There is not much to read in the law books of Oklahoma concerning the possession and carry of knives.
This was not always the case and, like many states, Oklahoma’s laws were once upon a time a jumbled mishmash of statutes resulting from repeated visits from the good idea fairy over the years. In 2015 the knife statutes were overhauled, and the vast majority of the old laws were removed.
Oklahoma is a much kinder state for knife ownership and carry today, with no major restrictions on type, action or blade length, but the state still suffers from a lack of confidence in its statutes; you’re allowed to carry any kind of knife you want openly or concealed, but it is illegal to carry openly or concealed any other “offensive weapon”.
If that makes you scratch your head or gives you a bad feeling, you aren’t the first and won’t be the last. Luckily, courtroom clarification and legal opinion has come down affirmatively on the side of citizens’ rights in the state.
We will explore this issue in greater detail below and hopefully provide you with the information you need to carry confidently in Oklahoma.
What You Need to Know
- What Kind of Knives Can I Own?: Any kind of knife.
- Can I Carry a Knife Concealed Without a Permit?: Yes, any kind of knife that is not an “offensive weapon”.
- Can I Carry a Knife Concealed With a Permit?: Yes, any kind of knife that is not an “offensive weapon”.
- Can I Carry a Knife Openly?: Yes, any kind of knife that is not an “offensive weapon”.
You can own absolutely any kind of knife you want in the state of Oklahoma. Nothing is off-limits based on its type, action, length or any other relevant factor. Additionally, there is a fairly rigorous statewide preemption statute in Oklahoma so you will not have to contend with any excessive restrictions due to local laws wherever you travel.
Though, to be fair, Oklahoma’s state laws concerning concealed carry leave a little bit to be desired, and that might potentially create an opportunity for overzealous local law enforcement to get after you depending on what kind of knife you are carrying, but this is more of a theoretical problem than one in practice.
Concealed Carry, No Permit
Oklahoma law states in 21- 272 that it shall be unlawful for any person to carry upon his or her person or in a purse or other container belonging to the person any offensive weapon whether or not the weapon is concealed or unconcealed.
It then states a few notable exceptions, with one of the most prominent being the carrying of any weapon in a manner that is otherwise permitted by state statute elsewhere or authorized by the Oklahoma Self Defense Act. Anyone who violates a statute is guilty of a misdemeanor.
Considering that knives are not listed by name as a prohibited weapon, we are left to categorize them under any other offensive weapon, which in keeping with the custom in most states is ill-defined or completely undefined.
Following the common meaning of the term any knife of any sort could potentially be an offensive weapon, or a weapon capable of inflicting death or great bodily injury.
Once again for emphasis legal precedent in Oklahoma has strongly affirmed the rights of citizens to carry knives of all sorts for self-defense, so this is not need to be worried over too much.
Concealed Carry, With Permit
The state of Oklahoma makes no distinction between carrying a knife with a permit as opposed to without.
Obtaining an Oklahoma issue concealed weapons permit or a permit issued by another state that Oklahoma recognizes will not grant you any additional privileges concerning the carry of knives.
The open carry of all kinds of knives is 100% okay in Oklahoma.
You cannot carry a knife into any school, onto any school property or into any school building in the state of Oklahoma. This goes for both public and private schools.
Oklahoma is a solidly pro-knife state hampered only a little bit by slightly flimsy language affirming individual rights to carry weapons of all kinds, including knives.
While we are always correct to be wary of the law when it can be twisted against us, existing legal precedents in Oklahoma staunchly affirm these rights accordingly and there have been virtually no malevolent convictions of otherwise innocent citizens for weapons charges. You may generally carry with confidence in Oklahoma.
Important Oklahoma State Statutes
21-1272. Unlawful carry.
A. It shall be unlawful for any person to carry upon or about his or her person, or in a purse or other container belonging to the person, any pistol, revolver, shotgun or rifle whether loaded or unloaded or any blackjack, loaded cane, hand chain, metal knuckles, or any other offensive weapon, whether such weapon be concealed or unconcealed, except this section shall not prohibit:
1. The proper use of guns and knives for hunting, fishing, educational or recreational purposes;
2. The carrying or use of weapons in a manner otherwise permitted by statute or authorized by the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act;
3. The carrying, possession and use of any weapon by a peace officer or other person authorized by law to carry a weapon in the performance of official duties and in compliance with the rules of the employing agency;
4. The carrying or use of weapons in a courthouse by a district judge, associate district judge or special district judge within this state, who is in possession of a valid handgun license issued pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act and whose name appears on a list maintained by the Administrative Director of the Courts; or
5. The carrying and use of firearms and other weapons provided in this subsection when used for the purpose of living history reenactment. For purposes of this paragraph, “living history reenactment” means depiction of historical characters, scenes, historical life or events for entertainment, education, or historical documentation through the wearing or use of period, historical, antique or vintage clothing, accessories, firearms, weapons, and other implements of the historical period.
B. Any person convicted of violating the foregoing provision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable as provided in Section 1276 of this title.
21-1276. Penalty for 1272 and 1273.
Any person violating the provisions of Section 1272 or 1273 of this title shall, upon a first conviction, be adjudged guilty of a misdemeanor and the party offending shall be punished by a fine of not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) nor more than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00), or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days or both such fine and imprisonment. On the second and every subsequent violation, the party offending shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not less than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not less than thirty (30) days nor more than three (3) months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Any person convicted of violating the provisions of Section 1272 or 1273 of this title after having been issued a handgun license pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act shall have the license suspended for a period of six (6) months and shall be liable for an administrative fine of Fifty Dollars ($50.00) upon a hearing and determination by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation that the person is in violation of the provisions of this section.
21-1280.1. Possession of firearm on school property.
A. It shall be unlawful for any person to have in his or her possession on any public or private school property or while in any school bus or vehicle used by any school for transportation of students or teachers any firearm or weapon designated in Section 1272 of this title, except as provided in subsection C of this section or as otherwise authorized by law.
B. For purposes of this section:
1. “School property” means any publicly owned property held for purposes of elementary, secondary or vocational-technical education, and shall not include property owned by public school districts or where such property is leased or rented to an individual or corporation and used for purposes other than educational;
2. “Private school” means a school that offers a course of instruction for students in one or more grades from prekindergarten through grade twelve and is not operated by a governmental entity; and
3. “Motor vehicle” means any automobile, truck, minivan or sports utility vehicle.
C. Firearms and weapons are allowed on school property and deemed not in violation of subsection A of this section as follows:
1. A gun or knife designed for hunting or fishing purposes kept in a privately owned vehicle and properly displayed or stored as required by law, provided such vehicle containing said gun or knife is driven onto school property only to transport a student to and from school and such vehicle does not remain unattended on school property;
2. A gun or knife used for the purposes of participating in the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation certified hunter training education course or any other hunting, fishing, safety or firearms training courses, or a recognized firearms sports event, team shooting program or competition, or living history reenactment, provided the course or event is approved by the principal or chief administrator of the school where the course or event is offered, and provided the weapon is properly displayed or stored as required by law pending participation in the course, event, program or competition;