Knife Laws in Minnesota

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Knife laws in Minnesota aim to be straightforward and concise, but they require a bit of formal training to understand what they mean fully. To someone with no experience, these laws might seem a bit confusing. So here is what you need to know to ensure you are on the right side of the law in Minnesota.

What knives are legal to own in Minnesota?

North Shore of Lake Superior, Duluth, Minnesota
North Shore of Lake Superior, Duluth, Minnesota

Balisong or butterfly knives are legal to own in Minnesota. The same goes for stabbing knives, including daggers, dirks, and stilettos. Disguised knives like lipstick knives are permitted.

Bowie knives may have a bad reputation from other states, but Minnesota has made them legal; the same goes for other large knives. You can even own throwing knives or throwing stars.

What knives are illegal to own in Minnesota?

If there is one category of illegal knives in Minnesota, that group covers switchblades, aka automatic knives, including OTF knives. Apart from these knives, you can own pretty much any knife you can think of without any restrictions at all.

What are the limits on carry?

Carry rules and limitations target particular knives only. For instance, you can carry utility knives in the open with no issues at all. Knives that can be used as actual weapons can still be carried, but your intentions make the difference.

Concealed carry

Any legal knife can be carried concealed with no issues at all, as long as your intentions are good. For example, knives are legal to carry concealed if you go hunting or camping and plan to use them for their utility purposes. However, if you intend to hurt someone, these knives become illegal.

Restrictions on Carry in Specific Locations / Circumstances

Schools are considered weapon-free zones. Therefore, you cannot carry knives in the open or concealed in schools, on school properties, in school safety zones, or on school transportation. Knives are also banned at school activities, regardless of the location.

Restrictions on Sale or Transfer

There are no restrictions on sale or transfer. But, of course, just like for possession or the necessity to carry a knife, switchblades are illegal from all points of view.

Is there a statewide pre-emption?

There is no statewide pre-emption in Minnesota.

Major Cities in Minnesota with Knife Ordinances

There are three major cities in Minnesota with knife ordinances and restrictions – Duluth, Minneapolis, and Saint Paul.

Minneapolis does not allow carrying knives – except for folding knives with blades measuring less than four inches.

Duluth does not allow concealed carry, while Saint Paul does not allow carrying knives in public places.

Here is the city-wise legal information on carrying a manual folding-type knife in your pocket.

City, StateLaw Title/ Chapter/ SectionConcealed Carry LegalMax Size RestrictionShort description from the law
Bayport, MN Sec. 26-28The following are declared to be public nuisances affecting the public peace and safety: Any person possessing a knife,
Blaine, MN50-111 & 50-114Deadly weapons concealed or in public park. Deadly weapons means the following: Daggers, dirks and knives.
Eagan, MN10.10.Weapon: any device designed as weapon capable of producing death/bodily harm. Any double-edged knife
Minneapolis, MN393.10.Yes4""Weapon" does not include, except when used as a weapon, a folding knife with a blade of 4" or less in length,
Minneapolis, MN393.60.any knife or weapon in any school building/grounds school bus, school parking area or sidewalks adjacent thereto
St. Paul, MN225.01Yes4"a folding knife with a blade in excess of four (4) inches,
Stillwater, MNSec. 52-4No Knives on School Property
Woodbury, MNSec. 16-55Yes3"No person shall possess or carry in any public site or open space any knife with a blade greater than 3"


There are a few exceptions for military and law enforcement personnel when performing official duties. Banned knives can also be carried to museums or public exhibitions, as long as some official paperwork accompanies them.

Summary of Knife Laws in Minnesota

Apart from switchblades, every knife is legal in Minnesota. You can carry any knife in the open or concealed, as long as you do not intend to hurt someone. There are no critical dimensions to remember either.