Maryland was the seventh state to join the Union, ratifying the Constitution on April 28th, 1788. It was a quasi-Southern state in the early Republic, and the Bladensburg dueling grounds outside Washington, D.C. witnessed many famous duels with guns and blades between 1808 and 1868. What can today’s aspiring Blade Runner carry (legally) in Maryland? Read on…
After the usual disclaimer, of course: it bears repeating that I’m a lawyer, but I’m not licensed in any state except Washington and none of this is meant to be relied on as legal advice. If you need to know what you can or can’t get away with under any state or local law, you’ll need to hit the law books yourself or call a lawyer in that state. And now back to our regularly scheduled program.
Maryland’s statewide knife laws, in contrast to their increasingly-moronic gun laws, are simple and generally reasonable. At the risk of a slight oversimplification, here they are:
- You can own whatever the $%&* you want to.
- Don’t carry a concealed switchblade, dirk, Bowie, or gravity knife.
- Don’t have a knife in school.
- Don’t sell a switchblade or ballistic knife.
There’s no blade limit on folding knives, as long as they’re not switchblades, gravity knives or automatics. Ganz gut so far, eh?
The Catch: No Preemption
Unfortunately Maryland knife law isn’t really as nice as it sounds, because there’s no preemption of stupid local laws. Some localities limit all concealed knives to 3″ blades, and others limit them to 2.5.” There may be other stupid knife laws in Maryland, but I’m not getting paid enough to find every one of them.
Rock on with your manual folders and assisted openers, but beware local blade-length ordinances.