Why are Butterfly Knives Illegal ?

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Butterfly knives have quite the complexities with the legal system in many parts of the world. Even different states in the US have different rules concerning these knives.

What are butterfly knives?Benchmade butterfly knives

The other name for Butterfly knives is ‘Balisongs’. It comes with two handles counter-rotating around the tang in such a way that when it is closed, the blade is hidden within grooves in the handles.

Why the butterfly knives were originally invented?

Butterfly knives were originated and invented in the Philippines as a pocket-holding knives, meant for self-defense and utility blade. However, they were used more like a weapon than a tool. Criminals used them more for fulfilling their heinous activities.

However, now people are trying to break the ‘stereotype’. Since, young people have developed an interesting association by showing their passionate and versatile side to the world with various tricks like ‘flips’, ‘air-catch’ and more.

What makes butterfly knives illegal in few places and not in others?

There isn’t a clear-cut law that provides a specific guideline in favor or against the butterfly knives. This has been said where many states do consider them as illegal. The laws associated with butterflies seem to be ill-equipped because of lack of information and considering the world of today, they seem to be equally outdated as well. Hence, there needs to be a universal stand that can collectively be symbolic as a mark to say that these are actually not that dangerous, unlike the perception of authorities.

Butterfly knives carry with themselves the preconceived notion which dates back to the ‘80s when they were used for crimes. The United States has seen quite a several similar incidents back then when they were exported here from various Asian countries. These knives offer an extremely easy option to threaten anybody. Still, they can indeed be easily handled and hidden for undertaking crimes.

However, a lot has changed now, but the biasedness remains against them due to the following reasons:-

  • Movies have left the biggest effect on the masses and they are still building on the negative image of the 1980′ where they were used for illegal activities back then. They depict the Butterfly knives in a bad light as they are clearly shown to be a device used by the negative characters for carrying out criminal activities. So, when laws were placed, the rate of crime stopped luckily, which gave law enforcers enough hope and indication that only stringent laws can stop the crime
  • The notion of the authorities that knives pose a danger is certainly wrong. Since, during the early phase in the United States, the emergency rooms were packed with people. The investigative agencies considered these knives to be responsible, yet all were self-inflicted.

It was attributed because, the butterfly knives have an extreme sense of appeal where youth can’t keep themselves away from recreating themselves, as it gives them a high degree of pleasure. However, due to the learning phase, they have injured themselves as the bruises were notably visible but many of them didn’t visit the emergency rooms due to stringent laws enforced.

What are the states where authorities consider it legal?



  • In California, one can legally keep it in your home but you can’t carry it. The blade shouldn’t be more than 2 inches long. It automatically becomes illegal if you flout the norms.
  • In Utah, North Dakota Ohio, and Oregon, the law legally gives you the right to keep it, provided that you don’t cover it up while carrying it.
  • In Illinois as well, the butterfly knife owner gets a legal mandate as per the law to keep the same
  • In Chicago, the law states that the blade can’t be longer than 2.5 inches, and carrying a concealed knife is illegal too. Similarly, the law holds true if you are carrying gravity knives, automatic switchblades, or concealed double-edged knives.
  • In Kansas, the laws have now termed them to be legal, beginning the summer of 2013 as all sorts of bladed weapons and knives were legalized.
  • The state of Indiana Tennessee Virginia, as well as Kentucky, doesn’t bind anyone to carry them in a concealed manner
  • The state of Michigan considered them legal, due to their notion that they are ‘folding knives’.
  • The state of Massachusetts allows the knife to be carried either in a concealed or open manner, but there are limitations concerning certain areas.
  • The law prevalent in New Jersey isn’t specifically clear
  • In New York, the law has legalized carrying these knives in 2019. Here, the authorities don’t consider them to be gravity knives and simply ‘butterfly knives’.
  • In North Carolina, most of the citizens are legally allowed to carry the pocketknives
  • In Maine, the law legally authenticates one to sell and carry the butterfly knives

What are butterfly trainers?

Butterfly Knife, Trainer Martial Arts Practice Swords Steel Metal Folding Balisong Training Knife Tool Unsharpened for Men Boys Kids CSGO, Black and Silver, Set of 2

Butterfly trainers are nonlethal, safe, unsharpened, and most importantly the legal versions of the actual butterfly knives. They are readily available across most retail shops locally and online. These are useful for learning how to use the real one without all the cuts and bruising to the hands.