Home Knife Law Georgia Knife Laws

Georgia Knife Laws

Georgia Knife Laws

Georgia knife laws were rewritten in 2012 and, because of that, older articles on the internet are out of date. The new law is much simpler but that does not mean it is not confusing. This article will give you an understanding of the law in plain English.

What is Legal to Own in Georgia

  • Balisong knives, often called butterfly knives, are legal.
  • Bowie knives and other large knives are legal.
  • Throwing stars and throwing knives are legal.
  • Disguised knives such as cane knives, belt knives, and lipstick knives are legal.
  • Push knives, stilettos, switchblades, dirks, and daggers are legal.
  • Spring powered ballistic knives are legal.
  • Knives that are undetectable with a metal detector are legal.

In Georgia, there are no limits on the possession of knives. You can own any knife you want. There are only limits on carry knives.

Limits on Carry

  • It is illegal to carry, open or concealed, a knife that is larger than 12 inches without a permit.
  • For knives greater than 12 inches, you need a weapons permit, after which there are no restrictions.

Georgia Law on Possession and Carry of Knives

O.C.G.A. § 16-11-126  (2012)

§ 16-11-126.  Having or carrying handguns, long guns, or other weapons; license requirement; exceptions for homes, motor vehicles, and other locations and conditions; penalties for violations

(a) Any person who is not prohibited by law from possessing a handgun or long gun may have or carry on his or her person a weapon or long gun on his or her property or inside his or her home, motor vehicle, or place of business without a valid weapons carry license.

(h) (1) No person shall carry a weapon without a valid weapons carry license unless [exemptions only apply to guns].

“Weapon” means a knife or handgun. “Knife” means a cutting instrument designed for the purpose of offense and defense consisting of a blade that is greater than five inches in length which is fastened to a handle.

What this law states is that you can own any knife you would like as long as you keep it inside your property. You can carry, open or concealed, any knife that is not longer than 12 inches. This includes butterfly knives, switchblades, and any other type of knife that is commonly banned in other states.

To carry a knife that is larger than 12 inches, you must have a weapons license. To see a copy of the weapons license application click HERE.

The Question of Knuckles

While not directly related to knives, some knives have knuckles and Georgia does have a law pertaining to brass knuckle carrying.

§ 16-11-126.

(a) A person commits the offens e of carrying a concealed weapon when such person knowingly has or carries about his or her person, unless in an open manner and fully exposed to view, any bludgeon, metal knuckles, firearm, knife designed for the purpose of offense and defense, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument of like character outside of his or her home or place of business, except as permitted under this Code section.

Georgia Knife Law Preemption

O.C.G.A. § 16-11-136  (2012)

§ 16-11-136.  Restrictions on possession, manufacture, sale, or transfer of knives

Except for restrictions in courthouses and government buildings, no county, municipality, or consolidated government shall, by rule or ordinance, constrain the possession, manufacture, sale, or transfer of a knife more restrictively than the provisions of this part.

Starting on July 1st, 2012, local knife laws are no longer in effect. What this means is that you can travel from city to city without worrying whether a knife that is legal in your city is legal in the next town over. For example, it was legal to a 4-inch pocket knife in Columbus but, if you drove into Atlanta, you would be breaking Atlanta city law. Preemptive knife laws simplify the legal system a lot and a few other states, like Arizona, have preemptive knife laws as well.

Conclusion on Georgia Knife Law

Since July 1st, 2012, Georgia is a very knife friendly state. You can own basically any knife you want and you can carry, open or concealed, a knife up to 12 inches in length. And, if you would like to carry a larger knife, all you need to do is get a weapons license.

Have any questions? Ask them in the comment box below. I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. If you need legal advice, ask an attorney. We are also looking for an attorney in Georgia who would be willing to do a short interview about knife laws.

None of the information in this article should be considered a final authority, and laws/statutes may have changed since this article was updated (in 2018).  Please contact legal counsel in the State of Georgia for official advice.


  1. According to Walmart, you have to be 16 to buy a pocket knife. (Yes, I’ve been ID’d before for this) I would assume that 5 inches refers to blade length.

  2. @AJ I hope you know the definition of “ASSUME”, lol. I am not familiar with the GA Weps Permit requirements/procedures except that it will cost you $30. IMHO, it may be a good idea to get one just to be on the safe side; having that permit may save you a LOT of aggravation and a TON of money. Being thrown in the slammer by an overzealous peace officer is not the kind of fun I would like to be party to. I’ve been considering getting one, so guess I’ll find out.

  3. Does the 5 Inch mean only a single blade knife or would a double bladed knife be Legal as long as neither blades are over 5 inches?

  4. To answer the question about length of knife.
    The length of a knife, does refer to the length of the blade itself excluding the handle. When “weapon” is defined, “knife” it defines a knife as a weapon when a “blade” longer than 5″ is fastened to a handle.
    I am interested as to why only “knives” and “guns” are included. There are many other “weapons” which do not have a blade or fire bolustically.

  5. Minimum age for weapons permit in Georgia is 21. And, don’t be fooled by the $30 cost. You will have to be fingerprinted by local authority, and that can be another $35-$40, depending on locale.

  6. I’m looking at buying my Godchildren (16 and 17 yr old boys) a lock blade pocketknife (2.91″ blade). Will they be able to legally carry these? I know not at school but on the weekends and running around. I live in Oklahoma and do not want to get them these if they are unable to carry, thanks…

  7. I have a Gerber torch II can i walk around with this knife in pocket and not have to worry about it getting me into trouble?

  8. I have a buck 105 and the blade is just under 5 inches. im 14 and carry my buck almost every where i go but i want to make sure it is legal for me to carry it in the state of Georgia.. i figured it was since the blade is under 5″ but since im under 21 i want to make sure the law still applys to me.

  9. I am under 18, yet would like to carry a knife. Could I carry a knife with a blade shorter than 5 inches legally in Georgia?

  10. Ok to clear up the air for all of those asking about ages, if you are under the age of 15 it is ILLEGAL for you to carry a knife of any length, above the age of 15 you are allowed to carry a knife, as long as the blade by itself does not meet or exceed the length of 5 inches (this means even if it is EXACTLY 5 inches you’re not allowed to carry it, wording sucks sometimes), people 21 and up are allowed to carry a knife that is 5 inches or longer only if they have a weapons carry permit (there is no limit to how much longer so you may carry swords, machetes, etc. THAT I AM AWARE OF). If you have any questions your best bet is to just speak with a local police officer, if you are straight forward and honest most of the time they will gladly answer your questions with no negative repercussions. This information is coming from someone who has carried a buck 119 special (which is 6 inches in blade length) for 7 years now along with several other knives, including hidden shoulder mount knives. if you have any questions about legality or the difference between new vs past laws feel free to email me @ chriscole40@yahoo.com

  11. Georgia Weapons Carry permits are relatively simple and painless. In my county I went to the Probate Court, filled out a 2 page questionaire about criminal history and such. Gave them $75 and literally, 7 calendar days later I had the permit. Quick, reasonable and painless.

    The permit allows you to carry ANY other wise legal weapon and as many of them as you would like.

  12. Here’s a link to Atlanta Municipal Code regarding knives and blades. It’s extremely restrictive, and you want to be VERY careful what you carry within ATL city limits – basically ANY blade 3 inches or more, and LOCKING blades 2 inches or more (even if on a multi-tool) are considered illegal weapons. My question would be whether having a Georgia Weapons License allows carry of a knife within Atlanta (does GA state law supersede ATL municipal code)?

  13. So…a cane sword/blade/knife, you would need to have a permit to carry? And, is a carry, weapons license inclusive for all weapons, guns and knives, belt buckel knives, canes,etc.?

  14. The way the laws are written, it makes things in Atlanta a bit “interesting”. If you have a weapons license, you can carry a knife 5″ or greater in Atlanta because it is covered by the weapons license and preempted by state law. You can also carry any knife less than 3.5″ because Atlanta is fine with that. But you cannot carry anything between 3.5″ and 5″! The state does not consider a knife less than 5″ to be a weapon. Therefore, it’s not covered under the weapons permit.

    So just be careful, there. For instance, I would really like to carry a BRS Alpha Beast. But it’s in “no-man’s land” because it only has a 4.5″ blade. It isn’t a weapon according to GA even though it is a balisong (butterfly) knife, and isn’t covered by my weapon’s license. Sucks.

  15. John,

    Please read the preemption law. SB432 made all knife laws stricter than the state law, null and void, except for local laws governing knives at courthouses and government buildings.

    So, if the state is silent on blades less than 5″, it is lawful, period.

  16. Do not ask a peace officer/police officer, as many do not know the laws. I have quite a few that are friends and only after directing them here did they know about the changes. However, keep on top of changes, especially close to election times.

  17. i had the local clerk in Brunswick Ga call and ask a friend with the FBI about swords,and they told her it was fine with a permit, i did get asked to leave a local target with my katana on my back. they were quite rude with my children there!

  18. Quick question: I carry three throwing knives all 8 inches and they are all solid steel no handle but the sharpened blades on one side are only 3 inches after that it’s just flat metal is it ok to carry or would indeed a permit?

  19. Question here, you are not allowed to carry a firearm in an establishment that derives 51% or more of it’s income from liquor/beer/wine/anything alcohol related (how anyone knows what percentage from the outside looking in is beyond me so, I just holster it away until I am through with said establishment as in , put the damn thing under a seat, glovebox, etc….and yes, I do have a CCWL).

    So, do knives attach under this same law? Is it illegal to carry any knife within said establishments? My guess is, yes. It is considered a weapon and so the laws of CCW attach? Or, can one carry a knife of some length into said establishments?

    Inquiring minds want to know….

  20. @ nikolas says:
    July 12, 2013 at 4:20 am

    on what age you can carry pepper spray in georgia?

    ^Defense sprays should only be purchased by those 18 years of age or older.

  21. I just purchased a switchblade at a gun show. I call it a switchblade because it is assisted and swings open from the side with a push button. It has a 3-1/4″ blade. It looks like an ordinary pocket knife with a pocket clip on it. From what I’ve read here, this knife is legal to carry in Georgia, but I would feel a lot better if some knowledgeable person would confirm that. I don’t want to get arrested. That would be UnCool.

  22. Andy, it is legal long as you are not in Atlanta, Savannah or Valdosta. But be safe, get a weapons permit. Certain law enforcement agents do not keep up with any law at all.

  23. If a person is under the age of 15 could they legally carry a 7inch blade knife on their property? I’d really appreciate a quick answer.

  24. If you are under twenty-one, you can carry a knife BUT the Blade must be five inches long or shorter…. When you turn twenty-one and get a Weapons Carry Permit you can carry a knife any length over five inches. By the way, Weapons Carry Permits cost about $70 plus finger print costs.

    The new law is the same in EVERY Village, Town or City. It is a state wide law that nullifies any ordinances of a local level.

    Any questions?

  25. Ok so it says ‘openly carry’… So that means me, a 15yo, can walk around with 3-pack, 4 1/4in each throwing knives attached to my belt where everyone & their mother can see it?

    • Yes, as long as the blade portion of the throwing knives is only 4 1/4″. Sometimes the handle portion of throwing knives are indiscernible so I’d be sure of the blade length.

  26. I’m 18 and go to UGA. I don’t want to have to get a permit, but I want to be able to carry a concealed knife (less than 5 inches of course). Does anyone know if campus knife/gun laws overrule state laws on this matter? I think it’s kind of stupid that I have to walk around campus with only some pepper spray to keep me safe.

  27. Aaron Donnelly, I’m 24. I carry a polypropylene bokken from Cold Steel and have no weapons permit or even identification. I am stopped regularly but there has never been anything they can do about it.

  28. So if a friend game me some pretty huge swords and knives he no longer wanted and told me to sell em or whatever if there were some i didn’t want. Does that mean I have to have a permit to take them to the local pawn shop? I get it is legal to possess them in my home. But do I kneed a permit to carry them in my car to the pawn shop to sell them? Thanks!

    • No, if its in your car you’re good. A car is considered an extension of your home in Georgia, so you can have anything in it including guns without a permit.

      • Not true about place of business. Many workplaces prohibit weapons. Like where i work they dont allow it but seeing that its been held up around 4 times this year they can go to hell before i have to walk in there un armed.

        • The fact that your place of business may prohibit it doesn’t make it illegal. It may get you fired, it won’t get you arrested, unless you are asked to leave the property and refuse, then you could be arrested for criminal trespass.

    • No, unless it’s over 5″, or all sizes in government buildings and most schools. A small pocket knife away from school and around the house is fine.

    • If you are asking about Georgia law, you are allowed to carry a Swiss Army type knife. Keep in mind the fact that laws are fluid, so you need to stay abreast of any changes. Remember, too, that various places are considered either “weapon free” zones or simply places that do not allow potentially harmful items to be brought on the premises.

      • This changed in 2012 after the revision of Ga weapons laws, in regards to cities and towns. Now all cities in Georgia must have the same weapons and/or concealed weapons laws. You can now drive from Columbus to Atlanta and not worry about any fluctuations. But, as you mentioned, their are still restricted weapons carry locations like federal bldgs, schools, etc…

        • There seems to be a slight misunderstanding. When I said that laws are fluid, I was referring to the fluidity of all laws (what is law today may be changed by the lawmakers tomorrow,) not to the fluidity (or lack thereof) of laws between geographical locations.

        • Actually, a private business can ask you to leave their property if you have a weapon, permit or not. If you leave, no issues. If you do not and they call the police, with your permit it is a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor weapon charge puts your carry permit at risk of suspension.

          • If you refuse to leave, it isn’t a misdemeanor weapons charge. It’s a misdemeanor trespass charge because you didn’t leave when asked from private property. It may get you a fine, but it shouldn’t put your Georgia Weapons License in jeapordy.

      • He asked if its okay to carry a pocket knife out of school. 99% of poket knives are any where from 2.5 to 4inches so its legal for him to carry it where every he wants in georgia as long as its not on ogvt property, and bitch im 18 so shut yo ass up. Just another thing you have no clue what youre talking about. Inless you think the boy scouts and cub scouts are breaking a bunch of laws, because you can carry knives from like the age of 8.

        • You should talk that way face to face, people always very brave when hiding at home. Any private property owner, and this includes rentals, can forbid weapons on the property….it is their RIGHT. And you are wrong as to 5″ being only yardstick of knife carry by a minor.

  29. Okay, so by weapons permit, do they mean any handgun license recognized by the state? As in, could I, an Indiana resident with a personal protection handgun license, carry any knife I wanted in Georgia?

    • Yes, guns and knives are governed together, under same law, as “weapons” in Ga. You would need to check one of the many online sites that show how each state aligns with other states regarding conceal carry. If Georgia recognizes Indiana weapons laws you’re good, but you need to check each state you travel through as well. BTW, Georgia only issues concealed carry weapon permits which govern > 5″ knives.

    • That’s only for blades over 5″ and if it’s concealed on your person, or visible on your person. For example: A traditional Ka-bar knife (7″ blade) could be carried in your car or home without a permit but if you want to carry it into a grocery store you’d need a CW permit. And… Conceal weapons/carry permits are very cheap and easy to acquire in Ga. if you aren’t a felon of course.

      • But if youre 20 or younger(like me) and work at a place thats been held up at gun point many times before. You can only carry 5in or less. My self defence knife i own is almosy 6in. This is one of the many laws that piss me off. If i have the possibility of being drafted and dying for my country there should be no law that inhibits 18-20 yr old males from any other privlages/rights other adults have

        • There is no need for a self defense blade to be 6 inches long, that is ridiculous. Anything with a 3-4 inch blade is all you need for self defense. You can complain about the draft when there is actually a chance of it being implemented until then shut up and go back to school to work on your spelling and grammar.

          • I love Rambos….you bring your 3″-4″ knife up against my 7″ and we shall see how you fare….

          • It all depends on how well your opponent is trained. Plus, if you have a 7″ knife, I think we would be friends anyway!

          • Now at the tender age of 65, I look back at my grammar school days in the mid to late 50’s. Every boy in my little community school had a pocket knife. It was the norm for “country boys”. We cut ourselves, but nobody I knew ever cut anybody else.
            Same deal in high school. Everybody carried a “concealed” pocket knife, and most of the farm kids like myself carried rifles, and, or shotguns in our vehicles, especially during hunting season.
            Now SWAT would be brought into play.

          • I fondly remember those good old days goatman62, and I remember the federally forced school desegregation, and the thefts and break ins to vehicles that followed, it seemed to be unheard of before then,.

          • As with everything the government does, or tries to do. The Civil Rights Act was necessary to address certain real inequities, but it was allowed to run amok functioning without any rhyme or reason, and in a large part, actually harmed those it was meant to help, and in turn, the country at large.

          • Exactly I have a 12 inch Camillus knife and I’m only 14 so I can’t carry it then I have a bowl that is 5 1/2 inch and I can’t carry that

        • If you study HOW TO use a knife in a fight (videos or YouTube), You should be alright with a 5″long blade knife….preferably a double edge knife.

        • Right, but if you have permission from the store you work at to carry, it’s the same as carrying on private property, so you could have anything you wanted and be fine.

    • As i posted above, it is illegal for a minor to possess ANY knife which is designed for offense and defense, no matter the length. If you are a minor, avoid any knife which appears tacti-cool, with spiked pommel, double guards and sharpened upper edge or any knife marketed as a weapon, even a sorry piece of flea market junk. Make sure it looks innocuous and lacks obvious offense/defense design elements…

  30. I’m a 13 year old, and I am looking to buy the SOG SEAL pup for defense, because of my age, would I still be able to carry this around places?

    • While I’m not sure on the restrictions regarding your age, I’m a little concerned about the age, speaking from experience, when I was 13, I didn’t make very good decisions. I am concerned that you might be more likely to jump to the weapon as a first option, rather than a last. You might want to discuss this with your parents and at least make sure it’s legal and they can teach you when it is the right time to pull that knife for defensive purposes

  31. I’m 13 and I’m wondering if I’m aloud to carry my 3 inch smith and Wesson black ops knife to public places like movie theater and store and other places besides school?

    • Based on Georgia law you carrying a 3 inch blade would not be illegal as only possession of handguns by minors is mentioned in Georgia law. There is no mention of possession of knives.

      • Possession by a minor of any knife (no length specified) designed for offense and defense is illegal….period….a knife called “black ops” is a bad idea. He can carry an 11″ fillet knife or hunting knife anywhere he pleases. For a knife to be classified “weapon”, it must be greater than 5″ AND be designed for offense and defense. Georgia law specifically states an injunction against providing those under 18yrs of age with a knife designed for offense and defense, or with brass knuckles. These replies have been a fountain of misinformation. My suggestion is not to advise others unless you know what you are talking about.

        • Look at Georgia’s definition of knife:
          “Knife means a cutting instrument designed for the purpose of offense and defense consisting of a blade that is greater than five inches in length which is fastened to a handle.”

          O.C.G.A.§ 16-11-125.1

          So since the blade is under 5 inches it is not considered a knife under Georgia law so 16-11-101 would not apply as the knife is not defined as a knife.

    • pfft what’s wrong with a wepon at 13. I had a pump action Shotgun at 4! I’m joking I am in no way serious, I’m simply making fun of this 13 year old carrying a knife.

    • As long as the blade is less then 5 inches you can carry it if you don’t have a CWP. If you have a permit your blade can be longer then 5 inches. Also must abide by where you cannot legally carry a knife.

      • It is NOT a CWP….it is a license for carrying anything classified as a weapon openly or concealed….drop the “c”, as you are only confusing folk.

        • You are right I should not have used CWP. It had been mentioned earlier somewhere and that is what I reverted to when typing.

          I made the assumption that anyone reading would know I was referring to a weapon carry license.

  32. Is it legal to order switchblades on line from an out of state dealer and have them sent to you in Georgia if the blade is less than 5 inches ?

  33. Would i be able to throw my glock 6.5 inch knife into my survival pack and i am 17 by the way and that be okay cause i forgot to check rules when buying knives and sure my dad won’t let me buy another one

  34. So, carrying a knife over 5.25 inches is illegal without a permit. Yet, it specifically states, ““Knife” means a cutting instrument designed for the purpose of offense and defense” So would this mean that a minor, who could not obtain a permit, be able to have in a hiking pack a BK-22 Knife, which is 5.25 inches? How does the law decide what is for “Offense and defense”?

  35. Is it legal to use your pocket knife as a self defense tool in public if you are being attacked ? Under 5 inches not meant for self defense.
    Use is under a life threatening situation.

  36. I ride a motorcycle and was looking into caring a knife for protection. Bowie style. Since I can’t own a handgun (felony) do the same rules apply?

  37. Can I carry a bowie knife on my hip as long as it’s in my property without a wp and can felons get a permit for carrying knifes bigger than 5″

  38. I bought a sword recently and would like to know about any laws I can break by having it or by carrying it (It has a sheath also)

  39. I have a set of throwing knifes that come in a sheeth i walk to work early in the morning would i need to get a wp just in case or am i ok to keeping them on my belt

  40. Minors (individuals younger than 18 years old) cannot own or use a knife with a blade more than 5” in length. Selling or giving a minor a knife with this description is an aggravated misdemeanor under O.C.G.A. § 16-11-101.

  41. Can i carry a karmabit ? The blade is 3.5 inches and the whole knife length is 7.5 inches. It would be used if someone was to jump me or something like that.
    I am 14.

  42. Who do we contact/where do we go to obtain a weapons license to carry a bowie knife with a blade of 10 inches? Also are felons restricted from getting a weapons license to carry a knife in Georgia?

  43. Okay: I am a street performer and I recently decided to add knives to my routine. They have 11 inch, not pointed, and not sharp blades, but meant to look realistic, and I need to know what the laws would be for me to carry and use these in public areas, with or without permits, especially but not limited to St. Simons island and surrounding South Eastern counties.
    And because a lot of people mention their ages, I am an adult, above the age of 18.

  44. If I purchase a Benchmade Infidel which is an automatic opening knive that operates with the push of a slide button that shoots the blade out of the front of the handle which is what as known as an OTF or out the front knive online from a dealer out of state then have I violated federal law as was stated in an earlier comment? I am a 58 year old male who collects weapons of all types and I am currently waiting for a weapons permit to be issued to me from the state . I have purchased this knife over the counter at a gun store in Georgia but there are numerous other switchblade knives I would like to add to my collection but if I am violating federal law I need to reconsider any purchases. The blade length is 4″ and it seems that it would be legal to own with the exception of ordering it from an out of state supplier.

  45. I live in a rooming house with the person with the sword..Is this behavior normal to go out in the yard and swing the sword around daily..?

  46. I’m a graduate student at GSU. I was just stopped by an officer about my pocket knife. The blade is not that long but I’m not sure of exact length; definitely less than 5 inches though.
    It was in my pocket with only the clip exposed. He let me keep it but said next time he would have to take it because it is considered a weapon and only knives under 2 inches were allowed. Never in 15 years of carrying a pocket knife have I been stopped. I found it insane. I was also on campus and am wondering if there might be different rules. Thanks in advance for any advice!

    • You were on a school campus. Georgia limits blade lengths to 2 inches for knives carried on a school campus. It’s silly to be sure. But you’re dealing with educators and stupid politicians.

    • Hi Lauren,

      Campus is private property, they can set whatever rules they like. In public the knife is fine even if carried openly, but again private places can implement whatever rules they like. Starbucks have a no guns policy for example despite it being entirely legal if you have the correct permit to carry one.

      The only part of the officer’s statement that is slightly wrong is having to take the knife, you are not obligated to hand over the weapon at all, however just realize they do have the right to permanently ban you from the campus grounds so it probably isn’t worth being uncooperative.

    • probably a little late on the reply, but for college campuses its a little wierd. theres alot of factors that go into it, but mostly it depends on the type and size of the knife. when i was attending ung years ago, there was one of the security gaurds who would stop people for anything and everything (one of those “power trip” gaurds). on one occasion, he stopped me because he saw the pocket clip on my spring assisted kershaw that i edc, and when he flipped it open, he said it was an auto and confiscated it. but on another occassion, i had my benchmade 63 (butterfly knife) out showing a friend of mine a new trick i learned, and the gaurd said it was ok to have. the blade on the kershaw was under 2 inches and the blade on the benchmade was closer to 5 inches. so like i said, college knife/weapon rules can vary in a ton of different ways depending on what college it is, what type of knife it is, the size of the blade, how grumpy the security gaurd is, etc.


    • The officer is wrong if he stated that it was “illegal” to carry a knife with a 2 inch blade; Prior to 2017 the state law allowed a blade length of up to 5 inches however that was increased to 12 inches in 2017 (HB49).

      There may be school policies that are/were more restrictive however there are no “laws” that would apply in either the state of Georgia or the City of Atlanta. This section below is probably what he was referring to and is from the Board of Regents policy manual which defines a knife with a blade length greater than 2″ as a “weapon” as a matter of school policy; That is distinctly different from being “illegal”.

      6.11.2 Definitions

      The terms listed below are defined for purposes of this Policy as follows:

      “Weapon” means and includes any pistol, revolver, or any instrument designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind, or any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, any other knife having a blade of two or more inches, straight-edge razor, razor blade, spring stick, knuckles, whether made from metal, thermoplastic, wood, or other similar material, blackjack, any bat, club, or other bludgeon-type weapon, or any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain, or any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart, or any instrument of like kind, and any stun gun or taser as defined in subsection (a) of Georgia Code Section 16-11- 106. This paragraph excludes any of these instruments used for classroom work authorized by the faculty member.

  47. So, your saying that I can carry a switchblade, butterfly knife,pocket knife ect. ect. But as long as the blade length is below 5″ correct? [Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven!]

  48. i have searched high and low with no result. May i purchase and own/carry A benchmade infidel OTF in either size in GA?

  49. I am building a knife shop website. I will have many kinds of knives on the site. Are there any restrictions on what kind of knives I can ship to certain states? I have heard it may be illegal to ship a simple lock back folder to New York City.
    I would like to sell automatic knives on a limited basis. I know there is federal law prohibiting shipping over state lines, but is it legal to ship them within the state of my business. I am in Georgia where we have very good knife laws, but I have not yet found an accurate answer to this question.

    • There are a lot of restrictions, especially federally which apply to transactions across any state lines. You will definitely need to research in detail.

  50. I am 11 and I want to know if it is legalese for me to carry a switchblade with a safety lock on it to public places like Walmart or the movies? My knife is a Gerber s30v switchblade and it has a 3 1/4 inch blade.

  51. Good evening, I understand and abide by the laws in my state but I am having great difficulty even after speaking to several members of LEO ,obtaining a weapons permit. Where would I purchase such permit, and is there a more clarified title other than weapons permit? Your help is greatly appreciated thank you, Rick

  52. I’m 15 and with the recent clown scares, and Halloween coming up I was wondering if it is legal to carry a sword that is about arms length. Also it goes good with my costume

  53. Where can I get a weapons licens near social circle Georgia I carry a knife that I know is well over 8 inches with me daily and I have some cop friends that tell me as long as they can see it then I’m good is this true… I would like to get the weapons licens anyhow just in case I have to use my big ole knife

  54. I have a fixed blade sheath knife. The blade from the handle to the tip is 3.75 inches long. is the 5 inch rule about the cutting blade end of the knife or about the whole length of the knife including the handle?

  55. This is, of course, good news for the collector and carrier of an EDC. I have a number of folders with blades longer than 5″, but they are unwieldy to pocket carry anyway. HOWEVER, having had a number of occasions to conduct “professional” discussions with Georgia police officers, I would not like to debate with them over the legality of a 3″ to 5″ knife. My suspicion is that I would lose the argument along with the knife. I do not trust them to not confiscate a legal knife on a whim. I will continue to carry around 3″ knives on most occasions.

  56. I am about 12 almost 13 but I was wondering if I can carry my sog gambit around with me it has a 3.5 inch blade and my sister which is 18 told me that I can’t carry a knife till I am 18 or older is that true

  57. Does anyone know what the current Georgia law dictates concerning carrying a knife under 5 inches blade size as a student on college campuses if you’re over the age of 18?

  58. To the person running this website,
    I’m not doubting you but I would like to know where you are getting your information so if I’m ever stopped I can be informed and say they law says this instead of oh I read that on the internet

  59. I need some clarification on Knife definition – does the total length of the knife need to be 5″ or less to be legal OR does the BLADE need to be 5″ or less, excluding the handle, ie; a 5″ blade and a 4″ handle is this legal to carry?

  60. Don’t understand why there’s banned knifes, its not the knife that breaks the law, its the person behind it. Knifes that flick open (switch blade or assisted) are scary to some people, but that it ruins it for the people who just enjoy them. I say all knifes should be unbanned.. But ower of the blade shouldn’t have any atent of harm. Knifes are tools, that can be used as a weapon, that shouldn’t make it a WEAPON. I believe any knife, as long as its in your pocket, should be totally legal in all states.

    • You answered you own question: the reason why is, the bad people behind knives. Just like guns, knives are used to do bad things by bad people and no matter what laws we have we can’t stop bad people. We can only make it harder for them to get access to knives and guns that they would use in their crimes and make laws to deter them. The only problem is that good people suffer because of those bad people. Here is GA you can have any knife you want if you have a gun permit.

  61. Minors (individuals younger than 18 years old) cannot own or use a knife with a blade more than 5” in length. Selling or giving a minor a knife with this description is an aggravated misdemeanor under O.C.G.A. § 16-11-101.

  62. I am considering purchasing a couple of the Odin’s Eye knives made by A.G.Russel which is a very small ( under 2″ blade ) double edge ( think dagger ) that has a handle with a hole that your ring finger sticks through.

    This looks like a brass knuckles type design, but only big enough for 1 finger to fit in, with the blade protruding outside a closed fist.

    Would this be legal or illegal in Georgia, anyone know ?

  63. Hi, y’all seem to know y’alls knife laws. Out of curiosity & some research, I want to know, has the Georgia law on knife blade length changed? I have read many articles it has so hunters can carry larger knives like bowie knives without worry. I think I read it went from 5-6 inches to 12-13. Just want to know if y’all know if that it the new law.

  64. Since the Signing of HB292 the leagle blade length is 12 inches. Look it up Governor Deal signed it into state wide law.

  65. Is an ex-felon allowed to carry a knife as long as the blade is under 5″? I realize that guns are a no-no, but what about knives? I am wheelchair bound, and thus the question.

  66. It is because of the school campus

    Various described weapons, including dirks, bowie knives, switchblades, razors and other knives having a blade of two or more inches are prohibited on school grounds, within a school safety zone, at school functions or on transportation furnished by the schools, such as a school bus. GA CODE § 16-11-127.1.

  67. As of May 2017, the legal carry length is now 12 inches without a permit, due to the signing of HB 292. I recommend the site be updated to show this.

  68. Please respond as fast as possible

    Is a machete legal without a permit if I’m just using it a couple of times to make a trail in my Woods

    (Btw I’m14)

  69. “A blade attached to a handle greater than 5 inches designed for offense and defense”…
    Just out of curiosity… Would that apply to a sword? It meets the requirements.

  70. In Georgia, HB292 was signed into law effective May 8, 2017. Regarding the definition of knife, HB292 changes the law:
    SECTION 3.
    91 Part 3 of Article 4 of Chapter 11 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated,
    92 relating to carrying and possession of firearms, is amended by revising paragraph (2) of Code
    93 Section 16-11-125.1, relating to definitions, as follows:
    94 “(2) ‘Knife’ means a cutting instrument designed for the purpose of offense and defense
    95 consisting of a blade that is greater than 12 inches in length which is fastened to a
    96 handle.”


  71. I’m 16 years old and I carry a balisong mostly everywhere I go. It’s a Bladerunnerssystems Replicant, 4.5 inch blade. Is it legal for me to carry it around without a permit or would i get arrested on the spot? If it’s not meant for defense and is just meant to flip and have it recreationally.

  72. I’m 16 going on 17. I’m also a girl so I was wondering is there an age restriction for me to carry a 3 inch pocket knife? If so where can I carry it and do I people have to see it or can I just carry it in my purse?

  73. Ok. I know this sounds like a stupid question but I want someone to break it. The law says a knife that is over 5″ in length. But if my wife carries a switch blade, is that 5″ just for the blade or for the overall length of the knife in the open position. The wording is open to interpretation so that being said you have to know the law if you ever get stopped.

  74. Can I carry my three foot long Ww1 vintage “Butcher Blade” bayonet out of it’s scabbard on Armstrong State’s campus? 🙂

  75. I totally agree with @Brapnation. As long as a knife is sheathed or in your pocket, there should be no problem with it. But with an exception: felons, people with bad records, and those deemed untrustworthy by some sort of judge should not be able to carry.

  76. Hi, I’m currrently doing a thesis on Balisong knives from the Philippines. I was just wondering, what are the requirements in selling Balis? Like what permits are needed, fines to be paid and if there are any laws that prohibit the import of Balisong knives into either Georgia or Florida?

  77. I have two questions:

    1) Does the law about knives being 5 inches or under in length refer to the overall length, or just the sharpened part of the blade?
    2) Assuming 1 refers to blade length only, how are multi-bladed weapons considered? By individual blade length, or the total length of all blades combined?

  78. Hi, i just Bought a flip knife that is Overall 13 inches in length, excluding the Shaft it is 6 inches in Length however the part of the blade that can be used to cut Is 3 inches in Length. Would i be required to get a permit to carry the Knife?

  79. What makes a knife a knife for offense and defense and a knife for using. For example, I have a fix blade survival knife on the pommel there is a plexiglass breaker. Does that make it a offense and defense knife due to the blade(which is less then 5 inches) or a tool like a fillet knife? Also if a knife has a plain sharp edge and a serated edge does that count as 1 or 2 blades.

  80. I have a personal carry permit for my pistol. Does that permit allow me to carry a knife over 5″.? Or do I need a separate permit for that

  81. im a huge star trek fan as well and i really really really want a batleth a real one thats been dulled of course without going through any hoops if the law says it ok

  82. Would I be able to carry my katana on my hip or slung on my back considering it’s 22’inchs long and is in its sheath I also have a concealed carry permit if it’s anything to help in this case

  83. Johnny Beavis is 20 years old and has a 9″ spring loaded dagger and a double barrel shotgun. Johnny has a shiny new pink BMW and wants to drive around with grandpa’s shotgun and his bouncing dagger. He parks at the town square in Macon, Ga and sits in his car. Is he breaking the law? Johnny wonders…. Can he get out of the car with his neato toys and walk around? He decides to step out, shotgun hanging from his ground dragging boxer shorts and knife in his pocket. Has Johnny Beavis broken the law? If so, how (?) and do his dragging boxer shorts add any potential value to an officer’s citation list? Your answers will be graded pass or no pass. Begin now.

  84. I confess that I’ve carried my katana in public without knowing the law which is why I’m asking this question. Cops have seen me with it in public but never bothered me about it so I assumed I was in the right. Do I need a weapon license to carry my katana?

  85. Forget the word “knife”. Think about a tool. I carry a screwdriver and an adjustable wrench, commonly called a crescent wrench. I”m a working man, and I can protect myself.

  86. Questions… Are there GA Laws that prohibit the carrying of a knife less than 5″ by a convicted felon who is totally “out of the legal system” ? 2nd, is a carriable knife restricted to only one side being sharp (are daggers permitted within the length limits) ?

  87. Hey James;
    That’s a HUGE issue and while I’d love to offer you some support and advice, I officially can’t do that. I’m not a lawyer so I can’t give you official advice, but I can tell you the route to take. A lawyer or a para-legal in the state of Georgia can give you a very good answer to your question. If you were being assaulted for real, I’m on your side and I wish you all the best!

    • Thanks for your question! I have to tell you I’m not a lawyer and can’t give you “official” information which can only be given by a legal professional in the State of Georgia. That said, it looks to me like you can carry knuckles (or something that resembles knuckles) as long as you don’t conceal them. See the statute here;


      (a) A person commits the offens e of carrying a concealed weapon when such person knowingly has or carries about his or her person, unless in an open manner and fully exposed to view, any bludgeon, metal knuckles, firearm, knife designed for the purpose of offense and defense, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument of like character outside of his or her home or place of business, except as permitted under this Code section.

      I hope that helps,

  88. Hi there. I was wondering what the legality was for carrying a knife [with a less that 12 inch blade] outside of personal property. When I go out, I usually bring a small life with me for self protection, and though I never draw it, and never plan to, I’d like to know if this is breaking any laws.

    • I feel that I should interject here. I think I should clarify some things, as to the best of my understanding, and, in the spirit of full disclosure, I am not a layer.

      Things to consider:

      *Georgia law states that ” No person shall carry a weapon without a valid weapons carry license…” (this only applies to public spaces, not in your home, vehicle, etc.

      *A “weapon”, in this regard, refers to a “knife”.

      *A “knife” refers to “…a cutting instrument designed for the purpose of offense and defense consisting of a blade that is greater than five inches in length which is fastened to a handle”.

      *According to this article, “It is illegal to carry, open or concealed, a knife that is larger than 12 inches without a permit. For knives greater than 12 inches, you need a weapons permit, after which there are no restrictions.

      Therefore it would be reasonable to infer that, regarding the letter of the law, there is a distinction between a “knife” and the “blade” of a knife. To the best of my understanding, (a)the “blade” of the knife must be less than 5 inches in length, AND (b)the total length of the “knife”, from the bottom of the handle to the top of the blade, must be less than 12 inches in order to qualify for carry without a permit.

      If I am wrong, I apologize.

  89. Hi.
    I want to thank you for the well laid out,easy to understand laws regarding all types of knives. I have a question on the resale license I must have before buying and selling.
    I already have my conceal carry permit. I am looking to obtain my firearm dealer licence. However, I also would like to start dealing in antique, vintage, military and new Knives, Swords, etc. I would also like to start both applications at the same time. I am assuming that the firearm dealers licence will take longer. So,
    If I wanted to start the resale of the blade side of it, will it affect me in a negative manner? Should I wait for the firearm dealer permit?
    If you or anyone else here could give me a heads up, I sure would appreciate it.
    Thanks again.

  90. As a resident of South Carolina, I typically go hiking in North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia. I’ve made a small sword with a 22″ blade, specifically for self defense. According to Georgia Law, I would need a weapons permit to have it? But can a South Carolina resident get a Georgia Weapon permit? Or should I just leave the sword to NC and VA, which apparently are more sword friendly.

  91. Is it legal to carry a hatchet. On your side in its sheath hooked to your belt.and a knife in its sheath hooked on your belt on other side both hands under 5 inch blades without handle counted. Does the handle count with blade length or just the blade

      • It’s a bit of a sketchy issue since if you ever tell a Police Officer you are carrying a knife “just in case” someone physically assaults you, you’ll be charged for carrying a weapon and you’ll get a criminal record. What that says to me is that if someone physically assaults you and you pull a knife, you’ll be charged, so it’s not legal to even pull a knife if being assaulted. This is more of an issue of what would you rather have – your time in court defending your “carrying a weapon” charge or be DEAD?!
        See what I mean? I’d carry a very capable EDC and I’d only use it if my life were in actual danger.
        Thanks for the question,

Leave a Reply to Wesley Cancel reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here