Indiana State Knife Laws

Indiana is definitely a pro-knife state, with only two real hard-and-fast prohibitions on a couple of types of knives, those being ballistic knives and throwing stars.

Thanks to revamped laws governing knives that were finally tuned up from a hodgepodge mess back in 2013, you can own and carry nearly anything with no permit required, and that includes concealed.

Indiana flag

Though the prohibition of any kind of weapon is always a disappointment and unconstitutional, the two banned types are very poor choices for self-defense and so practically will not make much difference for a concerned citizen.

Nonetheless there are some intricate parts of the law that you will want to familiarize yourself with, including giving knives to other people temporarily or permanently as well as prohibited places when it comes to the carry of knives and other weapons.

We will hit the highlights below and provide the prerequisite state statutes at the end of this article.

What You Need to Know

  • What Kind of Knives Can I Own?: Any kind of knife except throwing stars and ballistic knives.
  • Can I Carry a Knife Concealed Without a Permit?: Any kind of knife except a throwing star or ballistic knife.
  • Can I Carry a Knife Concealed With a Permit?: Any kind of knife except a throwing star or ballistic knife.
  • Can I Carry a Knife Openly?: Any kind of knife except a throwing star or ballistic knife.

General Ownership

Indiana is a solidly inclusive state when it comes to knife ownership. The only knives you are expressly forbidden from owning in the state are throwing stars, also known as shuriken, and ballistic knives.

Ballistic knives are a special type of knife that launches the blade as a projectile using compressed gas, elastic bands, springs or some other mechanism.

The state defines a throwing star as any knife, iron or knife-like weapon with multiple blades set at varying angles around a central point.

Though it is undeniably unconstitutional and definitely chafes the nerves of all freedom-loving Americans, neither of these knives are a particularly good choice for self-defense but at least you are not grappling with any restrictions on length or other styles of conventional knife.

Also be aware that the state of Indiana forbids the transfer of any knife to a minor outside of specific conditions, as well as transferring a knife to any intoxicated person or person who habitually becomes intoxicated from any substance, alcohol or drug. Doing so is a misdemeanor.

Lastly, and unfortunately, Indiana lacks a preemption law for knives, meaning that you will have to pay attention when traveling throughout the state as local county and city laws could be significantly more stringent than the state laws and you will have to abide by them.

Make sure you do your homework and lookup all the relevant statutes in any area where you will be traveling and carrying a knife, especially when carrying concealed.

Concealed Carry, No Permit

The state of Indiana allows you to carry any legal knife that you want to, concealed, with no permit. There are no other restrictions, except that one may not carry the already forbidden ballistic knife and throwing star detailed above.

Concealed Carry, With Permit

Indiana makes no distinction between concealed carry with or without a permit when it comes to knives, and even if you have a concealed weapons permit you still may not carry a ballistic knife or throwing star and per usual you may carry any other kind of knife on her about your person concealed.

Open Carry

The open carry of knives is legal in the state of Indiana so long as the knife itself is legal.

Prohibited Places

Indiana is broadly consistent with the rest of the states in the U.S. when it comes to prohibited places for the carry of knives.

You cannot carry your knife into any school, into any courtroom, committee meeting, government installation or similar location. Additionally, the relevant statute contains some specific language as to what constitutes a knife for the purpose of carrying a knife into a school facility.

Luckily, you can keep your knife securely locked up in your vehicle legally if you have to visit the school for any official reason.


Indiana is a surprisingly good state for knife owners, and save a couple of restrictions on throwing stars and ballistic knives you can carry pretty much any kind of knife you wish concealed or openly in the state, so you will have to use caution when traveling as county and city laws will not be preempted by the state’s laws.

Important Indiana State Statutes

IC35-47-5-2 Knife with a detachable blade

Sec. 2. It is a Class B misdemeanor for a person to manufacture, possess, display, offer, sell, lend, give away, or purchase any knife with a detachable blade that may be ejected from the handle as a projectile by means of gas, a spring, or any other device contained in the handle of the knife.

IC 35-47-5-12 “Chinese throwing star” defined; related offenses

Sec. 12. (a) A person who: (1) manufactures; (2) causes to be manufactured; (3) imports into Indiana; (4) keeps for sale; (5) offers or exposes for sale; or (6) gives, lends, or possesses; a Chinese throwing star commits a Class C misdemeanor. (b) As used in this section, “Chinese throwing star” means a throwing-knife, throwing-iron, or other knife-like weapon with blades set at different angles

IC 35-47-4-1 Delivery of deadly weapon to intoxicated persons

Sec. 1. A person who sells, barters, gives, or delivers any deadly weapon to any person at the time in a state of intoxication, knowing him to be in a state of intoxication, or to any person who is in the habit of becoming intoxicated, and knowing him to be a person who is in the habit of becoming intoxicated, commits a Class B misdemeanor

IC 35-47-5-2.5 Possession of a knife on school property

Sec. 2.5. (a) As used in this section, “knife” means an instrument


(1) consists of a sharp edged or sharp pointed blade capable of inflicting cutting, stabbing, or tearing wounds; and

(2) is intended to be used as a weapon. (b) The term includes a dagger, dirk, poniard, stiletto, switchblade knife, or gravity knife.

(c) A person who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally possesses a knife on:

(1) school property (as defined in IC 35-31.5-2-285); (2) a school bus (as defined in IC 20-27-2-8); or (3) a special purpose bus (as defined in IC 20-27-2-10); commits a Class B misdemeanor. However, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor if the person has a previous unrelated conviction under this section and a Level 6 felony if the offense results in bodily injury to another person.

(d) This section does not apply to a person who possesses a knife:

(2) if the knife is secured in a motor vehicle.

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