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Thread: Minnesota Knife Laws, balisong

  1. #1

    Minnesota Knife Laws, balisong


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    I have a question regarding the legality of owning or carrying butterfly knives in Minnesota. The reason I'm interested is because I recently purchased one in an area where they are legal, but I spend my summers in Minnesota. The knife in question has a 5" blade. The only state law regarding knives that I've found is very vague (found here https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/statutes/?id=609.66). My interpretation of the statute is that since a butterfly knife is not opened automatically and therefore not a switchblade knife, it is legal as long as it is not used or intended to be used as a weapon. Any help clarifying the subject is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance

  2. #2
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    There are no state laws restricting blade length. If you are in the twin cities, they have their own local laws, something like 4 inches.

    #420 in RyanW's 2014 GAW

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Rat Finkenstein View Post
    There are no state laws restricting blade length. If you are in the twin cities, they have their own local laws, something like 4 inches.
    Thanks, any sources on that? The city in question is West St Paul, if that helps.

    If anybody else has experience with Minnesota laws or knife regulations, I'd love to hear it.

  4. #4
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    I couldn't find any facts on St. Paul knife ordinances. I know they're sticked. I seem to remember their ordinance to be a 3" folder and balis being a no no to carry. I'd ask a local LEO or call the local municipality and ask, better to be safe then charged.

    In my neck of the woods on the west side of the cities a 4" folder won't lift an eyebrow.

    Good luck.
    HelleHog
    Heluva Good Cheese

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Helle View Post
    I couldn't find any facts on St. Paul knife ordinances. I know they're sticked. I seem to remember their ordinance to be a 3" folder and balis being a no no to carry. I'd ask a local LEO or call the local municipality and ask, better to be safe then charged.

    In my neck of the woods on the west side of the cities a 4" folder won't lift an eyebrow.

    Good luck.
    Thanks, I'll be doing some calling around in the next few days.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctor-dendrite View Post
    Thanks, I'll be doing some calling around in the next few days.
    No problem.

    Please let us know what you find out.
    HelleHog
    Heluva Good Cheese

  7. #7
    Blade length in the twin citites is 4 inches, no auto, balisong, dirk, dagger or fixed blade of anykind while in the cities.

    That's what the guy said at St. Paul Homicide.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Masteroffajitas View Post
    Blade length in the twin citites is 4 inches, no auto, balisong, dirk, dagger or fixed blade of anykind while in the cities.

    That's what the guy said at St. Paul Homicide.
    Is that to carry or to own? I was reasonably sure they were legal to own as long as you didn't have them in public.

  9. #9
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    Most likely carry. Restriction on ownership is extremely rare all over the US.

  10. #10
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    I've looked over the laws here many times, and I've never seen one against Balisongs.

    Anyone have a source?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by BoxANT View Post
    I've looked over the laws here many times, and I've never seen one against Balisongs.

    Anyone have a source?
    https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/statutes/?id=609.66

    That says nothing against balisongs, only switchblades. However, I was able to get an interesting response at a legal forum: http://forum.freeadvice.com/other-cr...ml#post2371726

    See 2nd and 2nd to last posts. I still haven't had a chance to call around, but his answer seems legit.

  12. #12
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    The possibility of getting hassled by a cop who doesn't know the laws should be low on the list of considerations. I know a guy who had a Camillus Heat, and during a traffic stop, several cops repeatedly measured, remeasured, and compared it to their hands in a futile attempt to make it become illegal. (this is in the twin cities) You will run into those types anywhere you go, so you should find out for yourself what the laws are by calling the local attorney general.

    #420 in RyanW's 2014 GAW

  13. #13
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    You can own anything you like as far as knives go in MN. See http://knife-expert.com/mn.txt.

    What you can carry is different autos, balis, gravity knives, ballistic knives, and fixed blades will raise suspicions and could get you in trouble and not a good ideal to carry. Who needs the extra attention any way.

    In my experience with the local LEOs in my area it's case by case with the individual and situation for balis and small utility type fixed blades. 4" folders and under are perfectly legal and a non issue. The rest will get you a court date and or hauled away if on your person.

    What I said in post #4 was told to me by a St. Paul LEO years ago and may of been his position on knife carry and not the law, I can't find anything to the contrary so I'm a slip joint guy in St. Paul the few times a year I go there.

    Again please let us know if you find anything out.

    Good luck
    HelleHog
    Heluva Good Cheese

  14. #14
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    Well, I often carry a small FB or balisong, and I will take my chances with the police.

    It's unfortunate that we must worry about police harassment.

  15. #15
    Update for you guys:

    I called a few police stations in the Twin Cities area, and got a variety of answers. One officer told me he wasn't sure of the technical legality of the knives, but they would be seen as a weapon if discovered during a pat-down. Another (at a different station) said they were outright illegal, but when I asked where I could find the statute regarding their legal status he couldn't provide one. A third said that the knives themselves might not be illegal, but a 5" blade almost certainly was.

    As far as I can tell, this is a very big gray area, but to avoid the hassle I'll just stick with a folder in MN. Thanks for the help guys.

  16. #16
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    I got arrested and went to jail downtown Minneapolis for a disorderly, had a Spyderco Manix II clipped in my pocket. Never said anything about it to me even when he took it off and placed it on the hood of his cruiser. The knife was just added to my property and I got it back when I made bail.

    I usually never carry my benchmade bali around and when I do, its not at like the mall or whatever.

  17. #17
    is it legal to own a balisong or switchblade in minnesota?

  18. #18
    It is legal as long as you dont have intent to harm

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