Kansas Knife Laws

Kansas knife law is practically non-existent. This article will discuss the current Kansas knife law, what it means in simple everyday terms, case precedence, and explanation of legal terms.

The knife laws for Kansas has been updated as of 7 JANUARY 2014. Read the new law here.

What is Legal to Own

  • It is legal to own Bowies and other large knives.
  • It is legal to own dirks, daggers, stilettos, and other stabbing knives.
  • It is legal to own disguised knives like belt knives, lipstick knives, and cane swords.
  • It is legal to own switchblades and other automatic knives.
  • It is legal to own gravity knives.
  • It is legal to own undetectable knives (knives that will not set off metal detectors).

What is Illegal to Own

  • It is illegal to own ballistic knives.
  • It is illegal to own throwing stars.

Definition of Throwing Star

A throwing star is defined by Kansas statute as “any instrument, without handles, consisting of a metal plate having three or more radiating points with one or more sharp edges and designed in the shape of a polygon, trefoil, cross, star, diamond or other geometric shape, manufactured for use as a weapon for throwing.”

Limits on Carry

  • It is legal to open carry all knives that are legal to own.
  • It is legal to conceal carry all knives that are legal to own.

What the Law States

Penalty for Criminal Use

K.S.A. § 21-6301 (2012)

21-6301. Criminal use of weapons.

(a) Criminal use of weapons is knowingly:

(1) Selling, manufacturing, purchasing or possessing any bludgeon, sand club, metal knuckles or throwing star;

(2) possessing with intent to use the same unlawfully against another, a billy, blackjack, slungshot, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument of like character, or a dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument;

[…]

(m) As used in this section, “throwing star” means any instrument, without handles, consisting of a metal plate having three or more radiating points with one or more sharp edges and designed in the shape of a polygon, trefoil, cross, star, diamond or other geometric shape, manufactured for use as a weapon for throwing.

Kansas § 21-6301(a)(2), shown above, says that it is illegal to possess certain types of weapons, with the intent to use them unlawfully against another. Therefore, we can assume that until one has used one of the enumerated types of weapons against someone illegally or shows some type of intent to do so, the possession of those weapons is legal in the state of Kansas.  

It is a crime however, under § 21-6301(a)(1), above, to own metal knuckles or throwing stars. Note that under the definition of throwing star, a throwing knife is legal, as long as it has a handle.

Some knives that not listed in section (a)(1) might still be banned. For example, a WWI trench knife with a handle that also works as a metal knuckle could easily fall under that category.

Using a dangerous weapon to hurt someone else is unlawful. While a knife may not be listed as illegal to own or carry, it may or may not be a dangerous weapon and you will not find out until a judge decides. The only type of knife that would never be considered a dangerous weapon is a folding pocket knife with a blade under 4 inches.

Limits on Carry

K.S.A. § 21-6302 (2012)

21-6302. Criminal carrying of a weapon

(a) Criminal carrying of a weapon is knowingly carrying:

(1) Any bludgeon, sandclub, metal knuckles or throwing star;

(2) concealed on one’s person, a billy, blackjack, slungshot, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument of like character;

Knives not listed as legal or illegal to carry fall in the gray area of “dangerous weapon” and it is up to a judge or jury to determine if it meets the requirements of a dangerous weapon.

Conclusion to Kansas Knife Laws

In Kansas, you can own any knife you want except for a throwing star or ballistic knife. It is legal to open or conceal carry any type of knife that it is legal to own.

Note that this is not legal advice and there is no attorney-client relationship. There are also county and city laws that come into play as well so check with your municipal.

If you have any comments, leave them in the comment box below.

References

K.S.A. § 21-6301 (2012)

K.S.A. § 21-6302 (2012)

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7 comments on “Kansas Knife Laws
  1. john says:

    Can you conceal carry a pocket knife in any location without a no conceal carry ban, and is it legal for someone under the age of 18 to conceal carry a pocket knife?

  2. Lance Lovell Jr says:

    I have a question oncerning the size of the throwing knife. Is there a restriction on the size of a throwing knife?

  3. Phil says:

    As of July 1, 2013, it is now legal to own switchblades and other automatic knives in Kansas.

  4. Sam says:

    Is it now legal to carry blades over 4 inches in length? It looks like that provision was removed from the bill along with the part outlawing owning automatic knives.

  5. Garrett says:

    It’s legal to carry all knives now. Went into effect in kansas on July 1st 2013.

    http://www.kniferights.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=215&Itemid=1

  6. Jim Macklin says:

    Kansas legislature read the revised Kansas Bill of Rights and repealed just about every knife law on the books. There is no more 4 inch limit to describe a NOT “dangerous knife” exception. Exceptions are not needed when the laws criminalize assault, threat, not the knife.
    Kansas passed handgun concealed carry in 2006 and began issuing licenses January 2007. The Kansas article 4 of the Bill of Rights was amended by the legislature in 2009-10 and overwhelmingly ratified by the voter in November 2010.
    I am not a lawyer so this is not legal advice or restatement.
    The Kansas Attorney General is solidly on the side of the citizens and visitors right to self-defense. There are several KSAG opinions that told the cities to “back off” and follow state law. You can find these on links on the AGs website http://ag.ks.gov/public-safety/concealedcarry/concealed-carry .
    What was formerly 21-4201 is now numbered 21-6301 and several laws have been repealed or folded into another section of law.
    Maybe Oklahoma will see that the Kansas law is better and follow suit.

  7. Ira Edmiston says:

    the link to the actual law and the real information is there, but the page still reports the facts of the old law. every bladed weapon except throwing stars is legal for open and/or concealed carry. Oddly enough… clubs, maces, saps, and other blunt instruments are illegal still…including the “slungshot”. No word on the Slingshot, however, they must be legal because Walmart carries them on their shelves and sells them to anyone with money.

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