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Michigan Knife Laws

Discussion in 'Knife Laws' started by cmdionne, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. cmdionne


    Oct 27, 2006
    Ive checked the Knife laws of the 50 states page, but I had some trouble interpreting the laws. I suppose the laws were written this way on purpose, but anyway I still want to know whether or not Im breaking the law. 95 percent of the time, I stick to the palm rule (blade is no longer than my palm) on the knives Im carrying, and they are nearly always folders. However recently Ive been looking into some fixed blade knives that I would carry, notably a neck/boot knife. What would the length limit on these be if I carry them concealed. Does pocket carry with the clip visible still qualify as concealed carry? I figured someone on this forum who lived in Michigan would be able to quickly answer my question.


    Oct 29, 2005
    hello, i read the michigan laws from the attachement here, it seems they are very similar to california laws, which is where i live, although a little less restrictive. the 'palm' rule is generally a bad idea. whose palm? yours, mine? everyone's hands are different. according to the section, 3 inch blade length is the legal limit. and only hunting knives can be carried, 'adapted' as such. i interpret this to mean in a hunting environment worn open from a belt.

    you are right, however, that the law is vague. as with many laws, it is subject to interpretation and officer discretion.

    unless there are other sections within the legal codes, ie municipal codes, fish and game, etc, you are pretty limited in michigan.
  3. cmdionne


    Oct 27, 2006
    Thanks for the help, I've spoken with a relative of mine who is a Sherrif's deputy, and he said he doesnt even really know the specifics of the law, he said he tends to leave it up to his discretion, and that I shouldnt have any problems with what I tend to carry, all but one of my folders is under 3 inches, and I only carry the other one while hiking, camping etc. so I doubt I would be hasstled for it then. I think Im gonna forward all of this case law to a friend of mine in law school and see if they can figure anything out. And I also just happened upon this

    Is it illegal to have a knife with a blade over 3 inches in my possession?

    MCL 750.226 No. Michigan law specifies that a person, with intent to use the knife unlawfully against another, shall not go armed with a knife having a blade over 3 inches in length.

    I would take this to mean that I can have a 2.9 inch knife and tell the deputy that I am planning on using the knife against another, but If I have a 5 inch blade folder and its for opening boxes, then I can carry both. Does this make sense to anyone else? Heres the new site I found http://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,1607,7-123-1591_3503_4654-10953--,00.html
    questions 4 and 5 concern knives


    Oct 29, 2005
    not quite, the 3 inch knife law could be ad-charged in the event someone is found with such, and is arrested for a crime against a person/violent crime.
    or it could be used as an individual charge if it is believed the person with the knife had the intent to cause injury to another, which could include countless scenarios.

    i believe the intent is the key element here.
  5. KnifeFury


    Sep 21, 2006
    Wow, I live in Michigan as well. I have taken my BK&T Brute camping with me, but of course did not pull it out for show, just some recreational chopping. It sounds like, depending on the cop you run into, even this could be bad news.

    MCL 750.226 No. Michigan law specifies that a person, with intent to use the knife unlawfully against another, shall not go armed with a knife having a blade over 3 inches in length.​

    The phrasing of the "intent" is interesting, does this mean you get in "less" trouble if you assault someone with a 2.5" knife versus a 5" knife!
  6. KnifeFury


    Sep 21, 2006
    After looking into this a little further...

    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...

    from "http://pweb.netcom.com/~brlevine/mi.txt"​

    You cannot even keep a knife in your car without being potentially at risk!


    Oct 29, 2005
    it seems the 'intent' section makes it a crime in and of itself to have the knife with blade 3+ inches. in other words if it is believed an individual has the intent to do harm to another, and is in possession of the knife, the possession is a crime. what they have done, it seems, is created a section to arrest even if the harm or attempted harm is not carried out.

    in most circumstances a crime has to be carried out or attempted before one can be arrested. there are exceptions, but for example: suspect 1 decides without telling anyone he is going to drive to his wife's mother's house and punch his mother in law in the face. he gets there, but she is gone. he is lazy, gives up, and goes home. he is stopped for a traffic violation, officer asks where he is coming from. he says 'i was going to punch my mother in law but she wasnt home.' no crime, he never carried out the battery, and never verbalized to anyone his intent, so no criminal threat either.

    but: same scenario, but a search of s-1 yields a 3 inch knife in his pocket. his intent to commit the crime and possession of the knife falls under this section.

    a bit simplified i know, but seems to be the purpose of the law.
  8. rickiet


    Nov 22, 2006
    Michigan knife laws
    i'm so confused i could stab myself..lol..{with less than a 3 inch kife of course} I live in northern MI. and everyone I know carries a 4 to 5 inch blade pocket knife most with p. clips.....my ? is....I'm thinking of getting a 4 in. blade ti-lite from cold steel..it has a stiletto shaped blade..but could the law be meaning the old style italian switchblades..??? I'd be using it for everyday cutting chores{believe me it realy does have an edge}alot more than any reblel without a cause pig sticker....no offence to collectors out there...well folks,what ya think about this one.....ya know what...i.m gonna carry it anyway ...without INTENT,of course....thanks for any input...new member here... love this group...Rick


    Oct 29, 2005
    i would interpret stilleto to mean switchblade or auto opener, not necessarily the shape of the blade. the law is fairly vague, especially the intent to cause harm section. if you are going to carry it, be prepared to answer questions about it and dont indicate it is a weapon. also consider there may be places, schools, universities, etc, where this may not matter. the possession in and of itself may be a violation.

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