Knife Laws in New Jersey

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Knife laws in New Jersey are not difficult to understand, yet they can expand over multiple directions and be misinterpreted. In addition, there are many different ifs in the law, so you must be careful before purchasing a knife or carrying it. Here is what you need to know about knife laws in New Jersey.

What knives are legal to own in New Jersey?

Jersey City, NJ
Jersey City, NJ

You can legally own a balisong or butterfly knife in New Jersey. Disguised knives – such as the famous belt or lipstick knives – are also allowed. Bowie knives and other large hunting knives can also be legally owned, not to mention throwing knives and stars. Now, the law can get confusing because the purpose makes the difference. In New Jersey, you can own any weapon with an explainable and lawful purpose.

What knives are illegal to own in New Jersey?

On the same note, any weapon owned with an illegal purpose is prohibited. Gravity knives, switchblades, daggers, stilettos, dirks, and other dangerous knives are banned, even if you have a lawful purpose. Mentally ill people cannot own such weapons either, not to mention those convicted of particular crimes – assault, burglary, arson, escape, homicide, kidnapping, extortion, sexual assault, intimidation, robbery, or dealing with prohibited weapons.

What are the limits on carry?

There are no significant restrictions on carry, as long as you own a legal knife. But then, if you are caught carrying switchblades, gravity, or stabbing knives, you might end up being charged with possessing dangerous weapons. But, of course, such charges apply if there are suspicions regarding your purpose.

Concealed Carry

There are no laws on concealed carry.

Restrictions on Carry in Specific Locations / Circumstances

A weapon – including a knife – cannot be carried in schools, colleges, universities, or other similar educational buildings. A lawful use – such as a utility use – will prevent charges, though. Other than that, you will be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

Restrictions on Sale or Transfer

People who manufacture, sell, transfer, ship, or dispose of weapons are guilty of a fourth-degree crime. The same goes for those who sell or transfer hunting knives with blades measuring more than five inches (or an overall length of 10 inches) to minors.

Is there a statewide pre-emption?

New Jersey does not have a statewide pre-emption.

Major Cities in New Jersey with Knife Ordinances

Camden does not allow people to carry weapons or stab knives in a concealed manner. You are also banned from selling or carrying switchblades.

City, StateLaw Title/ Chapter/ SectionConcealed Carry LegalMax Size RestrictionShort description from the law
Elizabeth, NJ2.96.010YDuring Declared Emergency Prohibit sale/carrying/possession on public street/sidewalks/public park weapons, including knives
Glen Ridge, NJ9.24.010Ycarry without lawful authority….. dangerous knife,
Hamilton, NJ98-1YCarry or possess or any other form of weapons potentially harmful to wildlife and dangerous to human safety
Randolph, NJ34-34YNo person in any public park or recreation area shall: carry any weapons
Sayureville Bor. NJ5-11Ycarrying or possession on the public street or public sidewalks, or in any public park or square any Knife


There are exceptions for military personnel being on duty.

Summary of Knife Laws in New Jersey

In the end, restrictions are pretty mild in New Jersey, but concealed carry is what raises some question marks. In terms of critical dimensions, they mainly apply to minors. For example, you are not allowed to sell or transfer knives with blades over five inches (or an overall length of 10 inches) to minors. Other than that, restrictions are quite mild and easy to cope with.