Do you have to have a permit or a license for bowie knives? You should certainly know the answer for this important question. Actually, you will find that you do not have to have a permit or licensing of any type to own bowie knives. That said, this applies only to your own home. Taking your knife outside of your home might change the rules just a little bit. How do you know what laws apply to your area? How do you know if you can safely take your knife out of your home without worrying about facing criminal charges?
Bowie knives are rather special cases in many states. You’ll find that quite a few southern states still have laws on the books that cite these as “illegal” weapons. That means that you cannot carry them openly or concealed outside of your home. However, many other states do allow you to carry these knives without a permit. No states require that you have a permit to carry one on your person in an unconcealed capacity, though (in those states where these knives can be carried in public).
How do you know if you can carry bowie knives in public? The Internet is your most powerful tool in this case. Every US state has its own website, where you will find listed the laws governing firearms and bladed weapons. These laws will give you a broad overview of your rights and responsibilities where bowie knives, balisongs, dirks and daggers are concerned. However, your state’s laws are not the only consideration that you will have to make. In some states, the laws of counties or cities supersede those of the state in some instances.
The question of taking your bowie knife on a hunting, camping or fishing trip is quite different from “carrying it in public”. As these knives are designed for outdoors use, most states do not prohibit you from using them or carrying them without a permit if you will be engaged in an activity for which the knife was designed (a legal activity, of course).
As you can see, while you don’t have to have a permit to own bowie knives, you do have to take care to ensure that you remain on the right side of the law when carrying and using these tools. A little research can go a long way here.