Knife Rights

A Pennsylvania listener wants to know about her right to carry a knife. I’m Amy E. Feldman.

Meg wrote in because when she runs, she wants to carry a small knife for her protection, but wanted to know if carrying a knife is illegal in Pennsylvania. Meg, Pennsylvania law did prohibit switchblades, but your question is very timely, because as of January 3, 2023, Pennsylvania, like 23 other states,  repealed the prohibition so it is no longer illegal. And in Pennsylvania, it is also legal to carry a blade with a casing, pocket knives, daggers, razors, box cutters, butterfly knives and Bowie knives (I don’t think I ever realized just how many knives there are—which are legal to carry).

But remember, no matter the type of knife or size of the blade, it’s still illegal to carry it if your intent is to employ it criminally, which I’m guessing Meg’s isn’t, given that she wrote to a lawyer to ask first if it’s legal to carry.

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