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Thread: Are Butterfly knives legal in MI?

  1. #1

    Are Butterfly knives legal in MI?

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    I would like to buy one, but I don't know if it's legal. I tried to look up on Google, but some people say yes, others say no. No one has a straight answer.

    I know switchblades are illegal, I know the spring assisted knives are legal, but I cannot find anything about butterfly knives.

    I don't want to carry it. I would like to order one and keep it in my house.

    So can I buy a butterfly knife, or it's against the law?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Marysville, MI
    I believe butterfly/balisong knives are considered "gravity" knives, and therefore under Michigan law are illegal.

    EDIT: Keep in mind, there is a part of the Michigan knife law that reads the listed knives are considered illegal if used in conjunction with a crime...or some such legal gibberish. Would you get hassled by a police officer? Probably. Don't go around flipping it and you probably won't have an issue. Butterfly/balisong knives are very nice in that they are almost lock-failure proof since you're holding onto the folding handles. Benchmade's 51, 53, and 32 would make good general purpose/utility knives.
    Last edited by Lapp_Dance; 12-18-2011 at 11:05 AM. Reason: see edit

  3. #3
    Heres what i have learned. On another forum I have asked this question already and found out from another Mishigander that talked to the sheriff of his town and said they are legal. Take it as you may but I also have a friend that is in OA with me and at one of our events at camp he asked for a knife, I pulled out my spydery and he kind of chuckled and said "you know these are illegal ONLY if carried with the intent to do harm". S
    He just graduated from the police acadamy a few months ago as well. The only other thing i know is that you can not carry them concealed and they have to be showing. Best thing to do is go to your towns police station and ASK THEM. Thats the only way you will get straight forward info on what you want to know. Hope this helps, Eric

  4. #4
    someone once told me that they are legal to own and illegal to carry.

  5. #5
    Depends on where your at I guess, I live about 40ish minutes from Port Huron.

  6. #6
    I recently read the michigan knife code ( I live in the Highland/Milford area ) and as far as I could tell they are 100% legal to own, which is all I needed to know so I stopped reading, but as far as I could tell if you want to carry one over 2" you need a permit, though I would be careful because this was a recently changed law and most cops won't know this. Hope this helped.
    EDIT: So in summary for your uses yes, you could buy and own one without cops busting down your door.

  7. #7
    It is illegal to carry any knife over 3 inches in length with the intent to harm in michigan. As long as you are being cool and calm, I don't see a problem

  8. #8
    Butterfly knives are Legal in MI. First off, I asked the county police. Secondly, this website says everything

  9. #9
    They actually don't count as gravity knives I have found this website that says:

    "This law bans the possession and sale of switchblades, automatic knives, and gravity knives. This means it is illegal for you to own a switchblade, automatic knife, or gravity knife in Michigan. Bringing one over from another state would still be illegal.

    Note that the law here does not ban balisong knives, also called butterfly knives. Balisong knives do not open with a button, pressure, or mechanical contrivance. Balisong knives have a latch which you must release but, once released, the knife will still not open until you manually expose the blade from the handle. This makes balisong knives legal in Michigan."

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