While many weapons crimes focus on guns, knives can be just as deadly. In fact, they are a common weapon used in a variety of violent crimes.
Since not as much attention goes to knives as firearms, you may not be aware there are restrictions on carrying them.
New Jersey law specifies that you cannot legally carry on your person outside your home certain knives. These include any device where the blade leaves the sheath by gravity, switchblades, machetes, daggers, ballistic knives, stilettos and dirks. Do note, though, these knives are legal to own for lawful purposes.
The only exception to the law is having a lawful purpose. Being in your own home is an exception. But you cannot have these weapons in public. In your home, owning a banned knife is fine for protection.
You can also break the law by possessing a knife if you use it for criminal activity. For example, if you have a knife that is not part of the restricted list, you are generally legal to carry it. But if you use that knife to break into a house, you are now not in lawful possession and could face charges.
Pocket knives are generally legal as long as they do not fall into a restricted category. You can carry these in public, but not in places with weapon bans. Specifically, you cannot carry any knife into a school or on school grounds.
Unlike guns, the sale of knives does not require background checks or other records. The only restriction is for minors, who cannot buy a knife with a blade over 10 inches. Sellers can provide restricted knives to customers because of the exceptions to owning them.