• Brad Keating

Are Switchblades Illegal in Ohio?

Updated: Nov 3

In Ohio weapon laws, the law on knives is comparatively short. However, it includes situations where knives are showcased or used. Almost every city has its ordinances concerning the possession, carrying, or the use of knives. Therefore, defending cases involving any weapon requires a deep understanding of various laws throughout the state.


The primary ambiguity concerning the knife laws in Ohio is that there is limited clear legal clarification on the difference between a typical pocket knife carried for practical purposes and a deadly weapon, which is prohibited under the law.



Carrying Versus Concealing a Knife

Formally, there is no rule against possessing or holding a knife by anybody. There are, however, some strict laws about the covering of a weapon. However, only a handgun can be legitimately concealed.


Holding an illegally concealed firearm is a first-degree crime, although certain factors may lead to a fourth-degree felony. Furthermore, some types of knives are perceived to be especially dangerous or are assumed to be produced for illegal use. These knives, including the following, are banned from being marketed in the state:


Switchblades knives

Springblade knives

Gravity knives

Ballistic knives


Are Automatic Knives Legal to Carry in Ohio?

Anyone may assume that having a license for a concealed carry weapon (CCW) implies that he can still hold a concealed knife.


He might be mistakenly wrong. Many rules regulate even handguns, and knives can fall within the definition of "deadly weapons." In some situations, this may lead to criminal charges for possession of firearms.


Ohio Revised Code describes a "deadly weapon" as "any tool, machine, or object capable of causing death, and intended or specially adapted for use as a weapon, or owned, carried, or used as a weapon."


Under this framework, almost anything may be labeled a "deadly weapon" under Ohio state law, although decisions in the city consider their application and intention. The concealed carry laws are greatly conditional.


Also, the open carry of fatal weapons is protected under Ohio knife law. The same case applies to the open carry of some blade as well.


For most individuals, holding a folding blade tucked in a pocket while going out in public is basically "open carry" and believed to be legal. If your blade is viewed as a dangerous tool, it is illegal to carry concealed under knife laws.


However, with regulations ranging across different cities, a law enforcement defense lawyer is the best choice to answer particular statutory issues and present legal advice.


How Knives Affect Other Charges

In many criminal matters, the presence of a blade is a strong justification for elevated accusations. These charges can increase in intensity and involve the following:


Assault: An allegation of misdemeanor assault, usually a first-degree crime, becomes a second-degree offense when it involves a deadly weapon, even though there is no real harm being done.


Robbery: Acquiring a knife during the accident or threatening another person with it raises the accusations to a second-degree crime. The attacker might most likely spend time in jail.


What Are the Features That Classify Your Knife As a Deadly Weapon?

Length of the blade: The longer the edge, the more possible it can be viewed as a threat.

How it is carried: If you wear a fixed gravity knife inside the trousers sheath in style, it should look more like a weapon than a pocket knife used for necessities.


When the police ask someone why he is carrying the blade, he must provide an acceptable explanation. If he agrees, by error or failure, that he is carrying the tool as a protective measure, his knife fits as a “deadly weapon” under Ohio law!


The Bottom Line

The law on knives is very contextual and subjective. This is complicated and hard to comply with and execute. If someone carries a moderately sized blade, provides strong justification as to why he is using it, and, most importantly, respects the city knife regulations, he is unlikely to have any concerns carrying a protective knife.




"Are butterfly knives illegal in Ohio?" and "What rifles are legal to hunt with in Ohio?" are popular questions related to Ohio's weapon laws. The Keating Firm LTD. can answer all of your questions regarding to Ohio's law on deadly weapons.





Disclaimer: The details included in this blog is offered for educational purposes only, and should not be taken as lawful guidance in any way. No recipients of material from this blog, clients or otherwise, should or should not act on the basis of any material consisted in the blog without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional guidance on the particular facts and situations at issue from an attorney accredited in the recipient's state.

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