Florida Knife Laws

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Florida knife laws are quite lenient.

In Florida, a person can have a knife that is not concealed in their home, workplace, or vehicle without violating any laws. However, Florida law does not allow for knives to be carried openly on the outside of clothing or in a sheath. In addition, it is illegal to carry a dagger, dirk, stiletto, sword cane (walking stick), or any other type of blade over 12 inches in length inside of public buildings.


Knife laws in Florida dictate that any person who carries a “knife or blade” is guilty of a third-degree felony unless he or she has written authorization from either their employer, school, or a business owner.

Many people may not be aware of the laws surrounding knives and blades because they don’t think about them or simply aren’t aware they exist.

Knife laws are tricky and can be difficult to understand, especially for someone that has never had to deal with the legal system. The state of Florida classifies knives into 4 different categories based on blade length.

Knives are classified as follows:

  • Category I: Any knife length is legal, but no other restrictions apply.
  • Category II: Knives with blades less than 2 inches in length are legal, but cannot be carried or possessed in a place of business.
  • Category III: Knives between 2 inches and 12 inches may not be carried or possessed in a school safety zone unless they are secured in sheath or scabbard if the person has intent to use them unlawfully against another person.
  • Category IV: Knives over 12 inches may not be carried.

What Knives Are Legal to Carry in Florida?

Florida knife law is a rather broad category of laws that governs the use, possession, and transport of knives in the state of Florida.

The statute defines a knife as any “dagger, knife, razor, or cutting instrument.”

A lot of people may not know that there are some knives that are illegal to carry in Florida. It is essential to know the laws before bringing a knife to school, work, or other public places.

It is illegal to carry a knife with a blade length of 2.5” or longer in Florida without any circumstances. Any blade over 3” can be considered as an illegal weapon and not just a pocket knife.

Restrictions for Carrying Knives in Florida

A new law in Florida went into effect on October 1st, 2017. The Knife Law Reform Act of 2017 prohibits people from carrying knives with blades over 3” in public without a lawful reason and provides that lawful reasons include:

  • employment as a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or corrections employee;
  • use of the knife for hunting, fishing, cooking, food preparation, or other similar occupation;
  • participation in an exhibition;
  • use of the knife for defending oneself or one’s property;

The law also provides that it is not illegal to carry knives with blades less than 3” anywhere in Florida without any restrictions.

Illegal Weapons Under Florida Law

Florida has the largest illegal firearms market in America. It is estimated that around 200,000 firearms are trafficked into the state annually.

Illegal weapons under Florida law include:

  • All firearms, ammunition and other weapons manufactured and sold without a license to do so by the state or federal government
  • Firearms, ammunition and other weapons which have been modified or had their serial numbers altered for use in a crime or to avoid detection by law enforcement agencies.
  • Weapons such as sawed off shotguns, machine guns and silencers which are designed for use by U.S military personnel.

Florida law prohibits the possession of firearms by any person, other than a law enforcement officer, who has been convicted of a felony or who suffers from mental illness.

Florida law also restricts the use or discharge of certain weapons in public places and in wildlife management areas. The crime is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor for which you can be sentenced to up to one year in jail and fined up to $1,000.00.


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