Arizona Knife Laws

Knife Laws in Arizona

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

However, when it comes to knives, the state has few regulations that govern the possession and usage of knives within its borders. However, it is critical that you learn the limitations in the law in order to avoid difficulties in the future.

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.

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 are quite favorable to enthusiasts and allow anyone ages 21 and over to carry any type of knife either concealed or open carry.

While state laws allow you to open carry and are quite forgiving within Arizona, you should still know the federal laws governing knives and how you must comply. Mostly what you need to know is 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 carry a knife 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. Though many people widely accept that a pocketknife is a foldable knife with a blade no longer than four inches.

When does your knife use become criminal?

It is critical to emphasize that the aim of the knife user is critical here. If a felon is legally carrying a knife but uses it to hurt or attempt to harm another person, this will almost certainly be considered a felony. Similarly, a felon is not forbidden in Arizona from carrying a brick, but a brick can certainly 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 using your knife in the wrong way. If you use your knife 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 is true for other crimes, such as kidnapping, domestic abuse, assault, etc. When you use a knife to threaten your victim, you’ll likely face more severe penalties for the crime.

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 blade.

Under A.R.S. 13-3101, a knife can be considered a deadly weapon when it is used to inflict 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 individual city could answer. That’s because each city within Arizona had different guidelines for knives. It made things extremely confusing for Arizona citizens to know when and where they could carry a knife.

To solve the confusion, the state made all knife laws a statewide rule meaning the state law trumped the city’s law. 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 who have been 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 lethal weapons. However, hunting knives and switchblades are most likely classified as lethal weapons. When evaluating whether someone legally has a knife, the breadth of use and intent behind possession take precedence.

Can a Minor Carry a Knife?

Minors under the age of 21 are prohibited from carrying knives under Arizona law. A person under the age of 21 is not permitted to carry a knife larger than a pocket knife in a concealed manner.

In Arizona, however, there is 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.

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 when they cross state lines, they are then governed by those states’ rules. Even though you are a resident of Arizona, you must follow the laws of the state that 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 do your 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 make its own laws surrounding knife carrying and use.


Arizona knife laws are complex and often difficult to understand. In the state of 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.

In general, Arizona law allows most individuals to carry pocket knives with a blade length that is less than four inches. It is also legal for an individual to own short swords or daggers that are 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 first obtaining written permission from the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Lastly, it is unlawful to bring any type of weapon into certain establishments like schools and government buildings without prior authorization from the relevant authorities.

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