state knife laws feature

Arizona Knife Laws

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

Deadly Weapon

§13-3101. Definitions

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”.


Concealed Carry

§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.

Peter Stec
Latest posts by Peter Stec (see all)


  1. If I don’t live in Arizona, can I still buy any of the knives mentioned above?

  2. If I am a minor and I own a knife of approximately 6 inches am I allowed to carry that knife on private property if I was not using it criminally or to have it is a vehicle with me travelling from one place to another that allows such a tool.

  3. Can i legally buy a knife at age 16? If not but someone buys it for me can i legally carrt it around places that allow it? Also, can i legally carry a mini swiss knife?

    1. Luna you can legally carry a Swiss Army knife you just can’t take it into to schools

    2. I love Arizona weapons laws! Got to be one the most free states in the Union! Kali on the other hand is a Socialist Dictatorship! Glad I don’t live there anymore! Cheers!

    3. So as for buying no from what I know. I’m 17 and I live in Arizona. I was gifted a pocket knife and as stated above. Pocket knives are not considered weapons. They are tools. Minors may carry them concealed or open.

    4. Hey Dallas;
      Thanks for the comment. The bigger issue is that every day cops will confront people carrying knives (even those that are doing nothing illegal) because of the situation. If a police officer feels something is a little “off”, they have the power to stop you and question (or hassle) you. For example, do you look scary and have a knife in a dark alley? Do you have shifty eyes when the officer walks/drives by and you look (to him) like you’re up to no good? They can make it tough for you. That’s my only comment with regards to “legal carry” issues that can become more complicated than just a “black and white” issue.

    5. You have to be 21 to carry a knife? I’d really like to know what the reasoning is behind this law.

  4. Hi, i’m 17 and would like to know if I am allowed to carry a double edged Swedish AT4 Rocket launcher?

    1. Hey David;
      If by “Swedish AT4 Rocket Launcher” you mean a small pocket knife with a 2-inch blade, then maybe… Although you may want to stay away from any police officers in a bad mood since they don’t take too kindly to minors brandishing weapons! I’d stay away from any weaponry as a teenager – you’re too close to potentially getting yourself a criminal record since Police officers can determine their idea of your “intent” while carrying a weapon, and if they think you may be up to no good, you’re screwed!

    2. Hello I work in the hotel business third shift 11 pm to 7 am. I work in a part of Chandler Az. Is it legal for me to carry a knife at work?

    3. Is carrying an automatic switchblade legal at age 21 as long as its concealed?

  5. Over 40. Visiting AZ. Carrying a 10.5in Bowie knife for clearing camp sites only. Kept inside my tent bag for protection from elements. Would take be over 15 sec to even get for any kind of protection need. Knives are tools only. Still need to inform police if asked? Am I legally able to carry if not from AZ?

  6. I’m 15 and thinking about carrying an automatic knife (double action knife). Is it legal?

    1. You don’t need to inform the police unless they pull you over and it’s in your car or it’s on you

  7. I have a survival cane, it is used for hiking but I use it for my cane at the moment. Is this legal to use in Arizona?

    1. im sorry to reply to ask i cant figure out how to comment seperately but is it legal for me a 16 year old male to carry a huntsman knife with a 6 inch blade in public if people can see it. Becuase it isn’t concealed it’s open.

    Released 2006-7 , 3.5 years.
    Can a P.possesor carry these knives in particularly a bowie knife?
    I’ve done research and it seems so, however I’m not trying to find out the hard way and waste any more years of my life behind bars over something so small!
    Ive asked cops and sheriffs and they’ve always said it’s ok but…..
    I would like to hear it from you. Please and thanks.
    Rights not restored yet.
    Completed dv case in 2015 that’s all.

    1. Hey Damian;
      Thanks for your question. I can appreciate the research you’ve done and I sense you’re looking to stay out of trouble – a wise thing. However, our team here at does not include an attorney, but we all have the same opinion. No matter what our research turns up, we all say it’s better to get your answer from a Police chief in your jurisdiction. Even better is to consult a lawyer or paralegal in your state for a final answer on what you would be allowed to carry!
      Thanks for checking us out and we really do hope you get a clear answer that is legally accurate and binding.

  9. So im turning 21 in a couple of weeks and I have a balisong. So when I turn 21 it will be okay for me to have it in my pocket in public right? I dont usually have it on me unless I know I’m going to opening boxes for work.

    1. Yes that is perfectly legal if you live in AZ

  10. Hello I’ma 15 year old that lives in Arizona. I happen to make knifes and have gotten pretty good, well good enough in my opinion to start selling them. I was wondering if there are any laws against me selling my stuff to other minors? I could only find info about adults selling to minors, which was more about store policy and not really a law. Hence all different stores have different policys. Any info helps so thanks

    1. Hey Clayton;
      In my strongly held opinion, a karambit is not technically a pocket knife. If you were to get checked by a cop for carrying a knife, the officer would make a distinction between a pocket knife (which is common for activities like camping, hiking, wilderness trips, hunting, etc.) and a karambit (whose ONLY purpose is to rip and tear flesh). You’d have a tough time convincing police officer that you’re carrying a karambit for cutting fishing line while you’re walking down a dark alley on the South Side!
      Just my thoughts!

    2. Folding karambit, yes. Fixed karambit, no.

  11. My granddaughter is 20 and collects folding knives. Sometimes she has as many as 5 in her backpack. Also, she’s in college, can she take a knife there in her backpack?

    1. Hi Lilly;
      Technically, as I read the law, it says that while she CAN carry a pocket knife, it can’t be on school grounds. I’m not sure how she would get caught unless they have metal detectors at the college or she proudly brandishes it and shows all her friends. So, if she’s a responsible young lady, I’m not sure any judge would throw the book at her, but I don’t see any reason she would ever be “caught” with it if it’s discreetly and safely stowed away for emergencies only. Just my thoughts!

    2. In her dorm yes but not into the university building.

    1. I would have said it with a little more diplomacy and gentleness, but I appreciate your candor – and I agree!
      thank you Mr/Mrs Knifel! … and for the capital G in God!

    2. Do you know if it’s legal to carry a concealed double-edged fixed blade knife in AZ? Thanks!!!

    3. Hey Richard.
      Thanks for writing. I’ve updated the Arizona knife law summary on to be a little clearer on the topic of concealed carry. Technically the answer is NO, it’s not legal to conceal carry a “deadly weapon” which is defined as any weapon that is designed for “lethal” use which would include nearly anything doubled-edged. At least that is my interpretation of the situation. I’m not a lawyer in Arizona, so I wouldn’t take my word for it, but for what it’s worth, I’d conceal carry only something that could be seen as a pocket knife.

  12. OK so if I’m 18 and buy a pocket knife does it just have to be concealed at all times? Cause I would want to carry for protection due to some things personally. Also would I even be able to buy a pocket knife legally under 21?

    1. Guys…as the article states: the ONLY two times in Arizona that a knife is NOT legal is 1) a person under 21 years of age carries a concealed NON-pocket knife; 2) anybody having a knife at school…that’s IT!

  13. Pingback: Arizona Knife Laws - Mesa Criminal Defense Attorney

    1. Why would you ask that after reading the article?

  14. In the state of South Carolina it is legal to own, possess, open carry any knife and conseal carry any knife except a Bowie, even if you are a (FELON).
    So, are FELONS allowed to carry knives in the state of Arizona?
    Will someone please reply.
    Thank you ⚔️

  15. What about ballistic knives spring loaded and can shoot from the knife . Is it legal to own in Arizona and carry?

  16. Hello, my younger brother who is 15 years old just got suspended for having a pocket knife with a blade about 2.5 inches long. He had it in fear that he was going to be jumped due to harassment going on at school. He is suspended for the whole semester, yet nothing is happening to these boys who have made him feel the need to carry. what actions can i take?

  17. Hey can a 16 year old carry a knife of the size. 11.5 inches on his hip with a sheath. Damascus steel.

    1. Yes because it isn’t concealed and there is no length limit in AZ

  18. I am 15 would I be able to openly carry a karabit as long as my first finger it sits around my neck in front of my chest please get back to me thank you

  19. So it is legal for someone under 21 to open carry non-pocket knives?

  20. Where is a good place to sell a Boker Sturgis Anniversary knife ? It’s one of 1300 made. Selling for $260.00

  21. Oh yea, I forgot schools too. That’s a no brainer. Also keep in mind that AZ does have a ‘declaration law’ (ARS 13-3102.A1B) regarding deadly weapons; That my friends applies to knives too, why yes it does say: “except a pocket knife” but many attorney’s will tell you just declare it to the officer. Most of us remember what happened on 9-11-01. Those were just mere tools right? Random box cutter that Wal-Mart employees tote? We all know that a locking blade “pocket knife” is just as deadly as a fixed blade. So just be clear about it. You’ll get it back at the end of the stop.

    If you are stopped by the police and asked about ANY weapons on your person or within a means of transportation, you must accurately answer the question. Police here aren’t like the UK, they don’t get too amped up when your honest. Lying, or other deceit will cause you issues; legally and otherwise. So, play nice and you may just leave with a warning or “have a nice day”.

  22. Where can I throw knives without getting harrassed by police? Twice now I’ve had them stop me and run my name and all that. I was throwing at a tree, nobody around. It was in parking lot of closed business away from everything.

  23. If you are under 26 can you still carry a pocket knife in pocket?

  24. This is why I love living in Arizona! It really is one of the states with more proper freedom. I make swords for ren festivals and myself. Plus self defense cane swords are really cool.

    The first sword I ever made is an eight pound monstrosity of a long sword that has one side kept absolutely as blunt as possible, while the other side is sharpened. That way I can actually cop bricks with the blunt side of the sword with ease without damaging it at all. [I have decent muscle mass, so I can swing this baby all day and man is it fun.]

  25. Sir, I have a Martial Arts Fighting Knife I carried in San Diego, California for ten years, back in the early 70’s, with NO problem ever. If the police wanted to talk to me they’d ask me to place it on the ground & talk to them. Easy. I’d REALLY like to move to Arizona but I want to be sure I can carry my blade again. I don’t need or desire to carry concealed. Because of some earlier problems I can’t carry a firearm. THIS is my only choice. (Oh, yeah. Can I carry a sword? Just wondering.) Thank you for your time helping this 65y.o.

  26. Is it legal under Arizona state law, to carry in public openly or concealed, a ballistic knife? Not regarding federal law, just state law in AZ.

  27. I am a felon is it legal for me to carry a knife.i have heard yes and no I need it for work,as I own a knife sharpening buisnesz. I guess my question is are there laws prohibiting specifically felons from owning and carrying a blade?

  28. So if I just want to carry a katana while I walk my dog down the street, this is ok?

  29. What if you’re a x convict who has not been on parole since 2007 ? What are the laws for me? What size blade can I carry legally?

  30. Yes you can carry any knife at any length as long as your older than 21 just don’t bring it in airports or school or any other place that has an restriction on weapons but if your younger than 21 you can only conceal
    a pocket knife

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