I live in NJ, but work in NYC, and would like to find a knife, that can be legally carried in both locales.

NYC seems to ban all folding knives, while allowing any fixed-blades under 4" long.

NJ appears to be the opposite -- folding ones may be Ok, but fixed-blade require vague justifications like "explainable lawful purpose".

Is there anything suitable for both?

  • 1
    If you have an explainable lawful purpose, that shouldn't be an issue. If you don't have one, clearly you don't have good reason to carry the knife.
    – user4657
    Commented Jul 17, 2020 at 6:46
  • 3
    Carry your fixed blade knife in New York City but when you are in New Jersey, also carry around a sack full of cucumbers and slowly cut them into slices whenever you are out in public. Commented Jul 17, 2020 at 13:58
  • Self-defense is a good reason, but is not considered by the legal system an explainable lawful purpose. There is also the rule, that "rights no exercised are lost" -- which is another good reason.
    – Mikhail T.
    Commented Jul 17, 2020 at 14:16
  • Both laws are attempting to curtail the use of knives as weapons, whether in "self-defence" or not. If you want to carry a weapon in self-defence then you probably want to be carrying a gun, as the US Constitution makes it hard for either state to limit that.
    – Ross Ridge
    Commented Jul 17, 2020 at 23:21
  • The US Constitution does not distinguish firearms from any other weapons, but State (and Federal) governments ignore it... They just ignore it differently and one may be able to get around the unconstitutional bans.
    – Mikhail T.
    Commented Jul 18, 2020 at 20:22

1 Answer 1


NYC seems to ban all folding knives, while allowing any fixed-blades under 4" long.

New York City does not ban all folding knives. To qualify as a gravity knife, the knife must open by gravity or by centrifugal force. The Village Voice published an article several years ago pointing out that nearly every folding pocket knife can be opened with enough force, but nearly every is not the same as every.

Regardless, the New York Times reports that the gravity knife statute was repealed because it was found to be unconstitutionally vague. This was just over a year ago. The Village Voice piece cited in the question is nearly five years out of date.

  • That's great news, but can you actually answer the question I asked? Preferably, with examples? Thank you!
    – Mikhail T.
    Commented Jul 17, 2020 at 19:29
  • 3
    @MikhailT. This isn't the place for product recommendations.
    – Ross Ridge
    Commented Jul 17, 2020 at 23:14
  • Identifying the generic name (like "Bowie"), or shape of the product wouldn't be a product-recommendation...
    – Mikhail T.
    Commented Jul 18, 2020 at 20:23
  • @Mikhail: You are unlikely to receive a brand-specific answer to your question. Per help/on-topic, Law.SE specifically disallows questions on specific legal matters; Law.SE is not intended to act as a substitute for legal advice. If you want recommendations on what specific knives are legal for your situation, please consult a lawyer.
    – Brian
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 17:10
  • @MikhailT. Since folding knives are legal in New Jersey and, since last year, also in New York, that would seem to be the answer to your question: a folding knife.
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 22, 2020 at 4:04

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