North Dakota Knife Laws

ndNorth Dakota knife law is short but very disorganized, and can be difficult to find and understand. This article puts the law in an organized and easy to understand order and language, telling you exactly what is legal and what is not legal when owning and carrying knives in the state of North Dakota.

What is Legal to Own

It is legal to own any type of knife in North Dakota. North Dakota has no laws making it a crime to own any kind of knife.

Restrictions on Carry

  • It is illegal to conceal carry a gravity knife or switchblade
  • It is illegal to conceal carry a machete
  • It is illegal to conceal carry a scimitar, backsword, or sabre
  • It is illegal to conceal carry a stiletto
  • It is illegal to conceal carry a sword
  • It is illegal to conceal carry a dirk or dagger
  • It is illegal to conceal carry any knife with a blade 5 inches or longer
  • It is legal to open carry any type of knife

What the Law States

62.1-04-02.  Carrying concealed firearms or dangerous weapons prohibited.

No person, other than a law enforcement officer, may carry any firearm or dangerous weapon concealed unless the person is licensed to do so or exempted pursuant to this chapter…

Definition of Concealed

North Dakota considers a dangerous weapon concealed if it is worn on the body or kept in a vehicle where it is within reach of the carrier and is not discernible as a weapon by ordinary observation. The statute provides that a dangerous weapon is not concealed if it is locked in a trunk or luggage compartment of a vehicle, carried in a holster or case where it is wholly or substantially visible, or carried in any manner while lawfully hunting, trapping, or target shooting.

Definition of Dangerous Weapon

Under North Dakota law, “dangerous weapon” includes any switchblade or gravity knife machete, scimitar, stiletto, sword, dagger, or any knife with a blade 5 inches or longer.

License to Carry a Dangerous Weapon

A North Dakota resident may obtain a permit to carry a concealed dangerous weapon upon a showing that he or she has a valid reason for conceal carrying the weapon, including self protection or for work-related purposes. In order to issued a permit to carry a concealed dangerous weapon an applicant must be twenty-one years of age (eighteen for a class 2 license), not have been adjudicated by a Court of law as mentally incompetent, qualified to purchase and possess a firearm under federal law, and never convicted of a/an:

  • felony
  • crime of violence
  • offense involving the use of alcohol
  • offense involving the unlawful use of narcotics or other controlled substances
  • offense involving moral turpitude
  • offense involving domestic violence

Applicants must also successfully complete a classroom course, pass an open book test, demonstrate familiarity with a firearm or dangerous weapon, and complete an actual shooting or certified proficiency test.

Conclusion on North Dakota Knife Law

North Dakota knife law is short and to the point. It allows for the ownership and open carry of any type of knife.

It is illegal to conceal carry gravity knives, switchblades, dirks, daggers, stilettos, scimitar, swords, or any knife with a blade 5 inches or longer.

Sources

  • N.D. Cent. Code, § 12.1-01-04 (2013)
  • N.D. Cent. Code, § 62.1-04-01 (2013)
  • N.D. Cent. Code, § 62.1-04-02 (2013)
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