Amerian flag with knife

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!

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

  13. 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 ⚔️

  14. 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

  15. I have a Scheffield Rogue that I want to carry around for my safety do you think that is legal to carry around in the open that’s all I want to know thank you

  16. i’m 26 and i have a multitool which has a knife and a smaller knives under 5in is that ok to carry?

  17. I’m 13 And I have a fixed blade winchester with I guess you can call a belt sheeth Can I carry it on my person conceled or non conceled.

  18. I am 16 and own a double bladed folding dagger that I keep in my house away from public only to be used in the most of extreme cases would that be allowed the blades about 4 inches by itself

  19. I am 16 I have a 12 inch overall ka-bar as long as it is visual able can I carry it because it was a gift

    1. I read that tomahawks r legal to have for sporting events such as camping,hiking,and hunting

  20. hello so i am under the age of 21 but i have a balisong with a blade under 4 inches so i know i have to carry it unconcealed but do i have to carry it in my hand or can i have it on a belt but i dont have any intentions on opening it in public unless i really feel like flipping

    1. Yes you can carry it it just has to be open carry not concealed

  21. Im 16 and i have a sword of 28 inches is it alright to carry to a public place for protective purposes? (Also it is in the sheath)

  22. My 19 year old son carries a SOG Gambit with a 2.58 blade in a shealth and today he was told by an “acting” security guy that it’s considered a weapon and he needs to remove it and put in the car. I have read the laws however I would like to get a little more input. Thank you for your time.

    1. Did it happen at school by any chance? The Gambit is not a pocket knife, so you can’t bring it to school.

    2. It did not happen at school. It was at church but both him and I are on the security team. What is it classified as?

    1. Heck yeah, dey will DIE from our awesomeness

  23. I’m 14 and i have a butterfly knife with over a 4 inch blade is it not considered concealed if it has a pocket clip?

    1. if your talking about clipped and the knife is inside your pocket then that’s concealed

  24. Well, how about an axe in your car can you keep it there if your at least 18?

  25. So its legal to carry a multi tool concealed or not,under the age of 21 (im turning 15 this year)?

  26. So I’m 13 and I have a 12 inch bayonet, would I be able to open carry it or not?

    1. not until you are 21…all you have to do is read whats above and you will have known this

  27. And what about a bayonet now that there is not concealed handgun license requirements

  28. Is a sword the same as a knife I now they are both blades but we’ll on is usually not more than 9″ the other is about 4′

  29. I am 14 and I own a 3.5 in pocket knife can I carry it concealed?

    1. Yes. The limit is either 4 inches or 3.5 ( I think I’ve read both) but either way its legally not considered a knife, it’s technically a “knife shaped tool” in AZ so you should be perfectly fine, just make sure you tell and officer, especially if he’s about to search you.

  30. I am 16 and if I have a 12 inch knife and the handle is under my shirt is that legal

    1. The HANDLE under your shirt? so the sharp part is sticking up? I think (hope) I’m confused… As long as the knife is displayed since you are under 21 and the knife is larger than 4 inches (I believe that’s the cutoff, it’s either 3.5 or 4 inches). Your best bet is display it in a carrying case that clips on your belt, or anywhere visible… If you mean the handle is covered by your shirt but the blade sticks out down past that, I would guess that’s considered visible but that may be a gray area. My advice: ask a lawyer or (easier solution) get a sheath for it.

    2. Typically concealed means if it is covered at all. So a weapon (knife) partially covered by your shirt could be construed as concealed. To be safe make sure the entire knife is visible. – In a sheath that is designed to protect the blade should be fine, so long as the sheath is not designed to conceal the blade to appear as something other than a knife.

  31. As Crockodile Dundee says,”that’s not a knife”,THAT’S A KNIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Im 13 and i bought a karambit at a big five in Arizona they let me with parental consult so is that legal.

    1. It is legal to own and carry, but it is not a pocket knife, so don’t carry it concealed.

  33. I just bought a straight blade overall is 12 inches the blade is 7. So if I have it in the sheath and strapped to my waste I won’t get in trouble?

    1. Yes, all types of knives are legal and considered tools.

  34. Is it illegal for someone under 21 to own a non pocket knife

  35. Can someone under 21 carry a non pocket knife unconcealed??

  36. I live in Arizona and i’m underage to carry a concealed knife. I want a butterfly knife and I don’t know if I can have it closed in sight on my belt or I have to have it open?

    1. unless you find a butterfly knife that’s 4 inches or under, you have to carry it Unconcealed and in clear view. The definition of a knife under 4 inches legally isn’t a “knife”, its a “knife shaped tool” which is way underaged people can carry it concealed.

  37. Im 16 and just bought a butterfly knife, am I able to carry it on me legally? thanks.

    1. unless you find a butterfly knife that’s 4 inches or under, you have to carry it Unconcealed and in clear view.

  38. I have a quick question. I’m 15 and I own a knife with a blade just over 2 and half inchs. A: Can I carry it? B: It has a clip so it hangs in my pocket and you can see the clip when its in my pocket, would that be considered a ‘concealed weapon’? Thank you.

    1. You should be good if you always have part of it showing. Keep in mind that one police officer may be different from another. Be safe and never reach for a knife when talking to a police officer.

  39. What about carrying swords and such. What are the laws on that.

    1. If you are 21, (as far as I’ve read from multiple websites…) Go nuts! There is no blade length of any kind I’ve ever seen, and I think you can even carry it concealed (if you can manage lol) here’s some links to back it up
      First of all, at the top of this page, the 4th bullet down, say:
      “Knives of any length are legal.” (if you are 21 I believe)

      And here is a link

      Arizona: Anything goes. Tell a cop if you’re carrying one.


  41. I have wondered if you could carry them in public now I know… The most thing I wondered about was the age you have to be to buy a machete. Yes I’m only 13 and a girl but I used my friend’s machete to go through the woods and make paths. I’m also terrified of snakes and we have a bunch of them and one time I didn’t have the machete and I almost got bit. Even though I’m a girl it doesn’t mean I don’t have a right to own a machete…What age do you have to be to purchase a machete?

  42. I don’t believe this statement is correct.

    “•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.”

    I believe that is only illegal if an officer asks if you have deadly weapon and fail to accurately inform.

    From A.R.R. 13-3102

    “(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;”

  43. Your average multitool carries a hefty blade. A tool kit in your pocket. And if you’re worried about self-defense against an atracker with a knife, I’ve never seen anyone stopped for packing a large crescent wrench.

    1. …and I’ve never seen anyone PACKING a large crescent wrench. BECAUSE IT’S A LARGE CRESCENT WRENCH! Oye.

  44. Sounds like New Hampshire knife laws except New Hampshire doesn’t call you a child until you reach the age of 21. Maybe someday AZ will catch up to NH with sane, rational knife laws 😉

  45. so im 16 and live in az, so can I carry a 3.5inch pocket knife with me?..thanks to whoever answers this I just cant seem to find answers anywhere else

  46. Couple of typos above you should correct:

    “it is illegal to use a knife to commit a behavior that is already legal” should be “it is illegal to use a knife to commit a behavior that is already illegal”

    “made every time of knife legal” should be “made every type of knife legal”

    1. Hey so I’m 14 and I’ve got this nifty brass knuckle/switchblade thing. Is it legal for me to carry this, concealed or not?

  47. Way many years ago I bought a ton of government surplus parachute harness. Behold, a paratrooper’s switchblade knife.

    In those days, I believed what I saw on TV, and that it was a felony to possess such a terrible weapon.

    I was terrified I would be sent up the river, so I called the police to come and take it away.

    The kindly “Mayberry” type police officer informed me that switchblade knives were legal in Arizona even then.

  48. I live in Arizona and did not know the law here ,and had not been carrying one for that reason, Thanks for the good info. I own a “Neck Lance” knife as well its meant to be worn around the neck and can be easly concealed .

  49. I have a ‘short machete’ with a 10′ blade which I have used when either camping or hunting. What’s the difference between a large knife and a ‘short machete’? Is a machete, which is a basic tool, regarded the same as a large knife by authorites?

  50. I’m 18 and I own 6 inch knife yes cops will be pissed if your carrying a bowing knife like mine or th 12 inch knife. So jusy hide it on u if u carry it and if they stop u and ask just u u can ether be honest and hope for the best or denie them access to your belongings I personally think enyone 18 and over it should be legal but wharve

    1. you’re also 18 and the legal age for concealed knives is 21 so maybe that’s why they were pissed.. All you had to do was display it, and let them know (in case they didn’t see it) that you have a knife on you.

  51. Hi I had a few questions, I’m 17 years old and i’m thinking of carrying a knife, ever since my friend was assulted walking back from a friends house. Me as a minor would I be able to open carry a 12 inch (overall) knife. Thank you for your time.

    1. Since you are under 21, if you display it you are allowed to carry it

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