New Hampshire knife laws are practically non-existent, and therefore may be very difficult to find, let alone understand. This article will describe the law and tell you what it means.
What is Legal to Own
In New Hampshire, it is legal to own any type of knife, as long as you have not been convicted of a felony against the person or property of another or of a felony drug related offense. Yes, machetes are legal.
What is Illegal to Own
It is illegal for a person who has been convicted of a felony against the person or property of another or of a felony drug related offense to possess a:
- Dirk or dagger
- Switchblade knife
- knife considered to be a deadly weapon
On May 18, 2010, the New Hampshire knife laws changed thanks to HB1665 and, because of that, any article online written about NH knife laws before this date is out of date.
67:1 Pistols and Revolvers; Carrying or Selling Weapons. Amend RSA 159:16 to read as follows:
159:16 Carrying or Selling Weapons. Whoever, except as provided by the laws of this state, sells, has in his possession with intent to sell, or carries on his person any [
stiletto, switch knife,] blackjack, [ dagger, dirk-knife,] slung shot, or metallic knuckles shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; and such weapon or articles so carried by him shall be confiscated to the use of the state.
67:2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
Approved: May 18, 2010
Effective Date: May 18, 2010
Definition of Deadly Weapon
A deadly weapon is defined by New Hampshire legislature as any firearm, knife or other substance or thing, which in the manner it is used, intended to be used, or threatened to be used, is known to be capable of producing death or serious bodily injury. In the case of State v. Beckert, the Court said that Mr. Beckert’s concealed, six-inch hunting knife was a dangerous weapon, because of the serious and immediate danger it posed to police and members of the public. Mr. Beckert was apprehended with the concealed knife in a crowded area in the vicinity of a fight and attempted to draw the knife when he was arrested.
Limitations on Carry
On May 18, 2010, New Hampshire Governor John Lynch, signed into law House Bill 1665, amending the law that prohibited the possession or carrying of dirks, daggers, stilettos, and switchblades for law-abiding citizens. Representative Jenn Coffey, a well-known activist and knife enthusiast, introduced the Bill, to create the freest place on earth for knife enthusiasts like herself. The law now allows for the concealed and open carry of any type of knife by anyone who is not a convicted felon.
- RSA 625:11 (2013)
- RSA 159:3 (2013)
- State v. Beckert, 741 A.2d 63 (1999)