Knife Laws in Rhode Island

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Rhode Island has clear and direct knife laws. They are short and often lack definition, so they do not really go into small details. The good news is there is not too much room for interpretation. All in all, here is what you have to know about knife laws in Rhode Island.

What knives are legal to own in Rhode Island?

Weybosset Street view, Providence, Rhode Island
Weybosset Street view, Providence, Rhode Island

Dirks, daggers, stilettos, and other different stabbing knives can be legally owned in Rhode Island. The same goes for sword canes and disguised knives – lipstick knives, for example. Bowie knives are perfectly allowed too – even bigger knives. Butterfly and bali knives are also accepted – even switchblades and other automatic knives. You will notice that some types of knives are not mentioned in the law. That means they are legal and are not regulated.

What knives are illegal to own in Rhode Island?

The good news is there are no banned knives in Rhode Island. Potential restrictions apply to the actual purpose of owning a knife. As long as you own it for lawful purposes, there is nothing to be concerned about.

What are the limits on carry?

There are no banned knives in Rhode Island, and you can carry any legal knife in the open. Simply put, you can go out with any knife you want – just make sure you use it for lawful purposes.

Concealed Carry

If there are any restrictions, they mostly affect concealed carry. You cannot conceal carry-stabbing knives – stilettos, dirks, daggers, and others. Sword canes cannot be conceal carried either, not to mention sword canes.

Furthermore, when it comes to knives that can be conceal carried, make sure their blades do not exceed three inches in length. If they do, they become illegal.

Restrictions on Carry in Specific Locations / Circumstances

Schools are weapon-free zones, as well as everything related to them – grounds, safety zones, transportation, or activities. Knives are banned in school-organized activities, too, even if they are not held on school grounds.

Restrictions on Sale or Transfer

There are no restrictions on the sale or transfer of knives to adults. Regarding minors, you need the parents’ authorization for blades longer than three inches, stabbing knives, sword canes, bowie knives, or other similar weapons.

Is there a statewide pre-emption?

There is no statewide pre-emption in Rhode Island.

Major Cities in Rhode Island with Knife Ordinances

City, StateLaw Title/ Chapter/ SectionConcealed Carry Legal Yes/No Folder/LengthShort description from the law
North Kingstown, RI12-14.unlawful to carry any gun, knife, utilized as a weapon while participating in a picket line or group demonstration
South Kingstown, RI12.1-7.Y 3"unlawful for any person in a public park or recreation area to carry Knife over 3"


Rhode Island has no exceptions – everyone must follow the same rules.

Summary of Knife Laws in Rhode Island

In conclusion, laws can be permissive if you have lawful purposes. Rhode Island does not ban any knives. You can carry them in the open with no issues at all. There are, of course, some limitations to the conceal carry. In terms of critical dimensions, you cannot conceal knives with blades measuring more than three inches in length.