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

Last updated on October 21st, 2023 at 04:49 pm

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Oklahoma knife law is an essential topic for anyone who enjoys owning or buying knives.

Understanding the laws in Oklahoma can help ensure that your activities with a knife are legal, so it’s vital to know what types of knives are allowed, age restrictions, carrying rules, and prohibited areas.

To make sure you know exactly where you stand when it comes to Oklahoma knife law, read on for a complete guide to the regulations surrounding them in this state.

We will discuss different types of knives permitted by state law; age restrictions related to ownership; places that allow or prohibit carrying certain kinds of blades; potential penalties associated with violations as well as defenses available should they arise.

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Does Oklahoma Have A Statewide Preemption For Knife Laws?

In Oklahoma, the state has a preemption law for knives, which means that the state law supersedes any local law related to knives. The statewide preemption law ensures that the regulations about knife possession, carrying, and use are consistent throughout all municipalities and jurisdictions within the state. This means that you don’t have to worry about varying knife laws when you move from one city or county to another within Oklahoma.

Oklahoma’s preemption law for knives makes it easier for residents and visitors alike to understand and comply with the state’s knife laws. Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to stay updated with the current laws and to seek legal advice when in doubt.

Types of Knives Allowed in Oklahoma

Pocket knives are commonly owned and carried in Oklahoma. They typically have a folding blade and are useful for everyday tasks such as cutting rope or opening packages. In Oklahoma, pocket knives are legal to own and carry without any restrictions on blade size or type.

Switchblades, which open automatically with the press of a button or switch, are also allowed in Oklahoma, as the restriction on automatic knives was removed in 2015.

Balisongs, also known as butterfly knives, are another type of knife that is allowed in Oklahoma with no specific restrictions on their use and ownership.

In general, the possession or carry of a knife is unrestricted in Oklahoma, although some restrictions apply in specific locations or circumstances.

Age Restrictions for Knife Ownership in Oklahoma

The law in Oklahoma does not specify a minimum age requirement for owning a knife. However, it’s advisable for minors to have adult supervision when handling any type of weapon, including knives.

Carrying Knives in Public Places in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, carrying knives in public places is generally unrestricted. However, some restrictions apply in specific locations or circumstances, such as on school property or in government buildings.

Concealed Carry Laws

Concealed carry of knives is not an issue in Oklahoma, and there is no legal blade length restriction for concealed carry of knives.

Open Carry Laws

Open carry of knives is also generally unrestricted in Oklahoma, but it’s important to understand that carrying knives in certain public places is regulated.

Prohibited Areas for Carrying Knives in Oklahoma

It is important to understand the laws and regulations surrounding knife ownership in Oklahoma. This includes understanding where it is illegal to carry a knife.

Schools and Universities

In Oklahoma, it is illegal to possess any type of weapon or firearm on school property or at any school-sponsored event. This includes pocket knives, switchblades, balisongs, and other similar items that could be used as weapons. Violations can result in fines up to $500 per offense plus court costs.

Government Buildings and Facilities

Carrying a knife into any government building or facility such as courthouses, police stations, or state offices is strictly prohibited by law in Oklahoma. Violation of this law can result in criminal charges with penalties including jail time depending on the severity of the offense committed while possessing a knife inside such facilities.

Penalties for Violating Knife Laws in Oklahoma

Violating knife laws in Oklahoma can result in both civil and criminal penalties. Civil penalties include fines, while criminal penalties may involve jail time.

Defenses to Knife Law Violations in Oklahoma

When it comes to knife law violations in Oklahoma, there are a few potential defenses that can be used by individuals charged with breaking these laws. One of the most common is self-defense claims. This defense may be applicable if an individual was using their knife to protect themselves or another person from imminent harm.

Another possible defense is necessity defense claims. This type of claim may apply when an individual has broken the law out of necessity due to extenuating circumstances such as protecting property or preventing further damage from occurring. For example, if someone was forced to break into a building in order to save lives during an emergency situation, then they could potentially argue that they did so out of necessity and should not face criminal charges for doing so.

FAQs in Relation to Oklahoma Knife Law

What size of knife is legal in Oklahoma?

There is no specific size limit on knives in Oklahoma, so you can legally own and carry a knife of any size.

Are OTF knives illegal in Oklahoma?

No, out-the-front (OTF) knives are not illegal in Oklahoma. The state law does not explicitly restrict or prohibit any specific types of knives, including OTF knives.

Is it legal to carry a sword in Oklahoma?

Yes, it is technically legal to carry a sword in Oklahoma, as there is no explicit prohibition against carrying bladed weapons of a certain size.

What types of knives are illegal in Oklahoma?

There are no restricted or forbidden knives in Oklahoma.

Can I carry a knife concealed in Oklahoma?

Yes, it is legal to carry any type of knife concealed in Oklahoma, provided you are not committing a crime.

Are there any age restrictions on carrying knives in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma law does not specify any age restrictions for carrying knives. However, it’s generally advisable for minors to have adult supervision when handling any type of weapon, including knives.

Can I carry a knife on school property in Oklahoma?

No, it is generally illegal to carry a weapon, including knives, on school property in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma State Knife Law References

Official Sources of Oklahoma’s Knife Laws

  • § 21-1272: This section elaborates on the unlawful carrying of knives among other weapons.

Significant Court Cases:

  • Beeler vs. State: This case explored the notion that some tools or items, even if not designed for combat, might be considered deadly weapons if they could be easily used to cause harm or death.

Timeline of Major Changes:

  • 2015: HB 1911 was considered by the Oklahoma House to amend the state’s knife law by removing the phrase “switchblade knife” and the language regarding automatic opening mechanisms from the law.
  • March 31, 2016: Knife Rights’ Oklahoma Knife Law Reform bill, SB 1159, was passed unanimously by the Senate and moved to the House for a vote. This bill aimed to remove certain types of knives including dagger, bowie knife, dirk knife, and sword cane from the list of unlawful carry items.
  • November 1, 2016: Bill No.1159 became effective, removing dagger, bowie knife, dirk knife, and sword cane from the list of weapons that are unlawful to carry in Oklahoma.


In conclusion, it is important to be aware of the knife laws in Oklahoma before carrying or owning a pocket knife.

Depending on the type of knife and where you are carrying it, there can be serious penalties for violating these laws. It is always best to research and understand the state’s regulations so that you can stay within the law while enjoying your pocket knives.

Be safe out there!

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