Were you recently charged with a weapons offense?
Knives are a popular means of self-defense, and perhaps you thought the knife you were carrying was legal but are facing a weapons charge.
Or you are simply trying to educate yourself on the different types of knives and their legality in Minnesota. No matter your reason, you came to the right place.
In this article, the Minnesota criminal defense lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka go over the details of knife laws in MN.
If you have any additional questions, please contact us today.
MN Knife Laws
Weapons and knife laws vary widely among states and often change drastically within different locations within a state (e.g., cities and metropolitan areas).
It’s always important to familiarize yourself with the local laws before you carry a knife.
In Minnesota, the knife laws are relatively straightforward and uniform across the state.
Minnesota’s dangerous weapons statute governs knife laws and prohibits the manufacture, transfer, or possession of a “switchblade knife opening automatically.”
While this statute applies across the state, be aware that cities may adopt their own regulations. You will want to check local city guidelines.
Are Automatic Knives Legal in Minnesota?
In Minnesota, it is not legal to possess an automatic knife. Switchblades are the only knives explicitly illegal to possess in Minnesota.
It is crucial to understand what a switchblade knife is in the first place to know if what you have is unlawful.
Switchblade knives have a blade that opens automatically-by hand pressure applied to a button or other device.
Are Spring Assisted Knives Legal in Minnesota?
A spring-assisted knife, otherwise known as a spring-loaded knife, is a folding knife that has been tailored with an internal spring mechanism to open the blade.
It is quicker and simpler to open than a manual folding pocket knife, but it is not automatic and, therefore, legal in Minnesota. Spring-assisted knives are legal in most places.
Are OTF Knives Legal in Minnesota?
An OTF knife means “out of the front.” OTFs are automatic knives with blades sheathed within the handle.
They differ from switchblades and spring-assisted knives in one significant way: the blade comes out of the top.
OTFs are considered switchblades because the blade deploys automatically, which is illegal in Minnesota.
Penalties for Illegal Possession
While most knives are legal in Minnesota, you may face significant consequences if caught with a switchblade.
The penalties for illegal knife possession can vary based on the law you violated, but in most cases, possessing a dangerous weapon will result in misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor charges.
A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
The offense becomes a gross misdemeanor if you illegally possess a switchblade in a public housing zone, school zone, or public park.
A gross misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $3,000.
Minnesota knife laws may not be as restrictive as other states, but a conviction will, without a doubt, negatively impact your life. If you are charged with a knife offense, contact a lawyer immediately.
Contact a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney Today
At Arechigo & Stokka, we have decades of experience with hundreds of cases under our belt.
Facing any weapons charges can have a devastating impact on your life, including knife charges. If you were caught with an illegal knife in Minnesota, you need experienced representation.
Contact our criminal defense lawyers today to schedule a free consultation.
Attorney John Arechigo has a passion for criminal defense in St. Paul, MN. John received his J.D., from Hamline University School of Law and also carries a Bachelor of Arts from, The University of Minnesota. John was named Attorney of the Year for 2019 by Minnesota Lawyer. Additionally, John was also named as a 2019 Rising Star and was selected to Minnesota Super Lawyers in 2021. He devotes nearly 100% of his practice to defending individuals charged with a crime.