I recommend you never attempt to cross the Mexican border with a knife. Even though the knife laws for crossing are not as defined as the gun laws, it takes just one bored cop at the border to detain you for carrying an illegal weapon.
Considering the state of the Mexican justice system, that’s something you don’t want happening.
However, if you must have a knife on you in Mexico, keep reading the rest of this piece to find out what you can do.
But before then…
Why Should You Never Cross the Mexican Border With a Knife?
There are a series of common-sense reasons never to cross the Mexican border with a knife. Some of these are:
#1 Mexican Knife Laws Aren’t Well Defined
The US is one of the countries with the most defined knife laws. Still, the rules are sometimes all over the place and open to interpretation.
Thus, you can imagine what it’s like in Mexico, where the knife laws are not as defined.
So, you’re always at the mercy of any law enforcement officer you meet and how they choose to define the law.
Knowing that the justice system over there can be corrupt, you may be facing multiple years of jail time, which is known to be tough on Americans.
#2 Mexican Cops Are Sometimes Out for Tourists
Believe it or not, there are multiple cases of Mexican cops shaking down tourists.
There’s the belief that they can do as they please. So, you don’t want to get into their bad books.
It takes getting into it with a disgruntled cop, a bored cop, or one who takes issues with tourists to aggravate a simple pocket knife offense into a dangerous weapons charge.
For a country known for imposing jail times and heavy fines on US citizens found with as little as a single bullet (without the gun), you don’t want to take any chances.
#3 You Could Get Hurt
Mexico is beautiful, no matter how criminal the mainstream American media makes it look. However, there’s a high crime in the streets which may be why you want to carry a knife.
The issue is that you will mostly get harmed if you try to engage your attacker.
In this case, you have these options
- Let the attacker get whatever spare change you carry about and the contents of your pocket.
- Engage them with your knife and get hurt.
- Engage them with your knife and hurt them.
- Engage them, get hurt, and still lose your belongings.
In all of those four scenarios, I prefer #1. After all, I doubt you’ll be moving around with ALL of your travel cash and valuables.
So, just let them have your spare change and chuck it down to money spent on some souvenirs.
How to Carry a Knife in Mexico?
If you must have a knife on you while in Mexico, do these:
Contact the State Department Beforehand
Speak with the state department before traveling to know their stance on your kind of knife.
Even if some knives aren’t allowed for being too dangerous, you could get permission to bring others if they’re work tools or related to your trip in any other way.
Likewise, ensure you get this answer in writing, and you can even print it. Otherwise, there’s no way to confirm that the state department responded, and you may get in trouble.
Get A Knife While in Mexico
Fortunately, you can buy a knife while in Mexico. So, you don’t have to cross the border with one.
Make sure to buy something cheap you can toss when you return to the US because you don’t want to get into trouble with the border agents on re-entry.
Remember that you’re still in their country, even at the border, so US laws don’t apply to you yet.
Never Carry Your Knife Openly
You may be mistaken for a police officer if seen wearing your knife outside your clothing.
That may be deadly in some Mexican regions with hatred towards the police.
In other regions, you may invite trouble with the actual police, who may feel you’re trying to disregard the country’s laws by flaunting your knife.
Remember that you could get arrested and charged in the US for brandishing your knife, even if you didn’t use it. So, this is only an interpretation of the US law in Mexico.
Keep Your Knives at Home
Mexico can be as fun as it’s unpredictable, but you never want to get caught on the other business end.
Whenever you can, leave your knives at home. Chances are you’re traveling into Mexico for a while. So, you can afford to buy cheaper knives there.
Otherwise, you’re always walking in fear, even if you have your knife nicely concealed. I think that beats the purposes of EDCing a knife, so why bother?