You could visit the Garden State over a hundred times and still miss out on most mindblowing outdoor discoveries that New Jersey has to offer. Similarly, you can read the NJ knife laws a thousand times and still be missing out on the fine details, or altogether lost. The knife laws in this state can be so confusing that there have been reports of cops arresting a civilian by mistake believing he was carrying an illegal weapon. So, understanding the knife laws here can save you unnecessary harassment and costly court engagements.
Confusion Over The Second Amendment
The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Thus, the State cannot infringe upon your right to own, or carry a knife, except in limited circumstances.
The above statement has caused confusion among many including law enforcers and scholars. Scholars have come to call this theory "the collective rights theory." This theory of the Second Amendment asserts that citizens DO NOT have an individual right to possess guns and that local, state, and federal legislative bodies, therefore, possess the authority to regulate firearms without implicating a constitutional right.
So what does that boil down to? Which knives can you carry? Here we will break down the legal jargon and explain the legalities in plain English.
Which Knives Can You Legally Own In New Jersey?
-You can legally own a Balisong, or butterfly knife
-You can legally own disguised knives like pen knives
-It is legal to own a Bowie knife
-All throwing stars and throwing knives are legal to own
-Any weapon for which the owner has a lawful purpose for possessing
What is Illegal to Own
-To own ANY WEAPON, with unlawful intent
-For a person convicted of certain crimes* (listed below) to own a gravity knife, automatic knife or switchblade, dirk, dagger, stiletto, or other dangerous knives
-For certain mentally ill people to own a gravity knife, switchblade, dirk, dagger, stiletto, or other dangerous knives
-To own a gravity knife, automatic knife, dirk, dagger, stiletto, or other dangerous knives with any explainable lawful purpose
-Anyone convicted by the law* for the following crimes below prevents the person from owning gravity knife, switchblade, dirk, dagger, stiletto, and all dangerous knives.
Conviction of crimes include:
Aggravated assault, arson, burglary, escape, extortion, homicide, kidnapping, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, bias intimidation, possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of weapon for an unlawful purpose, manufacture or transport of a prohibited weapon, unlawful possession or sale of a controlled dangerous substance, or endangering the welfare of a child.