Know Your Knife Laws #5: Connecticut

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Connecticut ratified the United States Constitution on January 9th, 1788 and became the fifth state to join the union. I spent part of my childhood in southwest Connecticut, before I knew any better, but Connecticut’s gun laws are now so offensive to my liberty that I’ll smoke a turd in hell before I ever set foot there again. What do you need to know about their knife laws?

First, as usual, a quick disclaimer: 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.

But now back to business. The Nutmeg State’s state-level knife laws aren’t terribly bad, at least for now. General Statutes Of Connecticut section 943-53-206 says you can own anything you want including automatics, but you can only carry knives with blades of 4″ or less. For carried automatics, the blade limit is an almost-comical 1.5″ and there’s some unclear language about ‘dirk knives’ and ‘switch knives’, whatever the hell they are. As usual, there are no knives allowed in schools, courthouses, prisons, etc.

Assisted Openers

The term ‘switchblade’ isn’t well defined, and the statutory language does not include the crystal-clear knife definitions advocated for by Knife Rights. Assisted openers are not clearly legal since there’s no safe-harbor provision for spring-activated blades with a ‘bias towards closure,’ but neither are they obviously illegal because they lack an ‘automatic spring device by which the blade is released from the handle.’

So far this isn’t too bad, but Connecticut state law does not preempt local knife laws, and its various counties and municipalities are free to enact and enforce a patchwork of restrictions. I only did a quick survey of local knife regulations, but I found that New London prohibits carrying blades longer than 3.” Other localities may be worse.

Conclusion: Connecticut’s knife laws aren’t too bad. If state law preempted local laws and included a safe-harbor definition of assisted openers,I’d say their laws would actually be pretty good. But Connecticut can still FOAD for pissing all over the 2nd Amendment, and all right-minded Americans should boycott it and everything that comes from it.


  1. Pascal says:

    Some of us have to live in CT, and sucks for us.

    Larger knifes are Ok to carry provided you are hunting or fishing. I have been stopped to check for fishing license/hunting license and not ever a word about the knife sitting in the boat or on my leg.

    Case law says you better carry knives with blades of 3.5″ or less regardless of what the law says.

    We suck for knifes too unless you keep them home or while hunting and fishing.

    I am ok with the boycotts, not happy with the people who want to ban me from out of state hotels and restaurants because I live in CT.

    1. Chris Dumm says:

      That shit shouldn’t happen.

  2. gringito says:

    >>”and there’s some unclear language about ‘dirk knives’ and ‘switch knives’, whatever the hell they are. ”

    This is meager and not what I would call a sufficient research for an article like this!

    You will easily find more comprehensive articles on CT knife law in the internet. Even in these sources, however, the terms “dirk knives and “switch knives” are UNCLEAR. THIS is where a sound research for an article like this should start.

    Detention, please!!!

    1. Chris Dumm says:

      If you want legal advice, call a Connecticut lawyer and pay $200 per hour with a five-hour minimum retainer. Paid in advance.

      1. gringito says:

        No Chris! No!
        I do not want and I do not expect (!) legal advice on a web site like this one – but I expect, in particular from a licensed author, good editorial work. Sound research is part of that, or may I say: a minimum requirement.

        A website like this which starts a series (!) of articles about knife LAWS (!) in the different U.S. states and which claims to be informative and intends to inform its reader well can expect that its reader will take at their word.

        BTW: Guys who do not fear guns and knives do not have to fear reasonable criticism, in particular when it is appropriate.

        1. Anonymous says:

          Very well said, Grin.

  3. Chief29 says:

    I guess the sport of bushcraft/survival now requires a hunting or fishing license and equipment, even if you are practicing shelter building or firemaking skills on your own land unless you are doing it in your living room. No wonder the shows are so popular. In CT we’re only allowed to survive vicariously through TV. But the drunk that disabled my wife in a head on collision only got 10 days community service (1st offense). No I don’t gotta love it.

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Know Your Knife Laws #5: Connecticut

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