There is no law or regulation on picking locks, so it is legal as long as you have permission from the lock owner to pick the lock in question. Lock picking tools can be bought and sold freely. Owning a lock pick set is not illegal in most states. Depending on the laws of your state of residence, owning Bump keys can be legal or illegal.
In some cases, only licensed locksmiths can own these tools. Lock picking and closing tools are illegal in some countries, such as Japan. However, in many other countries, lock picking tools are legal and available for ordinary citizens to purchase as long as they do not intend to use them for criminal purposes. For lock picking enthusiasts and survivors alike, the legality of lock picks is a tricky issue.
The good news is that in most parts of the United States and in many countries around the world, the sale, transfer and possession of lock picking tools is not illegal. West Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Dakota and Indiana do not have specific laws regarding the possession of lock picking tools. Therefore, possession is not illegal in those states. The remaining 41 states have laws legalizing the possession of lock picking tools, with the inclusion that intent to break the law must be demonstrated before the holder can be charged with a crime.
The language here regarding “intention” is deliberately murky, to allow a lot of room for maneuver between a wide range of possible scenarios. Your local law enforcement agency and government will have the final say on what constitutes intent. However, it is illegal in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia to be in possession of a lock pick without a locksmith's license, according to the Locksmiths Guild of Australia. For example, if you ever plan to use your lock picks to open a lock for money, a locksmith's license is required to be able to complete this work.
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