Knife Laws in Colorado


Knife Laws In Colorado

Colorado knife laws are the least fiddly rules that are easy to understand by the common men. The laws are better voiced in a straightforward tone to keep them simple. Nevertheless, there are a few knives that are strictly prohibited in Colorado. Though the state of Colorado allows its citizens and new migrants to use survival knives to confront an eerie situation.

The state’s legal stand against knives

In the world of knives, we see multiple knives that are purposefully built to meet the purpose. Moreover, the different states have different concerns regarding knives. Nevertheless, the blade size is one of the factors on which the state has made strict laws, and stringent measures are taken to enforce them. 3.5 inches” is the number you should remember always.

According to the C.R.S. Const. Art. No. 2, 13

“The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons.”

Knives that are Illegal in Colorado

Earlier in 2016, gravity knives, switchblades, and ballistic knives were illegal to possess in the knife laws of Colorado.

Universal Citation: CO Rev Stat § 18-12-102 (2016)

“As used in this section, the term “dangerous weapon” means a firearm silencer, machine gun, short shotgun, short rifle, or ballistic knife. The term “illegal weapon” means a blackjack, gas gun, metallic knuckles, gravity knife, or switchblade knife. A person who knowingly possesses a dangerous weapon commits a class 5 felony. Each subsequent violation of this subsection (3) by the same person shall be a class 4 felony. A person who knowingly possesses an illegal weapon commits a class 1 misdemeanor.”

It is pertinent to note that the law observes ballistic knives as the “dangerous weapons” and gravity knives or switchblades as the “illegal weapons”.

  • The dangerous weapon or ballistic knives perceptively is a class 5 felony
  • The possessing of an illegal weapon such as gravity knives and switchblades perceptively is a class 1 misdemeanor

Revised Law

With the effect of an updated knife law,

With the code C.R.S. 18-12-101, gravity knives or automatic knives are no more illegal or dangerous to possess. But the ballistic knives are banned in Colorado now.”

“(a.3) Ballistic knife” means any knife that has a blade which is forcefully projected from the handle employing a spring-loaded device or explosive charge.”

What will be the state’s legislative stand if you still possess the banned knife?

If you own the forbidden dangerous or deadly weapon, “ballistic knife”, it will be a felony offense and you will be punished by,

  • a year (1 year) or more years in jail and/or
  • a fine of $1,000-$100,000

Knife laws against the blade length and concealing knives

According to Concealed-Carry Laws,

“If you are in Colorado for fishing and hunting then all fishing and hunting knives are legal with no fixed length of blade size. Though, it will be a class 2 misdemeanor if you conceal a knife knowingly or illicitly.”

Code 18-12-105 says,                                

“A person commits a class 2 misdemeanor if such person knowingly and unlawfully; carries a knife concealed on or about his or her person”

According to the law for blade sizes,

“You cannot carry a knife including a dagger, dirk, stiletto, or other dangerous knives concealed over 3.5 inches blade-sized. It will be illegal.”

C.R.S. 18-12-101 says,

“Knife’ means any dagger, dirk, knife, or stiletto with a blade over three and one-half inches in length, or any other dangerous instrument capable of inflicting cutting, stabbing, or tearing wounds, but does not include a hunting or fishing knife carried for sports use. The issue that a knife is a hunting or fishing knife must be raised as an affirmative defense.”

Knives that are under 3.5’’ are permissible to carry either open or concealed.

Exceptions of the law

Law has granted the following exceptions.

  • All fishing and hunting knives more than 3.5 inches in blade size can be carried concealed
  • A Bowie knife, machete or sword, and skinning knives can be carried openly with any size of blades

You can still carry an illegal or dangerous weapon if you are included in one of these below,

  • If you are a member of the armed forces of the States
  • If you have a lawful authorization or license for the possession of that dangerous or illegal knife
  • If you are ignorant to comprehend the tool you are carrying is an illegal one
  • If the knife you are possessing is an old blunt knife that demonstrates the poor quality of being dangerous or deadly

You have a legal right to defend yourself when charged if you can prove any of the aforementioned charges.

Knives that are Legal in Colorado

Apart from the legal restrictions imposed on a few deadly and forbidden knives, most of the knives are legal in Colorado. These are,

  • Pocket knives/ Folding knives
  • Machete
  • Swords
  • Dirks, Daggers, and Stilettos
  • Butterfly knives
  • Pen knives
  • Cane knives
  • Lipstick knives
  • Undetectable and disguised knives
  • Bowie knives

Restricted venues

All educational institutions are highly restricted from any deadly weapons. Moreover, the law is not lenient on a knife display in or near any educational concerns. All weapons that are categorized as “illegal and deadly weapons”, are strictly prohibited; either open carry or concealed. You can not own any knife on any school campus, ground, or buildings in Colorado. From kindergarten to schools even university areas are circumscribed to possess one. And it will be a class 6 felony when someone knowingly or unlawfully brings one.

Code 18-12-105.5 explains the illegality of carrying knives or deadly weapons in these places. (Source:

 “A person commits a class 6 felony if such person knowingly and unlawfully and without legal authority carries, brings, or has in such person’s possession a deadly weapon as defined in (1) section 18-1-901(3)(e) in or on the real estate and all improvements erected thereon of any public or private elementary, middle, junior high, high, or vocational school or any public or private college, university, or seminary,…”

Exceptions of the law

The law has exclusively granted relaxation to some authorized persons who can still carry or possess treacherous weapons on the school premises. For instance,

  • To present a public exhibition that is authorized
  • For an individual employee to carry if he/she while performing their duties
  • For an authorized extracurricular activity or athlete team who are purposefully required to carry or show any of the dangerous weapons or knives

 According to the Code 18-12-105.5,

“except to present an authorized public demonstration or exhibition according to instruction in conjunction with an organized school or class, to carry out the necessary duties and functions of an employee of an educational institution that requires the use of a deadly weapon, or for participation in an authorized extracurricular activity or on an athletic team.”

Wrapping up the discussion of the legislative framework of knives in Colorado

In the state of Colorado is easy to comprehend knife laws. The rules and regulations are strictly monitored and enforced in Colorado. If you are an avid knife collector, the only number you always remember is 3.5”. As you exceed the permissible blade length measurement you would be in handcuffs in no time. You can feel the wilderness in public or your backyard with couples of mates, with any knife except a ballistic knife. Moreover, hunting and fishing knives are free to own nevertheless, you should have a legal document to prove the purpose.

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