Arizona Knife Laws

Knife Laws in Arizona

Arizona has one of the laxest knife regulations in the United States. Within the state, limited limitations exist on the purchase, ownership, sale, and carrying of knives. In Arizona, you are permitted to carry any knife, concealed or openly.

However, regarding knives, the state has few regulations governing the possession and usage of knives within its borders. However, it would be best if you learned the limitations of the law to avoid future difficulties.

While a knife has the potential to cause harm, it is not classified as a weapon unless its intended use changes. As previously established, Arizona knife laws classify knives as tools unless the intent behind their use changes. If a knife is used as a tool in the commission of a crime, the charges for that crime will climb to the level where you will need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Are There Illegal Types of Knives?

In some states, it’s illegal to carry certain types of knives, even if you’re over the age of 21 and you have a concealed weapons permit. The situation is different in Arizona and the legislative framework isn’t as strict as in some other parts of the US.

Pocket knives are legal in the state. So are balisong (butterfly) knives, switchblades, bowie knives, and gravity knives. There are also no limitations when it comes to automatic, assisted opening knives, folding knives, double-sided blades, and stilettos.

There is no legal limit in terms of permissible knife length in Arizona. The de facto limit is introduced only in the case of individuals aged 21 or younger. These people are allowed to carry only a knife that’s small enough to fit in one’s pocket.

In Arizona, there are also no prohibitions when it comes to transferring or selling knives – a law that turns Arizona into one of the most knife-friendly states in the US.

When a Knife Collection Violates AZ Knife Laws

Knife enthusiasts love living in Arizona because it has some of the best knife laws of any state in the country. That’s because knife laws favor enthusiasts and allow anyone ages 21 and over to carry any knife, either concealed or open.

While state laws allow you to open carry and are pretty forgiving within Arizona, you should still know the federal regulations governing knives and how to comply. Primarily, you must know that you still cannot carry a knife onto protected grounds, such as a school, nuclear facility, or public event.

Additionally, private businesses and venues still have the right to prohibit you from carrying a knife into their building even though Arizona law permits you to take it anywhere.

Classifying a pocketknife

It’s not uncommon for people to carry a pocketknife with them. These small, often foldable knives allow users to keep a tool on hand that’s helpful in opening packages, assisting in small projects, or mild self-defense.

Surprisingly, there is no definitive explanation for what constitutes a pocketknife. Many people widely accept that a pocketknife is a foldable knife with no longer than four inches blade.

When does your knife use become criminal?

It is critical to emphasize that the aim of the knife user is vital here. If a felon legally carries a knife but uses it to hurt or attempt to harm another person, this will almost certainly be considered a felony. Similarly, a prisoner is not forbidden in Arizona from carrying a brick, but a brick can undoubtedly be made into a dangerous weapon depending on the user’s purpose.

Even though Arizona has very favorable knife rules for collectors and enthusiasts, you can still get caught for misusing your knife. If you use your blade during a crime, you can get charged for using a weapon.

For example, if you commit a robbery and use a knife to threaten the victim, now your charges move to armed robbery, which carries more severe penalties than a regular robbery. The same applies to other crimes, such as kidnapping, domestic abuse, assault, etc. You’ll likely face more severe criminal penalties when you use a knife to threaten your victim.

When is a knife considered a weapon?

A knife is considered to be a weapon under Arizona law. And the law does not define how large a knife blade must be to be considered a weapon; it simply states that a knife is an object with a sharpened or pointed edge.

Under A.R.S. 13-3101, a knife can be considered a deadly weapon when it inflicts serious harm on another person, including death or the threat of death.

Do Arizona’s state laws on knives carry into city jurisdictions?

In 2011, Arizona updated its state law making the laws governing knives no longer a question each city could answer. That’s because each city within Arizona had different blade guidelines, making it highly confusing for Arizona citizens to know when and where to carry a knife.

To solve the confusion, the state made all knife laws a statewide rule meaning the state law trumped the city’s ordinance. This ruling is found in A.R.S. 13-3120.

Can an Arizona Felon Carry a Knife?

Knife ownership and possession following a felony conviction might be complex. Individuals convicted of a crime and placed on the forbidden possessor list are not permitted to acquire or carry a dangerous weapon. The critical question, in this case, is what constitutes a lethal weapon. Most household knives or pocket knives meet the criteria for being classified as deadly weapons. However, hunting knives and switchblades are most likely classified as deadly weapons. The breadth of use and intent behind possession take precedence when evaluating whether someone legally has a knife.

Trafficking weapons, including knives, to assist a criminal street gang is a felony. The same applies to possessing and carrying a deadly weapon while committing a felony crime. Committing a crime and using a knife will contribute to much more serious consequences than committing the crime in the absence of a weapon.

It is also illegal to refrain informing a police officer that you’re carrying a knife on you. When you’re stopped by a police officer, you will have to provide information about the blade you’re carrying, unless you have a small pocketknife.

Can a Minor Carry a Knife?

A.R.S. 13-3101 and 13-3102 provide specific information about what’s legal and illegal in terms of carrying knives.

Individuals under the age of 21 cannot carry a non-pocket knife openly or in a concealed way legally. In comparison, those over the age of 21 can carry knives either openly or concealed without facing legal repercussions.

This rule applies to all kinds of deadly weapons and not just knives. A violation of the law is classified as a Class 3 misdemeanor and it leads to criminal charges.

However, Arizona has no age limit for carrying a pocket knife. According to ARS-13-3102, a pocket knife is not a lethal weapon. A folding knife with a blade length under 4 inches fulfills the definition of a “pocket knife”; thus, persons of any age can legally carry one.

Keep in mind that specific circumstances could lead to even more serious charges.

Carrying any type of knife, including a pocketknife, on school property will contribute to felony charges.

It is best to wait until one turns 21 before carrying a knife. In order to bring a knife everywhere for self-defense purposes, you will need a concealed weapons permit.

I’m from Arizona. Can I carry my knife into other states?

Because knife laws are so lenient in Arizona, it can be difficult for residents to remember that they are governed by those states’ rules when they cross state lines. Even though you are a resident of Arizona, you must follow the laws of the condition you are visiting.

In most states, this means not concealing knives with blades longer than four inches, which is where the pocketknife definition ends. Be sure to research before taking a knife across state lines to ensure you aren’t breaking the law and getting out-of-state charges for your knife collection. Each state is different and reserves the right to regulate knife carrying and use.


Carrying a knife will qualify as a crime in very few instances. If you commit a crime with a knife (a robbery, assault, homicide), however, the situation will be different and the scope of the consequences isn’t going to be dependent on age alone.

Arizona knife laws are complex and often difficult to understand. In Arizona, individuals must be aware of the various rules and regulations regarding the possession, sale, transfer, and use of knives. Understanding these laws can be crucial in avoiding potential legal consequences.

Arizona law generally allows most individuals to carry pocket knives with fewer than four inches of blade length. It is also legal for an individual to own short swords or daggers designed solely for display or ornamental purposes; however, it is illegal to conceal such weapons in public places. Additionally, a person may not manufacture or possess any switchblade knife with a blade longer than two inches without obtaining written permission from the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Lastly, bringing weapons into certain establishments like schools and government buildings is unlawful without prior authorization from the relevant authorities.


  • Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 13, Chapter 31 – Weapons and Explosives: This chapter outlines Arizona Revised Statutes laws about weapons, including knives, in Arizona. It includes information on prohibited weapons, possession and use of deadly weapons, and more. You can access this chapter on the Arizona State Legislature website:
  • Arizona Knife Laws: This website provides an overview of Arizona’s knife laws, including information on what types of knives are legal to carry and restrictions on knife possession and use. It also includes information on local laws and ordinances related to knives in various cities and counties in Arizona. You can access this website at:
  • Knife Rights: This advocacy organization promotes pro-knife legislation and works to protect the rights of knife owners and users. Their website provides information on knife laws in various states, including Arizona, and updates on legislative efforts to change or improve those laws. You can access their website at:

Please note that the information provided in these resources is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. If you have specific questions or concerns about Arizona’s knife laws, you may wish to consult with an attorney or legal expert.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.