The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Knife Rights Releases Rankings of 10 Worst Anti-Knife Cities


Since its inception in late 2006, Knife Rights has worked hard to lobby against those with an anti-knife agenda. The organization has done a ton of advocacy for knife rights and has made a huge impact with knife legislation. We covered just a little of what they’ve done in an older blog post.

At the NASC Annual Sportsman-Legislator Summit in Oregon, Knife Rights released their first annual review of the worst and best knife laws in America.

Here’s more from Knife Rights on the ranking:

The ten worst anti-knife cities stand out for their outright persecution of honest knife owners and extraordinarily restrictive anti-knife ordinances, far more severe than even the state laws in those areas.

You can see the rankings over at Knife Rights but we thought we’d share it here as well. Some of the information about the laws in the cities are taken from Knife Rights.

Here are the 10 worst cities for knife owners.

10. Aspen, Colorado

In Aspen, it’s illegal to carry a concealed knife of any type in a car, unless you have a concealed weapons permit. It’s perfectly legal to buy marijuana in Aspen, but don’t even think about driving with your pocketknife hidden somewhere.

9. Corpus Christi, Texas (Update: removed from list in 2015 with the passage of Texas’ knife preemption law)

You’d think Texas would have better knife laws, but in Corpus Christi, it’s illegal to carry any fixed blade. A folder that’s 3 inches or longer is also illegal. There’s a vague exception about a traveling person or someone who’s using the knife for their job.

8. Chicago, Illinois

Photograph (may or may not be digitally edited)

The Windy City makes it illegal to carry a concealed knife with a blade longer than 2.5 inches. Automatic and gravity knives are banned entirely.

If you’re under 18, things are even rougher for knife owners. No one is allowed to sell or give any knife to someone under 18 with a blade that’s longer than 2 inches. Taking it even further, it’s illegal for someone 18 or under to even possess a knife of that size.

7. Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland has a law against carrying a blade that’s 2.5 inches or longer unless it’s required for a job. There’s also a requirement that longer blades must be registered, and the log needs to be kept on hand for the possible inspection of law enforcement.

6. Boston, Massachusetts


Boston has a similar law as Cleveland — any blade longer than 2.5 inches is illegal to carry unless it’s pertinent to your job. Small knife retailers must get a city license.

5. Rocky River, Ohio

Knives with blades 2.5 inches and longer are illegal unless it’s authorized for police work.

4. San Antonio, Texas (Update: removed from list in 2015 with the passage of Texas’ knife preemption law)


The second Texas city on the list, San Antonio has very stringent knife laws that restrict the possession of any folding knife with a locking mechanism. That means nearly 90 percent of all pocket knives sold in the United States are illegal to carry in San Antonio. However, you are allowed to carry a fixed blade with a blade length of up to 5.5 inches.

3. Ocean City, Maryland

This Maryland city is by no means one of the most populous, but it is a popular destination spot for vacationers. If you’re traveling there, you should be aware that a variety of common pocketknives are considered illegal.

Assisted opening knives are illegal to possess and dispose of. Fighting knives are also illegal, but the definition of a fighting knife is not clearly laid out so any knife with serrations could qualify.

2. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The knife laws in Philly aren’t as complicated as the previous laws but they are all encompassing. All knives are illegal to carry in public except when actually being used on the job. The only problem is it’s impossible to take the knife to work without breaking the law.

1. New York, New York


After Knife Rights’ epic battles with the district attorney and many scathing articles about the capriciousness of knife law enforcement in the city, it’s not shocking to see NYC at the top of the list.

Knives that can be flicked open with the wrist are illegal, but the real issue is that law enforcement has often made that definition much broader than it was probably intended. The majority of pocketknives can be opened with the flick of a wrist, and it really depends on how officers feel and interpret the law that day.

It’s also against the law to carry a knife visibly in public and any knife longer than 4 inches is strictly prohibited except under a few circumstances.

What makes New York City even worse is the sheer aggressiveness with which the city prosecutes “offenders.”


  1. Im not sure I am able to completely comprehend any of these laws. It is like the comparison between London and Washington, DC. A tale of two cities. The populations are about the same but in London, where there are strict gun laws, there are twice the number of violent crimes as in DC. I can only think that to eliminate all possibility of someone being cut rather than shot, you must ELIMINATE ALL KITCHEN KNIVES. I really dont see this happening in London or DC or any of the heretofore mentioned cities. So then, what we have is an absolute exercise in futility. This is, of course, government at its best.

  2. na commiiiircia fishermen and knive lover and collecter.l have carried at least one knive all my work Iife.In this time l have only managed to stab myself.lrecenly had over $1000 worth of knives seized by Australian is the person holding the gun or knife that is the problem not the knife.To some of us aknife is thing of beaty and any law ridiculous as l could do more damage with a screwdriver and conceal my intention well Not that l would but it goes to show the ineffectiveness of any laws regarding knives.Cheers Grant

  3. It is Just like the Gun Laws … they say it’s the gun that kill people . “People
    Kill People ” So lets ban Automobiles from the road because cars and trucks kill people ? I am in Law Enforcement and Emergency Management and my knife is a life saver. it will cut seat belts, pry things open, break glass, etc.

    senario: you get into an accident, or see an accident, car is smoking, occupants trying to get out, seat belt stuck door wont open….. oops sorry no knife to cut my seatbelt, and tool to break the glass to help you.

  4. I live in San Antonio, and while these laws are on the books, they’re never enforced. I know dozens of people, myself included, that carry locking folders on a daily basis. Including a couple former police officers. I would be beyond surprised to hear of someone being prosecuted for it. I assume it’s just an older law no one bothered to change.

  5. Like “gun control “, it has NOTHING to do with crime…It’s all about control….The 2nd amendment is clear, knives are protected under the US Constitutional-Bill of Rights just as firearms. No Government, or so called law enforcement agent should ever infringe upon a US citizens civil liberties-period…The suggestion of such is tantamount to “Creeping Incrementalism. ” Which will eventually lead to ” Authoritarianism “…Then to “Totalitarianism. “

  6. FYI – San Antonio and Corpus Christi have been removed from this list as of 9/1/15 because the state of Texas passed a law preempting local knife ordinances that are more restrictive than the state law.

  7. Cleveland’s makes no sense. I’m a doctor, and in my jump bag in my car is, among other medical paraphernalia, always a knife of some kind from my collection. Locking, inexpensive, and big enough I can cut tubing and the like with a flick of the wrist. Now since I don’t need it in clinic, it’s illegal, but if I’m responding to an emergency scenario in clinic or on the road, it’s magically legal since I need it.

    This is insane. A city that allows concealed carry of firearms makes a Buck 110 illegal?

    • Basically comes down to this, any government controlled entity will make any tool illegal to strengthen its hand. The Second Ammendment is straight forward and basic. Any American citizen can own and bare arms, for self defense, form militias or tyranny from a Domestic or foreign Government or military entity and will not have the right enfringed. Basically all Knifes, Guns, and weaponry should be permissable to own and use without Government interference!

  8. It’s outstanding,Thank you for provided us.

  9. I live in Canada ??We have no such lenth or concealed carry laws.. Each peace officer has the discretion, case by case to decide if you, or your knife is being used illegally.. I have carried a Swiss Army Champ all my life… everywhere.. In a pouch on my belt… Including sporting events, or public event, including to the Police Station to conduct business.. Never even looked at twice, or asked a question… So… Love my countty..

  10. Ohio ready at hand and not consiled but unconciled is ready at hand grabbale so law is contradicting it’s self so what we to do?

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