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Arizona Knife Laws

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.


  1. 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.

  2. 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

    • 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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 .

  5. 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.

  6. 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”

    • 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?

  7. 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

  8. 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 😉

  9. 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.

  10. 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;”

  11. 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?


  13. 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.

    • 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.

  14. 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?

    • 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.

  15. 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?

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  16. 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′

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. 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.

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

    • I’m 14, does anyone know if the law says anything about open carrying a fixed blade? Like a neck knife?

    • This thing literally said anyone of any age can carry any knife, even an automatic, on them concealed without consequence. You can do pretty much whatever you want with knives in AZ.

    • Any knives are ok to carry in Arizona. But if you are carrying a fixed blade concealed and you are under the age of 21 that is illegal

    • Yes, this is fine, as long as you are in Arizona. I’m not sure about the other laws in other states but I know that this is fine IN AZ

    • People who ask questions regarding knives, that have been clearly explained within the above article, are not subject to either jail, nor prison time since no actual law has been broken. They are, however, being placed in a statewide database for roadside brain scans should they be stopped by law enforcement. Please read the above article clearly, before posting your question, and avoid the embarrassing roadside brain scan.

    • Yes, there aren’t any laws here in AZ that govern knives except ARS 13-3120 as previously mentioned in this article. Obviously, there are venue’s that you can’t have knives in like NFL, NBA, MLB, concert some concert’s etc. Certain government facilities; courts, jails, PD stations and most obvious of all; AIRPORTS. Don’t carry a knife in your carry-on, you will lose it. Just stick them in your checked bag and you are good to go.

  23. Tennessee changed the knife laws in 2014 making any knife legal, open or concealed, of any length.
    I am visiting Arizona and am pleasantly surprised to see this article.

  24. I’m currently 16 and I love to carry and collect knives but I want to know if its legal for me to carry a fixed blade that has a 6 1/2″ blade (non-concealed).

  25. I’m looking to buy a offensive (sharpened ) butterfly knife can I carry that in my pocket when I leave the house
    PS I’m under 18

  26. I’ve always thought from past experience in other states, if your knife is longer than the spread of the palm of your hand, the knife was not legal to carry whether concealed or not. I carry my Roger 9mil on my hips every time I leave my house but I usually carry a knife as a cutting tool as well. I just traded a small locking pocket knife for this nice Bowie knife that is a Large Rambo style knife. I guess feedback is what I’m counting on to find out if I can carry a large knife on my hip or if I have to save it for camping trips only. I’m no criminal and don’t have a criminal history so having weapons on me is all legal as far as my background goes. I hope to get good and positive feedback for an answer. This knife I got is cool to show off and that’s besides being a deterrent to avoid getting robbed or jumped in this crazy state of Arizona.
    Feedback please???

  27. I have a karambit with an underarm sheath and I am 20 turning 21 in November am I ok or do I need to wait to carry it?

  28. What is the law for knife/style of that a felon can carry?a friend was pulled over that lost his rights to bare arms in the state of Arizona.the cops took his k-bar but did not arrest him.are there laws that state what he can and can’t have?

  29. 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

  30. Is it legal for someone under the age of 21 to carry a knife if it is NOT concealed? Say, hung by the belt loop or held in another external carry pocket.

  31. I suggest you talk to a police officer if you have a knife not expressly identified above. I have a feeling the reply you get will, be no different than was reported here. I currently open carry a 6 inch tactical blade in a drop holster simultaneously conceal carrying an array of knives. Thats whats on me physically. In my EDC bag I conceal carry an assortment of knives and multi-tools. I have had encounters with the polkce (giving statements or stopped for driving infraction) without ever being asked to remove it or produce anything I might conceal carry. When officers ask I tell them the truth and thats where it ends. Use common sense and ask law enforcement for their advice and you’ll do fine.

  32. That’s what I’m trying to know too. Been searching all morning for that answer. Every page just says you can pretty much carry a majority of any knife. I know there’s a law with how long of a knife you can carry.

  33. OK so I’m 18 and I have just recently bought a Bowie knife it’s 12 inches and I want to know for a fact that I can carry it I’m gonna be 19 soon bit just want to make sure.

  34. I live in Arizona, all knives are legal. Larger ones may raise suspicion like machetes, but are not technically illegal. Carry what you want, just realize that Arizona also has very lenient gun laws especially concealed carry. Almost anybody can carry a gun.

  35. I am under the age of 21, am I allowed to carry a pocket knife which is not concealed? (Such as having it clipped to my Pocket and clearly visible)

  36. I’m 18, I have 2 pocket knives. And I’m curious if I can carry them concealed, but only will pop it out if needed for ANYTHING, is that illegal?

  37. Knifes of any length includes a sword. As long as you call it a knife when they pull you over. The only thing i didnt see mentioned in this article is whether or not it was illegal to carry a knife as a tool if you are banned from having weapons. Also, where does the line get drawn from “tool” to “weapon” aside self incrimination. Is that line considered use of bodily harm or intent there of?

  38. Talked to a leo about knives. He said butterflies and automatics are still illegal in AZ. This was about a week ago.

  39. Just celebrating the freedom of living in Arizona… Today, I’m going to see a US Cavalry ride-by. Which knife should I carry with my Government 1911? A Bowie? A SOG Pentagon?

    Or what about a blade to go with my Tech 9 and Chuck Taylors… ideas?

  40. I’ve lived in Arizona off & on since 1985, & no state has better knife or fire arms laws than here. Open carry or conceal carry is legal, & no permits are required.

  41. Im 18 and I recently bought a pocket knife. It said, “It is illegal for someone under 21 years of age to carry a non-pocket knife concealed.” Just to make sure I’m reading it correctly, does that mean anyone under the age of 21 can’t carry any other type of knifes except for a pocket knife that is concealed?

  42. once I was traveling and at the airport when going through security I got stopped and they searched my bag. They found a balisong bottle opener training knife. I told them they could take them if they had to but when the guy asked his boss they said I could keep them. I figure if the airport security will let me carry balisong training knives on an airplane that they are most likely legal to own.

  43. 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

  44. 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?

  45. 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?

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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.]

  49. 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.

  50. 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”.

  51. 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

  52. 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?

  53. 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 ⚔️

  54. 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?

      • Hey Richard.
        Thanks for writing. I’ve updated the Arizona knife law summary on knifeup.com 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.

  55. 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?

    • 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!

    • It depends on the campus. At ASU you can legally carry any knife with a blade length under 5 inches as they classify it as a “Personal Safety Device”. Not sure about other college campuses.

    • 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!

  56. 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

  57. 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.

    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.

    • 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 knifeup.com 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.

  59. 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?

    • 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.

  60. 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?

    • 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!

    • 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?

  61. 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?

    • 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!

    • 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.

      • 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.

  62. 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.


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