Knife Laws in Kansas

The Sunflower State, like a number of other states, has recently made major expansions to legal knife rights within its boundaries. Lawful knife ownership extends to almost every type of bladed implement, including swords and machetes, while the new carrying laws permit open and concealed carrying of knives having practically any construction or blade length.

Kansas even permits convicted felons to possess and carry knives of any size and almost any configuration, in precisely the manner of people who have no felony convictions.

At the same time as these initiatives, the state of Kansas also asserted its authority in the matter of deciding on knife law within its entire jurisdiction. The state government’s rulings on knife legality preempt almost all local ordinances from July 1st, 2014 onward. Knife owners not only enjoy far-reaching rights in Kansas, but can count on having those same rights wherever they choose to go in the state.

Legality of Knife Possession

Kansas expanded the types of knives people can own to include switchblades, gravity knives, and similar implements with amendments introduced when House Bill No. 2033 was signed into law. The newly amended section § 21-6301 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated (K.S.A.) removes many knife types from the list of criminal weapons. Only throwing stars and ballistic knives are still illegal to own or carry in Kansas.

People in Kansas have been granted the right to own, carry, buy, sell, and so forth nearly any other kind of blade. Pocket knives, gravity knives, switchblades, disguised knives, Bowie knives, single-edged and double-edged fixed blade knives, machetes, sword, sword-canes, balisong knives, daggers, stilettos, and undetectable knives made from substances that baffle metal detectors are all legal implements in Kansas today.

Ballistic knives remain illegal, as do throwing stars, which are defined as including 3 or more geometrically arranged points or blades.

State law explicitly declares that both open and concealed carry of any legal knife or blade is completely lawful throughout Kansas. Kansas Attorney General Opinion 2014-01 confirms that people may carry swords, sword-canes, and machetes openly or concealed, and that this right is not abridged even for convicted felons, since these instruments are no longer classified as weapons.

Carrying at schools is forbidden, as is carrying in certain government buildings. However, all government buildings to be “carry-free zones” for knives are required to have been designated in this way before a 2013 deadline. Carrying is legal in some government buildings where no ordinance exists to ban bringing a knife onto the premises.

Knife Length Limit

The recent legislation abolishes the former 4 inch blade limit for concealed knives. There are currently no length limits on knives in Kansas, meaning that even a long, two-handed sword such as a claymore would count as a knife of legal length.

Concealed Carry of Knives

Any knife or blade that it is legal to possess in Kansas can also be carried concealed at the owner’s option (though this may prove difficult with certain blades in a practical sense). Concealed knives are illegal on school or government building grounds in exactly the same way that open carry knives are.

Other Knife Law Considerations in Kansas

Kansas’ new, highly knife friendly legal framework for dealing with the regulation of owning and carrying blades appears robust, but has also been in place so briefly that it lacks a strong body of precedent relating to the fresh approach. It is always possible that “corner cases” will emerge and lead to adjustments here and there in the overall treatment of knife legality. However, the cause of knife rights can doubtless expect vigorous support in the legislation governing Kansas for the foreseeable future.

Resources and Further Reading