Alabama Knife Laws

Alabama Knife Law Made Simple: What You Need to Know

In every city in the world, knives are necessary for many things. And sometimes, you have to travel with them, but a lot of people get in trouble with airport security or security in general for carrying a knife.

This makes many people wonder about the Alabama knife laws. Knowing them allows you to safely carry specific knives without getting in trouble. As long as you mean no harm for it, or if it’s for self-defense.

The federal law states that everyone can carry a knife for self-defense reasons, but you do need to follow some laws. In a nutshell, as long as you aren’t a minor, you can carry knives legally.

There’s much more to it than just the federal law, though. So today, we’ll be going over all the knife laws in Alabama, the penalties, legal knives, illegal knives, and much more.

Without further ado, let’s get straight into it.

Quick Legal Facts

  • Statewide Preemption: No.
  • Restricted Knives: Machete, Gravity Knives, 11” Butcher’s Knife, Bowies.
  • Schools: Weapons are not permitted in schools.
  • Critical Dimensions: None noted.

List Of Illegal Knives In Alabama

Here’s a list of all the illegal knives in Alabama —

Gravity Knives

A gravity knife can be easily concealed, and because of this, it’s illegal in Alabama. Most of the time, when crimes like murder are caused, it’s due to this small knife.


A bowie knife is a sort of fixed-blade fighting knife for fighting. It’s sometimes used for cutting fish and meat for cooking.

But it’s strong enough to cut woods, ropes, fibers, and more. Because of its sharpness and how small it is, it’s illegal to use without a license when concealed.

But if it’s on your hip and carried out in the open, it’s legal.

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A machete is much deadlier than most people think, and it can cut objects like bamboo and wood. Because of this, it’s illegal in Alabama.

11-inch Butcher Knife

An 11-inch butcher knife is illegal in Alabama because of its size and sharpness. Butchers and fishermen can use it with a license, but a regular civilians can’t.

Alabama Knife Laws

Here are the different illegalities on Alabama knife laws about the most common topics —

Illegality in Specific Areas

Knives are usually not allowed in many areas. These include schools, public transport, public events, police stations, airports, courts, and ships.

You can’t bring any weapons of harm to these areas.

It’s not only for things like hand grenades or missiles or other explosive and incredibly deadly weapons. Small and much less harmful weapons such as small knives are prohibited and against the law to bring.

Illegality Based On Concealed & Open Knives

Concealed knives are almost always illegal in Alabama, no matter what.

The only time this isn’t applied is if you have a license for the knife you’re carrying, which you can usually only get for knives necessary for the person’s job. For example, a butcher knife.

The most common misconception about this is that it’s a Bowie knife. Although it’s illegal to carry a Bowie knife, that’s only the case when it’s concealed – according to Section 13A-11-50.

Section 13A-11-50

As long as the knife is out in the open or in your hip, it’s legal to carry it. And, of course, it’s legal to carry it concealed if you have a license from the police for it.

Illegality For Minors

Knives are illegal to carry for minors, no matter what. As you can’t get a license for carrying a knife as a minor, anything you do with the knife is illegal.

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This includes selling a knife, purchasing it, possessing it, importing it, delivering it to someone else, trading it, and more – according to Section 13A-11-57.

Section 13A-11-57

Sometimes, people give a knife to a minor to deliver it to someone else. This is a felony and completely against the law, so make sure not to make a minor deliver it.

Illegality Of Carrying, Possession, Selling, Manufacturing, Importing, & Trading

Carrying, possessing, selling, trading, importing, exporting, and manufacturing knives as a minor is illegal under the USC 1243.

But if you’re an adult, you can freely do these legally.

USC 1243

Illegality To The Degree Of Significance Such As Impact On Interstate Commerce

According to USC 1242, anyone who knowingly distributes or transports knives in interstate commerce will be fined up to $2,000 and can get imprisoned for more than 5 years.

USC 1242

In the worst case scenario when you’re transporting or distributing illegal knives such as a machete, you can get both a fine and imprisonment.

Illegality In Local Governments

In Alabama, there aren’t any laws specific to the local government. So if you follow all of the laws mentioned above, you’re good to go in every part of Alabama.

List Of Legal Knives

Although it’s intuitive that every knife that isn’t illegal is legal to use, there can be some exceptions.

And most people get confused about some specific knives asking if they’re legal or not.

So here’s a list of the knives that you might think are illegal but are actually legal —

Balisongs / Butterfly Knives

Butterfly knives are relatively small, but they’re still considered legal.

Double Sided Knives

All double-sided knives are considered legal.

Toothpick Knives

Toothpick knives have a really sharp tip, but they’re still legal as long as it’s out in the open.

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Folding Knives

All folding knives are legal.


Stiletto knives are incredibly thin, but they’re also short enough to fit in your pocket and are legal.


Many people think Dirk knives are illegal as they are considered a dagger, but it’s actually legal in Alabama.

Bowies (When Carried Out In The Open)

When not concealed, Bowies are legal.

Pocket Knives

All sorts of pocket knives are legal.

Penalties & Punishment For Carrying Knives Illegally

If a minor carries knives illegally, their parents will be fined $500, and they could even get arrested or jailed.

But other than that, you can be charged a $50 – $500 fine for carrying knives illegally, even when you’re not a minor. And in the worst-case scenario, you can get arrested and jailed for up to 2 years for it.

This is why it’s critical to know about the knife laws and abide by them, as you can get some hefty punishment for not doing so.


Hopefully, now you have a good idea about the Alabama knife laws. There aren’t that many specific knife laws, and most knives that aren’t similar to the Bowie are legal.

There are still some exceptions, and pocket knives are legal too.

But you can’t bring knives to schools and other prohibited areas, and minors can’t have access to knives.

Open knives are legal as well. So overall, as long as you’re following these simple rules, you won’t be breaking any laws.

As a final note, we highly recommend you try not to use Bowie knives. Because even if it’s concealed for a short amount of time, you’ll be breaking the law.

But with all that being said, good luck and cheers!

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