Can a Felon Own a Sword?

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While incarcerated, felons are restricted from using knives of any type.

Unless working a job under close supervision in prison, knives or any other sharp objects are off limits.  They can easily become a weapon to attack fellow inmates or prison staff.

For those serving a lengthy sentence, they may go many years without the privilege of using a knife.

Following release from prison and returning to society, there is still the concern of felons coming into contact with weapons that could be used against another person.

This blog post will cover the question of whether felons can own a sword.

  • What is a Sword?
  • Sword Terminology
  • State Sword Laws
  • Supporting a Felon Who Wants to Own a Sword

What is a Sword?

A sword is a weapon with a handle using a long, straight or slightly curved blade with one or two sharp edges for cutting.

A sword is similar to a dagger, which has a flat blade with a sharp point.

The major difference between these weapons is that a dagger has a blade shorter than 14 inches while a sword generally has a blade greater than 20 inches in length.

Swords can be straight or curved and are classified by this shape as well as the region of the world where they originated.

A Japanese sword called a katana is perhaps the most well-known Oriental sword and is about 30 inches in length and extremely sharp.  There are Chinese swords with single or double edges, called longswords or sabers.

The Egyptian sword made of bronze and considered to be one of the most dangerous swords of the ancient world is the Khopesh.

Foils and rapiers are slender-bladed weapons about two feet long used for thrusting and dueling.

Two-handed swords called Great swords were used in the 1500s and 1600s and were up to six feet long.

A scimitar is about three feet long with a curved blade and was used typically by the military.

A Short sword was used primarily by the Romans and was about two feet in length.

Sword Terminology

A knife has long been considered a necessity for survival, for hunting.  A knife can be practical and useful or sharp and dangerous, depending on how you view it and how it is used.

While a sword has various uses, it typically functions as a weapon.

There is commonly used terminology involving a sword.

First, there is a legal term for having a sword.  Ownership law dictates what you are to own or have at home.

A carry law states what you are allowed to have with you outside the home.

State Sword Laws

The only federal sword law is the one outlawing carrying a knife with a blade longer than 4 inches.

Typically, a sword cannot be carried in public.  It must be in a dwelling for safety.

In some states, a sword can be carried in public if it is part of an historical demonstration.

Recent legislation in Texas will allow individuals, including felons, to openly carry a knife with a blade longer than five inches, which includes a sword.  Montana and Oklahoma also allow open carry of a sword.

In these states, however, a sword may not be carried in certain locations, including schools, prisons, hospitals, amusement parks, places of worship, sporting events, and bars.

Anyone owning a sword must be at least 18 years old.  Certain types of swords, such as a cane sword or a concealable sword, are prohibited in most states.

Intent is a major part of how sword laws are enforced.  If any type of knife appears scary or is carried in a hidden or suspicious manner, legal authorities may view it differently.  Since a sword is usually used as a weapon, this explains why a sword is prohibited in public.

Carrying even a legal knife can open felons up to deadly weapon charges.  If this occurs it is important to contact a lawyer.

With the sensitive nature of felons’ situations, it is important for them not to even consider carrying a sword in public even in Texas, Montana, or Oklahoma.

There is no reason for felons to call attention to themselves needlessly.

Obeying the laws and restrictions they face is difficult enough.

Supporting a Felon Who Wants to Own a Sword

For families of felons, it is crucial to recognize that your loved one is trying to readjust to society and do the right thing.  Be there to encourage and support them in living an honest life and fitting back into society once again.

It may seem like a little thing, but obeying the laws regarding owning a sword will help them follow other laws also.

While it is legal for felons to possess most types of swords, they still place themselves at risk by possessing a sword at all.  Even having one at their residence invites disaster as the sword could wind up seriously injuring or even killing someone.

Why take the chance of becoming involved in a situation that could result in their being arrested and possibly ending up back in prison again?  It isn’t worth the risk.

So, be honest with your felon family member or friend.  Encourage them to think carefully about owning a sword.

So what do you think about this blog post about can a felon own a sword?  Have you or someone you know been in this situation?  What was that like?  Please tell us in the comments below.

About the author

After earning his MBA from Benedictine University, Ron was looking for a new challenge and stumbled on the idea of helping the formerly incarcerated.

Using what he learned, Ron developed this website as a free resource and has worked with his team​ to continue answering questions for those in need.

1 thought on “Can a Felon Own a Sword?”

  1. The “law” is vague about a felon owning a sword by tis Blog. In terms of a Military Ceremonial Sword, the question remains, “if owning such, does it place them (felon of CA) at risk. Military Ceremonial Swords in general do not have either edge sharpened, with capability to cut – the point however is sharp.


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