Can you carry a sword in public?

When you are covering the sword with a sheath, you might be allowed to carry it public. Also, when you are carrying it inside luggage, you could probably carry it in any circumstance. However, not every state forms the same rules regarding the carriage of a sword in public.

So giving a correct answer regarding the legality of carrying a sword in public is a bit tougher. You will know every detail about carrying a sword in public by continuing this article.

Can you carry a sword in public

Is it legal to carry a sword in public?

In most states, it is illegal to carry a sword in public.

But following proper steps for the carriage, you can still make it legal. So the answer of whether it is legal to carry a sword in public is neither yes nor no.

The reason behind this is that every state has its own rules about knives and sword carrying. Some states might allow carrying swords openly in public and you shouldn’t be arrested until you try to harm anyone. But most states totally prohibit carrying swords openly.

Open sword carrying creates a consciousness in the public mind and they might feel frustrated somehow. Some states also make carrying sheathed swords in public legal. Also, there is a length issue that one carrier also needs to think about even if carrying a sword is legal in his state.

So all in all, if your state laws allow carrying swords in public, then it is legal and if they don’t, then it’s totally illegal.

Swords carrying laws in different states

As I already said, different states have imposed different laws regarding the carriage of swords in public.

  • New York: It is illegal to carry a cane sword in New York. Also carrying a metal knuckle knife, ballistic knife, throwing stars are illegal here. But a citizen of this state can carry a hunting knife, dagger, stiletto, and gravity knife.
  • California: Carrying cane sword is illegal in California too. One needs to carry swords or such fixed blade weapons sheathed.  
  • Texas: Swords over 5.5 inches in length are illegal in Texas. But they are legal if for historical demonstrations or used for a performance.
  • Georgia: Without having a license, it is illegal in Georgia to carry a sword more than 12 inches in length, doesn’t matter whether you are carrying it openly or concealed.
  • Florida: It is legal to open carry fixed blade knives of any size, type, or length. But for concealed carrying, knives more than 4 inches long are illegal. Ballistic knives are also illegal here.
  • South Carolina: Carrying butcher knife, a case knife, sword, spear, metal knuckles, razors, dagger are illegal in South Carolina. One can use pepper spray for defense here.





New York

Hunting knife, dagger, stiletto, and gravity knife

Cane sword, metal knuckle knife, ballistic knife, throwing star


Sheathed fixed blade weapons

Cane sword


Open carry fixed blade knives

Ballistic knives and concealed carriage of knives more than 4 inches long


Licensed weapon

Unlicensed sword of more than 12 inches long

South Carolina

Pepper spray

butcher knife, a case knife, sword, spear, metal knuckles, razors, dagger


Swords for performance and historical demonstrations

Swords over 5.5 inches

Can one use a sword as self-defense in the home?

Yes, you can use but the question is whether you know how to use a sword against the opponent or not? Even if you know the method of using a sword for self-defense, it is a kind of weapon that can cause excessive damage to the opponent.

  • Swords are pretty useful for self-defense when someone breaks into your house at night when you are sleeping. But if you are one of the deadliest ones, then the sword might harm the invader a lot more than you probably thought.
  • Thinking of these things, even if your state allows using a sword as a self-defense weapon at home, I would suggest using knives or other small tools for this.
  • Another main reason is that swords are expensive war weapons that don’t allow everyone to bear the expense.
  • Also, when there is too much damage done because of using a sword for self-defense, you have every possible chance of receiving extra charges for the excessive use of this sharpened weapon.

Rules for transporting swords in public

If the state laws allow carrying swords in public, one should still not create any concern in the public mind by openly carrying this weapon. Rather he should follow some rules for transporting it in public without making them conscious.

  • Sheathed swords: The sharpened blade is covered when the sword comes with sheathed. It prevents the carrier from creating discomfort in the general public.
  • Carrying in inside a bag or luggage: Another great option is to carry the sword inside the large bag or luggage. It will completely hide the sword and keep it away from the public vision and also from the cops.
  • Covering the hilt: Cover the hilt of the sword with a small bag, which makes it totally look like a broom. When someone notices something like this, they won’t think about a sword, rather think about a broom.
  • Don’t hold it like a sword: Even after covering the whole weapon, if you hold it like a sword it will still make the public conscious.

Legal weapons for open carrying

In most states of the USA, it is illegal to openly carry weapons like swords. But some common weapons are legal in different states of the USA.

  • 5 inches sword: In most states of the USA swords with more than five inches long blade are illegal even it is carried sheathed.
  • Religious knives: Religious knives like Kirpan is used by the Sikhs for religious practices and many states have made this weapon legal. The knives are three to nine inches long.
  • Flamethrowers: Almost every state allows carrying flamethrowers except California and Maryland.
  • Tomahawks: In states where fixed blade weapons are legal to carry, allows carrying Tomahawks in public.
  • Battle-axes: Until it doesn’t hurt anyone, it is allowed to carry battle-axes in Washington State.
  • Lightsabers: The law of Montana makes carriage of lightsabers fully legal.
  • Firearms: If the firearm meets the basic legalities of your state laws, then you can carry it of course.
  • Pepper spray: As a self-defense weapon it is totally legal to carry pepper spray in the public. It allows preventing the bad man from hurting you by spraying it into his eyes.
  • Baseball bat: A baseball bat is a sports equipment and it can come in handy as a self-defense weapon. Also, it is legal to carry in the streets.
  • Tactical pens: Tactical pens are a bit larger than traditional pens and they are proved to be very useful for hand-to-hand fights.

How old one has to be to own a sword

If carrying a sword in public is allowed in your state, it is always a matter of concern whether you are properly aged to own a sword or not. According to federal laws, a person must be 18 years or older to legally own a sword.

Final words

Before carrying any sword in public, you just need to know the state laws about the legality. And I think the discussion above has already given you a clear idea about the legality.

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