Is It Legal To Carry A Knife In Tennessee

Home / Beginners Guides / Is It Legal To Carry A Knife In Tennessee

Carrying a knife in Tennessee is subject to both state and local laws. This article explores the legal implications of carrying knives in Tennessee, particularly focusing on the areas of legality, restrictions, and potential repercussions for breaking those rules. It provides an overview of the applicable statutes that regulate this activity and outlines considerations for individuals who are looking to carry a knife within the state’s borders. By understanding these regulations, citizens can make informed decisions about their personal safety while remaining compliant with applicable law.

Overview Of Tennessee Knife Laws

Tennessee has a unique set of laws regarding the usage and carry of knives. These statutes vary depending on the type, size and purpose of the blade, as well as its location. As such, it is important to understand knife etiquette in order to ensure legal compliance.

Knife usage in Tennessee can be divided into two categories: concealment and open carry. Concealment involves hiding a knife within one’s clothing or carrying a concealed weapon without proper authorization from law enforcement officials. Open carry refers to openly displaying a knife either on one’s body or within reach while not concealing it. It is important to note that certain areas are off-limits for both types of carrying, including schools, government buildings and businesses with “no weapons” policies.

The state of Tennessee generally allows individuals over 18 years old to own any kind of non-lethal bladed instrument for personal use, provided they abide by all other relevant regulations pertaining to knives and their possession. While many cities have their own ordinances restricting the sale and ownership of various kinds of blades, failure to comply with these municipal regulations does not cause criminal charges at the state level unless the person involved was found guilty of another crime unrelated to his/her possession or usage of a particular type of blade.

Types Of Knives Allowed In Tennessee

Tennessee knife laws generally permit the carrying of a knife, but there are certain conditions that must be followed. According to Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1306 and Title 29, Chapter 4, Part 2 of the Rules Governing Weapons Carrying Licenses and Permits in Tennessee, individuals may open or conceal carry knives as long as they meet set requirements. There are specific limitations on both the sizes and types of knives allowed under state law.

Knife size is an important factor when considering whether it is legal to carry a blade in Tennessee. Allowed blades must have a cutting edge no longer than four inches; blades exceeding this length are not permitted for concealed or open carry without special licensing from the state government. Additionally, some municipalities’ ordinances restrict all knives regardless of length; however, these restrictions do not apply statewide.

A variety of knife types are permissible in Tennessee, with minor exceptions such as switchblades which cannot exceed two inches in length. In general terms, Bowie knives, daggers, dirks, stilettos, throwing stars (shuriken), ballistic knives and any other type of deadly weapon can be carried openly or concealed with valid documentation by individuals 18 years old and over who have completed firearms safety training classes approved by the Department of Safety & Homeland Security Firearms Program located at 1150 Foster Avenue Nashville TN 37210.

In summary: Knife sizes limited to four inches are allowable in most cases while certain types of blades including switchblades up to two inches often require licensing depending on the municipality’s ordinance regulations. With proper paperwork verifying completion of firearms safety courses issued by The Department of Safety & Homeland Security Firearms Program based in Nashville TN 37210 , Tennesseans aged 18+ may legally possess certain weapons like Bowie knives, daggers, dirks and more either openly or concelaed within their respective county(ies).

Restricted Areas For Carrying Knives

In Tennessee, it is legal to carry a knife in certain circumstances. However, there are restrictions on where knives can be carried and under what conditions they may be possessed. Knife storage must comply with local laws; if found carrying an illegal knife, individuals could face criminal charges.

The state of Tennessee prohibits the possession of any switchblade or gravity knife by anyone other than federal marshals, law enforcement officers, military personnel while on duty, or others within certain categories who possess proper authorization. It also restricts the sale of ballistic knives which shoot blades into action when a trigger is pulled. Individuals cannot display dangerous weapons such as swords openly outside their own home if doing so causes alarm among citizens.

Carrying concealed weapons requires a permit from the county sheriff’s office for handguns and long guns alike. To receive this permit, applicants must submit fingerprints for background checks along with proof that they have completed a handgun safety course approved by the Department of Safety & Homeland Security or the National Rifle Association (NRA). Additionally, persons convicted of felonies involving violence are ineligible for permits even after completing sentences due to permanent revocation of gun rights in Tennessee.

Knife owners should familiarize themselves with regulations governing weapon ownership before applying for permits or purchasing new knives as some states impose heavy fines for violations regardless of intent. Ignorance does not excuse noncompliance; therefore, staying up-to-date on current legislation is paramount to avoiding potential penalties related to improper knife storage and permit requirements.

Potential Penalties For Carrying Knives Illegally

In Tennessee, the possession and carrying of knives is largely regulated by state laws. Depending on the type of knife, the circumstances in which it is carried, and whether or not its use was malicious, there are potential penalties for those who carry a knife illegally.

Knives can be classified into two categories: concealed weapons and open-carry weapons. To determine if an individual is legally allowed to possess or carry a particular type of knife in Tennessee, they must understand both state law as well as any relevant local ordinances. Generally speaking though, individuals under 21 years old are prohibited from possessing certain types of knives while adults over 21 are generally permitted to own them provided that they do not conceal their weapon or use it with intent to harm another person.

To avoid prosecution due to illegal possession/carrying of a knife in Tennessee, it is important for individuals to stay informed about current legislation and abide by all regulations pertaining to such items. Additionally, proper storage and education regarding safe handling techniques should be taken into consideration when owning a knife; this might include investing in high quality locksmiths for secure locking mechanisms and researching best practices related to the maintenance of sharpened blades. Furthermore, organizations like The Knife Rights Foundation offer resources specifically designed to inform citizens about their rights concerning knives within each respective state jurisdiction.

The Potential Penalties for Carrying Knives Illegally In Tennessee Include:

  • Fines
  • Civil lawsuits
  • Imprisonment
  • Revocation/suspension of license(s)
  • Community service
  • Probationary periods

It is essential that individuals familiarize themselves with applicable laws surrounding knife ownership so that they may act within legal boundaries. Understanding how these laws apply on both a state level as well as locally will help ensure compliance with set standards while also providing peace of mind knowing that one’s rights have been upheld properly.


In conclusion, it is important to understand the laws regulating knives in Tennessee before carrying or using one. Carrying a knife for recreational purposes like fishing, hunting and camping is generally allowed as long as the blade does not exceed four inches, but there are certain restrictions regarding where they can be taken. It is also illegal to carry a restricted type of knife such as a switchblade, ballistic knife or gravity knife. Violating these laws may result in criminal penalties which could include jail time and fines. Therefore, it is essential to research state law carefully prior to carrying any kind of knife so that an individual remains within the bounds of the law. Coincidentally, by doing so they will ensure their safety while abiding by all applicable regulations.