Knife Laws in North Dakota

(This site is reader-supported. When you buy something using retail links on our articles, we may earn a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

North Dakota knife rules may seem easy to understand at first glance. But as you start digging deeper, you realize they can be a bit confusing. Here is all the information you need to know about knife laws in North Dakota.

What knives are legal to own in North Dakota?

Fargo, North Dakota

All types of knives are legal to own in this state. You can legally own knives that are illegal in other states, too, from Chinese throwing stars and ballistic knives to switchblades / automatic knives, and stabbing knives. There are no restrictions at all, so no matter what type of knife you want to purchase, owning it will not be a crime.

What knives are illegal to own in North Dakota?

The list of illegal knives in North Dakota is empty.

What are the limits on carry?

Carrying knives also comes with permissive laws. Practically, any knife can be carried in the open. As long as you do not hide it, it is perfectly legal to carry it.

Concealed Carry

Things would have been great if you could conceal carry any knife too, but this is where restrictions kick in and make it challenging for knife owners.

With these thoughts in mind, it is illegal to conceal carry a switchblade or a gravity knife. Machetes cannot be concealed either, not to mention sabres, backswords, or scimitars. The same goes for stabbing or slim knives – such as stilettos, daggers, or dirks. Swords of any type cannot be concealed either.

If you do have to conceal carry a knife, make sure the blade does not exceed five inches, or it becomes illegal.

Restrictions on Carry in Specific Locations / Circumstances

It is prohibited to carry a dangerous weapon – knives included – in schools, school safety zones, on school grounds, or at school activities. School transportation comes with the exact same type of restrictions. These restrictions also apply to public events and gatherings.

Restrictions on Sale or Transfer

There are no restrictions in terms of selling or transferring knives to someone else.

Is there a statewide pre-emption?

There is no statewide pre-emption in North Dakota.

Major Cities in North Dakota with Knife Ordinances

  • Fargo has a knife ordinance that limits the possession and carry of dangerous weapons, and knives are also included.
  • Grand Forks has a similar ordinance that prevents people from carrying knives in parks.
  • Minto restricts possessing a knife with a blade larger than 3″ on premises licensed for the retail sale of alcoholic beverages.


Exceptions are provided in terms of where you can carry a knife to government officials, military, and law enforcement personnel.

Summary of Knife Laws in North Dakota

In the end, North Dakota is very permissive when it comes to knives, but rules and restrictions apply to concealed carry. As for critical dimensions, a knife with a blade longer than five inches is considered a dangerous weapon and cannot be concealed carried.