Knife Laws in Kentucky

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Knife laws in Kentucky can be a bit confusing. However, the rewritten laws in 2019 eliminated most possession and carry restrictions for people 21 and older. Here is everything you need to know about knife laws in Kentucky.

What knives are legal to own in Kentucky?

Downtown Louisville, Kentucky

Bali knives and switchblades are perfectly legal in Kentucky. The same rule applies to stabbing knives, whether you are interested in a dagger, a dirk, or a stiletto. Disguised knives are acceptable, too – from lipstick knives to cane swords. Undetectable knives that cannot set off metal detectors are acceptable too.

While illegal in some states, bowie and other large knives are allowed in Kentucky. The same goes for ballistic knives, which are banned in most states.

What knives are illegal to own in Kentucky?

You can own any knife you want. Indeed, there are some restrictions on carry, but other than that, it is impossible to find an illegal knife to own in Kentucky.

What are the limits on carry?

You can legally open carry any knife. Since there are no banned knives in Kentucky, You can carry any knife with no issues at all – make sure it is visible and not covered by something else if you are under 21.

Concealed Carry

Concealed carry brings in some restrictions for those under 21, and they depend on the type of knife you have. Generally speaking, a pocket knife or a hunting knife can be concealed carried with no problems at all.

Anything else can be considered a deadly weapon. Even a hunting knife can be considered a deadly weapon, but it depends on where you take it. If you are on a hunting trip, there are no issues.

In short, for persons at least 21 or those who possess a valid concealed weapon license, you can carry any knife concealed.

Restrictions on Carry in Specific Locations / Circumstances

Schools are the main category of areas where knives are illegal. School properties, including the school buses and recreational areas, are weapon-free zones.

Restrictions on Sale or Transfer

There are no restrictions on the sale or transfer of knives, regardless of the type of knife. All knives are allowed in Kentucky.

Is there a statewide pre-emption?

There is some protection against local ordinances, but there is no statewide pre-emption.

Major Cities in Kentucky with Knife Ordinances

Owensboro, KY, doesn’t allow carrying knives in parks, owned or used by the city playgrounds, ball fields, swimming pools, tennis courts, etc.


Exceptions for military forces and law enforcement professionals are provided.

Summary of Knife Laws in Kentucky

Kentucky is a knife-friendly state, but there are some restrictions to carrying deadly weapons concealed for those under 21.