Knife in Missouri

Knife Laws in Missouri: Your Guide to Legal Carry and Restrictions

Let's delve into understanding Missouri's knife carry rules. The state upholds knife ownership under the Second Amendment. It's essential for knife owners to know and follow local rules to stay out of trouble.

Missouri's laws are detailed, covering different knife types and how they're carried. This guide will explain what's legal in MO regarding knives. It aims to make things clear, including when and how you can carry a knife.

But remember, this guide isn't legal advice. For any legal questions, talking to a licensed attorney is your best bet.

Overview of Knife Laws in Missouri

Missouri strongly supports our right to have and carry knives. This belief is rooted in both the U.S. Constitution and Missouri’s own constitution. It recognizes knives as vital for protecting ourselves, our loved ones, and our things.

Missouri’s Constitutional Rights

The heart of knife laws in Missouri is the idea that every citizen has rights that should not be taken away. Laws about knives must be very carefully thought out. This makes sure that people's freedoms are always respected.

But, there are some exceptions to these rules. The state can limit knife use for people who have committed serious crimes or are mentally not well. This shows Missouri's effort to keep everyone safe, while still valuing personal freedom.

Types of Knives Legal and Illegal in Missouri

Knowing the laws around knives in Missouri is key if you like to carry them. The rules are pretty clear but have details knife fans need to know.

Legal Knives

Missouri is open about having knives around. Since 2012, owning and carrying switchblades has been okay. But, this is only if you're not doing anything against the law with them. It's good news for knife lovers because most types are fine as long as they are carried legally.

Illegal Knives

Even with the state's easygoing stance, some knives are off-limits if used wrongly. This means you should be careful how you use your knife. Misusing or doing something illegal with it can get you in trouble, even if the knife itself is allowed. So, just because switchblades are okay to have doesn't mean you can break the law with them.

Concealed Carry Regulations

In Missouri, knowing about concealed carry laws is key for knife owners. These laws detail what types of knives can be carried and how. This helps keep everyone safe and within the law.

Ordinary Pocketknives

The concealed knife carry in MO law allows "ordinary pocketknives." These are knives with a blade under four inches. This means you can carry your everyday pocketknife without breaking the law. Still, it's important to know about cases like State v. Dowdy. This case helps outline what knives are not allowed for concealed carry.

Other Knives

For knives other than pocketknives, Missouri has stricter rules. If a knife is larger, you might need to carry it openly to follow the law. This highlights the need to be visible with certain knives to stay legal. Knowing Missouri's knife laws helps owners understand their rights and responsibilities well.

Specific Definitions and Legal Ambiguities

It's crucial to understand the definition of a knife in Missouri to follow the law. Missouri defines a knife thoroughly, but this can sometimes be unclear. To fully get it, look at how the law is written and how courts have applied it in the past.

Statutory Definition of a Knife

Missouri laws describe general knife features rather than listing specific types. A knife is any tool that has a blade over four inches long and is meant for cutting. This explanation makes it clearer what knives are legally allowed, while also considering various knife shapes and styles.

Judicial Interpretations

Court decisions are key in shaping what the law means in reality. For example, in State v. Rowe, the court talked about what makes a pocketknife "ordinary". They said it's not just how long the blade is but also how someone uses it and carries it. These rulings combine the law's written words with real-world situations.

The balance between written law and how it's enforced is crucial. It shows us how the legal dimensions of knives in MO are always changing. Staying up-to-date with legal cases helps understand the law better. It refines what Missouri's rules actually mean in practice.

Exceptions and Special Considerations

It's vital to understand Missouri's knife laws because they're complex. This is especially true for those covered by carry exceptions. For instance, if you work for the government, you might be allowed to carry a knife for your job. This is common for police officers and military personnel.

There are exceptions for people delivering legal documents too. They might need a knife for their safety. Hunting regulations also have some special rules. They let hunters carry knives openly, along with their bows and guns, during hunting season.

The idea of "peaceable traveling" is key in Missouri's knife laws. It says that if you're moving between places with a knife, you should be fine. This is to make sure you're not treated unfairly by the law. Stories from court cases also help us understand these rules better.

To wrap it up, Missouri's knife laws are very detailed. They're full of special rules and exceptions. Knowing these specific situations can help people own knives in a way that's legal and safe.


It’s vital for Missourians to grasp their knife laws. This detailed analysis shows how Missouri supports the Second Amendment. It grants the right to own knives openly and, in some cases, hidden. This makes Missouri a state that's welcoming to knife users.

Different knives have different rules in Missouri. The guide points out the laws for each kind. Staying up-to-date with the law, especially after cases like State v. Dowdy, is key.

Missouri aims to keep knife owners informed. It's smart to keep an eye out for any updates to the law. This guide is a solid start. But, for legal advice, talking to a lawyer is best. Knowing these laws helps everyone in Missouri use knives legally and safely.


What is the legal framework surrounding knife ownership and carry in Missouri?

Missouri strongly supports its citizens' right to own and carry knives, following the Second Amendment. This right is for the protection of themselves, their families, and property. However, it's crucial to understand the rules for different knives, carrying them hidden, and the situations where these rights apply. For advice on specific laws, it's best to talk to a lawyer.

Are switchblades legal in Missouri?

Switchblades aren't banned in Missouri since 2012, under certain conditions. While it's okay to carry them, using one for a crime breaks federal law. Doing so can get you in serious legal trouble.

What are the regulations for concealed carry of knives in Missouri?

In Missouri, "an ordinary pocketknife" under four inches can be hidden and carried. Knives bigger than this, and certain types, may need to be seen openly to follow the law. A previous legal case has helped set the rules about which knives can be hidden.

How does Missouri define "ordinary pocketknife"?

The meaning of "ordinary pocketknife" is still not completely clear in Missouri law. The size, including the rule about a four-inch blade, is very important. Legal cases, like State v. Rowe, have also helped explain who can carry knives secretly.

Are there any exceptions for knife carry in Missouri?

Exceptions in Missouri's knife laws apply to some jobs and situations. For example, government workers, people delivering legal documents, or hunters with certain weapons may have special permissions. There are also allowances for those just passing through the state, based on past legal decisions.

Can convicted felons legally carry knives in Missouri?

The State's laws might keep convicted violent felons and people with mental health issues from carrying knives. This is one way the government tries to keep the public safe.

Are there length restrictions for carrying knives in Missouri?

Indeed, longer knives over four inches are controlled more strictly. You usually have to show these knives openly. Knives that fit the description of an "ordinary pocketknife" can be kept hidden, though.

What should hunters know about carrying knives in Missouri?

Hunters with visible bows or guns have some allowances for carrying knives. It's wise to always check that your knife follows the law. Plus, it could be helpful to get advice from a legal expert.

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