Knife Laws in Maryland

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Maryland knife laws have not changed in ages. As a result, they can be considered archaic, yet some of the things there are pretty straightforward. For example, the law mentions what knives are allowed and what rules to consider when carrying a knife. Here is everything you need to know about knife laws in Maryland.

What knives are legal to own in Maryland?

Annapolis, Maryland
Annapolis, Maryland

When it comes to owning knives, there are no restrictions at all. You can own most stabbing knives out there – including stilettos, dirks, or daggers. You can also own butterfly knives – also known as Bali knives. Switchblades – as well as other automatic knives, are allowed, not to mention gravity knives. Disguised knives like lipstick knives are also allowed.

Although they are banned in many states, ballistic knives are permitted in Maryland. The same goes for bowie knives and other large knives. Undetectable knives are legal, and you can own throwing knives or stars if you fancy them.

What knives are illegal to own in Maryland?

There are no restrictions. So you can own anything you want, regardless of how large or dangerous it may seem.

What are the limits on carry?

There are no limits in size when it comes to taking a knife out of your home. Instead, these limits apply to the actual type of knife. For example, you cannot carry switchblades or automatic knives, gravity knives, dirks, throwing stars, or bowie knives in the open with the purpose of hurting someone.

Concealed Carry

You cannot conceal carry switchblades, automatic knives, gravity knives, or bowie knives. Throwing stars cannot be carried hidden either.

You can carry manual folding knives openly or concealed with no issues. Other knives are not mentioned in the law, so most people assume they are perfectly legal.

Restrictions on Carry in Specific Locations / Circumstances

People cannot take knives to school properties, school buses, or activities organized by schools, even if they do not take place on school grounds.

Restrictions on Sale or Transfer

Automatic, gravity, and ballistic knives cannot be sold, transferred, or given away.

Is there a statewide pre-emption?

There is no statewide pre-emption in Maryland.

Major Cities in Maryland with Knife Ordinances

Baltimore has a knife ordinance against switchblades. Plus, some municipalities in rural areas ban minors from carrying knives at night, one hour after sunset, and one hour before sunset, except while hunting or any related activity.

City, StateLaw Title/ Chapter/ SectionConcealed Carry LegalMax Size RestrictionShort description from the law
Cambridge, MD12-19.Yes3"knife with a blade longer than three inches conceal about his person or display in a threatening manner
Howard Co. MD19.205.knife, or any other dangerous weapon on park property;


There are no exceptions even for law enforcement professionals or military members.

Summary of Knife Laws in Maryland

The bottom line, most knives are allowed in Maryland when it comes to ownership. However, there are some restrictions on carrying knives – especially concealed carrying some knives.