Knife carrying laws in Michigan


May 24, 2003, 10:06 PM
I am just curious what the laws in Michigan are for carrying knives. Like age to carry one, and how long the blade can be, I know there are no switchblades but thats about all I really know.

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May 25, 2003, 09:39 PM
As I understand things, blades have to be under three inches if carried concealed.

No carrying double-edged blades. (However flint knapped knives which are double edged are OK to carry after a lot of struggle. Archers who make their own primitive flint knives could have been arrested under the no double-edges law before.)

I think I read that sheath knives carried "as a hunting knife," in deer, bear, or small game seasons? are exempted from some of the somewhat hysterical MI knife laws.

I am of the opinion that a man who knew what he was doing with a knife could do more damage with a short, stiff and sharp paring knife than a unlearned wielder could do with a Bowie. Conduct with a knife should be regulated, not the knives themselves, I say.

Don't rely on this, it is opinion not advice. Go to the Attorney General's site and look up the language in the laws.

July 15, 2006, 07:32 PM
5PTDEERHUNTER ...I Do Not think your Question is "stupid" as the well known Gut shooter ted nugent has put it. The only stupidity here is found in nugent's statement. nugent's respectability was flushed down the crapper when on national television he gut shot a deer and showed himself as happy and proud at what he'd done as a punk hunter would. So, Don't be affended by his remarks ... just consider the sorce!

July 16, 2006, 02:15 PM
Butterfly/balisongs are also a no-no.

In most cases, much of it will depend on the situation. My father regularly carried a 4" folder in a sheath on his belt. He didn't look like the criminal type so nothing was ever made of it. My next door neighbor is a Detroit LEO and has told me the same thing. Its going to depend on the individual and the cops take on the situation.

AFIK, legal age is 18. Of course if you are 18 and still in school then you can not carry in any High Schools and you'd need to check with college/campus regulations if you want to carry in college.

All federal buildings and court houses are no-carry zones.



July 16, 2006, 05:32 PM
I don't know how accurate or up to date it is, but this may help.

July 16, 2006, 11:05 PM
Always check Levine's site when you have knife law questions.

Michigan -750.226... Carrying with unlawful intent
Any person who, with intent to use the same unlawfully
against the person of another, goes armed with a pistol
or other firearm or dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, or
knife having a blade over 3 inches in length, or any
other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument, shall
be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in
the state prison for not more than 5 years or by a fine
of not more than 2,500 dollars.

- 750.226a. Pocket knife opened by mechanical device...
Any person who shall sell or offer to sell, or
any person who shall have in his possession any knife
having the appearance of a pocket knife, the blade or
blades of which can be opened by a flick of a button,
pressure on a handle or other mechanical contrivance shall
be guilty of a misdemeanor... [Also, concealed carry may
be charged as a felony under 750.227.] The provisions of
this section [750.226a] shall not apply to any one-armed
person carrying a knife on his person in connection with
his living requirements.

- 750.227. (1) A person shall not carry a dagger, dirk,
stiletto, a double-edged nonfolding stabbing instrument of
any length, or any dangerous weapon, except a hunting
knife adapted and carried as such, concealed on or about
his or her person, or whether concealed or otherwise in
any vehicle... except in his or her dwelling house [or]
place of business... (3) A person who violates this
section is guilty of a felony...

- 750.222a Double-edged, nonfolding stabbing instrument defined.
(1) As used in this chapter, 'doubled-edged, nonfolding
stabbing instrument' does not include a knife, tool,
implement, arrowhead, or artifact manufactured from stone by
means of conchoidal fracturing.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an item being transported
in a vehicle, unless the item is in a container and inaccessible
to the driver.
History: Add. 2000, Act 343, Imd. Eff. Dec. 27, 2000 .

- 259.80f Possessing... certain items in sterile area of airport;
(1) An individual shall not possess, carry, or attempt to possess
or carry any of the following in a sterile area of a commercial airport:
(a) Firearm.
(b) Explosive.
(c) Knife with a blade of any length.
(d) Razor, box cutter, or item with a similar blade.
(e) Dangerous weapon.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (3), an individual who
violates subsection (1) is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable
by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more
than $1,000.00, or both.
(3) An individual who violates subsection (1) while doing any of
the following is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for
not more than 10 years or a fine of not more than $10,000.00, or both:
(a) Getting on or attempting to get on an aircraft.
(b) Placing, attempting to place, or attempting to have placed on an
aircraft an item listed in subsection (1).
(c) Committing or attempting to commit a felony.
(4) [Exempts most officials]...
(7) As used in this section:
(a) 'Commercial airport' means an airport that has regularly
scheduled commercial flights to and from other destinations.
(c) 'Sterile area' means that term as defined in 14 C.F.R. 107.1.
History: Add. 2001, Act 225, Eff. Apr. 1, 2002 .

- 380.1313 Dangerous weapon found in possession of pupil...
(1) If a dangerous weapon is found in the possession of a pupil
while the pupil is in attendance at school or a school activity
or while the pupil is enroute to or from school on a school bus,
the superintendent of the school district or intermediate school
district, or his or her designee, immediately shall report that
finding to the pupil's parent or legal guardian and the local
law enforcement agency.
(2) If a school official finds that a dangerous weapon is in the
possession of a pupil as described in subsection (1), the school
official may confiscate the dangerous weapon or shall request a
law enforcement agency to respond as soon as possible and to
confiscate the dangerous weapon. If a school official confiscates
a dangerous weapon under this subsection, the school official
shall give the dangerous weapon to a law enforcement agency and
shall not release the dangerous weapon to any other person,
including the legal owner of the dangerous weapon. A school
official who complies in good faith with this section is not
civilly or criminally liable for that compliance...
(4) As used in this section, 'dangerous weapon' means a firearm,
dagger, dirk, stiletto, knife with a blade over 3 inches in length,
pocket knife opened by a mechanical device, iron bar, or brass knuckles.
History: Add. 1987, Act 211, Imd. Eff. Dec. 22, 1987 ;--Am. 1995,
Act 76, Eff. Aug. 1, 1995 .
Popular Name: Act 451


Michigan Case Law:
- "Constitutionality: The double jeopardy protection against
multiple punishment for the same offense is a restriction
on a court's ability to impose punishment in excess of that
intended by the Legislature, not a limit on the Legislature's
power to define crime and fix punishment. People v. Sturgis,
427 Mich. 392, 397 N.W.2d 783 (1986).

- "Purpose of this section is to prevent quarreling or
criminal persons from suddenly drawing weapons without
notice to other persons." (1980)

- "Purpose of concealed weapons statutes, such as this
section, is to prevent men in sudden quarrel or in
commission of crime from drawing concealed weapons and
using them without prior notice to their victims that they
were armed, inasmuch as person attacked would behave one
way if he knew his assailant was armed and perhaps another
way if he could safely presume that assailant was
unarmed." (1969)

- "The basic intent of the legislature as indicated in
concealed weapon statute was that weapons should not be
carried when they might be used to take lives." (1968)

_ "...the 'dwelling house' exception to the concealed weapons
statute did not apply to defendant who was incarcerated in
state prison at time of alleged commission of such
offense." (1978)

- "Purpose or intent with which a weapon is carried is not an
element of offense of carrying a concealed weapon." (1973)
- "Jury's determination that knife sharpening steel, which
defendant... contended he carried only for protection...
was a concealed weapon, was justified." (1971)

- "Straight razor in pocket of defendant was 'concealed'..."

- "Daggers, dirks, stilettos... and similar articles,
designed for the purpose of bodily assault or defense, are
generally recognized as 'dangerous weapons per se'..."

- "Pocket knives, razors, hammers, hatchets, wrenches,
cutting tools, and other articles would constitute
'dangerous weapons'... if used or carried for use as
weapons." (1945)

- "An ordinary jackknife with a pointed blade 3-5/16 inches
long was not a 'dangerous weapon...' in the absence of
evidence that it was used or carried for use as a weapon."

- "Five-inch, double-edged, nonfolding knife was not a
'hunting knife' within hunting knife exception..." (1989)

- "Defendant charged with carrying concealed weapon had
burden of proving that hunting knife was 'adapted and
carried as such'..." (1980)

March 11, 2010, 01:59 PM
750.227. (1) A person shall not carry a dagger, dirk,
stiletto, a double-edged nonfolding stabbing instrument of
any length, or any dangerous weapon, except a hunting
knife adapted and carried as such, concealed on or about
his or her person, or whether concealed or otherwise in
any vehicle... except in his or her dwelling house [or]
place of business... (3) A person who violates this
section is guilty of a felony...

Hello all,

So here is the situation, I am travelling back to the UK, and would like to take along as a gift a double edged fixed blade dagger.

According to the above law, it can only be posessed in a palce of business or home, but that must take into account transporting it there... so if I wrap it up very well in my suitcase and put in the check in luggage, am I right in assuming this would be fine?

Ive checked with the airport website, carrying knives in check in luggage is fine as long as they are securely sheathed... so now I just need to know whether putting it in my suit case to go home is fine.

thanks in advance for your help...


March 11, 2010, 03:22 PM
Keep it in your luggage, you'll be fine. On or about your person is intended to imply that it is at the ready. If it's in your suitcase, deep inside, it's hard to argue that it's "on or about your person".

The mere fact that you can possess the thing at home or at your work implies that it is legal to get it from one to the other, or from the store to home. Transport is fine, if it's not readily accessible as a weapon.

I'm no lawyer, so take it for what it cost you.


March 11, 2010, 05:06 PM
Keep it in the box it came in and you should be fine. If you want to take an additional precaution put a piece of PVC pipe over the blade if it will fit.

March 11, 2010, 06:03 PM
I might also suggest that, since it is intended as a gift, that wrapping it in a box with appropriate paper and possibly a ribbon would lend extra credibility to the gift intent.

Naturally, wrapping actual contraband would not shield you at all, but an otherwise legal possession packaged in such a way as to imply by its very appearance that it's not "concealed for illicit purposes" would weigh on your side, even if you were compelled to open it.

Just a thought.

March 11, 2010, 10:07 PM
Thanks as always everyone, this place never fails to help clarify things.

I figured Id just double check with somethign like this though.


March 13, 2010, 01:31 PM
...I thought those were illegal in the UK now. You could always Fed Ex or UPS it to yourself, and avoid the TSA altogether.

June 30, 2010, 08:18 PM
Not to bring back a dead thread, but I've got a related question.

I've been thinking about about carrying a 5" fixed blade hunting knife in an emergency/ utility bag I keep in my car. I'm now wondering if this is in fact legal here in Michigan, specifically in regards to sectoin 750.227 that hso posted.

More specifically the part relating to "any dangerous weapon" "concealed or otherwise in any vehicle" has me wondering. Is this some kind of catch-all to restrict anything a person might attempt to use as a weapon in the commission of a crime?

I won't be keeping this under the seat or anything, just tucked away in my pack. I'm guessing nobody will ever know/ care unless I'm already in trouble, however it's in no way worth a felony charge. Am I reading this section correctly?

July 1, 2010, 01:18 AM
In an emergency bag with other gear shouldn't be considered "concealed" since you'd have to open the bag and open the sheath.

July 1, 2010, 02:04 PM
Thanks for the reply.

I'll just print out this thread and keep it in the bag so I can always say, "don't worry officer, hso said I could" :D

July 1, 2010, 02:16 PM
Yeah, good luck with that.;)

July 6, 2010, 09:22 PM
Contact the District Attorney's Office and ask them about Michigan laws. They're public servants.

Used to be that a folding lock blade knife had to be less than 4 inches. Buck originally made 4 1/4 inch blades but reduced to 3 7/8 inches in late 1960's to comply.

In South Dakota, you can carry a huge bowie in plain sight if you want. But a concealed folding straight razor is a crime. Go figure.


July 7, 2010, 11:19 AM
put your bag in the trunk, and to play it safe, get a fishing or hunting license. The knife becomes hunting or fishing gear as long as it's being transported or used for same. I keep a 5" dive knife and a 12" fillet knife in my tacklebox which is always in my Jeep. They're for cutting bait and cleaning fish...I don't wanna do that with my pocket knife.

nathan c
May 18, 2011, 03:27 AM
"An ordinary jackknife with a pointed blade 3-5/16 inches
long was not a 'dangerous weapon...' in the absence of
evidence that it was used or carried for use as a weapon."

"what does ordinary mean?"

My jacknifes blade is exactly 3-5/16 inches long but its a locking blade... is that included as ordinary? or is ordinary meaning not a double edged blade???

by the way this is a swiss army knife.

Lone wanderer
July 11, 2011, 12:11 PM
I am a student attending college in MI and was wondering whether an akm bayonet, which i use for hikes and survival purposes, with a 5.75 in blade could be legally carried with me on hiking trips with me in Mi.

July 11, 2011, 06:18 PM
While it is "criminal" ;) to try to use an AK bayonet for anything other than a tent stake you should be fine as long as you only carry it in a pack in the woods and don't carry it with the intent to commit a crime (good luck disproving intent if you're found with it).

July 18, 2011, 05:18 PM
Its the thread that won't die.

I'm willing to bet that this law has more variations in enforcement than any other law on the books in Michigan. Your intent according to the cop probably matters much more than the actual code itself.

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