Knife laws in Oregon are quite lenient. But the legal language can be complicated and hard to understand for regular people like me and you. That’s why I have researched a lot, and with my extensive research and consultation with lawyers, I have finally understood the Oregon knife laws.
And what I have found is that – all knives are legal in Oregon if the knife blade meets a certain blade length and if you are not a felon. At the same time, you have to be an adult to wield a knife. Carrying a knife, especially if you conceal carrying a knife, you have to consider that decision again since concealment is prohibited in Oregon.
However, no matter how many laws and restrictions are enforced on the residences of Oregon, for necessary use, people have to possess and carry knives. Thus, let’s take a look at how one can carry and possess a knife without violating laws.
Definition and Legality of Knives in Oregon
Before moving on to what knife is legal and what is not, let’s take a look at how Oregon defines a knife and – whether it is considered a weapon or not.
- Knife: As per Oregon State Law, any instrument that has a sharp edge or blade that is capable of cutting and stabbing and causing serious injuries is a knife.
- Weapon: Oregon State Law §166.360 states that any dirk, dagger, slingshot, ice pick, metal knuckles, or any knife other than a common pocket knife with a blade length of 4 inches that is used for inflicting injury is a weapon.
What Knives Are Legal in Oregon?
As per §166.240, all types of knives are legal in Oregon if the knife meets the minimum 4-inch blade length criteria and is not concealed. Those knives are:
- Lipstick knife.
- Pocket knife.
- Bowie knife.
- Butterfly knife or Balisong knife.
- Ballistic knife.
- Switchblade knife.
- Gravity knife.
What Knives Are Illegal in Oregon?
According to §166.240, knives that have blade lengths more than 4 inches are illegal. At the same time, concealed carry of knives are illegal, which are:
- Automatic knives.
- Assisted opening knives.
- Butterfly knives.
- Ice pick.
Knife Possession and Carrying in Oregon
Oregon Law doesn’t mind ownership and possession of any knife. But carrying a knife has few restrictions.
Open Carry of Knife in Oregon
You can openly carry any knife if its blade is less than 4 inches, as per §166.240. This law includes all knives, such as pocket knives, folding knives, and other knives as well. And if the knife is modified or altered, that makes it more dangerous; it’s also illegal to carry.
Conceal Carry of Knife in Oregon
As per §166.240, it is illegal to conceal and carry almost all types of knives. But few knives are allowed for concealed carrying, such as common pocket knives and folding knives if the blade is less than 4 inches in length. However, if you have a Conceal Handgun License (CHL), you can conceal carry knives.
Knife Length Restriction in Oregon
In Oregon State Law §166.360, it is mentioned that possessing a knife that has a blade length of more than 4 inches is illegal. Therefore, the permissible blade length for a knife is 4 inches or less in Oregon.
Knife Possession Restrictions for Minors in Oregon
In Oregon, you have to be at least 18 to possess and carry any type of knife under the supervision of an adult who is over 21. However, minors who are under 18 can carry certain types of knives, such as pocket knives, accompanied by adults. But, to freely carry and possess a knife in public, you have to be 21 or older.
Prohibited Locations for Knife Carrying in Oregon
Knives may be legal to carry in Oregon with few restrictions – but there are few locations where the knife is strictly prohibited. As per §166.370, it is illegal to possess and carry knives on school grounds, government buildings, public buildings, courthouses, colleges, and universities.
Knife for Self-Defense and Deadly Force in Oregon
It is legal to use a knife for self-defense. But there are some criteria that your situation needs to meet with. For instance, if you are in a situation where your life is in danger and you have no other way but to use a knife to save yourself, in that situation, you can use a knife for self-defense. But the knife should be used only for self-defense. And the force should be proportional and not cause too much.
Knife Possession for Felons in Oregon
Oregon State Law §166.270, it is prohibited to possess and carry knives to felons who are convicted of a felony. Any violation of this law is a misdemeanor.
As per §166.240, all the above knife laws are not applicable to peace officers, military personnel, or law enforcement officers.
Consequences and Penalties for Violating Oregon Knife Laws
Violation of the above knife laws has severe consequences and penalties, which are:
- Carrying Knife in Prohibited Locations: Violation of §166.370, which is carrying a knife on school grounds, government buildings, and court houses, is considered as Class C felony. It’s punishable with five years of imprisonment or/and $125,000.
- Conceal Carrying of Knife: As mentioned in §166.240, concealed carrying of knives is illegal. Any violation of this law is considered a Class B Misdemeanor, which is punishable by six months of jail or/and $2,500.
Knife possession in Oregon is not an issue as long as you have a knife that has a blade less than 4 inches and you are an adult. At the same time, you are not a felon and convicted of a felony. Besides, you are not carrying a knife concealed unless you have a license. If all these criteria are fulfilled, you can possess and carry any knife.