Swords – Legality In The United States And Canada

Thanks to the internet, there has been an explosion in the popularity of swords and other bladed weapons. Many people, however, are still unsure about the legality of such weapons. Quite often, other people seem to claim that non-functional replicas are okay and that sharpened blades are not.

I decided to do some research, and wasn‘t exactly surprised by what I discovered. It’s important to note that I am not a lawyer, so you should take this information with a grain of salt. However, what I found is that swords and other bladed weapons are, in fact, predominantly legal.

United States

The United States’ weapons laws, for the most part, are quite lenient. There does not appear to be a ban on swords — sharpened or not — on a federal level. For more specific information on local laws, a visit to Knife Laws Online is highly suggested.

It should be noted that Washington D.C. appears to be the lone exception to the rule, though swords are not specifically targeted; to the contrary, all weapons appear to be banned. If you live in Washington D.C. and would like to own a sword, I believe you are out of luck.

The transportation of swords may be an entirely different issue altogether, as they could be — and likely are — considered concealed weapons. You should seek the advice of a legal expert if you are looking to transport your sword(s).


Canada’s federal weapons laws are very similar to the United States’, at least as they relate to swords and other bladed weapons. There are no federal laws that specifically detail the allowed length of knives and swords, and it appears that no provinces have banned knives and swords of a certain length. You can find specific information on Canadian federal weapons laws in Section III of Bill C68, though a list of banned weapons can be found below:

* “nunchaku” and any similar instrument or device, being hard non-flexible sticks, clubs, pipes or rods linked by a length or lengths of rope, cord, wire or chain;
* “shuriken”, being a hard non-flexible plate having three or more radiating points with one or more sharp edges in the shape of a polygon, trefoil, cross, star, diamond or other geometric shape;
* “manrikigusari” or “kusari”, and any similar instrument or device, being hexagonal or other geometrically shaped hard weights or hand grips linked by a length or lengths of rope, cord, wire or chain;
* any finger ring that has one or more blades or sharp objects that are capable of being projected from the surface of the ring.
* “crossbow”, with a stock of 400 mm or less
* “Constant Companion”, being a belt containing a blade capable of being withdrawn from the belt, with the buckle of the belt forming a handle for the blade
* any knife commonly known as a “push-dagger” that is designed in such a fashion that the handle is placed perpendicular to the main cutting edge of the blade; and any other similar device but not including the aboriginal “ulu” knife.
* “Spiked Wristband”, being a wristband to which a spike or blade is affixed; and any other similar device
* “Yaqua Blowgun”, being a tube or pipe designed for the purpose of shooting arrows or darts by the breath; and any other similar device
* “Kiyoga Baton” or “Steel Cobra” and any similar device consisting of a manually-triggered telescoping spring-loaded steel whip terminated in a heavy calibre striking tip;
* “Morning Star” and any similar device consisting of a ball of metal or other heavy material, studded with spikes and connected to a handle by a length of chain, rope or other flexible material.
* “Brass Knuckles” and any similar device consisting of a band of metal with finger holes designed to fit over the root knuckles of the hand.
* Any device designed to be used for the purpose of injuring, immobilising or otherwise incapacitating any person by the discharge therefrom of
o (a) tear gas, Mace or other gas, or
o (b) any liquid, spray, powder or other substance that is capable of injuring, immobilising or otherwise incapacitating

Functional samurai swords and ninja swords may be purchased at the author’s website, SwordWares.Com. The original source for this article can be viewed in this article about sword laws.
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