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Florida Knife Laws (Updated 2020): Is it legal to carry knives in FL?

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The Sunshine State has much to offer and outdoor activities happen to top that list. Many of us tend to have various reasons for having a knife of some sort on our person and staying on top of state laws will be the difference from a possible prosecution charge.

As much as we’d all like to have a combat flipper at our belt side we must first check the legality of even owning a knife before taking one into public!

Knives come in handy for all types of occasions whether it’s self-defense, peeling fruit on a picnic or shaving tinder on a hike in the wood; whatever your need is, let’s keep you updated with the latest FL knife laws so that you can choose the best knife to suit your needs whilst staying within the arms of the law!

The legality of carrying knives is heavily dependent on these following factors:

  • Type of knife and purpose: Fixed blade, folding blade or multi-purpose tool.
  • How it’s carried: Open carry or concealed carry.
  • Blade-style: Serrated blade, straight blade, semi serrated.

We have to assess all these factors when deciding to buy a knife to ensure its legality.

TYPES OF KNIVES AND LEGAL RESTRICTIONS

Fixed Blade Knives

Fixed blade knives are also sometimes known as “sheath knives” as they do not have any moving parts and are usually kept in a sheath for protection. 

Kitchen knives are most common in our everyday use, however, they go farther beyond being just household items.

With innovation came such versatility and toughness that they became standardized equipment for military personnel, hunters, survivalists and back-country hikers. 

It is LEGAL TO OWN and CARRY these knives. However, YOU MUST BE AWARE of these factors:

  • Open Carry: It is LEGAL to OPEN CARRY fixed blade knives of any type, size and length.
  • Concealed Carry: It is ILLEGAL to CARRY any knife with a BLADE LONGER THAN 4 INCHES. This will make it ILLEGAL WITHOUT A VALID PERMIT!

Folding blade knives conceal the blade within the handle and are usually opened with the thumb depending on the knife’s feature. These knives are also known as “locking knives” as the blades lock firmly in place when they are fully extended.

Their sleek design and shape give them the advantage of being very practical whilst typically having a 2 - 6 inch blade. The multi-tool has become widely popularized in recent times and tends to be the go-to option over others such as the Swiss Army knife or box cutters.

It is LEGAL TO OWN and CARRY folding blade knives. However, YOU MUST BE AWARE of these factors:

  • Open Carry: it is LEGAL to OPEN CARRY fixed blade knives of any type, size and length.
  • Conceal Carry: it is LEGAL to carry these knives folded and concealed given that the BLADE is less than 4 inches in length. It is ILLEGAL to carry any knife with a BLADE longer than 4 inches.

AUTOMATIC KNIVES (SWITCHBLADES)

Automatic knives or switchblades are potentially the most practical type of knives given their speed and deliverance in emergency situations. With the blade contained within the handle, a spring mechanism fires open the knife putting it to use in no time. 

Automatic knives are LEGAL for OPEN CARRY regardless of their blade length. Concealed carry is ILLEGAL of automatic knives UNLESS you have a VALID PERMIT.

Quick facts to keep you in safe hands from the LAW

  • All ballistic knives are illegal
  • Schools are ‘weapon-free zones’
  • All blades longer than 4 inches are ILLEGAL for CONCEALED CARRY
  • Minors (younger than 18) must NEVER carry anything other than a basic pocket knife unless express permission from the parents.
  • Butterfly knives concealed carry is allowed only with a valid permit.
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