Asked in Criminal Law for Colorado

Q: Reading Colorado law It is legal to carry a fixed blade concealed in Colorado as long as its blade is under 3.5 inches.

Since colorado doesn't have state premption in regards to knives (Other then in motor vehicles) and my local city ordinances don't mention anything that I can find is it safe to assume that the state law of any legal knife under 3.5 inches is ok to carry comcealed?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jonathan Greenlee
Jonathan Greenlee
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Boulder, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: You are mostly correct. Colorado prohibits carrying a concealed weapon, including a knife, under C.R.S 18-12-105. A knife is a blade less than 3.5 inches: C.R.S 18-12-101(1)(f) defines a "knife" as follows: "Knife" means any dagger, dirk, knife, or stiletto with a blade over three and one-half inches in length, or any other dangerous instrument capable of inflicting cutting, stabbing, or tearing wounds, but does not include a hunting or fishing knife carried for sports use. The issue that a knife is a hunting or fishing knife must be raised as an affirmative defense.

There is a catch. C.R.S. 18-12-102 prohibits possession of an "illegal" weapon. This includes things like brass knuckles and a "ballistic knife" (definition is CRS 18-12-101(1)(a.3) a "gravity knife" (definition is CRS 18-12-101(1)(e)) or a "switchblade knife (definition is CRS 18-12-101(1)(f)). Even if the blade is under 3.5 inches, they are technically illegal weapons, despite the fact they can be easily purchased at many locations.

If you are carrying a concealed knife, you need to make sure (1) it does not meet the definition of a ballistic knife, gravity knife or switchblade and (2) it has a blade under 3.5 inches.

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