Open Carry Sword Laws

Open Carry Sword Laws

woman posing with a sword

While carrying a gun is something that has been normalized in many states, an open carry sword is an unusual sight. Whether you’re training at the dojo with your katana or you fantasize about being a lone, modern-day Ronin, you should always know the laws in your state or country. You don’t want to look like a badass but end up with a ticket! If you’re curious about sword laws and open carry laws, explore this blog from Swords of Northshire today.

Difference Between Swords & Knives

samurai crossing the street

You might think that swords are just really big knives and should fall under regulations for knives. While they are part of the “bladed weapons” category, there are laws regulating open carry swords for weapons over a certain length. The law also varies depending on whether the blade is sheathed or unsheathed. Each state and country is different, but some of the places with the most comprehensive sword laws include:

  • California: Any weapon with a fixed blade, including a sword, must be worn in plain view — no concealed carry allowed. Sheathed knives worn visibly and open carry swords are not considered concealed, but cane swords or swords hidden in everyday objects are illegal and can result in a misdemeanor.

  • Texas: In this state, any weapon with a blade longer than 5.5” is illegal. Knives with long blades and swords are banned completely. The only reason you may be allowed to carry a sword is if it’s being used in a historical demonstration or ceremony.

  • New York: The laws here are similar to those in California — especially considering blades hidden in canes or similarly disguised pieces. The first offense is a misdemeanor, but on a second or third offense, carrying a disguised sword becomes a felony.

Federal law in America has similar prohibitions to those listed above, but you might be able to pack a sword for travel in a checked bag as long as you follow all rules and regulations.

Issues with Open Carry Sword Laws

traditional sikh kirpan knife

In some instances, carrying a sword is part of a religious or cultural practice. It may also be part of your martial arts or sports practice. Swords carried as part of Sikh law, known as a kirpan, are generally recognized by federal institutions. However, blades carried for fencing or martial arts practice are a little more complicated. To ensure you don’t tangle with the law on the way to your dojo, it’s best to carry your blade in a specialized case or leave them at the location where you practice.

Final Thoughts

While open carry swords may be legal in some places, carrying a sword in public is generally illegal. Avoid a weapons charge when you learn the specific laws for your state and stay safe in public.

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