Maine 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 considering buying or carrying a pocket knife in Maine?

If so, you should be aware of the state’s laws regarding knives before doing so.

Knife ownership and use are regulated by the state, with different rules for concealed carry versus open carry. In this article, we will provide an overview of Maine knife law and discuss age restrictions on possession and usage within the state.

We’ll cover everything from what types of knives are legal to where they can legally be carried, ensuring that you have all your bases covered when it comes to owning or using a pocket knife in Maine.

Overview of Maine Knife Laws

Knives are a popular tool for many activities, from hunting and fishing to everyday tasks. In Maine, it is important to understand the laws governing knives in order to ensure that you remain compliant with state regulations.

Definition of a Knife

A knife is defined as any instrument or device that has a blade or sharp point capable of being used as a weapon. This includes pocket knives, switchblades, daggers, dirks, stilettos, swords, and other similar instruments.

Prohibited Knives in Maine

In Maine, it is illegal to possess certain types of knives including ballistic knives (spring-loaded blades), switchblades (knives with blades that open automatically), and gravity knives (knives with blades released by centrifugal force). It is also illegal to carry any type of knife concealed on your person without proper authorization from law enforcement.

Additionally, some cities may have additional restrictions on the possession or carrying of certain types of weapons such as brass knuckles and stun guns/tasers.

Legal Carry of Knives in Maine

Maine knife laws provide clear guidelines on the types of knives that can be legally owned and carried. The next heading will focus on carrying knives concealed in Maine, including what types of carry are allowed and where it is prohibited.

Carrying Knives Concealed in Maine

Carrying a concealed knife in Maine is legal, but there are certain restrictions and regulations that must be followed.

Types of Concealed Carry Allowed

In Maine, it is legal to carry a pocketknife or other small folding blade with a blade length of 3 inches or less when the knife is carried in an enclosed sheath or closed container. This type of concealed carry does not require any special permit.

Places Where Concealed Carry Is Prohibited

It is illegal to carry any kind of concealed weapon into schools, government buildings, courthouses, and private property where the owner has posted signs prohibiting weapons on their premises. Additionally, some municipalities may have additional restrictions on carrying knives in public places such as parks and recreational areas.

Violating state laws regarding carrying concealed weapons can result in fines of up to $500 and/or jail time of up to 6 months, depending on the severity of the offense. If you are caught carrying a weapon illegally while committing another crime such as robbery or assault, then you could face more serious penalties including longer prison sentences and higher fines.

In Maine, carrying a knife concealed is allowed in certain circumstances and prohibited in others. It is important to understand the laws before carrying a concealed knife so that you can avoid any legal repercussions. Next, let’s look at open carry of knives in Maine.

Open Carry of Knives in Maine

Open Carry of Knives in Maine is a complex issue that requires an understanding of the state’s laws and regulations. In general, open carry is allowed in most places as long as it does not violate any other laws or ordinances. However, there are some restrictions on where knives can be carried openly and what types of knives are legal to carry.

Types of Open Carry Allowed

Generally speaking, pocket knives with blades less than 4 inches long may be carried openly without violating any laws or ordinances. Switchblades, gravity knives, butterfly knives, daggers, and dirks are all prohibited from being carried openly in Maine.

It is illegal to carry a knife openly in schools or school zones; courthouses; police stations; correctional facilities; airports; parks; government buildings such as city halls and state capitols; private property when asked by the owner not to do so, places where alcohol consumption is allowed (bars); hospitals or mental health facilities unless authorized by staff members for medical purposes only. Additionally, it is illegal to possess a weapon while under the influence of drugs or alcohol regardless if you have a valid permit for concealed carry weapons (CCW).

Violations of open-carry knife laws can result in fines up to $500 and/or imprisonment up to 6 months depending on the severity of the offense committed. Furthermore, individuals who are found guilty may also face additional charges related to disorderly conduct if they threaten someone with their knife, even if no physical contact was made during the incident.

Open carry of knives in Maine is generally allowed, though there are certain restrictions and prohibitions. For more information on knife possession and use in the state, please read the next section on age restrictions.

Age Restrictions on Knife Possession and Use in Maine

The state of Maine has certain age restrictions when it comes to owning, possessing, purchasing, selling, and using knives. The minimum age to own or possess a knife in Maine is 18 years old. This means that anyone under the age of 18 cannot legally own or possess any type of knife in the state.

The minimum age to purchase or sell a knife in Maine is also 18 years old. Anyone younger than this will not be able to buy or sell a pocketknife without breaking the law. It’s important for sellers and buyers alike to make sure they are following these laws as there can be serious consequences for those who don’t comply with them.

FAQs in Relation to Maine Knife Law

What knives are illegal in Maine?

In Maine, it is illegal to possess any switchblade knife, gravity knife, stiletto or any other type of automatic knife. It is also illegal to carry a concealed dirk or dagger without a valid permit. Additionally, certain types of knives are restricted from being carried in public places such as schools and government buildings. These include ballistic knives, dirks and daggers with blades longer than 5 inches, swords with blades longer than 3 feet and metal knuckles. Lastly, minors under the age of 18 are prohibited from possessing any kind of dangerous weapon including pocket knives unless they have written permission from their parent or guardian.

What is the legal knife blade length in Maine?

In Maine, the legal blade length for pocket knives is 3.5 inches or less. This includes folding and non-folding knives with blades that are either fixed or retractable. Knives with blades longer than 3.5 inches are considered illegal to carry in public places and can result in criminal charges if found in possession of one without a valid reason. It is important to note that there may be exceptions to this rule depending on local ordinances, so it is best to check your local laws before carrying any knife with a blade over 3.5 inches long.

Are OTF knives illegal in Maine?

In Maine, OTF (out-the-front) knives are not illegal. However, they are regulated under the state’s knife laws. It is illegal to carry an OTF knife with a blade longer than 3 inches in public places or to use it as a weapon against another person. Additionally, it is unlawful for anyone under 18 years of age to possess an OTF knife without adult supervision. Therefore, if you plan on carrying or using an OTF knife in Maine, make sure that you abide by these regulations and do so responsibly.


In conclusion, it is important to be aware of the knife laws in Maine. Knife owners should take the time to familiarize themselves with all applicable state and local regulations when carrying or using a pocket knife.

It is also important for minors to understand that there are age restrictions on possessing and using knives in Maine. By understanding and following these rules, individuals can ensure they remain compliant with Maine knife law while still enjoying their pocket knives responsibly.

By taking a proactive approach and working together with state lawmakers we can help shape responsible knife legislation for our community. Let’s come together now and make sure every Mainer has an equal opportunity to use pocket knives safely!

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