Across US, Knife Laws Can Differ By State, City, Even Town

CBS Baltimore

WASHINGTON (AP) — A few miles off in any direction, and the debate about the knife involved in Freddie Gray’s arrest by Baltimore police may have been completely different.

The state of Maryland has one set of laws governing knives. The city of Baltimore has its own rules. Caught in the middle are people like Gray, who probably have no idea whether carrying a legally purchased knife can lead to criminal charges.

A conflict between laws about knives is not unique to Maryland. Nationwide, knife laws vary in neighboring towns, counties, cities and states. This mishmash makes it difficult for citizens to comply.

“How’s a person supposed to know what the law is, and how are they supposed to know that there’s a difference in the law” between jurisdictions, said Jan Billeb, executive director of the American Knife & Tool Institute, which advocates for greater knife rights in the United…

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