Knife Laws

 

It is LEGAL to own and carry any type of knife in the State of Utah as long as you are not a restricted person as defined in 76-10-503.
Legal knives include a butterfly knife, dirk, dagger, stiletto, bowie knife, automatic*, gravity*, switchblade* or a disguised knife (in a belt buckle, necklace, etc.)
* See Federal restrictions below.

Bowie Knife
Is essentially a heavy dagger with a pointed, straight 12-20 inch blade. The "toothpick" is balanced and weighted for throwing and can also be used for thrusting .
The historical Bowie knife was not a single design, but was a series of knives improved several times by Jim Bowie over the years. The version most
commonly known as the historical Bowie knife was rather large and of massive construction, as knives go, usually having a blade of at least 6" (15cm)
in length, some reaching 12 inches (30cm) or more, with a relatively broad blade that was an inch and a half to two inches wide (4 to 5 cm) and made of steel

Pen Knife
A small folding pocket knife, originally used for cutting a quill to make a pen nib. It may have single or multiple blades and additional tools
incorporated into the design. Over the last hundred years there has been a proliferation of multi-function knives with multifarious and often ingenious
gadgets including awls, reamers, scissors, nail files, corkscrews, tweezers, toothpicks and so on, and the tradition continues with the incorporation of modern devices such as ballpoint pens, LED torches and USB flash drives. The most famous example of a multi-function knife is the Swiss Army knife, some versions of which number dozens of functions and are really more of a folding multi-tool, incorporating a blade or two, than a penknife with extras.

Gravity Knife
A knife which can be opened solely by the forces of gravity or centripetal force. One method of opening is where the blade exits out the front
of the handle point-first and locks into place. Another form is like a switchblade, but instead of a button or spring, the knife is "flipped" out of the handle, and locked into place. To retract the blade back into the handle, a release lever, or linerlock is pressed. Should the knife be equipped with a spring to open the blade, it is then referred to as an Out-The-Front Automatic (OTF) knife, or a switchblade if it exits out of the side. Knives commonly mistaken for gravity knives include OTF automatic knives, the switchblade and the butterfly knife (or balisong), and occasionally common folding knives (see penny knife).

Gimlet
A weapon that looks like an ice pick and opens like a switchblade knife.

Clasp Knife
A folding knife, strictly speaking one equipped with some means of holding the blade in the open position when in use, so that it cannot close
accidentally on the user's fingers. The term tends to refer to a medium-sized to large knife, and implies a locking mechanism such as a twisting ring or catch that must be released in a distinct action before the knife can be folded, as opposed to the more usual sliding spring which requires only that a sufficient force be applied to the back of the knife in order for it to fold into the handle, and for which the term penknife is normally used. The term lock-knife or lockback knife also exists to make this distinction.

Dirk
A Scots word for a long dagger; sometimes a cut-down sword blade mounted on a dagger hilt, rather than a knife blade. Dirks were made with either
double-edged or single-edged blades, and there was no standard blade configuration. Reference books covering naval dirks invariably show the popularity catch an opponent's blade, a concept borrowed from the medieval Scottish dirk, and also often had an upper guard that bent forward at an angle, also intended to catch an opponent's blade. The back edge of the curved clip point, also called the "false edge," was often sharpened in order to allow someone trained in European techniques of saber fencing to execute the maneuver called the "back cut" or "back slash." A brass quillon was attached to protect the hand, usually cast in a mold.
It is likely that the blade shape was derived from the Spanish Navajo clasp knives carried in Spain and the Spanish colonies in the Americas.

Butterfly Knife / Balisong
The Balisong, called a Butterfly knife in the West, and sometimes known as a Batangas knife, is a form of folding pocket knife with two handles that
counter-rotate around the tang such that, when closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handles. In the hands of a trained user, the knife blade can be brought forth quickly using one hand. Manipulations (flipping) are performed for art or amusement and require great skill. Translated from Tagalog, the word "Balisong" means "Broken Horn" (literally, "baling sungay") as the original Balisongs were made from carved animal horns and recycled knife blades. The name butterfly knife is a term coined in the United States much like "drumbox" for the kahon.

Jack Knife
A large clasp knife. To fold or double. A large knife with one or more folding blades.

Stiletto
a. A small dagger with a slender, tapering blade.
b. Something shaped like such a dagger.

Switchblade
There are two basic types of switchblade: Side-Opening and Out-The-Front (OTF).
1. A side-opening knife's blade pivots out of the side of the handle (in the same manner as an ordinary folding knife).
2. An OTF knife's blade slides directly forward, out of the tip of the handle.
There are two types of OTF knives: Double Action and Single Action.
• Double Action OTFs allow the user to extend or retract the blade with the press of a sliding button. Spring tension in these knives is actually provided by the movement of the button, which makes them much safer to carry since they will not open accidentally. However, the extra force the spring requires can also make intentional opening more difficult.
• Single Action OTFs require the user to retract the blade manually and compress the spring. Because they often use a lever to compress the spring, stronger springs can be used. This makes them open more vigorously than the double-action type, and allows them to achieve tighter lock-up.

State Laws

10-8-47.5. & 17-50-332. Knives regulated by state.
(1) As used in this section, "knife" means a cutting instrument that includes a sharpened or pointed blade.
(2) The authority to regulate a knife is reserved to the state except where the Legislature specifically delegates responsibility to a county.
(3) (a) Unless specifically authorized by the Legislature or, subject to Subsection (3)(b), a county ordinance with a criminal penalty, a county may not enact or enforce an ordinance or a regulation pertaining to a knife.
(b) A county may not enact an ordinance with a criminal penalty pertaining to a knife that is:
(i) more restrictive than a state criminal penalty pertaining to a knife; or
(ii) has a greater criminal penalty than a state penalty pertaining to a knife.

17B-1-103.  Local district status and powers -- Registration as a limited purpose entity.
(7) (a) As used in this Subsection (7), "knife" means a cutting instrument that includes a sharpened or pointed blade.
(b) The authority to regulate a knife is reserved to the state except where the Legislature specifically delegates responsibility to a local district.
(c) Unless specifically authorized by the Legislature by statute, a local district may not adopt or enforce a regulation or rule pertaining to a knife.

76-10-501. Definitions.
(6) (a) "Dangerous weapon" means an item that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.
(b) The following factors shall be used in determining whether a knife, or another item, object, or thing not commonly known as a dangerous weapon is a dangerous weapon:
(i) the character of the instrument, object, or thing;
(ii) the character of the wound produced, if any;
(iii) the manner in which the instrument, object, or thing was used; and
(iv) the other lawful purposes for which the instrument, object, or thing may be used.

76-10-505.5. Possession of a dangerous weapon, firearm, or short barreled shotgun on or about school premises -- Penalties.
(1) As used in this section, "on or about school premises" means:
(a) (i) in a public or private elementary or secondary school; or
(ii) on the grounds of any of those schools;
(b) (i) in a public or private institution of higher education; or
(ii) on the grounds of a public or private institution of higher education; and
(iii) (A) inside the building where a preschool or child care is being held, if the entire building is being used for the operation of the preschool or child care; or
(B) if only a portion of a building is being used to operate a preschool or child care, in that room or rooms where the preschool or child care  operation is being held.
(2) A person may not possess any dangerous weapon, firearm, or short barreled shotgun, as those terms are defined in Section 76-10-501, at a place that the person knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is on or about school premises as defined in this section.
(3) (a) Possession of a dangerous weapon on or about school premises is a class B misdemeanor.
(b) Possession of a firearm or short barreled shotgun on or about school premises is a class A misdemeanor.
(4) This section does not apply if:
(a) the person is authorized to possess a firearm as provided under Section 53-5-704, 53-5-705, 76-10-511, or 76-10-523, or as otherwise authorized by law;
(b) the possession is approved by the responsible school administrator;
(c) the item is present or to be used in connection with a lawful, approved activity and is in the possession or under the control of the person responsible  for its possession or use; or
(d) the possession is:
(i) at the person's place of residence or on the person's property; or
(ii) in any vehicle lawfully under the person's control, other than a vehicle owned by the school or used by the school to transport students.
(5) This section does not prohibit prosecution of a more serious weapons offense that may occur on or about school premises.

76-10-503. Restrictions on possession, purchase, transfer, and ownership of dangerous weapons by certain persons -- Exceptions.
(1) For purposes of this section:
(a) A Category I restricted person is a person who:
(i) has been convicted of any violent felony as defined in Section 76-3-203.5;
(ii) is on probation or parole for any felony;
(iii) is on parole from a secure facility as defined in Section 62A-7-101;
(iv) within the last 10 years has been adjudicated delinquent for an offense which if committed by an adult would have been a violent felony as defined in Section 76-3-203.5; or
(v) is an alien who is illegally or unlawfully in the United States.
(b) A Category II restricted person is a person who:
(i) has been convicted of any felony;
(ii) within the last seven years has been adjudicated delinquent for an offense which if committed by an adult would have been a felony;
(iii) is an unlawful user of a controlled substance as defined in Section 58-37-2;
(iv) is in possession of a dangerous weapon and is knowingly and intentionally in unlawful possession of a Schedule I or II controlled substance as defined in Section 58-37-2;
(v) has been found not guilty by reason of insanity for a felony offense;
(vi) has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial for a felony offense;
vii) has been adjudicated as mentally defective as provided in the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, Pub. L. No. 103-159, 107 Stat. 1536 (1993), or has been committed to a mental institution;
(viii) has been dishonorably discharged from the armed forces; or
(ix) has renounced his citizenship after having been a citizen of the United States.

Federal Laws

Federal laws on switchblades and ballistic knives do not apply to the possession or sale of switchblade and ballistic knives within a state's boundaries. Knife laws within a state are controlled through state laws, in our case there are none in Utah.

U.S.C. §15-29-1241. Definitions
As used in this chapter -
(a) The term ''interstate commerce'' means commerce between any State, Territory, possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia, and any place outside thereof.
(b) The term ''switchblade knife'' means any knife having a blade which opens automatically -
(1) by hand pressure applied to a button or other device in the handle of the knife, or
(2) by operation of inertia, gravity, or both.

U.S.C. §15-29-1242. Introduction, manufacture for introduction, transportation or distribution in interstate commerce; penalty
Whoever knowingly introduces, or manufactures for introduction, into interstate commerce, or transports or distributes in interstate commerce, any switchblade knife, shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

U.S.C. §15-29- 1243. Manufacture, sale, or possession within specific jurisdictions; penalty
Whoever, within any Territory or possession of the United States, within Indian country (as defined in section 1151 of title 18), or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States (as defined in section 7 of title 18), manufactures, sells, or possesses any switchblade knife, shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

U.S.C. §15-29- 1244. Exceptions
Sections 1242 and 1243 of this title shall not apply to -
(1) any common carrier or contract carrier, with respect to any switchblade knife shipped, transported, or delivered for shipment in interstate commerce in the ordinary course of business;
(2) the manufacture, sale, transportation, distribution, possession, or introduction into interstate commerce, of switchblade knives pursuant to contract with the Armed Forces;
(3) the Armed Forces or any member or employee thereof acting in the performance of his duty; or
(4) the possession, and transportation upon his person, of any switchblade knife with a blade three inches or less in length by any individual who has only one arm.

U.S.C. §15-29- 1245. Ballistic knives
(a) Prohibition and penalties for possession, manufacture, sale, or importation.
Whoever in or affecting interstate commerce, within any Territory or possession of the United States, within Indian country (as defined in section 1151 of title 18), or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States (as defined in section 7 of title 18), knowingly possesses, manufactures, sells, or imports a ballistic knife shall be fined as provided in title 18, or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
(b) Prohibition and penalties for possession or use during commission of Federal crime of violence. Whoever possesses or uses a ballistic knife in the commission of a Federal crime of violence shall be fined as provided in title 18, or imprisoned not less than five years and not more than ten years, or both.
(c) Exceptions
The exceptions provided in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of section 1244 of this title with respect to switchblade knives shall apply to ballistic knives under subsection (a) of this section.
(d) ''Ballistic knife'' defined
As used in this section, the term ''ballistic knife'' means a knife with a detachable blade that is propelled by a spring-operated mechanism.