If you live in Arizona you are in luck, Arizona has the best knife laws of all 50 states. There are no illegal pocket knives in Arizona. Basically, you can own any type of blade you want and carry it concealed or in the open without worry. There are no municipal laws so you won’t have to worry about cops the next town over harassing you for something that is legal in your home town.
What is Legal/Illegal in Arizona
- Pocket knives are legal.
- Balisong knives are legal.
- Switchblades, gravity knives, Bowie knives, and stilettos are legal.
- Knives of any length are legal.
- It is legal for anyone over 21 to carry knives concealed.
- It is illegal to not inform a police officer when they stop you that you are carrying a concealed knife when the knife is not a pocket knife.
- It is illegal for someone under 21 years of age to carry a non-pocket knife concealed.
- It is illegal to bring a knife into schools.
Outside of what is listed above, it is illegal to use a knife to commit a behavior that is already illegal. What this means is that it is illegal to rob a bank with a knife and you will be penalized more severely than if you robbed a bank without a weapon. You can read the law here.
What the Law Says
A. In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
1. “Deadly weapon” means anything that is designed for lethal use.
I would say this includes any switchblade or other knife that is known to be used in combat situations, or would be considered “lethal”.
§13-3102. Misconduct involving weapons; defenses; classification; definitions
A. A person commits misconduct involving weapons by knowingly:
1. Carrying a deadly weapon except a pocket knife concealed on his person or within his immediate control in or on a means of transportation:
(a) In the furtherance of a serious offense as defined in section 13-706, a violent crime as defined in section 13-901.03 or any other felony offense; or
(b) When contacted by a law enforcement officer and failing to accurately answer the officer if the officer asks whether the person is carrying a concealed deadly weapon; or
2. Carrying a deadly weapon except a pocket knife concealed on his person or concealed within his immediate control in or on a means of transportation if the person is under twenty-one years of age.
In other words, don’t conceal carry a deadly weapon, and you’re good to go!
Removal of Municipal Knife Laws in 2011
In the old days, the State of Arizona had its own knife laws and individual cities would have their own knife laws as well. The result was that people were being charged with having illegal knives that are 100% legal in their home town.
In 2011 the State of Arizona preempted all municipal laws and, basically, made every type of knife legal. The new code was based off of the fact that the majority of knife owners used their knives as tools rather than weapons. The old laws were harming innocent citizens instead of criminals and were finally changed.
Conclusion on Arizona Knife Laws
If you are from Arizona, go buy Balisongs, gravity knives, Bowies, stilettos, and whatever else you want: you live in the coolest state in America. Just don’t use it for a crime.
I am not an attorney so take this article with a grain of salt. I am just a law student. Also, this is not legal advice, talk to an attorney if you want that.
Do you have any questions? Post it in the comment section below. We are also looking for an Arizona attorney who would like to do an interview about Arizona knife laws.