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

Kansas is one of the few states lenient to knife owners, especially after the law amendment in 2013. As knife-friendly as the state is, it is still important to understand what the law permits or not. This article will help you understand all the necessary details regarding knife ownership in Kansas.

Does Kansas Have Statewide Preemption Knife Laws?

Kansas has statewide preemption knife laws meaning local municipalities are prohibited from having other restrictive knife laws besides those provided by the state.

According to Kansas law:

  • Municipalities must not pass any tax, resolution, rule, or ordinance relating to the carrying, registration, possession, transfer, gift, transportation, sale, devise, license, or purchase of a knife or knife-making component.
  • A municipality must not pass any rule, resolution, or ordinance regarding the creation of a knife that is more restrictive than any such rule, resolution, or ordinance regarding the manufacture of other retail goods.

From the above statements, it is clear that local counties cannot enforce any other restrictive rules relating to the ownership, carrying, manufacture, transportation, sale, or transfer of knives.

This makes all state laws regarding knives uniform across all of Kansas.

The law further states that any law prohibited under the abovementioned sections adopted by a municipality before 1st July 2014 is null and void. Furthermore, no action will be taken against an individual violating the law under the above prohibitions if the offense occurred on or after 1st July 2013.

Kansas Knife Definitions

Different states have different definitions for weapons and certain types of knives. Learning these definitions is crucial to understanding what is legal and illegal to own within the state.

Below are the knife-related definitions you need to know in Kansas:

  • Knife – According to Kansas law, a knife is defined as a cutting instrument that is dangerous or deadly due to its sharp edge(s) and/or point(s). This may include but is not limited to knives such as straight-edged razors, dirks, stilettos, switchblades, and daggers.
  • Throwing star – a throwing weapon, but without handles made of metal with three (or more) points with one or more sharp edges designed in a geometric shape (i.e., cross, diamond, polygon, star, or trefoil).
  • Weapon – a firearm or a knife.

Legal Knives in Kansas

The following knives are legal to own in Kansas:

  • Large knives like bowies
  • Stabbing knives like dirks, daggers, stilettos, etc.
  • Disguised knives like cane swords, lipstick, and belt knives
  • Switchblades and other automatic knives
  • Gravity Knives
  • Throwing knives
  • Undetectable knives which a metal detector cannot recognize

Illegal Knives in Kansas

The following knives are illegal to possess or own in Kansas:

  • Metal knuckles
  • Throwing stars
  • Blackjack 

Selling, manufacturing, buying, or possessing any bludgeon, sand club, throwing star, or metal knuckles is a criminal offense.

Furthermore, possessing the same (with unlawful intent) or using against another person a slungshot, billy, blackjack, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon is illegal.

When it comes to the issue of intent, any other knife not mentioned above falls in the grey area of a deadly or dangerous weapon or instrument of like character (a knife). In such a situation, it is up to the court to determine whether your intentions were good or bad.

Kansas Knife Carry Laws

Now that you know what you can and cannot own, let us look at what the law says about how or where you carry your knives.

  • It is illegal to carry open or concealed any bludgeon, sand club, throwing star, or metal knuckles.
  • It is unlawful to carry a billy, blackjack, slungshot, or any other deadly or dangerous weapon on one’s person.
  • It is illegal to knowingly carry on one’s person, or in any land, water, or air vehicle the same weapons (mentioned above) with unlawful intent.
  • It is illegal to carry a knife in schools or government buildings
  • It is a crime for a convicted felon to possess or carry a weapon.

Exemptions

Criminal carrying of a weapon, including knives, does not apply to the following persons in Kansas:

  • Law enforcement officers
  • Anyone asked by law enforcement officers to assist in making arrests or preserve the peace while assisting an officer
  • Wardens, superintendents, directors, security personnel, and keepers of prisons, jails, and other institutions for detention on duty
  • Members of the armed forces, reserve forces, Kansas national guards on duty
  • Any authorized individual by the state to possess such weapons

Kansas Knife Length Laws

Before the amendment in 2013, Kansas had knife length limitations of four inches or less. Thanks to the new law, this limitation was lifted, and there are no restrictions on blade length.

This means you can own a knife of any length in Kansas.

Kansas Knife Laws by Demographic

Do Kansas knife laws apply to everybody regardless of age or criminal history? Read on to find out.

Who Can Carry and Buy Knives in Kansas?

Anybody can carry and buy knives in Kansas. The only restriction on the sale and transfer of knives depends on the type of knife.

However, the law clearly states that it is illegal for anybody to sell, manufacture, buy or own a sand club, throwing star, blackjack, metal knuckles, or bludgeon.

Knife carry laws are similar in that they depend highly on the type and intent or reason for carrying the knife. Therefore, it is illegal for anybody, regardless of gender or age, to carry a blackjack, metal knuckles, a throwing star, or any other deadly weapon.

How Old do You Have to be to Carry a Knife in Kansas?

There are no age restrictions on carrying knives in Kansas as long as the knives are legal.

Remember, illegal knives include throwing stars, metal knuckles, and blackjacks. Additionally, there are limitations on where you can carry knives in Kansas.

Unless authorized by the law, law enforcement officer, security personnel, member of the armed forces, or Kansas national guard, it is illegal to carry a knife in a school or government building regardless of age.

Can a Felon Carry a Knife in Kansas?

A level 8, non-person felony for a convicted felon to possess or carry a weapon in Kansas. Remember, the law defines a weapon as a firearm or knife.

Therefore, a felon cannot carry a knife in Kansas.

A knife in this context includes a dangerous/deadly cutting tool like a stiletto, dagger, dirk, switchblade, or straight-edged razor.

Kansas Concealed Knife Carry Laws

Can You Open Carry a Knife in Kansas?

You can carry all legal knives within the boundaries of the state of Kansas. The only limitation is on location.

It is a crime to carry a weapon on school grounds or government buildings unless authorized by the state or a law enforcement officer. Additionally, convicted felons cannot open carry a knife in Kansas.

Can You Conceal Carry a Knife in Kansas?

You can conceal carry all knives considered to be “legal” in Kansas (see above).

The law prohibits you from conceal-carrying billies, blackjacks, slungshots, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument.

Even though the law does not mention other types of knives in this section, they might fall under a dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument of like character. However, the burden of proof is on the court.

Limitations on conceal carry are in schools, government buildings, and for convicted felons.

FAQ

Is a Gravity Knife Illegal in Kansas?

A gravity knife is not illegal in Kansas. The only illegal knives in Kansas are throwing stars, metal knuckles, and blackjacks.

Is a Butterfly Knife Legal in Kansas?

A butterfly knife is legal to own in Kansas.

Are OTF Knives Legal in Kansas?

It is legal to own an OTF knife in Kansas.

Are Switchblades Legal in Kansas?

The 2013 amendment removed any restrictions on ownership, sale, and transfer of switchblade knives, making them legal in Kansas.

Conclusion

Since 2013 Kansas is, in my opinion, of the most knife-friendly states.

Laws that are quite generous to knife carriers (and laws that don’t say either way) have been helpful in many people getting and carrying the knives that they want.

So once you’ve educated yourself (and double-checked with your local law offices) you should be able to purchase and enjoy your favorite knife with confidence!