Georgia Knife Laws

Know Your Rights: A Summary of Georgia’s Knife Laws

Laws in a state are something that needs to be constantly updated to be valid and reasonable. Thus, the changes in Georgia knife laws took place in the year of 2012.

Here, the Empire State of the South brought out some significant changes to be lean with a simple knife.

Georgia realized knives are meant to be carried with you in your travel bag. Moreover, for you to go for a family picnic and cut some fresh apples with it.

Thus, the updated laws took place to make life simpler.

It’s undoubtedly shocking the length of the knife that can be carried in Georgia while also doing concealed carry.

Whether it is safe to give general people this access is entirely up to you. We are here to clarify every detail of the knife law. So, let’s get started!


What’s better than a detailed article?

A highlight section that portrays everything you need to know in the least read possible.

  • Concealed carry or open carry doesn’t make an impact.
  • Switchblades are prohibited due to Federal Law.
  • There are no mentioned illegal knives in the Georgia law book.
  • A knife of more than 12 inches of blade size is illegal.
  • Carrying any type/length of a knife on your personal property is safe and legal.
  • Schools, churches, government buildings, and nuclear power facilities are prohibited from knives longer than 2 inches.
  • Statewide preemption is present.
  • Minors are prohibited from owning a dangerous knife.

Illegal Knives In Georgia

As per §16–11–125.1, the definition of a weapon doesn’t fit the specifications of a general knife.

As a result, there aren’t any knives that are illegal in the state of Georgia.

Section §16–11–125.1

However, there is Federal Law present in the United States which displaces every law in any state. It can be said that Federal Law is the father of all the laws out there.

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Federal Law states that any knife that opens up its blade with a push, button, or spring mechanism is banned in the land of the USA.

In a nutshell, what they mean is that switchblades are not allowed.

It is clearly stated in the U.S. Code § 1243;

U.S. Code § 1243

Thus, when there is a conflict between federal law and state law, the first one always wins, no matter what.

Legal Knives In Georgia

Firstly, if you own a knife in your house that breaks the Knife laws in Georgia, don’t be afraid.

As long as you are keeping it on your property, no one has the right to do anything to you as it’s your property.

However, except for switchblades and the consideration of the blade length, there isn’t anything that makes any knife illegal to carry.

Don’t worry; we will talk about the blade length later on in this article.

Nevertheless, some examples of legal knives would be:

  • Bowie knives
  • Disguised knives
  • Dirks
  • Daggers
  • Ballistic knives
  • Undetectable knives
  • Hunting knives
  • Butterfly knives
  • Throwing stars

What’s The Legal Knife Length In Georgia?

To clarify in the first place, there aren’t any illegal knife lengths but blade lengths only.

What it means is that only the length of the blade matters in these circumstances, and the overall knife’s size doesn’t.

So, what size knife is legal to carry in Georgia? The limitation for a knife not being considered a dangerous weapon is 12 inches.

As long as the blade length is less than 12 inches, your knife is legal to be carried in both concealed and open manner.

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All these rules are excluded from homes or personal property. Thus, activities such as a carry a knife in a car in Georgia that is longer than 12 inches are permissible.

However, if you need to carry a knife that is longer than 12 inches, then you have to get the license/permit to carry one as per §16-11-129.

Does Concealed Carry Or Open Carry Matter?

While in most states, the type of carrying matters the most for it to be legal, the Peach state doesn’t care about it.

You can do both concealed and open carry as long as it’s in the legal knife length restriction.

On the other hand, if you have been restricted from carrying any weapons for a crime that you have committed, then everything is illegal for you.

Not open carry nor concealed carry is thus permissible.

Is Statewide Preemption Present?

Surprisingly, yes, Georgia is a state where statewide preemption is present. Thus, laws don’t vary from city to city, and only one law is obeyed.

For example, the 12 inches of legal knife length is followed out over all of Georgia, and no new laws can be made to interfere with this one.

Similarly, every knife law that’s included here will not vary in other areas in Georgia.

Restricted Areas

Even though the laws don’t change for different areas, they surely do when it comes to sensitive spaces like schools and worship areas.

As per § 16-11-127.1, one can only carry a knife that has a blade length of 2 inches or less in these places. Is it only school or school-related facilities as well?

Well, as per Georgia;

Code 16-11-127.1

However, a professor/faculty member will be allowed to override these regulations. They can keep longer knives as long as it’s under their management.

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Similarly, sensitive spaces like churches, government buildings, or nuclear power facilities are restricted areas.

What About Minors?

Anyone under 18 is minor. They are prohibited from owning, carrying, or manufacturing a knife that is capable of causing harm.

Georgia, like other states, is strict about minors, and there is no way they are giving access to dangerous weapons in their hands.

Fines And Jail Time

After so much freedom, if you manage to break the laws, then the fines and jail time you will receive will certainly not be sweet.

If you are seen carrying a knife more than 12 inches without a license, then a fine of $1000 and a year of jail time are common.

On the other hand, breaking the restricted area laws is seen as a much bigger crime. The fines and jail times are certainly more than 1000 dollars and 1 year of jail time.


To summarize, there is a very slight chance that you will even break the Georgia knife laws.

A boundary of 12 inches blade is too much, and there’s no way you would need that big of a knife in the first place.

Additionally, the type of carrying doesn’t make an impact on the laws, which makes the entire regulations easier to follow.

However, be aware of sensitive spots like educational facilities, churches, and government buildings.

The government is quite strict about it and can lead you to a big number of fines and jail time.

Lastly, there is statewide preemption when it comes to knives. Thus, there will be no change in the laws if you move to different cities.

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