Knife Enthusiasts Guide to Oregon Knife Laws


Oregon Knife Laws

Overview of Knife Laws in Oregon

Many of the laws regarding knives within the state of Oregon are found not in statutes, but in the findings of the courts.

In truth, Oregon is fairly loose with its laws, and has even overturned them in the past as they believed their laws restricting the owning and open carrying of knives, if you were not a convicted felon, was unconstitutional.

With that being said, there are some stricter laws that are related to the carrying of concealed weapons.

O.R.S. § 166.240

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, any person who carries concealed upon the person any knife having a blade that projects or swings into position by force of a spring or by centrifugal force, any dirk, dagger, ice pick, slungshot, metal knuckles, or any similar instrument by the use of which injury could be inflicted upon the person or property of any other person, commits a Class B misdemeanor.

You can carry all of these knives openly, assuming you aren’t a felon, but dirks, daggers, swinging or projectile knives, and those of a similar nature will likely be considered illegal to carry concealed. Any knife which is considered to be a “stabbing” knife may be considered under similar legislation, and should not be carried in a concealed manner.

As to which specific knives qualify under these terms, you’ll have to look to court cases, as this is where the primary amount of law comes from for the state, at least in terms of knives and blades.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview of Knife Laws in Oregon
  2. Which Types of Knives are Legal in Oregon?
  3. Oregon Knife Laws Length
  4. Oregon Knife Open Carry Laws
  5. Oregon Concealed Knife Laws
  6. Pocket Knife Laws Oregon
  7. Fixed Blade Knife Laws in Oregon
  8. Oregon Butterfly Knife Laws
  9. Automatic Knife Laws Oregon
  10. Oregon Knife Laws in 2018

Which Types of Knives are Legal in Oregon?

Type of Knife

Legal (*with restrictions)

Illegal

Pocket Knife / Folding Knife

X

Butterfly Knives

X*

Switch Blade

X

Bowie Knives

X*

Machete

X*

Swords

X*

Dirks / Daggers / Stilettos

X*

Ballistic Knives

X*

Misleading Knives

X*

Hidden Knives

X*


Oregon Knife Laws Length

There are no laws or regulations which require knives to be within certain boundaries. This is both for concealed and open carrying, as neither has a set knife or blade length within them. So long as your knife doesn’t fall within the categories of those that are illegal to carry concealed, even if its extremely long, your knife will be fine to carry in any manner you wish.

Oregon Knife Open Carry Laws

There are no restrictions on open carrying in Oregon. The courts of the state have found that restricting the ownership and open carrying of any type of knife would be unconstitutional, so they removed what laws they did have which provided such restrictions. Currently only concealed carrying is restricted under state law.

Oregon Concealed Knife Laws

There are many knives which are illegal to carry concealed. What concealed is exactly is defined in court cases rather than by state law, but generally is requires that the item in question be on your person and/or be moved with you should you move, and be carried or worn in such a manner as to conceal its identity as a dangerous weapon, or as being on your person at all.

The first type of knife would be any which swing, spring, or must be locked into place via automatic means, as well as gravity knives. However, this does not include switchblades, as they have been ruled to be the same as an ordinary pocket knife within Oregon state boundaries.

Knives which could be used for stabbing are the next category, and this would include dirks, butterfly, bowie, and stilettos, just to name a few. Not all of these are directly named in the law, in fact the statute doesn’t state that they’re stabbing items. However, through court cases this conclusion has been drawn. This is likely based off the ending of the 166.240 which says “or any similar instrument by the use of which injury could be inflicted upon the person or property of any other person”.

Pocket Knife Laws Oregon

Pocket knives are perfectly legal in Oregon. In fact, switchblades have been placed under the pocket knife category. These knives are considered legal to own, open carry, and conceal carry.

Fixed Blade Knife Laws in Oregon

There are no laws regarding fixed blades specifically. However, if a fixed blade knife is able to be considered a stabbing instrument then the knife would be considered illegal to carry concealed. Other than this there are no reprimands on these types of knives.

Oregon Butterfly Knife Laws

As butterfly knives fall under the stabbing category they are illegal to carry concealed. They have no legal ramifications though if they are carried openly, though. So long as you do not attempt to hide or conceal these knives on your person you may freely carry them in the state of Oregon.

Automatic Knife Laws Oregon

Automatic knives are considered to be illegal to carry in a concealed manner. These knives, and some subcategories of them, are directly mentioned in Oregon law.

However, you may freely own and open carry these types of knives. There are currently no restrictions on this within the state law or court findings.

Oregon Knife Laws in 2018

There are no current 2018 laws or possible legislation planned for Oregon state, with regards to knives and blades. However, as much of the state law revolves around court cases this should be followed closely for updates and changes.


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