Wyoming Knife Laws – Understanding How the Knife Law Works Here

Knife Laws in Wyoming
By Pranay Das Updated

The different states of the USA have distinct knife laws that significantly differ from each other. As such, the same is true for the western state of Wyoming. The least populated state and the second most sparsely

populated state in the country; Wyoming is the tenth largest state by area size. Knife laws in Wyoming are rather short and vague. However, one aspect that the knife laws of this state reflect is that it respects individual liberty. Let us probe a bit more into how everything works here.

Wyoming Knife Laws

Wyoming doesn’t impose any statutory prohibitions on the general possession and ownership of knives. However, it does provide prohibitions for carrying and wearing a concealed deadly weapon. It is still a subject of dispute as to whether knives are considered deadly weapons or not in this state.

§6-1-104 defines deadly weapons “(a)(iv) Deadly weapon means but is not limited to a firearm, explosive or incendiary material, motorized vehicle, an animal or other devices, instrument, material or substance, which in the manner it is used or is intended to be used is reasonably capable of producing death or serious bodily injury.”

In Conine v. State, a frying pan was considered a deadly weapon since Conine used it to hit the victim during a fight. When Conine appealed his conviction, it was found by the Supreme Court of Wyoming that for an instrument to be considered a deadly weapon, it doesn’t have to cause serious injury to the body; it being capable of doing so is reason enough.

You are free to obtain a valid firearms permit for the concealed carry of knives from the Wyoming law. Wyoming can issue the permit and any state with which Wyoming has reciprocity can issue it. In addition, the state constitution has also made sure that pre-emption is a non-issue.

To put it simply, residents of Wyoming are free to carry deadly weapons both openly and concededly as long as they fulfill the qualifications for a license of a concealed weapon.  It should be noted that it is not mandatory to own a license, but it is required just to qualify fully for one.

Moreover, there are also no restrictions on buying, selling, giving and receiving as gifts, and manufacturing of knives as well.

Penalties for Violating Wyoming Knife Laws

As per § 6-8-104, wearing or carrying concealed weapons; penalties; exceptions; permits:

(a) A person who wears or carries a concealed deadly weapon is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six (6) months, or both for a first offense, or a felony punishable by a fine of not more than two thousand dollars ($2,000.00), imprisonment for not more than two (2) years, or both, for a second or subsequent offense.

Limitations on the Length of the Blade in Wyoming

There is no imposition regarding the length limits on knives for legal purposes in the state of Wyoming.

Concealed Carry of Knives in Wyoming

As long as you meet the concealed carry permit requirements, you can carry knives concededly in this state.  To meet the criteria, you:

  • Have to be 21 years of age or older.
  • Have to be a resident of the United States and a resident of Wyoming for a minimum of six months.
  • Haven’t abused controlled substances within the past year.
  • Haven’t been convicted as a felony ever.
  • Haven’t been convicted for a misdemeanour in the past year
  • Are not legally incompetent.   
  • Haven’t been committed involuntarily to a mental hospital.

At the same time, you also would have to carry a photo ID issued by the state while carrying the knives in a concealed state. This is done in order to prove your residency. As far as non-residents of Wyoming are concerned, they have to obtain and possess a license for concealed weapons from a state that shares reciprocity with the state of Wyoming. Else, they have to directly obtain a Wyoming license before carrying a knife or any other weapon in a concealed stage.

Types of knives haven’t been technically defined by Wyoming law or statutes. This is basically due to the fact that the conceal carry statute mentions no specific knife.

Types of Legal Knives in Wyoming

In Wyoming, it is legal to own the following types of knives:

  • Folding Knife – It is basically an umbrella term for a pocketknife that has single or multiple blades that can be folded inside a handle while still being small enough to be carried in a pocket.
  • Stiletto – It is a type of dagger or knife that has a needle-like point and a long slender blade. It is basically used as a stabbing weapon.
  • Dagger – It is a type of knife that has two sharp edges, alongside a sharp point. It is designed to be used as a stabbing or thrusting weapon.
  • Dirk –A long thrusting dagger, it was extensively used as a personal weapon by officers of yesteryears who engaged in naval hand-to-hand combats during the Age of Sail.
  • Poniard – This long thrusting knife is known for its lightweight feature. Historically, it was used by upper-class noblemen.
  • Bowie Knife – A fighting knife that has a fixed-blade pattern that was popularised in the 19th century.
  • Balisong, or Butterfly Knife – Also known as a Batangas knife or a fan knife, it is a folding pocketknife. It is marked by the latch on its handle. It is often used as a pocket-utility knife.
  • Switchblade – Also known as an ejector knife, Sprenger, Springer, flick blade, flick knife, pushbutton knife, and an automatic knife, it is known for incorporating a locking blade.
  • Gravity Knife – This blade opens its blade located in its handle by using the force of gravity. It is different from a switchblade because it uses a spinning motion to push out the blade from the handle.
  • Lipstick Knife – A rather new invention, it has the body of a lipstick that contains a knife inside.
  • Hunting Knife – Evident from its name, it is used during hunting for cutting up the meat and skinning an animal.
  • Sword – Used for thrusting or slashing, it is a melee weapon and consists of a hilt to which the long blade is attached.
  • Push Knife – Also known as a gimlet knife, push dirk, punch dagger, T-handled knife, and Stoßdolch (German), it is a type of dagger that has short blades.

Types of Illegal Knives in Wyoming

There is no prohibition against the ownership of any kind of knives in the state of Wyoming.

To Conclude

Wyoming knife laws aren’t very stringent. But what makes the confusion rise is their vagueness, which actually works as a blessing in disguise because the types of knives to be carried in a concealed manner in the state of Wyoming aren’t technically defined; therefore, most are regarded as legal to be carried. In addition, there aren’t any restrictions on the length limits of blades.

However, you do have to get a permit license to do it that has to be issued from the state or if you are a non-resident of Wyoming, then it has to be issued by a state with which Wyoming has reciprocity with.