Knife Laws In Maryland
Maryland Knife Law is quite wildering, because of the archaic legal framework people are confused regarding the legal status of knives. The cryptic scenario makes tourists and migrants land into serious trouble because of committing a knife charge in ignorance. This following effort will clear the air and help people to know the state’s law. The Chesapeake State is notorious for knife crimes and vehement skirmishes now and then. That’s why people are enthused to keep themselves in a safe zone. However, they reserve the right to keep themselves safe by owning a survival knife.
If you are intended to travel to Maryland, it’s well worth your time to understand the knife laws as they are stringent and the penalties can be severe. The misfortune can hit you because of the unawareness of legislation and can get a wrap over the knuckles.
So, let’s get into it!
What is Legal to Own in Maryland
- It is legal to own a balisong knife, that is also called a butterfly knife
- It is legal to own dirks, daggers, stilettos, and other slender knives
- It is legal to own switchblades, gravity knives, and automatic knives/switchblade knives
- It is legal to own ballistic knives
- It is legal to own disguised knives like belt knives and lipstick knives
- It is legal to own throwing stars and throwing knives.
- It is legal to own undetectable knives
- It is legal to own Bowie knives and other large fighting knives
The knife law in Maryland does not limit the type of knife you can own.
The knife laws regarding “Limits on carrying"
- You are not allowed to conceal carry a throwing star, dirk, switchblade, gravity knife, or a bowie knife
- You are not allowed to open carry a throwing star, dirk, switchblade, gravity knife, or bowie knife with the negative intention
- You can open or conceal carry any sized pocket knife you are desired to have
The Knife Legislation in Maryland
Dangerous Weapons Defined in Md. CRIMINAL LAW Code Ann. § 4-101 (2012),
“Star knife means a device used as a throwing weapon, consisting of several sharp or pointed blades arrayed as radially disposed of arms about a central disk. “Weapon” includes a dirk knife, bowie knife, switchblade knife, star knife, sand club, metal knuckles, razor, and nunchaku. “Weapon” does not include 1. a handgun; or 2. a penknife without a switchblade.”
Proscribed by law:
“A person may not wear or carry a dangerous weapon of any kind concealed on or about the person. A person may not wear or carry a dangerous weapon, chemical mace, pepper mace, or a tear gas device openly with the intent or purpose of injuring an individual unlawfully.”
The law applies to:
“This paragraph applies in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Caroline County, Cecil County, Harford County, Kent County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, St. Mary’s County, Talbot County, Washington County, and Worcester County.”
The minor in the eyes of law in Maryland:
“A minor may not carry a dangerous weapon between 1 hour after sunset and 1 hour before sunrise, whether concealed or not”
The exception to the rule:
- On a bona fide hunting trip
- Engaged in or on the way to or returning from a bona fide trap shoot, sport shooting event, or any organized civic or military activity
Legal consequences of breaching the law:
“A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding $ 1,000 or both. For a person convicted under subsection (c)(1) or (2) of this section, if it appears from the evidence that the weapon was carried, concealed or openly, with the deliberate purpose of injuring or killing another, the court shall impose the highest sentence of imprisonment prescribed.”
The law further explains a “dangerous weapon”
“The law bans the concealed carry of dangerous weapons and the open carry of dangerous weapons with intent to harm. Moreover, dirks, Bowies, throwing stars, and switchblades are types of knives considered to be dangerous weapons per se. A penknife without a switchblade can never be a dangerous weapon.”
A penknife is a “history”
A Penknife is an archaic term that does not come under knife collection. Back in the day when people wrote letters with feathers, they used pen knives to sharpen their quills for fine writing. Original pen knives later transformed into folding knives.
As per the case discussions:
“A penknife is still a penknife even if it is huge or small, open or closed, has a lock or not, and carried concealed or in the open. A Buck knife is a folding knife that locks into place in the open position and is not a dangerous weapon. Dirks, switchblades, Bowies, and throwing stars are always illegal to carry concealed. We also know that pocket knives of any size (“penknives”) are always legal to carry.”
Why Gravity Knives are banned in Maryland?
As per the case study of Savoy v. State (1964),
“A gravity knife is similar enough to a switchblade that it is a dangerous weapon per se. A switchblade is a knife that opens when the user presses a button. The button releases the spring and the blade extends. A gravity knife is a knife that opens when a user presses the button as well. Instead of a spring, the gravity knife uses the force of gravity to extend the blade.”
Because of this case, gravity knives are banned in Maryland as well.
The law further explains:
“Once the item is proved as a weapon, it must prove that the item is a dangerous weapon. The state must show that the item is capable of being deadly or dangerous and that the item was used in a way that would make it deadly and dangerous (Handy v. State 2000).”
No Knives at School in Maryland
According to Md. CRIMINAL LAW Code Ann. § 4-102 (2012) § 4-102. Deadly weapons on school property,
“A person may not carry or possess a firearm, knife, or deadly weapon of any kind on public school property.”
The exception to the rule:
- Kaw enforcement officer in the regular course of the officer’s duty
- The person hired by a county board of education specifically to guard public school property
- A person engaged in organized shooting activity for educational purposes
- A person who, with a written invitation from the school principal, displays or engages in a historical demonstration using a weapon or a replica of a weapon for educational purposes
Legal consequences of breaching the law
- A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding $ 1,000 or both.
- A person who is convicted of carrying or possessing a handgun in violation of this section shall be sentenced under Subtitle 2 of this title.
If you are a student or a parent of school-going kids, then you should go through the lines to comprehend the law properly to ditch legal consequences.
You Can Not Sell Switchblades or Ballistic Knives in Maryland
According to Md. CRIMINAL LAW Code Ann. § 4-105 (2012) § 4-105. Transfer of switchblade or shooting knife,
“A person may not sell, barter, display, or offer to sell or barter: a knife or a penknife having a blade that opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring, or another device in the handle of the knife, commonly called a switchblade knife or a switchblade penknife; or a device that is designed to propel a knife from a metal sheath through a high-compression ejector spring, commonly called a shooting knife.”
Legal consequences of violating the law
“A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or a fine of not less than $ 50 and not exceeding $ 500 or both.”
The law bans the sale of switchblades and ballistic knives in the state of Maryland. And gravity knives and switchblades are banned from being sold in the state. It is pertinent to note that ownership is legal, selling is not. Consequently, you can buy a switchblade online in Maryland, and would be fine as long as you leave it at home.
Quick-sheet to know the knife law in Maryland
- All knives are banned from Maryland schools
- Dirks, Bowies, switchblades, and gravity knives are banned from being carried concealed
- Dirks, Bowies, switchblades, and gravity knives are banned from being carried in the open when you have the intent to harm someone
- Penknives without switchblades and most other knives are legal to carry concealed
- There are no limits to how large your pocket knife can be in Maryland and, as long as you don’t have any bad intentions for anyone, you are safe
The laws whether stringent or lenient, are made to keep the state safe, people secure and the environment easy to live in. And if the people will not respect the state’s laws they will create chaos and the state’s efforts to curb corruption will be failed. So, it is highly regarded to consider knife laws in Maryland to make the state corruption-free. A single initiative to make the state peaceful can really help and motivate other citizens too.
So, be safe and keep others safe too.