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

Last updated on October 21st, 2023 at 09:31 pm

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If you are a resident of Vermont, or if you are just visiting, it is important to know the knife laws in the state. In this blog post, we will provide a summary of the laws in plain English, so that everyone can understand them.

We will cover what kinds of knives are legal, who can carry them, and how old you have to be to buy and carry knives. We will also discuss any other unique knife laws in Vermont. Stay safe and stay informed!

Our Top Rated “50-State-Legal” Knives

*These knives are listed based on their broad legality across states, but always consult your local laws before making a purchase.

Is There Statewide Preemption?

Vermont does have statewide preemption through constitutional preemption, which means local ordinances cannot impose stricter rules than state laws concerning knives.

Who Can Buy And Carry A Knife In Vermont?

Vermont does not impose age restrictions on buying and carrying knives, but it’s important to note that carrying a concealed knife onto the grounds of a state institution like a school or courthouse is illegal. It’s also against the law to carry a concealed knife with the intent to harm another person.

Can A Minor Carry A Knife?

It’s unlawful for anyone other than a parent or guardian to sell or furnish a dangerous weapon, including knives, to a minor under the age of 16.

What Kinds Of Knives Are Legal In Vermont?

As of 2023, all types of knives are legal in Vermont, including automatic knives (switchblades), which were previously restricted if the blade exceeded three inches. This restriction was lifted when Governor Wolf signed a bill on November 22, 2022. Therefore, the following types of knives are legal:

  • Balisongs/butterfly knives
  • Automatic Knives
  • Push Knives
  • Karambits
  • Swords
  • Daggers
  • Neck Knives
  • Fixed Blades

What Kinds Of Knives Are Illegal In Vermont?

There are currently no types of knives explicitly deemed illegal in Vermont as of 2023. The only restriction is that automatic knives (switchblades) cannot have a blade over 3 inches.

Are There Knife Length Laws In Vermont?

Vermont does not impose knife-length laws on most knives.

Automatic knives cannot have a blade over 3″.

Consequences For Violating Knife Laws In Vermont?

The previous information regarding penalties for carrying a switchblade with a blade less than three inches long is outdated. However, carrying a concealed knife onto the grounds of a state institution could lead to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $500. If a knife is used with the intent to harm, it could be classified as a dangerous or deadly weapon, with varying penalties depending on the severity of the offense and the individual’s criminal history.

Are There Any Knife Laws Unique To Vermont?

Vermont is known for its relatively lenient knife laws compared to other states. There aren’t Vermont-specific knife laws, but the lack of restrictions on knife types and carrying knives openly or concealed is notable.

Specific Questions About Vermont Knife Law

Are Knives Considered Dangerous Weapons In Vermont?

Knives can be classified as dangerous or deadly weapons if used or intended to be used in a manner capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.

Can I Carry A Knife In Schools And Government Buildings?

Carrying a concealed knife onto the grounds of a state institution, such as schools or government buildings, is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $500. Vermont does not have specific laws regarding open carry in these locations.

Do I Need To Inform The Police If I Am Carrying A Knife?

While there’s no law mandating you to inform the police that you’re carrying a knife, it’s considered polite (and safer) to do so if interacting with them during a traffic stop or similar situations.

Is It Legal To Carry A Knife For Self-Defense In Vermont?

In Vermont, there is no law that explicitly prohibits carrying a knife for self-defense purposes. However, carrying any weapon, including a knife, with the intent to harm another person can lead to severe legal consequences.

Are Throwing Knives Legal In Vermont?

Throwing knives are not specifically mentioned in Vermont knife laws and thus are not expressly prohibited. However, local ordinances may have restrictions.

Do I Need A Permit To Carry A Knife In Vermont?

No, Vermont does not require a permit to carry most types of knives.

What Happens If I Get Caught With An Illegal Knife In Vermont?

Being caught with an illegal knife in Vermont could lead to legal penalties. Depending on the type of knife and the circumstances, you could face fines, imprisonment, or both.

Can I Carry A Knife While Hunting Or Fishing In Vermont?

Yes, carrying a knife while participating in outdoor activities such as hunting or fishing is typically legal in Vermont. However, always ensure you adhere to any restrictions on certain types of knives.

Can I Transport Knives In My Car In Vermont?

Vermont does not have specific laws about transporting knives in a vehicle. However, if a knife is readily accessible and carried with the intent to harm, it could potentially be considered a concealed weapon, which might lead to legal consequences.

Vermont State Knife Law References

Official Sources of Vermont’s Knife Laws

Significant Court Cases

Case TitleSummary
State v. KuzawskiIn 2017, the Vermont Supreme Court sustained a judgment where a box cutter was considered a dangerous weapon due to the illegal intentions of the carrier.
State v. LupienIn 1983, the Supreme Court of Vermont held that the manner in which a knife was used, or intended to be used, determines its classification as a dangerous or deadly weapon.

Timeline of Major Changes

  • 1959: Prohibition on the possession or sale of any switchblade knife with a blade longer than three inches was enacted.
  • 2003: In State v. Turner, the court found a 3-inch long knife to be a dangerous weapon due to its involvement in a stabbing incident.
  • 2015: A bill (HB 165) was proposed to prohibit municipal regulation of knives, though it’s unclear if this bill passed.
  • 2019: Bills introduced for Vermont Knife Law Preemption and Switchblade Ban Repeal, namely H.49 and H.124, aimed at adding knives to the existing Vermont firearms preemption statute and repealing the ban on switchblade knives with a blade length of 3 inches or more, respectively.
  • 2021-2022: A bill (H 201) was introduced to remove the existing restriction on automatic knives.


As you can see, Vermont has very few restrictions when it comes to carrying knives. However, it always pays to be informed. Carrying a knife is a right that many people enjoy in the state, and it would be a pity to get in trouble over simply being ignorant! Or, more likely, coming across an ignorant security guard or officer.

So do your part and learn the laws to keep yourself and others safe!

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