Florida Knife Laws In Simple English

Florida Knife Laws In Simple English

The Sunshine State, Florida, is somewhere you certainly would need to carry a knife when on vacation.

There are endless recreational activities that you can do in this state where you would require a knife.

However, when it comes to certain knives, the Florida knife laws are not so friendly.

Yes, Florida knows that you might need a knife in your travel bag and thus supported by regulations to carry one.

Nevertheless, a knife might also fall under the weapon category which is equivalent to a gun without a license. As a result, the punishments will also be equivalent.

It’s very important to know the prohibited knives while also knowing when to do an open carry or a concealed one.

Even though the laws are written with twisted language, don’t worry. We have made it as simple as possible for you.

Let’s start with the highlights first.


The highlights are the sweetest part of an article as you can gather most of the information in the least amount of effort and time. So why skip it?

Here they are;

  • Ballistic and Switchblades are prohibited.
  • A minor cannot own or carry a knife unless it’s a pocket knife.
  • A knife’s blade that is more than 4 inches needs to be carried openly.
  • A ballistic or switchblade may only be carried if he/she has a license.
  • General knives can be carried in both open and concealed manner.
  • Educational facilities and government buildings are prohibited from any type of knives.
  • Breaking the knife laws can lead to First degree or Second-degree misdemeanor.

Illegal Knives

As mentioned before, Florida is in full support of you carrying a simple knife with you. There are only two types of knives that you have to be aware of that are illegal in the sunshine state.

They are;

  • Ballistic Knives
  • Switchblades

As per Knife laws in Flordia, § 790.225 states that manufacture, display, sell, own, possess, or use of a ballistic knife is strictly forbidden.

They are considered an absolute dangerous weapon and are risky to be in the hands of a common person.

Knife laws in Flordia, § 790.225 states

Why are they dangerous when they are like the usual knives? Well, the blade can be detached from the main body with a simple click.

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Additionally, the blade covers a large distance that can be said to be dangerous.

On the other hand, switchblades are prohibited due to Federal Law in the USA. Switchblades are the type of knives that opens up by a spring, push or button mechanism.

The U.S. Code § 1243 is all about switchblades being forbidden in the land of America.

U.S. Code § 1243

Legal Knives

You shouldn’t sweat at all if the knife you have to possess is not a ballistic or a switchblade.

Florida is quite lean when it comes to knives and doesn’t interfere unless it’s a dangerous one.

Some examples of legal knives are;

  • Bowie knives
  • Disguised knives
  • Jackknife
  • Butterfly Knife
  • Cane knives
  • Hunting knives
  • Pocket knives

Don’t worry if your knife is not present here in the bullet list. These are just examples and your one is surely on the legal knife list as well.

However, there is a twist when it comes to what size knife is legal to carry in Florida. The length of the knife and the type of carrying play a huge role in it.

Definition of Weapon In Florida

The definition of a weapon varies from state to state and so does in Flordia. Undoubtedly, a gun is considered a weapon.

But when it comes to knives, which of them are weapons?

Well, as per §790.001, the definition of a weapon is;

Section §790.001

There isn’t any clarification on the features for it to be a weapon, but we can surely guess.

It seems like any knife that is capable of penetrating human skin or harming the opposition is considered a weapon.

Does The Length Of The Knife Matter?

The length of the knife is usually measured from the tip of the blade to the bolster, which is basically the handle’s edge.

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In short, the blade length is what matters the most.

Coming back to the main question, does the length matter? Well, the length matters when you are doing concealed carry.

A blade length of more than 4 inches is prohibited from doing concealed carry in this state of the US.

Thus, it’s illegal even though it fits the legal knife length. If it has more than 4 inches of blade length and you are doing concealed carry.

Concealed Carry

The dangerous knives, which are ballistic and switchblades, are prohibited, but that does not mean no one can carry them.

If you have a permit/license to do firearm carry, a knife also falls under this. Thus, you can carry these with a license but you have to make sure it’s concealed.

On the other hand, when it comes to the general usage of knives, open carry or concealed carry doesn’t matter.

As long as it’s less than 4 inches, possessing one won’t be enough to get you penalized.

If one is caught in the act of concealed/open carrying a dangerous weapon then he/she will be penalized as per §790.01.

In a nutshell, he/she will be categorized as a first-degree misdemeanor.

Section §790.01

However, if you are worried about whether keeping a knife in your car is considered concealed carry, we are here to clarify.

Yes, if you carry a knife in a car in Florida, then it’s considered concealed carry, according to Florida.

Restricted Areas

Now that you know everything you need to be legal on the streets of Florida, there are certain areas where it’s invalid.

Yes, that means even if you have a license to carry one, you will be penalized if you visit these places with it.

Florida, like every other state, has prioritized the “no weapon in school” motto. Anyone will not be able to carry or possess a knife in an educational facility under any circumstances.

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Otherwise, law 790.115 will be there to penalize him/her.

Section §790.115

Similarly, the same law applies to government offices such as the Federal Building-Post Office Courthouse.


In general, a person who is under 18 years old is considered a minor. When it comes to knives, the law twists for minors.

They are restricted from carrying or possessing any type of knife except pocket ones.

It doesn’t matter whether they are open carrying or concealed carrying, the knives are just meant to be not seen in their hands.


You have already heard of plenty of penalties throughout the article. It’s time to dig in and know what the punishments could look like.

To start off, there are two degrees of penalties that you can face when you break the knife laws.

One of them is First Degree Misdemeanor and the other one is Second Degree Misdemeanor.

The second-degree misdemeanor is gotten by breaking less-serious laws such as concealed carrying a knife that is 5 inches whereas it should have been less than 4.

He/she will be penalized with up to a $500 fine and 60-day jail time.

Whereas, the first-degree title is gained by breaking a serious law such as carrying a prohibited weapon. It comes with up to a $1000 fine and a year of jail time.


To conclude, Florida knife laws are quite lean but surely tricky. You have to be extra careful about the type of carrying you are doing.

If you own a knife that is more than 4 inches, then you are bound to carry it openly.

Moreover, ballistic and switchblades are the ones that you got to stay away from. They are just strictly banned unless you have a permit to carry one.

A permit can only get you access to concealed carry of those knives.

On the other hand, the places where you should avoid any sort of knives are educational facilities and government buildings.

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