Is It Legal to Carry a Knife in Indiana? Yes, But There Are Restrictions
The topic of guns and who should and should not carry them has been a hot-button topic for years, if not decades. But, they're not the only weapon a person can use to inflict serious bodily harm on a person or severe damage on a piece of property. While most people use knives to prep food for a meal, or they have a job that may require slicing something from time to time, they can also be deadly weapons if a person chooses to use one in an aggressive manner. With that said, like most states, Indiana does not restrict who can carry a knife in public, but it does have a couple of restrictions on the type of knife you can carry and places you're not allowed to have it.
Knife Laws in Indiana
Before we get too deep into this, let me say I have no problem with knives and I'm not suggesting laws need to be put in place that would require a permit to carry them in public. I have had several pocket knives in my life going all the way back to my pre-teens when I was in Boy Scouts. I was merely curious after seeing a post from Reddit user, u/i8mychildren in the Indiana subreddit asking if it was OK to carry a knife when they go hiking.
Most of the people who replied said it was, but it is the internet and none of them cited any websites to back up their answers, so I did a little digging to find out because I have trust issues.
A quick Google search took me to the website of the Knifeade which broke down the law in terms someone who didn't go to law school, like me, could understand. The information they provided confirmed what many of the replies on Reddit said, but went a little deeper in explaining some of the restrictions.
Knives That are Legal to Carry in Indiana
Like the bowie, balisong (a.k.a. butterfly), switchblade, and single-blade throwing knives pictured above, the following knives are also legal to own and carry in the Hoosier State:
- Disguised knives
- Assisted knives
- Dirks, daggers, and other stabbing knives
- Automatic knives
Knives that are Illegal to Carry in Indiana
According to state law, there are only two types of knives you cannot possess or carry in Indiana — Chinese Throwing Knives, or any knife with multiple blades, and ballistic knives. The latter of which I had never heard of. Fortunately, Knifeade had an explanation.
...the law defines a knife with a detachable blade as a knife with a blade that can be ejected by gas, spring, or any other device on the handle.
They sound like something Hollywood created for the movies, but they are very real and outlawed in most states.
Where You Cannot Carry a Knife in Indiana
Like the types of knives the state does not allow you to have and/or carry, the list of where you can't have them is short as well. The law only says you cannot have them on a school's property, a school bus, or a special purpose bus.
With that said, Knifeade notes that some cities and counties in the states may have additional laws in their area that prohibit carrying a knife in places outside those three. South Bend, for example, does not allow you to carry a knife in a public park. In Vanderburgh County where I live, you cannot carry a knife into the county courthouse or Civic Center building where most of the city and county government offices are located, which is common for most cities and counties. Airports also generally do not allow you to have a knife on you when you enter.
For the most part, carrying a knife in Indiana isn't a problem, but if you're ever unsure about whether or not you can have one in a certain location in your area, your best bet is to check your local city or county ordinances.
[Sources: Reddit / Knifeade / FindLaw]