknives, hunting knives, switchblades, butterfly knives, balisongs (also known as “butterfly” or “batangas”), daggers, dirks and stilettos.

Types of Knives Allowed in Idaho

The state allows most types of folding pocketknives with blades less than four inches long; fixed-blade hunting and fishing knives; bowie-style hunting/utility knives; kitchen cutlery such as steak knives; certain martial arts weapons such as katanas and nunchaku; and other utility tools like multi-tools with blades attached. Balisong/butterfly style knifes are also legal provided they have a blade length under 4 inches long

Additionally, minors under 18 years old may not possess any type of knife except those necessary for their employment or school activities, unless accompanied by an adult guardian who has given permission for them to do so.

In Idaho, it is important to be aware of the different types of knives that are allowed and prohibited. Furthermore, understanding open carry and concealed carry laws will help ensure that knife owners stay within the bounds of Idaho law when carrying their knives in public.

Carrying Knives in Public

Open Carry Laws

In Idaho, it is legal to openly carry a pocket knife in public. However, there are some restrictions on the type of knives that can be carried and where they can be carried. For example, any knife with a blade longer than four inches cannot be openly carried in public places such as schools or government buildings. Additionally, switchblades and other automatic knives are not allowed to be openly carried in Idaho.

Concealed Carry Laws

It is illegal to conceal carry any kind of knife in Idaho unless you have an enhanced concealed weapons permit (CWP). If you do have an enhanced CWP then you may legally conceal carry any type of pocketknife regardless of size or style as long as it does not exceed five inches in length when opened.

There are certain areas where carrying a pocketknife is prohibited even if it is open or concealed carried with an enhanced CWP. These include schools, government buildings, airports and courthouses among others.

Local municipalities may also impose additional restrictions on the types of knives that can be legally owned and/or carried within their jurisdiction so it is important to check your local laws before purchasing or carrying a pocketknife anywhere within the state of Idaho.

Carrying knives in public can be a tricky matter, but understanding the laws and restrictions can help ensure that knife owners remain compliant with the law. Next, we will look at possession of knives by minors and age restrictions for possessing them.

Possession of Knives by Minors

In Idaho, minors under the age of 18 are prohibited from possessing knives. This includes any type of knife, such as pocket knives, switchblades, butterfly knives and other similar weapons. Exceptions to this rule include possession for educational or recreational purposes with parental consent.

Age Restrictions for Possessing Knives

The legal age for owning and carrying a knife in Idaho is 18 years old. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to possess any kind of knife including pocket knives, switchblades, butterfly knives and other similar weapons without parental consent or supervision. Minors who violate this law can be charged with a misdemeanor offense which could result in fines and/or jail time depending on the severity of the violation.

Exceptions to the Age Restriction Rule

There are some exceptions to this rule that allow minors under the age of 18 to possess certain types of knives if they have permission from their parents or guardians. For example, minors may possess pocketknives if they are using them for educational or recreational purposes such as hunting or fishing trips with their parents’ permission.

Minors may also carry pocketknives while participating in activities sponsored by an organization such as Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts if they have written permission from their parent/guardian allowing them to do so

It is important to be aware of the age restrictions for possessing knives in Idaho, as well as any exceptions that may apply. It is also important to understand the legal implications of using a knife as a weapon, which will be discussed next.

Use of Knives as Weapons

It is illegal to use a knife in Idaho as a weapon. This includes using it to threaten, intimidate, or harm another person. The law also prohibits the possession of any type of dangerous weapon with intent to use it unlawfully against another person. Examples include knives that are designed for combat such as switchblades and butterfly knives, daggers, stilettos, throwing stars, and other martial arts weapons.

Violation of this law can result in serious penalties including fines and jail time. If convicted of a felony offense involving the unlawful use or possession of a deadly weapon such as a knife, an individual may face up to five years in prison and/or up to $5,000 in fines depending on the severity of the crime committed.

It is important to be aware of the legal use and restrictions on knives in Idaho, as misuse can lead to serious penalties. Moving forward, it’s also essential to understand the legal requirements for selling and distributing knives in Idaho.

Sale and Distribution of Knives in Idaho

When it comes to selling and distributing knives in Idaho, there are certain legal requirements that must be followed. It is important for knife sellers and distributors to understand these laws so they can remain compliant with the law.

Legal Requirements for Selling and Distributing Knives in Idaho

In order to legally sell or distribute knives in Idaho, a person must have a valid license issued by the state. The license must include information such as the name of the seller/distributor, their address, the type of business they are conducting (retail or wholesale), date of issuance, expiration date, etc. Additionally, all sales transactions involving knives must be documented on an invoice which includes details about the buyer’s identity (name & address) as well as details about what was purchased (type & quantity).

Restricted Areas for Selling and Distributing Knives

It is illegal to sell or distribute any kind of knife within 1000 feet of any school property line or public playground area without written permission from local authorities.

This restriction also applies to any other location where minors may congregate such as parks, arcades, and movie theaters. Furthermore, it is illegal to advertise or promote the sale/distribution of knives within 500 feet of schools unless authorized by local authorities. Violation of this law can result in fines of up to $1000 per incident plus possible jail time depending on the severity of the violation(s).

In Idaho, it is important to understand the laws and regulations regarding the sale and distribution of knives in order to ensure that these activities are conducted safely and legally. Moving on, let’s take a look at the preemption law regarding knife regulations.

Preemption Law Regarding Knife Regulations

Preemption law regarding knife regulations in Idaho states that local governments cannot pass any laws that are more restrictive than state law when it comes to regulating knives. This means that if a city or county wants to regulate the possession, sale, transfer, and use of knives within its jurisdiction, it must adhere to the same standards as those set by the state.

For example, if Idaho has a statewide ban on switchblades but allows for other types of pocketknives with blades longer than 3 inches in length, then no city or county can pass an ordinance banning all pocketknives regardless of blade length.

In addition to preemption laws related to knife regulations in Idaho, there are also restrictions on carrying knives in public places.

Generally speaking, open carry is allowed as long as the blade does not exceed four inches in length, and concealed carry is prohibited unless you have a valid permit from your local sheriff’s office.

There may be additional restrictions depending on where you are located; for instance, some cities may prohibit open carry altogether while others may only allow certain types of knives such as folding blades or non-locking utility knives. It’s important to check with your local government before carrying any type of knife outside your home or vehicle.

Preemption Law Regarding Knife Regulations provides that local laws cannot regulate the possession, sale, transfer, or manufacture of knives. This is important to understand as it sets a clear framework for how knife regulations are enforced and what penalties may be imposed if they are violated.

Enforcement and Penalties for Violating Knife Laws

In Idaho, knife laws are enforced by local law enforcement agencies. Penalties for violating these laws can range from fines to jail time depending on the severity of the offense.

For example, if a person is found in possession of an illegal knife such as a switchblade or gravity knife, they may be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment for up to six months. Carrying any type of concealed weapon without a permit is also prohibited and could result in misdemeanor charges with possible fines and/or jail time.

Using knives as weapons against another person is considered assault or battery which can lead to more serious criminal charges including felony convictions that carry much harsher penalties than simple possession offenses.

It is important for all knife owners in Idaho to familiarize themselves with state laws regarding knives so they do not inadvertently break them when carrying their pocketknife around town or engaging in recreational activities like hunting or fishing where knives are commonly used tools. Ignorance of the law does not excuse violations, therefore it is best practice for everyone who owns a pocketknife in Idaho to understand what types of knives are legal and how they should be carried while out in public spaces.

FAQs in Relation to Idaho Knife Law

What knives are illegal in Idaho?

In Idaho, it is illegal to own or carry any switchblade knife with a blade longer than 3 inches. It is also illegal to possess any dirk, dagger, stiletto, bowie knife, or another similar type of weapon that has a double-edged blade and/or an automatic spring release mechanism.

It is also unlawful for anyone under the age of 18 to possess any pocketknife with a blade length greater than 2 1/2 inches.

Lastly, all knives must be carried in plain sight and not concealed on one’s person while in public areas. Violation of these laws can result in fines and possible jail time depending on the severity of the offense.

Are out-the-front knives legal in Idaho?

Out-the-front knives, also known as OTFs, are not legal in Idaho. This includes any type of knife that has a blade that can be deployed from the handle by pressing a button or switch. Carrying an OTF is considered to be illegal under Idaho state law and may result in criminal charges if found in possession.

It is important to understand local laws before purchasing or carrying any type of pocket knife, especially those with blades that deploy quickly such as out-the-front knives.

Is it legal to open carry a sword in Idaho?

No, it is not legal to open carry a sword in Idaho. This includes any type of bladed weapon such as swords, daggers, machetes, and other similar weapons. Concealed carrying of these weapons is also prohibited by law. Violation of this law can result in criminal charges including fines and possible jail time. It is important to check local laws before carrying any type of weapon for personal protection or recreational use.

Is it legal to carry a butterfly knife in Idaho?

No, it is not legal to carry a butterfly knife in Idaho. According to the state’s laws, any type of switchblade or automatic knife with a blade longer than 2 inches is illegal. This includes balisongs (butterfly knives). Violating this law can result in misdemeanor charges and possible jail time. It is important for anyone who carries pocket knives to be aware of their local laws before doing so.


In conclusion, it is important to be aware of the knife laws in Idaho before carrying or using a pocket knife. It is illegal to carry certain types of knives in public and minors are prohibited from possessing them. Knives should never be used as weapons, and selling or distributing them must comply with state regulations.

Violations of these laws can result in fines and other penalties. Understanding the specifics of Idaho Knife Law will help ensure that you remain compliant with the law when owning or using a pocket knife within the state.

It’s time to take a stand and make sure that everyone knows the laws surrounding knives in Idaho. We need to ensure that knife owners understand their rights, as well as what is legal for them to carry and use.

By doing this we can create a safer environment for all citizens of Idaho by helping reduce crime involving knives, while still allowing people access to tools they may need or want. Let’s work together towards creating responsible solutions so that our community can be protected!

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