Knife Laws In Montana


Knife Laws In Montana

Montana knife laws are straightforward and moderate. As we know, the knife legislation varies from state to state in the US. The law is introduced and enforced when the government wants to curb criminal delinquencies. Montana is very stern about the knife concealing issues, and the restrictions and exceptions need to be conveyed comprehensibly to provide every possible explanation. People in Montana can use survival knives to rescue themselves and others in case of an emergency,

Knife laws in Montana are cordial for those who respect the law coherently. Unless the state’s law. Moreover, except for some restrictions you have to consider the blade size of the knives first as this is the most vital factor determining the knife law.

To know more in detail, this article might help you with a comprehensive explanation of the knife laws in Montana.

Hidden Knives are Forbidden in Montana

Montana had stringent knife laws for weapon concealment.

As per the old law,

“Knives exclusively were not allowed to be hidden. And many variations, such as sword canes, switchblades, and blades longer than 4 inches, were illegal or difficult to get a hold of.”

As per the revised law,

“Only firearms aren’t to be concealed, making the possession of most knives legal. With the correct licenses under the knife law, a person could even have unlimited concealed carry. All previously allowed knives are still permissible. The safe use of automatic knives is allowed.”

Definition of Weapon

In the law of Montana, the knife is also included in the weapon. It is pertinent to note that a knife having a blade of four (4) inches or more than that is a weapon.

Other tools that are considered weapons are:

  • Metal or brass knuckles
  • Throwing stars

Martial arts weapons like nun-chucks

Section “§ 45-8-61: Definitions” mentions

 “Weapon” means any type of firearm, a knife with a blade 4 or more inches in length, a sword, a straight razor, a throwing star, nun-chucks, or brass or other metal knuckles. The term also includes any other article or instrument possessed with the purpose to commit a criminal offense.”

Knives that are Illegal to Own in Montana

As per state law,

“Switchblade knives are completely banned for a person to carry, own, possess, use, and sell/purchase or even offer to sell.”

What is Switchblade in Montana?

In the code 45-8-331,

“Switchblade has been defined as a knife with one-one & half inches of blade size or longer than that and which opens automatically by a hand pressure.”

Legal consequences of violating the law

Those who violate the law shall be punished by,

  • Imprisonment of not more than six (6) months in the county jail
  • A fine of not more than $500

The exception to the rule

The law mentioned above won’t be applied to:

“A bona fide or an authentic or a lawful collector who has already registered for his collections with the sheriff of the state or country.”

Montana Title no. 45 Crimes § 45-8-331: Switchblade knives” – this section explains this all clearly

(1) A person who carries or bears upon the individual’s person, who carries or bears within or on any motor vehicle or other means of conveyance owned or operated by the person, or who owns, possesses, uses, stores, gives away, sells, or offers for sale a switchblade knife shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $500 or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceeding 6 months, or both.

(2) A bona fide collector whose collection is registered with the sheriff of the county in which the collection is located is exempted from the provisions of this section.

(3) For this section, a switchblade knife is defined as any knife that has a blade 1 1/2 inches long or longer that opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring, or other devices in the handle of the knife.”

Knife-Carrying Laws in Montana

Knife carrying laws are divided into two sections- open carry laws & concealed carry laws.

Open Carry Laws

In Montana,

“It is legal to carry openly any legal knife except for the switchblades. There is no restriction for carrying knives openly of any blade size.”

Concealed Carry Laws

Knife concealed carry laws in Montana are comprehensive with different guidelines.

As per the law,

“It is a crime if someone conceals any knife. Especially, if the knives are specifically the dirks, daggers, billy, metal knuckles, razors, and most importantly, any knives with the four (4) inches longer blade size or any kind of deadly weapons/knives.”

What will be the Punishment for breaking the law?

If someone disrupts the law of concealing knives, he/she will be punished by,

  • Imprisonment of not more than six (6) months in the county jail
  • A fine of not more than $500

Punishment for a previously convicted of an offense

  • Imprisonment of not more than five (5) years in the state prison
  • A fine of not more than $1,000

Montana Title 45. Crimes § 45-8-316: Carrying Concealed Weapons

(1) A person who carries or bears concealed upon the individual’s person a dirk, dagger, pistol, revolver, slingshot, sword cane, billy, knuckles made of any metal or hard substance, knife having a blade 4 inches long or longer, razor, not including a safety razor, or another deadly weapon shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $500 or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceeding 6 months, or both.

(2) A person who has previously been convicted of an offense, committed on a different occasion than the offense under this section, in this state or any other jurisdiction for which… shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or be imprisoned in the state prison for a period not exceeding 5 years, or both.”

The exception to the rule

  • Any peace officer of any of the states of America who is authorized to arrest anyone
  • Peace officers of the US who are authorized to conceal carry any knives or weapons
  • A member of the National Guard performing his/her duties
  • If anyone is in charge of one of the persons’ that is mentioned above
  • When a civil officer is affianced in official business tasks
  • Probation & parole officers are authorized to carry knives concealed
  • If a person has the legal permit issued to carry any knife concealed
  • When someone is an agent of the Dept. of Justice or Criminal Investigator
  • Lawful hunting, fishing, camping, trapping, farming, or other activities that need knives for self-defense, or recreation, it is legal to use.
  • Anyone can carry a knife on their private home premises or/her business places
  • A legislative security officer can carry a knife with a permit be issued

Montana Title 45. Crimes § 45-8-317: Exceptions” explains about this all

(1) Section 45-8-316 does not apply to:

(a) any peace officer of the state of Montana or of another state who has the power to make arrests;

(b) any officer of the United States government authorized to carry a concealed weapon;

(c) a person in actual service as a member of the national guard;

(d) a person summoned to the aid of any of the persons named in subsections (1)(a) through (1)(c);

(e) a civil officer or the officer’s deputy engaged in the discharge of official business;

(f) a probation and parole officer authorized to carry a firearm under 46-23-1002 ;

(g) a person issued a permit under (g) 45-8-321 or a person with a permit recognized under 45-8-329 ;

(h) an agent of the department of justice or a criminal investigator in a county attorney’s office;

(i) a person who is outside the official boundaries of a city or town or the confines of a logging, lumbering, mining, or railroad camp or who is lawfully engaged in hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, hiking, backpacking, farming, ranching, or other outdoor activity in which weapons are often carried for recreation or protection;

(j) the carrying of arms on one’s premises or at one’s home or place of business;  or

(k) the carrying of a concealed weapon in the state capitol by a legislative security officer who has been issued a permit under (k) 45-8-321 or with a permit recognized under 45-8-329 .

The permissible blade size in Montana

Knives are safe to carry concealed and do not conflict with the law when they are within the blade length limit of four (4) inches. So, it is better to use or carry a knife that is less than four inches otherwise, it could land you in trouble.

Knife Laws for the Schools

In Montana schools are no-knife zones and the state’s law does not spare anyone who carries any knives or weapons on the school premises, and whoever violates the law shall be punished.

As per the law,

“It is a crime if anyone knowingly and unlawfully possesses carries and stores a weapon as well as a knife on the school premises. When a parent or guardian of a minor allows or permits their child to carry or possess a knife or weapon knowingly and unlawfully on the school premises and this is also illegal.”

The code Ҥ 45-8-61: Possession or Allowing Possession of Weapon in School Building

(1) A person commits the offense of possession of a weapon in a school building if the person purposely and knowingly possesses, carries, or stores a weapon in a school building.

(2) A parent or guardian of a minor commits the offense of allowing possession of a weapon in a school building if the parent or guardian purposely and knowingly permits the minor to possess, carry, or store a weapon in a school building.

Punishment for Violation

Whoever violates the laws mentioned above will be punished by,

  • Imprisonment of not more than six (6) months
  • A fine of not more than $500

Section “§ 45-8-61: Penalties” explains

(4) (a) A person convicted under this section shall be fined an amount not to exceed $500, imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months, or both. The court shall consider alternatives to incarceration that are available in the community.

The exception to the rule

Some individuals are allowed to carry knives or weapons in the school area

Section “§ 45-8-61: Exceptions,” tells about this

(3) (a) Subsection (1) does not apply to law enforcement personnel.

(b) The trustees of a district may grant persons and entities advance permission to possess, carry, or store a weapon in a school building.

So, it is illegal to carry any knives on the school premises that is above four inches in blade size.

Knives that are Legal to Own in Montana

Other than the restricted knife “switchblade”, all knives are permissible to own in Montana. For instances,

  • All kinds of pocket knives
  • Balisong knives
  • Knives that are disguised under the pen, cane, lipstick, etc.
  • Dirks, daggers, stilettos, and other double-edged knives
  • Bowie knives and other large single-edged knives
  • Throwing stars and throwing knives and other martial arts weapons
  • All sorts of undetectable knives are legal to own.

Wrapping up the Knife Laws in Montana

Montana knife laws are somewhat similar to the other states of the US. Like in other several states, Switchblades are banned here. Carrying concealed any dangerous knives that can cause harm to anybody is also illegal in Montana. Legal consequences are severe, you might not protect yourself from being castigated if you are found with a deadly knife with you. Nevertheless, if you are one of the permitted personnel, then you will have to prove your legality otherwise, it is better to be careful.

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