Knife in Tennessee

Knife Laws in Tennessee: A Guide to Legal Carry and Use

Every Tennessee resident needs to understand state knife laws to carry knives legally. This guide will cover key points on knife ownership, carrying, and usage laws. It aims to keep you legal and informed about Tennessee's knife regulations. While Tennessee's knife laws are quite open, knowing the rules can keep you out of trouble.



If you love knives or just see them as tools, knowing Tennessee's knife laws is key. This guide helps you understand how to carry knives in Tennessee safely and legally.

Overview of Tennessee Knife Laws

Tennessee has specific rules for knives, covering how they're owned, carried, and used. It's important to look at the law's details and any changes made over time. This helps everyone know what's okay and what's not.

Legal Definitions and Terminology

Tennessee law, in statute 39-17-1301, defines important terms like "knife" and "switchblade." Knowing these definitions helps folks follow the rules better. It makes clear what law officers and regular people consider as a knife according to Tennessee's rules.

General Knife Law Provisions

In Tennessee, there's no rule against owning or carrying specific knife types. So, both residents and visitors can have different kinds of knives. Still, it's key to be fully informed about the laws. This keeps you out of trouble.

Historical Changes to Knife Legislation

Tennessee's knife laws have changed significantly, especially in 2014. This was when they stopped banning switchblades. This shift shows how state laws have leaned more toward freedom. The changes in laws reflect the state's effort to balance liberty with safety over time.

Legal Possession of Knives

Tennessee is easy on knife rules, letting people have a wide variety of blades legally. This freedom aims to let knife owners use their tools responsibly. It keeps away many restrictions.

Types of Knives Allowed

In Tennessee, you can have any type of knife you like. There's no strict size limit on what's allowed. This means you can own classic fixed-blade knives or latest automatic knives.

Ownership Rights and Limitations

People in Tennessee have a lot of freedom with knives. There aren't many rules on knife ownership besides some places you can't take them. This means you can have different kinds of knives without worrying about the law.

Knowing these rules lets knife lovers make the most of their hobby. They can stay within the law while enjoying their collection.

Restrictions on Knife Use and Carry

The state of Tennessee has strict rules on when and where you can carry knives. It's important to know these to follow the law.

Location-Based Restrictions

In Tennessee, you can't carry knives on school grounds. Statute 39-17-1309 says doing so can lead to big trouble. This rule helps keep students safe by reducing weapon risks.

Specific Circumstances

Some cases of knife-carrying lead to harsh penalties. Tennessee knife usage laws explain this. Carrying a knife to use in a crime makes penalties even tougher.

Penalties and Consequences

Breaking knife carry laws in Tennessee has serious results. It's a Class E felony. This could mean six years in prison and a $6,000 fine. Following these rules can prevent hefty consequences.

Knife Laws in Tennessee: Compliance and Practical Tips

Knowing knife law compliance Tennessee is key for anyone wanting to carry a knife in the state. You first need to understand the rules. This includes knowing where you can carry a knife legally, especially around schools.

When it comes to carrying a knife in Tennessee, staying up to date is crucial. Breaking the law can lead to big fines or even jail time. This is especially true near schools. It's best to know the rules and follow them carefully.

It's also smart to keep in touch with local officials or lawyers. They can give you the latest advice on knife laws. This helps you stay safe and avoid trouble due to old or wrong information.

To wrap up, it's vital to follow good advice for knife carrying in Tennessee. Stay alert, get informed, and carry your knife the right way to deal with the law smarter.

Legal Implications of Carrying Knives in Schools

It's crucial for everyone in Tennessee to understand the laws about knives in schools. Breaking these laws can lead to serious consequences. This is key info for parents, students, and teachers.

Definitions and Criteria

Tennessee's knife laws focus on keeping schools safe. The term “intent to go armed” is important. It means the reason for having a knife at school. Knowing this can help people avoid trouble.

Penalties for Violations

Breaking the school knife laws in Tennessee is no joke. You could face a Class E felony charge. This means up to six years in jail and fines up to $6,000. It's very important to understand the law to stay out of trouble.

Affirmative Defenses

Tennessee's laws do offer certain defenses for carrying knives. For example, carrying one for a school event could be allowed. But, you need clear intent and approval. Knowing these defenses is essential.

Statewide Uniformity in Knife Laws

In Tennessee, a single set of rules for knives is set by the state government. This makes knife laws across the state predictable and the same for everyone. It avoids confusion from different laws in local areas.

Preemption by State Legislature

Statute 39-17-1314 gives the Tennessee state legislature the only say in knife laws. So, other local places can't make their rules. This stops local areas from adding their own rules to knife use and carrying.

Local Government Restrictions

Local officials in Tennessee can't make their own laws about knives. This is because the state already has its rules. So, the rules on knives are always the same, no matter where you are in the state.


Tennessee's approach to knives is quite open, allowing many to carry without trouble. Anyone can own and carry knives, with no strict rules about the types or sizes allowed. This is good news for collectors and fans. It lets them easily own and move their knives around. But, remember, some places, like schools, have their own rules. Breaking these can lead to big problems with the law.

In 2014, Tennessee took a big step forward by getting rid of some knife rules. This shows they care about people's rights. Yet, the state still makes sure risky places, such as schools, stay safe. It's crucial to know and follow all the knife laws. To carry knives legally, everyone must keep up with the rules.

Understanding Tennessee's knife laws is key. It lets you enjoy owning knives while staying out of legal trouble. Knowing the rules helps you use your right to carry knives wisely and without fear. Enjoying this freedom means also being a responsible user of knives in the state.


Are there any restrictions on the types of knives I can possess in Tennessee?

No, Tennessee lets people have all kinds of knives. There aren't specific rules on what you can carry or how big they can be.

What are the legal definitions of “knife” and “switchblade” in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, the law explains what a "knife" and "switchblade" are. This makes it clear which knives are legal and which are not.

Have there been any historical changes to knife legislation in Tennessee?

Tennessee changed its laws to allow automatic knives in 2014. As laws have become more open over the years, people can carry more types of knives.

Are there any specific locations where carrying a knife is prohibited in Tennessee?

Knives are not allowed on school grounds. Under statute 39-17-1309, it's illegal to have knives in schools. It's best to keep knives away from these places.

What are the penalties for violating knife laws on school grounds in Tennessee?

Breaking the law can lead to serious charges. This includes fines up to $6,000 and up to six years in prison for severe offenses committed with the knife.

How can I ensure compliance with Tennessee’s knife laws?

Knowing where you can't have knives, especially near schools, is key. Also, understanding the legal punishments helps prevent mistakes.

Can local governments in Tennessee enact their own knife laws?

Tennessee doesn't allow local knife laws. A statewide law, under statute 39-17-1314, says only the state can make rules about knives.

What should I understand about carrying knives in schools?

It's against the law to carry knives in schools in Tennessee. The crime requires the intent to arm yourself. Yet, there are some situations when carrying a knife is okay.

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