Are Butterfly Knives Illegal In Ohio?

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Butterfly Knife Butterfly knife, Knife, Butterfly from

Are Butterfly Knives Illegal in Ohio?


Butterfly knives, also known as balisongs, are a type of folding knife that has gained popularity among knife enthusiasts and collectors. However, the legality of owning and carrying butterfly knives varies from state to state in the United States. In this article, we will explore the laws regarding butterfly knives in Ohio, specifically in the year 2023.

Ohio Knife Laws

Ohio, like many other states, has specific regulations regarding the possession and carrying of knives. The Ohio Revised Code (ORC) defines various types of knives and their legality. While some states have outright bans on butterfly knives, Ohio takes a different approach.

Legal Definition of Butterfly Knives in Ohio

Under Ohio law, butterfly knives are classified as “dangerous ordnance.” According to ORC 2923.11, dangerous ordnance includes explosive devices, automatic firearms, and certain bladed weapons. Butterfly knives fall under the category of bladed weapons.

Carrying and Concealing

In Ohio, it is generally legal to own a butterfly knife. However, carrying and concealing it in certain circumstances may be prohibited. According to ORC 2923.12, it is illegal to carry or have control over a concealed “deadly weapon,” which includes knives with blades exceeding 2.5 inches. Butterfly knives typically have longer blades than this limit.

Exceptions and Permits

While butterfly knives may be considered illegal to carry concealed in Ohio, there are exceptions and permits that allow individuals to possess and transport them legally. For instance, if you are a law enforcement officer, active military personnel, or have a valid concealed carry permit, you may be exempt from certain restrictions.

Penalties for Violations

Violating Ohio’s knife laws can result in penalties, ranging from fines to potential imprisonment. If you are found guilty of carrying a concealed butterfly knife without a valid permit, you may face misdemeanor charges. The severity of the penalties may depend on various factors, such as prior convictions and the intent behind carrying the knife.


While butterfly knives are not explicitly illegal to own in Ohio, their carrying and concealment can be restricted under certain circumstances. It is crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific laws and regulations in your state to ensure compliance and avoid potential legal issues. If you are unsure about the legality of owning or carrying a butterfly knife in Ohio, it is recommended to consult with legal professionals or local authorities for accurate guidance.