Louisiana 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.

Louisiana knife law is an important topic for anyone who enjoys owning or carrying a pocket knife in the state.

From the types of knives that are allowed in Louisiana to the penalties associated with violating state laws, it’s essential to understand what you can and cannot do when it comes to legally possessing and using your pocketknife

In this blog post, we’ll discuss all aspects of Louisiana knife law so you know exactly how to stay within the boundaries of legal ownership while still enjoying your blade. We’ll also cover everything from which kinds of knives are permitted under Louisiana knife law to any exceptions that may apply depending on where you live.

Types of Knives Allowed in Louisiana

Folding Pocket Knives

Folding pocket knives are the most common type of knife allowed in Louisiana. These types of knives typically have a blade that folds into the handle, making them easy to carry and conceal. Examples include Swiss Army knives, multi-tools, and traditional pocket knives.

Fixed Blade Knives

Fixed-blade knives are also allowed in Louisiana. These types of knives feature blades that do not fold or retract into the handle, making them more durable than folding pocket knives. Common examples include hunting and fishing knives as well as kitchen cutlery such as chef’s and butcher’s knives.

Switchblades and automatic opening knives are legal to own in Louisiana, but they cannot be carried concealed on one’s person without a valid permit from law enforcement officials. Examples of switchblade/automatic opening knives include butterfly or balisong style knives with spring-assisted blades as well as OTF (out-the-front) knives with sliding mechanisms for deploying their blades quickly.

In Louisiana, folding pocket knives, fixed-blade knives, and switchblades are allowed. However, other types of knives such as ballistic knives, undetectable knives and dirks, daggers, and stilettos are prohibited in the state. Let’s take a look at what these prohibited knife types are.

Prohibited Knife Types in Louisiana

In Louisiana, there are certain types of knives that are prohibited from being owned or carried. These include ballistic knives, undetectable knives, dirks, daggers, and stilettos.

Ballistic Knives

Ballistic knives are illegal in the state of Louisiana. A ballistic knife is a type of knife with a detachable blade that can be fired like a projectile by pressing a button or switch on the handle. This type of weapon is considered to be extremely dangerous and has no practical use for everyday tasks such as cutting food or opening packages.

Undetectable Knives

Undetectable knives are also illegal in Louisiana. An undetectable knife is any type of knife with a blade made out of materials such as plastic or ceramic that cannot be detected by metal detectors commonly used at airports and other public places for security purposes. Possession or carrying an undetectable knife could lead to serious legal consequences if found by law enforcement officers during routine searches or investigations.

Dirks, daggers, and stilettos (also known as double-edged blades) are all considered to be weapons under Louisiana law due to their sharp edges which make them capable of inflicting serious injury when used against another person in an attack situation. It is illegal to own any kind of dirk, dagger, or stiletto within the state’s borders without first obtaining permission from local authorities before doing so legally through proper channels such as applying for permits issued by the police department where you live.

In Louisiana, it is illegal to possess certain types of knives such as ballistic knives, undetectable knives, dirks, daggers, or stilettos.

However, there are still restrictions on carrying legal pocket knives in the state that must be taken into consideration.

Carrying Restrictions for Legal Knives in Louisiana

Carrying legal knives in Louisiana is subject to certain restrictions. It’s important for knife owners to be aware of these laws and abide by them, as violations can result in civil or criminal penalties.

Concealed Carry Restrictions

Concealed carry of any type of knife is prohibited in Louisiana, except for pocket knives with blades less than 3 inches long. These knives must be carried in a closed position and not exposed to view. If the blade length exceeds 3 inches, it must remain completely concealed from view at all times when being transported on one’s person or property.

Open Carry Restrictions

Open carry of any type of knife is generally allowed in Louisiana, provided that the blade does not exceed 5 1/2 inches long and that it remains visible at all times while being transported on one’s person or property. However, open carry may still be restricted depending on local ordinances and regulations; thus it’s important to check with your local government before carrying a legal knife openly within city limits.

Carrying restrictions for legal knives in Louisiana are important to understand, as they can vary depending on the type of knife and the location. To ensure compliance with state law, it is important to be aware of the age requirements for knife ownership in Louisiana.

Age Requirements for Knife Ownership in Louisiana

In Louisiana, the minimum age to own a knife legally is 18 years old. This means that anyone under the age of 18 cannot purchase or possess any type of knife, including pocket knives and switchblades. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

Minors who are at least 16 years old may carry a folding pocketknife with blades no longer than 3 1/2 inches if they have written permission from their parent or guardian. The same applies for minors between 12 and 15 years old; however, the blade must be shorter than 2 1/2 inches in length. Additionally, those younger than 12 can carry a pocketknife as long as it has a blade less than 2 inches in length with parental consent.

When it comes to fixed-blade knives (knives without folding blades), such as daggers and dirks, there is no exception for minors regardless of age or size of the blade; these types of knives require an adult aged 18 or older to possess them legally in Louisiana.

It is important for all knife owners, including minors, to familiarize themselves with state laws regarding carrying restrictions on legal knives before heading out into public areas. This is because they could potentially face criminal charges if caught violating local ordinances related to concealed weapons possession even when possessing legal blades such as pocketknives and hunting knives.

It is important to be aware of the age requirements for knife ownership in Louisiana, as they can have legal consequences if not followed. Next, we will discuss the penalties associated with violating these laws.

Penalties for Violating Knife Laws in Louisiana

Civil Penalties for Illegal Possession of Knives in Louisiana

In Louisiana, the possession of certain types of knives is illegal and carries civil penalties. For example, it is illegal to possess a switchblade or automatic knife with a blade length greater than two inches. If caught with such a knife, you may be subject to fines up to $500 and/or imprisonment for up to six months. Additionally, if you are found carrying an undetectable knife or ballistic knife on your person without proper authorization from law enforcement officials, you could face fines ranging from $100-$500 and/or imprisonment for up to six months.

Criminal Penalties for Illegal Possession of Knives in Louisiana

Violations of knife laws in Louisiana can result in both civil and criminal penalties. Understanding these potential consequences is important before carrying a pocket knife in the state, so let’s take a look at how preemption laws affect local regulations on knives.

Preemption Laws Regarding Local Knife Regulations in Louisiana

Preemption laws are state laws that prevent local governments from enacting their own regulations on certain topics. In the case of Louisiana, preemption laws regarding knives restrict local municipalities from creating knife ordinances that differ from those established by the state legislature. This means that any restrictions or prohibitions imposed on knives must be consistent with statewide law and cannot conflict with it in any way.

In Louisiana, there is a general preemption statute which states that no municipality may pass an ordinance “which regulates in any manner whatsoever” the sale, purchase, transfer, ownership, possession, or use of firearms or ammunition unless such regulation is more restrictive than state law. This applies to all types of knives as well since they are considered weapons under this statute.

This means that while cities and towns can pass ordinances related to carrying concealed weapons (such as pocketknives) they cannot impose restrictions beyond what has been set forth by the state legislature. For example, if statewide law allows for open carry of pocketknives then a city cannot pass an ordinance prohibiting it within its jurisdiction even though other forms of open carry might be restricted at a local level.

Additionally, some cities have attempted to ban specific types of knives such as switchblades but these efforts have been unsuccessful due to preemption statutes that prohibit municipalities from regulating weapons differently than what has been set forth by the state government.

The same holds true for age requirements; while cities may establish minimum ages for purchasing certain items like alcohol and tobacco products, they cannot do so when it comes to buying knives since this would conflict with existing statewide legislation regarding weapon purchases and ownership rights.

Overall, preemption laws ensure consistency across all areas within Louisiana when it comes to knife regulations and prohibits local governments from establishing rules which could potentially contradict those already put into place by the State Legislature.

Preemption laws in Louisiana provide a uniform set of knife regulations throughout the state, ensuring that knife owners have consistent and reliable access to pocket knives. Moving on to exceptions to these statewide laws, we will explore what types of knives are exempt from regulation.

Exceptions to the Statewide Knife Laws in Louisiana

In Louisiana, there are several exceptions to the statewide knife laws. These exceptions allow certain individuals or groups of people to possess and carry knives that would otherwise be prohibited by state law.

One exception is for those who are employed in specific occupations such as police officers, security guards, and members of the military. These individuals may possess and carry switchblades or other automatic knives while on duty if they have been issued one by their employer.

Another exception applies to those who use a pocketknife for hunting or fishing purposes. While it is illegal to conceal carry a pocketknife with a blade longer than three inches, hunters and fishermen may still legally possess these types of knives when engaging in their respective activities so long as they do not attempt to conceal them on their person.

A third exception applies to antique collectors who own switchblade knives manufactured before 1958. It is legal for these collectors to own such items provided that they are kept solely for display purposes rather than used as weapons or tools.

FAQs in Relation to Louisiana Knife Law

What size knife is legal in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, it is illegal to carry any knife with a blade longer than 3 inches in length. This includes pocket knives, folding knives, and other types of blades. It is also illegal to possess or carry any switchblade or gravity knife without the proper permit. Additionally, it is unlawful for anyone under the age of 18 to possess any type of knife on school property or at school-sponsored events. All laws regarding carrying and possessing knives must be followed in order for individuals to remain compliant with state law.

Can you conceal carry a knife in Louisiana?

This includes pocket knives and other folding knives. It is also illegal to openly carry any type of switchblade or gravity knife. Possession of such weapons can result in fines and/or jail time depending on the severity of the offense. Therefore, it is not legal to conceal carry a pocket knife in Louisiana regardless of its size or purpose.

Is a gravity knife legal in Louisiana?

No, gravity knives are not legal in Louisiana. According to the state’s knife laws, any type of switchblade or gravity knife is considered an illegal weapon and is prohibited from being owned or carried by anyone in the state. Possession of a gravity knife can result in criminal charges including fines and jail time. It is important for those who own pocket knives to be aware of their local laws before carrying them with them in public places.

Can you bring a knife to school in Louisiana?

No, it is illegal to bring a knife to school in Louisiana. Possession of any type of weapon on school property is prohibited and can result in criminal charges. The state has a zero-tolerance policy for weapons on campus, which includes pocket knives. Violators may face suspension or expulsion from the school as well as possible criminal penalties depending on the severity of the offense.


In conclusion, it is important to understand the knife laws in Louisiana before carrying or purchasing a pocket knife. The state of Louisiana has restrictions on certain types of knives and age requirements for ownership.

It is also important to be aware of preemption laws regarding local regulations and exceptions to statewide laws. Knowing these rules can help you stay within the law when owning or carrying a pocket knife in Louisiana. Make sure you are familiar with Louisiana knife law so that you can safely enjoy your pocket knives without any legal issues.

By educating ourselves on the current state of knife law regulations, we can work together to advocate for changes that protect our rights as responsible citizens while keeping communities safe from potential harm caused by knives. We need your help – join us in creating a better future for everyone!

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