Florida Knife Law – The Complete Guide (In Plain English) (2024)

This article was created to be a brief synopsis of the law according to my understanding and is not legal advice. Knifeade is not a legal service provider. Using this site does not create a client/lawyer relationship. Because knife laws can be interpreted differently by different people and entities it is recommended that you consult legal counsel for specific information and guidance.

Florida knife law is an important topic to understand if you’re a pocket knife enthusiast living in the state.

The rules and regulations surrounding knives can vary greatly from one region to another, so it’s important that everyone understands what types of knives are allowed or prohibited under Florida law.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the different kinds of legal and illegal blades as well as restrictions on carrying them, age limits for ownership, penalties for breaking these laws, preemption rights regarding local regulation of knives within Florida borders, and any exceptions to the existing legislation.

Read on to learn more about Florida knife law!

Our Top Rated “50-State-Legal” Knives

*These knives are listed based on their broad legality across states, but always consult your local laws before making a purchase.

Does Florida Have A Statewide Preemption For Knife Laws?

Florida does not have a stateside preemption for knife laws. This allows local municipalities to pass laws that are more or less restrictive than state laws.

Types of Knives Allowed in Florida

Pocket Knives

Pocket knives are one of the most common types of knives that are allowed to be owned and carried in Florida. They typically have a folding blade, which can be opened with one hand using a thumb stud or other mechanism. The blade is usually made from stainless steel and may feature serrations for added cutting power. Pocket knives are generally used for everyday tasks such as opening packages, cutting rope, or slicing fruit.

Balisong Knives

Balisong knives, also known as butterfly knives, are legal to own and carry in Florida. These unique blades feature two handles that rotate around the tang of the knife when opened or closed. The handles can be made from various materials including wood, plastic, metal, and even bone. Balisong knives were originally designed for martial arts training but they have become popular among collectors due to their intricate design and construction methods.


Switchblades are another type of knife that is legally allowed to be owned and carried in Florida under certain conditions. These automatic-opening blades feature a spring-loaded mechanism that allows them to open quickly with just the press of a button or switch on the handle.

In Florida, pocket knives, balisong knives, and switchblades are all legal to own and carry. However, it is important to be aware of the types of knives that are prohibited in the state.

Prohibited Knives in Florida

Gravity Knives

Gravity knives are illegal to own or carry in the state of Florida. These knives have a blade that is released from the handle by using centrifugal force, which is generated when the blade is swung open with a flick of the wrist. The danger posed by these types of knives makes them prohibited in many states, including Florida.

Ballistic Knives

Ballistic knives are also illegal to own or carry in Florida. These specialized weapons use a spring-loaded mechanism to launch their blades at high speeds, making them extremely dangerous and thus prohibited throughout most states.

Undetectable Knives

Undetectable knives are not allowed to be owned or carried in any state due to their ability to pass through metal detectors undetected. This type of knife has no visible parts and can be made out of materials such as plastic, ceramic, and even wood – all materials that cannot be detected by metal detectors commonly used for security purposes. As a result, these types of knives pose a serious threat and are prohibited throughout the United States

It is important to be aware of the types of knives that are prohibited in Florida, as carrying or concealing any one of them could lead to criminal charges. In the next section, we will discuss the laws regarding carrying and concealing pocket knives in Florida.

Carrying and Concealing Knife Laws in Florida

Open Carry Laws

In the state of Florida, it is legal to openly carry a pocket knife with a blade that does not exceed four inches in length. However, it is important to note that there are certain restrictions on where you can carry your pocket knife. For example, knives are prohibited from being carried on school grounds or at any sporting event or other public gathering.

Some local municipalities may have their own ordinances regarding the open carrying of knives and should be consulted before doing so.

Concealed Carry Laws

The laws surrounding concealed carrying of pocket knives in Florida vary depending on the size and type of knife being carried. Generally speaking, folding blades with blades less than four inches long are allowed to be concealed without a permit; however, larger fixed-blade knives require an additional license in order to be legally carried in public places such as parks or businesses.

However, even if one has obtained the necessary permits for concealing a larger blade they must still adhere to all applicable laws regarding where they can and cannot carry their weapon while out in public spaces.

In Florida, carrying and concealing a pocket knife is subject to certain laws. It’s important to understand these regulations before owning or carrying a pocket knife in the state of Florida. Next, we’ll look at age restrictions on knife ownership in Florida.

Age Restrictions on Knife Ownership in Florida

Generally speaking, anyone over 18 years old can legally own a pocket knife in Florida. However, there are certain types of knives that may be restricted for those under 18 years old.

Under 18 Years Old

Those under 18 years old cannot carry or possess any type of switchblade or automatic knife in Florida. Additionally, they cannot carry any type of concealed weapon such as a dirk or dagger without permission from their parent or guardian. They also cannot own any type of ballistic knife which is defined as “any device capable of being fired by an explosive charge” according to the state statutes.

18 Years and Older

Those who are at least 18 years old can legally purchase and possess most types of pocket knives including folding blades with locking mechanisms and multi-tools with blades less than four inches long (the length includes both sides). It is important to note that some local municipalities may have ordinances restricting blade lengths so it is best to check with your local law enforcement agency before purchasing a pocketknife if you are unsure about its legality in your area.

Penalties for Violating Age Restrictions

Violations involving minors carrying prohibited weapons can result in criminal charges depending on the circ*mstances surrounding the incident and whether there was intent to use the weapon unlawfully against another person or property. For adults caught violating age restrictions on owning certain types of knives, penalties typically involve fines ranging from $500-$1000.

This amount may vary depending on how serious the violation is deemed by law enforcement officers responding to the scene.

In extreme cases where someone has been found guilty multiple times for similar offenses involving weapons violations, jail time could be imposed instead or alongside monetary fines as punishment for breaking laws regarding age restrictions on knife ownership in Florida.

In Florida, anyone under the age of 18 is prohibited from owning a pocket knife, and those found in violation of this law may face penalties. Next, we will discuss what these penalties entail.

Penalties for Violating Knife Laws in Florida

In Florida, violating knife laws can result in a variety of penalties. The type and severity of the penalty may depend on the specific law that was violated. For example, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit is considered a third-degree felony and punishable by up to five years in prison or probation with fines up to $5,000. Possession of certain types of knives such as switchblades or gravity knives are also illegal and may be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circ*mstances

For minors under 18 years old who violate knife laws, there may be additional consequences including community service hours and suspension from school activities. In addition, parents could face civil liability if their child violates any state knife laws while using their parent’s property or weapons.

Violating preemption laws regarding local regulations is also punishable by fines ranging from $500 to $1,000 for each violation. Additionally, anyone found guilty of selling an illegal knife could face criminal charges including jail time and/or hefty fines depending on the offense committed. Finally, those convicted of possessing an undetectable knife may receive up to 15 years in prison with no possibility for parole until at least three-quarters of their sentence has been served

Violating knife laws in Florida can result in a variety of penalties, ranging from fines to jail time. It is important to be aware of the state’s preemption law regarding local regulations on knives as well.

Exceptions to the Knife Laws in Florida

Individuals who are over 18 years old may openly carry a pocket knife without any restrictions. Additionally, those who have obtained a concealed weapons permit may also legally conceal their pocket knives.

Law enforcement officers, members of the military, and correctional officers are exempt from many of the regulations related to owning or carrying a pocket knife within their jurisdiction. This includes being able to open-carry or conceal-carry while on duty or off duty depending on departmental policy.

Those participating in legal hunting activities such as fishing, camping, trapping, and archery can also possess a pocketknife without fear of penalty under most circ*mstances. The same applies to anyone engaging in other outdoor recreational activities such as hiking or backpacking where having access to a reliable cutting tool is essential for safety reasons.

Certain educational institutions may also be exempt from some local ordinances when it comes to possessing folding blades if they are used solely for educational purposes such as woodworking classes or culinary arts courses. Students must use them safely with proper supervision by instructors at all times.

FAQs in Relation to Florida Knife Law

What size knife can you carry in Florida?

Any knife with a blade longer than four inches is considered an illegal weapon and cannot be carried in public. Additionally, concealed weapons are not allowed without the proper license or permit. It is important to note that local laws may vary from state laws, so it’s best to check with your local authorities before carrying any type of pocket knife.

What knives are legal in Florida?

In Florida, pocket knives with blades shorter than four inches are generally legal to own and carry. However, there are some exceptions that should be noted. It is illegal to carry a concealed weapon (including a pocket knife) without a valid license or permit. Additionally, it is illegal to possess any type of switchblade knife regardless of blade length in the state of Florida. Lastly, certain types of knives such as ballistic knives and throwing stars may also be prohibited by law in the state. It is important to research and understand the laws in your area before purchasing or carrying a pocket knife.

Is it legal to carry an OTF knife in Florida?

In Florida, it is illegal to carry an OTF (out-the-front) knife. This includes knives with a blade that opens automatically by pressing a button or switch. It is also illegal to possess any type of switchblade or gravity knife in the state. However, folding pocket knives are generally allowed as long as they have blades less than four inches in length and do not open automatically by depressing a button or switch.

It is important to note that local laws may vary, so it is best to check with your local law enforcement agency before carrying any type of knife.

Do you need a license to carry a knife in Florida?

No, you do not need a license to carry a pocket knife in Florida. The state of Florida has no laws requiring individuals to obtain a license or permit before carrying or owning any type of knife. However, it is important to note that there are restrictions on the size and type of knives that can be carried in public places.

For example, switchblades and other automatic knives with blades longer than four inches are illegal to possess without written permission from law enforcement officials. Additionally, some cities may have their own ordinances regarding the possession and use of certain types of knives within city limits. It is always best to check local laws before carrying any type of knife in public areas.


Florida Knife Law – The Complete Guide (In Plain English) (7)

In conclusion, it is important to understand the knife laws in Florida before purchasing or carrying a pocket knife. The state of Florida has specific regulations on the types of knives allowed, age restrictions for ownership and concealed carry, as well as penalties for violations.

Local governments may have their own ordinances that must be taken into consideration when considering Florida knife law. It is important to stay informed about all applicable laws and regulations regarding knives in order to avoid any legal issues.

With the ever-changing laws and regulations concerning knives, it is important for all Floridians to stay informed about their rights.

Doing so will ensure that everyone knows when they can carry a pocketknife or other type of blade without fear of breaking any laws. With knowledge comes power – let’s make sure everyone has the right information to be able to safely use pocketknives!

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Florida Knife Law – The Complete Guide (In Plain English) (2024)


What size knife blade is legal to carry in Florida? ›

If a knife has a blade longer than four inches, a concealed carry weapons permit is required to carry it. If you carry a concealed knife that is significantly larger than four inches, you could be charged with a crime.

Is a knife clipped in your pocket concealed Florida? ›

It is unlawful to conceal carry any knife except a common pocketknife. Knives, (but not firearms) may be carried openly subject to location-based restrictions. A holder of a 790.06. License to carry concealed weapon or firearm, or a license issued by a state with Florida reciprocity, may carry a concealed knife.

Can I carry a knife in my car in Florida? ›

Generally, if the knife has a blade shorter than 4 inches it will be fine. However, if you conceal carry a knife that is significantly large or qualifies as a dirk, you may be charged with a crime.

Can you defend yourself with a knife in Florida? ›

Under Section 776.012, Florida Statutes, a person is justified in the use of non-deadly force in self-defense where the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against such other's imminent use of unlawful force. There is no duty to retreat.

How big of a knife am I allowed to carry? ›

In the State of California, there is no maximum length for knives in general. However, the maximum legal length for a switchblade knife is 2 inches. Additionally, it is illegal to carry daggers or dirks concealed, and also illegal to carry many types of knives which are designed for concealment.

How big of a knife can I legally bring on TSA? ›

Knives are no longer allowed even if they are shorter than 2.36 inches. Can I bring a pocket knife on a plane? You can only bring a pocket knife in your checked baggage.

What is an example of an open carry knife? ›

Knives that may be worn openly but not concealed: This pertains to “dirks and daggers” that can be used as stabbing weapons, and there is no blade-folding mechanism. Examples of these knives include kitchen knives, ice picks, and any other fixed-blade knives.

What is a pocket knife in Florida? ›

The court relied on a 1951 Attorney General's Opinion that defined a “common pocketknife” as one with a blade less than four inches long. In a footnote, however, the justices cautioned that neither the court nor the Attorney General maintained that four inches should be a bright line cut-off. Supreme Court of Florida.

What is considered a pocket knife? ›

A pocketknife is a knife with one or more blades that fold into the handle. They are also known as jackknives (jack-knife), folding knives, EDC knife, or may be referred to as a penknife, though a penknife may also be a specific kind of pocketknife.

What is the biggest knife you can carry in Florida? ›

- Open Carry: it is LEGAL to OPEN CARRY fixed blade knives of any type, size and length. - Conceal Carry: it is LEGAL to carry these knives folded and concealed given that the BLADE is less than 4 inches in length. - It is ILLEGAL to carry any knife with a BLADE longer than 4 inches.

What weapons are illegal in Florida? ›

What Guns Are Illegal in Florida? According to Florida Statute § 790.221, people are prohibited from owning or being in possession of short-barreled rifles, short-barreled shotguns, or machine guns that are in operable conditions. It is not illegal to possess these guns as long as they are antique firearms.

Can you carry brass knuckles in Florida? ›

Brass knuckles are legal in Florida; however, one must have a permit in order to concealed carry brass knuckles. If an individual unlawfully carries concealed brass knuckles they can be charged with a misdemeanor and carry penalties of up to a $1,000 fine and up to three years in prison.

Can you point a gun at someone on your property in Florida? ›

Pointing a gun at someone is a felony crime in Florida, punishable by imprisonment and fines. If you are undocumented or on a visitor visa and you are convicted, you can also be deported. And it makes no difference whether the gun you pointed was loaded. It is aggravated assault either way.

Is Florida a stand your ground state? ›

Florida has enacted a particularly egregious stand your ground law which allows people to use deadly force without retreating in public, even in situations where a person is not in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm.

When can I defend myself in Florida? ›

“A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.”

Can you carry an out the front knife in Florida? ›

In Florida, it is illegal to carry an OTF (out-the-front) knife. This includes knives with a blade that opens automatically by pressing a button or switch. It is also illegal to possess any type of switchblade or gravity knife in the state.

What qualifies as a dirk? ›

By definition, a dirk or dagger is a knife or other instrument (with or without a handguard) that can be used immediately as a stabbing weapon, and that may inflict great bodily injury or death. This includes pocketknives and certain folding knives, if the blade is exposed and locked into position.

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