Indiana Knife Laws

Indiana knife laws are very fair and somewhat strait forward. This article will give you a briefing of what is allowed and not allowed under the law, what the law says, and an explanation of what that means. This article will also cite case precedence that has shaped the meaning of Indiana knife law.

What is Legal

  • Balisong knives are legal.
  • Bowie knive are legal.
  • Dirks, daggers, and stilettos are legal.
  • Assisted knives are legal.
  • Disguised knives like cane knives, lipstick knives, and belt knives are legal.
  • Switchblades and other automatic knives are legal.

What is Illegal

  • Ballistic knives are illegal.
  • Throwing stars are illegal.

Restriction on Carry

There are no limits to concealed or open carry as long as you do not bring a knife to school. The Indiana state code is available for anyone to read online but the excerpts below contains the code as well as an explanation.

What the Law Says

Ban on Ballistic Knives

Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-5-2 (Effective July 1, 2013)

35-47-5-2. Knife with a detachable blade.

It is a Class B misdemeanor for a person to manufacture, possess, display, offer, sell, lend, give away, or purchase any knife with a detachable blade that may be ejected from the handle as a projectile by means of gas, a spring, or any other device contained in the handle of the knife.

Indiana’s prior code made the manufacture, possession, display, sale, loan, gifting, or purchase of a knife that opens automatically a Class B misdemeanor, but effect July 1, 2013, that section of the code has been stricken.

Limits on Knives at Schools

Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-5-2.5 (Effective July 1, 2013)

35-47-5-2.5. Possession of knife on school property or on a school bus.

(a) As used in this section, “knife” means an instrument that:
(1) consists of a sharp edged or sharp pointed blade capable of inflicting cutting, stabbing, or tearing wounds; and
(2) is intended to be used as a weapon.
(b) The term includes a dagger, dirk, poniard, stiletto, switchblade knife, or gravity knife.
(c) A person who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally possesses a knife on:
(1) school property (as defined in IC 35-31.5-2-285);
(2) a school bus (as defined in IC 20-27-2-8); or
(3) a special purpose bus (as defined in IC 20-27-2-10);
commits a Class B misdemeanor. However, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor if the person has a previous unrelated conviction under this section and a Level 6 felony if the offense results in bodily injury to another person.
(d) This section does not apply to a person who possesses a knife:
(1) if:
(A) the knife is provided to the person by the school corporation or possession of the knife is authorized by the school corporation; and
(B) the person uses the knife for a purpose authorized by the school corporation; or
(2) if the knife is secured in a motor vehicle.

Unlike other states where you can bring pocket knives under a certain blade length to schools, you can not bring any knife to a school in Indiana unless it is approved by the school or left in your car.

Limits on Throwing Stars

Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-5-12 (2013)

35-47-5-12. Manufacture, sale or possession of Chinese throwing star.

(a) A person who:
(1) Manufactures;
(2) Causes to be manufactured;
(3) Imports into Indiana;
(4) Keeps for sale;
(5) Offers or exposes for sale; or
(6) Gives, lends, or possesses;
a Chinese throwing star commits a Class C misdemeanor.
(b) As used in this section, “Chinese throwing star” means a throwing-knife, throwing-iron, or other knife-like weapon with blades set at different angles.

You can not have throwing stars in Indiana. You can have throwing knives if there is only one blade or blades in the same angle. Fortunately, most throwing knives are not sharp and, as long as it has only one blade, you should be fine. The types of throwing knives that have multiple blades at different angles are ones who have a front and back tip.

Throwing axes, hatchets, and tomahawks are legal as long as the blades are in the same angle (most are).

Conclusion to Indiana Knife Laws

It is legal for you to own everything except ballistic knives and throwing stars. You can not bring knives to school no matter the length or type.

Why did Indiana ban throwing stars? I don’t really know since you can’t really seriously injure someone with a throwing star. No matter how hard you throw it, it’ll only leave a cut. Illinois also banned throwing star as well however.

Note that I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. If you need real legal advice, talk to a lawyer. There are also county laws that come into play as well so look up your local municipal code. If you have any questions, post it in the comment box below.


  1. Any knife not already illegal is not illegal on school property as long as it is in your transportation automobile. For your case carrying a knife for other activities

    1. Correct. But it’s important to note the phrase “Secured” in your vehicle, meaning you cannot leave it unattended in an accessible state (ie, the doors unlocked, windows down, etc.). I’m not 100% sure, but that may include not having it in plain view.

    1. Quentin is correct but also check your county and locals laws. It’s rare but check anyway.

  2. Is my 10 blade knife in sheath aloud to be carried within the state of indiana

  3. So, is my katana, 28in blade, 38in overall, legal to wear on my hip in Fort Wayne? In public? Or my 10in duobleside dagger?

    1. That’s not Brody. But I know him. Master debater, what is thy real name?

    1. Yes but be prepared to get checkout repeatedly by LEOs or potentially charged with something else like disturbing the peace. Unless you really feel the need to carry a sword I’d forgo it. And this is a coming from a nonLEO that carries an OTF auto everywhere.

  4. So its legal to carry my pocket knife with a 2 1/2inch blade on my belt in public

    1. Laws apply to everyone, age makes no difference whatsoever.

  5. Throwing stars need to be excluded from the list for the simple reason they’re a distraction weapon. Seldom are people ever killed with a throwing star. In places where they are legal, they’re use is that for entertainment, much like darts, but requiring more skill to use.

  6. OK, here a Good One. Go to the Indiana State Fair and try to walk in the public entry gates and you’ll get swept with a wand and warned to take knives (and guns) back to your vehicle. Once inside, many of the vendors (junk dealers) inside sell large steak and butcher knives ! Do the math on that one; I suppose it gives the ANTI’s a feel good/safe feeling.

  7. So I recently bought two balisongs (butterfly knives) for the purpose of one being a practice knife, not sharp at all and even says (I believe) “cannot be sharpened”, and the other knife a “real” balisong for the purpose of having a nicer one that won’t fall apart and looks nicer; not as a weapon, but just for a flipping hobby. Now, I’m hoping I can take my dull practice one anywhere really, even school (after school, but still in my backpack). Now the law considers a knife to have a SHARP edge. Does that mean I’m safe with the law? I mean I know I can carry both knives on me, but wasn’t sure about the practice one at school. Not a big deal just kinda stupid if I’m dropping $100 on something I can only have in my house

  8. I own a spring assisted knife. I also think daggers should be illegal because they are extremely silent where as if you have a regular knife and you want to throw it at someone far away you would miss. Where as if you have a dagger they are easy to throw and should be illegal cause they are more dangerous then a regular knife I think.

  9. Also is there a maximum blade length in Michigan city Indiana??

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