Knife Laws In Michigan

Knife Laws In Michigan

The knife laws in Michigan are somewhat bewildering nevertheless, a little effort and study can make things clearer. This particular reading module will give you a thorough understanding of Michigan knife laws. A brief and comprehensive content will make you more informed about the law. Moreover, the law itself is made to convey what is permissible and what is not in the state. The state’s law should be more accessible to the common person. Apart from the rules and regulations, people can keep themselves safe by owning survival knives.

Knife carry laws in the state of Michigan were once amended in October 2017.  Spring-assisted knives (switchblades, automatic, etc.) are now legal as of the amendment date.  However, OTF (out the front) double-edged knives are still banned.

What is Legal to Own In Michigan

Following are the knife types that are legal under the knife legislation in Michigan

  • Butterfly knives, also called balisong knives, are legal.
  • Dirks, daggers, stilettos, and other stabbing knives are legal.
  • Throwing knives and throwing stars/ninja stars are legal.
  • Bowie knives and other large knives are legal.
  • Hidden knives like belt knives, pen knives, and lipstick knives are legal.
  • Undetectable knives (knives that do not set off metal detectors) are legal.
  • Switchblades, automatic knives, and gravity knives are legal.

What is Legal to Carry In Michigan

All knives, except for banned ones, are legal for open carry.

  • It is legal to carry a hunting knife concealed.
  • It is illegal to conceal carry dirks, stilettos, daggers, and other stabbing items.
  • It is illegal to carry any automatic non-folding knife.

The most important point in the knife law of Michigan is the “intent”; you can not carry a dangerous weapon with intent to harm.

As per the knife law,

“The law limits the carry of dirks, stilettos, daggers, and other sharp, double-bladed stabbing tools. If a knife cannot be used to stab, it can be carried concealed as long as you do not have the intent to harm someone. It is illegal to carry a double-edged knife.”

What the Law Says (No Intent to Harm) MCL 750.226

“Carrying firearm or dangerous weapon with the unlawful intent-Any person who, with intent to use the same unlawfully against the person of another, goes armed with a pistol or other firearm or dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, or knife having a blade over 3 inches in length, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument, shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years or by a fine of not more than 2,500 dollars.”

The law states,

“Daggers, dirks, razors, and stilettos are dangerous weapons per se. Any knife over 3 inches, when used against another person, is a defacto dangerous weapon.”

When a knife becomes a “dangerous weapon”

Any knife can be a dangerous weapon. In the 1971 case of People v Iverson, it was found that,

“Carrying a hunting knife is not a per se crime unless you are carrying a hunting knife with intent to harm another person. The implications of this are that, if you are planning on hurting someone with a knife, there is a chance that the knife can count as a dangerous weapon even if it is a 1-inch folder.”

What are “Other dangerous weapons”

“Other dangerous weapons must mean other types of stabbing instruments. The implication of this is that carrying concealed a non-hunting knife that has a blunt tip is not illegal. Some dive knives have blunt tips and, under this law, you can carry them concealed.”

The law further explains:

“It is legal to conceal carry a hunting knife. It is legal to open carry any type of knife as long as it is not an automatic knife”

What is a Hunting Knife in the eyes of Michigan’s knife legislation

The case of People v Payne in 1989 describes,

“A hunting knife is a knife used to cut open and skin game. It is usually a wide, single-bladed knife with a pointed tip. The law makes no distinction between folding or fixed blade. It also has no distinction in blade length.”

Pocket knife over 3’’ is safe

Pocket knives over 3 inches are not dangerous weapons per se.

As per the case study:

“A jackknife (a type of pocket knife) that is over 3 inches in blade length is not an automatic dangerous weapon and carrying it is not a crime. Only when the knife is used for attacking or defending is it than a deadly weapon.”

Implications made on the cases

“You can carry any of the above knives on you as long as you do not have the intent to harm someone. The prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you, at the moment the police found you, had the intent to harm while you were carrying a dangerous knife.”

Law regarding concealed carry knives

“Carrying a dangerous weapon with intent to harm is a crime. A concealed carry weapon is a dangerous weapon carried and hidden with intent to harm.”

Laws regarding “Limits on Concealed Knives” MCL 750.227

“A person shall not carry a dagger, dirk, stiletto, a double-edged non-folding stabbing instrument of any length, or any other dangerous weapon, except a hunting knife, adapted and carried as such, concealed on or about his or her person, or whether concealed or otherwise in any vehicle operated or occupied by the person, except in his or her dwelling house, place of business or on other land possessed by the person.”

Legal consequences of breaching the law:

“A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or by a fine of not more than $2,500.00.”

“Double-edged, non-folding stabbing instrument” defined. Sec. 222a:

“Doubled-edged, non-folding stabbing instrument does not include a knife, tool, implement, arrowhead, or artifact manufactured from stone using conchoidal fracturing.”

The exception to the rule:

“Does not apply to an item being transported in a vehicle, unless the item is in a container and inaccessible to the driver.”

Conclusion on Michigan Knife Laws

Michigan’s laws are not perplexing, though, it requires some deep study and analysis to break down baffling statutes in easy-to-understand lines. Moreover, in Michigan, you can own any knife you want, unless it is an automatic knife whose blade deploys out the front of the handle. The law in Michigan only limits concealed carry, and the reason is the motive and intention. Sometimes a concealed carry knife is for bad moves. The simple is that you must not use the knife to harm others, neither you can not carry a stabbing knife like a dagger or stiletto whose blade is deployed out the front of the handle.

So, you should seek a bit of legal advice before getting involved  in a knife fare.

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