Knife Laws in Florida

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Florida can be quite challenging when it comes to owning and carrying knives. Some types of knives are allowed, while others are banned. There are a few ifs, and they can quickly complicate things. Here is everything you need to know about knife laws in Florida.

What knives are legal to own in Florida?

Tampa bay Florida
Tampa Bay, Florida

Like many other states, balisong knives are perfectly legal in Florida. Automatic/switchblades are also allowed. Cane knives and belt knives are also accepted and any other type of disguised knife. Its disguised profile is not relevant. Bowie knives and other large alternatives are legal as well, not to mention throwing knives and throwing stars. Even undetectable knives – those that will not set off metal detectors – are allowed.

What knives are illegal to own in Florida?

The good news is most knives are legal in Florida. The bad news is ballistic knives are unlawful. If you are after ballistic knives, you will have to forget about this thought. Owning such knives is not allowed in Florida.

What are the limits on carry?

Generally speaking, unless you plan to carry a ballistic knife, you can open carry any knife out there. However, it must be visible if you do not want to break the law.

Concealed Carry

Things can get a bit complicated when it comes to concealed carry. For instance, work knives can be carried concealed, such as box opening knives or multi-tool knives. Simply put, concealed knives with blades measuring less than four inches will never present an issue. If the blade is longer than that, you will need a permit. People are less likely to get such permits unless they have solid reasons.

Restrictions on Carry in Specific Locations / Circumstances

Regardless of the type or size, You cannot bring knives into schools or school grounds. They are also banned from activities organized by schools.

Restrictions on Sale or Transfer

Since it is illegal to own ballistic knives, they are unlawful to sell or purchase. But, of course, owning one is illegal, so selling it is just as bad. Other than that, knives cannot be sold or transferred to minors – unless they are common pocket knives.

Is there a statewide pre-emption?

There is not a statewide pre-emption in Florida.

Major Cities in Florida with Knife Ordinances

Florida is one of the states with most knife ordinances. The state allows municipalities to come up with their ordinances. Such ordinances mostly target those with a concealed carry license.

City, StateLaw Title/ Chapter/ SectionConcealed Carry LegalMax Size RestrictionShort description from the law
Alachua Co. FL113.01. & 123.40.Yes3" the blade does not exceed a three-inch length. / No Knife of any length in court houses /
Altamonte Sps., FL12-37.Whoever shall carry concealed arms of any kind except a common pocket knife,
Belle Glade, FL18-68.or by carrying any arms, such as pistols, knives except small pen or pocket knives,
Boca Raton, FL13-100. thru 13-102unlawful to carry, possess or display any weapon while participating in any special event/demonstration.
Bradenton Beach, FL6-33.Yes2.5"possess any folding knife with a blade that exceeds 2 1/2 inches in length.
Broward Co. FL2.2.No Knives allowed in Airport Terminal.
Casselberry, FL62-1903.City Employees can't possess a knife of any kind even in their Auto on City Property.
Citrus Co. FL58-78.No Weapons in Court House including knives commonly referred to as pocket knives
Coconut Creek, FL17-27. & 21-12.2.carry any knife while participating in a parade/picket line/group demonstration/block party.. Emp. on City Property
Coral Gables, any special event, parade or public assembly to carry or possess any weapon, Knife
Crestview, FL54-7.Yes3"knife (other than a small pocket knife with its blades under three inches in length)
Delray Beach, carrying any arms, such as pistols, knives (except pocket knives),
Ft. Lauderdale, FL26-202.1.Parade and public assembly prohibitions (no knives.)
Ft. Pierce. FL11-15.Yes4"an ordinary pocket knife containing a blade not longer than four (4) inches.
Gainesville, FL17-5.Yes3"In City owned buildings, pocket knife, provided the blade of the pocket knife does not exceed a three-inch length.
Gulfport, FL14-55.It shall be unlawful to carry or have concealed about one's person or other weapon except a common pocket knife
Lake Wales, FLSec. 18-82Prohibited acts in city parks and facilities . . . . shall any person carry on his or her person, in plain view, any knife
Miami Beach, FL106-375.Any participant in a demonstration, rally, picket line or parade within the city who carries a knife
Oakland, FL50-53.It shall be unlawful for any person other than an authorized office to carry a knife
Oakland Park, FL8-16.are prohibited from carrying secretly about their person any clasp knife, more than an ordinary pocketknife.
Palm Beach Co. FL1-1. Weapon shall mean a knife, or any other like instrument utilized to coerce, intimidate or injure an individual.
Port Orange, FL58-51.At Special Events knife, hatchet or any other instrument customarily used or intended for use as a dangerous weapon.
Sarasota, FL21-143.No person shall carry or have concealed about his person any weapon, except a common pocket knife.
South Daytona, FL10-3.No person shall carry or have concealed about his person any weapon, except a common pocket knife.
South Miami, FL15-15. & 15-18.are prohibited from carrying secretly about their person any clasp knife, more than an ordinary pocketknife.
Starke, FL66-34.are prohibited from carrying secretly about their person any clasp knife, more than an ordinary pocketknife.


Army individuals – as well as veterans – benefit from exceptions from license provisions.

Summary of Knife Laws in Florida

In conclusion, knife laws in Florida are relatively straightforward. The critical dimension you need to keep in mind is four inches. Knives are legal to carry in the open, but concealed knives should not exceed four inches in blade size. There is another thing to remember – ballistic knives are banned in Florida, so owning one is prohibited. Finally, remember that many cities and municipalities have knife ordinances, so double-check local laws.