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Carrying a knife in Missouri: What is legal?

When we talk about weapons charges, most people automatically consider the implications of carrying or owning certain firearms. Guns are not the only thing considered to be a weapon, though, and you can get into legal trouble by carrying or owning certain types of knives.

Primarily, the law prohibits the use or carrying of certain switchblades. Missouri law classifies carrying or owning a switchblade as a Class C felony unless the owner and the knife are both covered under federal exceptions to the law. Specifically, if you have only one arm, you are allowed to own a switchblade that has a blade that is three inches or less in length. Otherwise, blades that contain a spring or other switch-type mechanism have to have a bias toward the blade's closure.

Legally, you can own and carry a number of other knives, including dirks and stilettos, throwing stars and daggers, Bowie knives, boot knives and even knives that are designed so they don't set off a metal detector. If a knife is legal to own in the state, then you are allowed by law to carry it openly. You cannot conceal carry all these knives, though. Concealed carry is reserved for pocketknives, which are defined as those with blades that measure four inches or less and fold. Concealed knives are those that are carried in a way that they cannot be seen by other people.

Certain exceptions do exist to the concealed carry law. Certain government and law enforcement officials, for example, are allowed to carry concealed weapons and some hunters and other people engaged in specific activities are allowed concealed knives. If you are facing a knife-related weapons charge, consider working with an experienced professional on your defense.

Source: Knife Up, "Missouri Knife Laws," accessed Sep. 30, 2016

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