Arkansas Knife Laws

Arkansas’s Knife Laws Explained: What You Need To Know

Knives are used for a lot of tasks in the world, but you usually do these at your house, where you’re allowed to do anything.

When traveling outside with a knife, though, you need to follow some laws that the country has stated. Because if you don’t, you’ll be fined and potentially arrested.

This is why many people in Arkansas ask about the Arkansas knife laws since they can prevent them from getting into trouble by carrying knives outside for non-malicious purposes.

Thankfully, Arkansas isn’t too strict with its knife laws.

There aren’t any specifically restricted knives, so if you’re an adult, you can carry any knife concealed in most places except schools, government buildings, and more.

However, there’s much more to know than just that. So today, we’ll be going over all the Arkansas knife laws, the penalties, and more.

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

Quick Legal Facts

  • Statewide Preemption: No
  • Concealed Carry: Concealed carry doesn’t matter, but unlawful intent does.
  • Restricted Knives: None
  • Schools: All knives are restricted in schools and specific areas such as government buildings.
  • Critical Dimensions: The blade of a knife cannot be carried legally if it’s above 3.5 inches except on the owner’s property.

List Of Relevant Laws

5-1-102 (4): Items considered “deadly weapons.”

5-1-102 (4)

5-73-109: Covering furnishing deadly weapons to minors.

A.C.A. § 5-73-109

5-73-120: Covering carrying a weapon.

A.C.A. § 5-73-10

5-73-122: Covering carrying firearms in public areas

5-73-122 (Part 1)
A.C.A. § 5-73-120
A.C.A. § 5-73-122 (Part 2)
A.C.A. § 5-73-122 (Part 3)

5-73-131: Possession of weapons for imprisoned individuals

A.C.A. § 5-73-131

Arkansas Knife Laws

In Arkansas, knives aren’t considered “deadly weapons” as per the law § 5-1-102, and they mainly consider firearms and guns when they talk about that.

So there aren’t any specific illegal knives that someone can’t carry, but rather places and restrictions for carrying knives.

Overall, if you’re an adult, you can carry just about any knife if you don’t plan on doing anything malicious such as a crime or murder with the knife.

We cover all about the different restrictions and laws here below —

Illegality In Certain Areas

As you can probably guess, knives are prohibited in specific areas such as schools, courts, airports, police stations, and government buildings.

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No deadly weapons are allowed here, including firearms.

Thankfully, you won’t need to worry about this too much, as most knives, especially small pocket knives, aren’t considered to be “deadly weapons.”

And the police won’t do much against you if you carry one as an adult.

Illegality Based On Concealed Or Open Knives

In Arkansas, it doesn’t exactly matter whether your knife is carried concealed or not.

You can carry all sorts of knives concealed as an adult and concealed pocket knives if you’re under 18, as they’re not that dangerous.

Instead of checking whether it’s concealed or not, Arkansas prioritizes the location of the knife and the age of the person carrying it.

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

If you’re an adult, carrying, possessing, selling, importing, exporting, trading, and manufacturing any type of knife is allowed.

As long as you aren’t under 18, it’s completely legal in any place in Arkansas.

Remember that even transporting knives through a minor is illegal, so make sure to do none of these.

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

Knowingly distributing and transporting knives through borders in interstate commerce isn’t allowed.

And you can get fined or arrested if the knife is illegal in the other country. Overall, it’s not recommended.

Illegality For Minors

In Arkansas, it’s illegal for a minor under the age of 18 to carry any knife concealed, except pocket knives. They’re absolutely illegal in specific areas such as schools too.

Letting a minor carry a knife and hand it down to someone else is also illegal, and the person assigning the minor to carry it can be fined and imprisoned.

Illegality Based On Length Of Knife

If you’re wondering what size knife is legal to carry in Arkansas, anything below 3.5 inches is legal.

But to be safe, try not to carry a knife over 3 inches as it’s illegal in a few parts of Arkansas.

Illegality In Local Governments

Since Arkansas has no local preemption, local governments and municipalities can change the knife laws.

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For example, in Palmer, sheathed knives are illegal, and you can’t carry them on public transport.

It can be different for each part of Arkansas, so you should google the local government laws of the area before carrying knives there.

Among all the knife laws in Arkansas, this is one of the least strict ones.

Penalties & Punishment For Carrying Knives Illegally

If you illegally carry a weapon such as a knife, it’s instantly a Class A misdemeanor.

This means you can get a fine of up to $2,500 and even be imprisoned for up to 6 months.

If this is done by a minor, their parents can also get fined amounts depending on the area. Usually, it’s between $250 and $500.

You can’t illegally carry knives in public buildings as an adult. But carrying firearms or other deadly weapons is a Class C misdemeanor and can lead to 1 month of confinement as well as a fine of up to $500.

List Of Legal Knives In Arkansas

Even though it’s intuitive that since there aren’t any illegal knives in Arkansas, carrying just about anything is legal as an adult.

But some controversial knives, such as Balisongs or Bowies, confuse a lot of people whether they’re legal or not.

This is because some places make them legal, while others don’t. So here is a list of all the knives that people think are illegal but actually aren’t —

Balisongs / Butterfly Knives

Although balisong knives, more commonly known as butterfly knives, are relatively small and dangerous, it’s still legal in Arkansas.


Bowies are one of the most common knives that people think are illegal. It’s illegal in a lot of areas of America, but it’s legal in Arkansas.

Double Sided Knives

Double-sided knives are often illegal in other places in America. However, this is not the case in Arkansas.

Toothpick Knives

Toothpick knives can be called stabbing knives because of their sharp tip, but they’re legal in Arkansas.


Similar to toothpick knives, Stilettos are thin and can be considered stabbing knives. It’s legal to carry as an adult.

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Dirk is a type of dagger, and they’re legal in Arkansas.

Folding Knives

Folding knives are all legal in Arkansas.

Pocket Knives

All pocket knives are legal to carry for both adults and minors.

Exceptions In The Knife Laws Of Arkansas

Here are all the exceptions to knife laws of Arkansas —

  • People in their place of business or property that they own can freely carry knives, and you can even carry a knife in car in Arkansas.
  • Correctional officers, law enforcement officers, and members of the armed forces, in the course of their official duties, do not have to abide by the knife laws.
  • Assistants for correction officers, law enforcement officers, and armed forces members don’t need to follow the knife laws while performing their duty.
  • Commissioned security guards registered and active on duty can carry firearms and knives.
  • Law enforcement officers that are retired can get a license to carry any type of knife in Arkansas.
  • Legal hunting minigames don’t need to follow the knife laws as the person owning the area allows knives.
  • Certified law enforcement officers can bypass the knife laws and legal knife length even when they’re off duty with valid identification, even on school grounds and government buildings.
  • People with valid licenses for concealed carry can have handguns, firearms, and knives.


Hopefully, now you have a good idea of the Arkansas knife laws. Arkansas isn’t that strict with its knife laws, so you won’t need to worry about it too much.

As long as you’re above 18, you can carry any type of knife.

Even as an adult, you can’t carry knives into public schools or government buildings, and minors can only carry pocket knives.

It’s recommended not to carry any knives over 3.5 inches, as it’s against the law.

However, if you’re a butcher or need to carry large knives for your profession or business, you can get a license to bypass this length limit.

But with all that said, cheers!

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