Alabama Knife Law – The Complete Guide (In Plain English)

Along with cutting, slicing, and dicing, the usability of a knife also acts as a defensive tool in different situations. Not only a cutting edge or defensive armament, but it also turns into a dangerous weapon to harm people sometimes. So, different countries, states, and cities have made respective legislation on using, buying carrying, and selling knives, and you need to follow the rules as a citizen.

While talking about the Alabama Knife Law (U.S), the common people need to know some vital legal rules and limitations before buying, selling, or carrying it. You just cannot carry or keep any illegal knife that can act as a weapon, and violate the Federal Knife Law. Breaching the Knife Law will not only penalize you in terms of money, but you may also imprison under the Switchblade Knife Act for respective offenses. So, before using or carrying a knife, learn the knife legislation of the state where you are living, migrating, or shifting.

State Knife Law in Alabama

Alabama (AL) is one of the urbanite states in the United States that is highly populated, and infamous for its knife-based crimes. This led to the introduction of strict regulations, limitations, and penalties which fall under Alabama Knife Law by the Federal Government.

Federal Law     

According to Section 26 of the Alabama Constitution, “Every citizen has a fundamental right to bear arms in defense of himself or herself and the state.” But you need to follow some conditions that fall under the knife-related ownership law, carrying law, and concealment law. Remember, you can neither sell nor purchase a knife from a minor under 18 years old. Moreover, you cannot transport a knife through a minor for any reason. You need to ask for age proof or ID before selling a knife if you are doubtful.

Penalties for Violation

Violating the legal regulation of selling a knife to a minor is offensive, and according to the Alabama Knife Law (Section 13A-11-57), you will be charged a $50 to $500 fine or you will be imprisoned! If a minor person purchases the knife then his/her parents will be penalized under Alabama Knife Law (Section 13A-11-72) with $500 fine or can be arrested and jailed. Therefore, as a citizen or migrant of Alabama, it is your sole responsibility to follow the law to get rid of serious compensation.

Types of Legal Knives in Alabama

You can carry, buy, sell or keep some knives but follow the legal limitations and exceptions. As a citizen or a migrant, you have the complete legal right to use these knives:

  1. Balisongs/Butterfly Knives – Balisongs Knife is also known as Fan Knife, Batangas Knife or Butterfly Knife which can be folded and kept in a bag or pocket. You can carry this blade after buying for your defense and selling with license.   
  2. Switchblades – These are the automatic push-button knives which are similar to sliding blades that can be opened automatically with a spring fixed with it holding a locking blade closure. Generally, it’s used for cutting woods, thick ropes or any defensive purpose.
  3. Dirks/ Stiletto Knives – Stiletto Knife is a thrashing dagger with a sharp blade which is slender and has a heavy handle to hold. So, these knives are also known as Stiletto knives and common people don’t use that because they need the training for using it. The knife business dealers in the state can manufacture it with a license or proper permission. As well as the armed forces who are in duty can use the knife during duty hours.     
  4. Double-Sided Knives – These defensive knives are known as knuckle knives because of the smart holding knuckles in it; and it looks like a small dagger that is easy to carry.
  5. Small Pocket Knives – There are different types of pocket knives such as Clip-Point Blade, Toothpick Knives, Pen-knife, Drop-Point Blades, Sheepsfoot Knife, Talon Blade that are foldable and easy to carry in a pocket. These are used to dice and slice fruits or vegetables. Along with that, you can use this knife for several other needs like cutting paper and fruits or vegetables.

Lawful Limitations for Using Knife as per Length

According to the Alabama Knife Law, the blade length of the knife should be 3-4 inches while you are carrying a knife in public places. It is better to carry pocket knives, switchblades, and folding knives for several necessities because these knives are smaller in size and can be carried in pockets or bags.

Remember, violating the law will put you behind the bar of jail for 6 months in jail or charge you a $500 fine. However, you will only be escaped if you are successful to prove that you have carried the long knife for self-defense or another valid purpose like selling it. The license and evidence are mandatory to be proved.

Types of Illegal Knives in Alabama

There are a few knives that are illegal to use, buy, sell, lend and carry for both the citizens and the visitors of Alabama:

  1. Gravity Knives –The gravity knife is slender and can easily be concealed, so it is restricted to use in Alabama. Any kind of misleading crime may result because of this small knife.
  2. 11” Butcher Knife –This large dangerous and sharp 11-inch Butcher-knife is illegal to use in Alabama because of its high shrillness. People like a fisherman, knife business dealer, and butchers can only use this knife with a license.
  3. Bowies – The Bowie Knife is a fixed-blade fighting knife. This sharp-bladed knife is used to slice meat or fishes in the kitchen; and it also cuts ropes, woods, and fiber. But you can only use this knife with the permission of law with a license, otherwise it is illegal.
  4. Machete – This knife has a broad and sharp blade which can be used as an axe. It is illegal to use because it’s a dreadful weapon which can be harmful.  

Legal Regulations to Keep the Knives

You can keep some knives with you as per Ownership Law, and carry them as per Carrying Law, but you need to follow the limitations with exceptions as follows:

  • According to the Section 13A-11-50 of Alabama Knife Law, it is restricted to carry Bowie knife; and knives that look like a gun like Machete in a concealed or hidden manner as per Concealed Law. There is an exception to conceal it if you are using the Bowie Knife at your own property.
  • You can carry some knives openly by attaching it on the waist belt with permission of federal police. But, according to Section 13-A11-55Indictment for Carrying Weapons, you cannot hide and carry any weapons like a sharp knife and throwing knife whether you are a migrant or citizen of Alabama, U.S.
  • Any person should not, knowingly or by mistaken, harm someone with the deadly weapon as per Section 13A-11-74 of Alabama Knife Law – it is a serious criminal offense.

Penalties for Breaching the Regulations of Alabama Knife Law

You have to compensate if you breach the aforesaid legal regulations in the following ways:

  • Violating the Section 13A-11-50 of Alabama Knife Law will be fined $50 to $500 and will be convicted to jail for six months. Moreover, he or she may be hard-labored for the state or country for the 6 months imprisonment.
  • If you breach the Section 13A-11-55 of Alabama Knife Law then you will be charged $250 or more because you will fall under Class A misdemeanor which is a misleading act. So, do not hide the Bowie and other sharp knives; carry them openly with permission if you are above 18 years.
  • Breaching the Section 13A-11-74 will term under Class C felony which is a grave offense and he or she will be convicted to custody for 2 years with hard-labored work for the country.


People in the armed forces who are doing their duty are always permitted to carry every type of knife and weapon mentioned above. There are no legal restrictions for them as per the Federal Law of Alabama. Even the business dealers of knives can carry different types of blades with a license, but cannot sell to everyone in the state.

Legally Restricted Places to Carry Knife

Some places are strictly restricted from carrying any weapon or knives because it may harm to life risk. Especially, it’s highly prohibited to carry knives in educational institutes. Take a short look at the places where you shouldn’t carry knives:

  • Schools
  • Public Transport
  • Public Events
  • Court
  • Police Station
  • Airport
  • Planes
  • Ship

Penalties for Carrying the Knives on Prohibited Places

According to The Federal Switchblade Act, corporate police have banned transporting knives and blades through air or flight. So, there is a tough checking in airport and deck while traveling. This law is equal for court, police station, and public transports or events. There is no chance to carry knives in police stations and courts because of tough checking; and if you try to carry hidden knives at public transports, courts, or events then you will be punishable under the above-mentioned Section 13-A11-55Indictment for Carrying Weapons and Section 13A-11-50 of Alabama Knife Law (Concealed Law). If you are a business dealer of a knife then you can show your license to carry a knife in goods ship, send it by carriage flight or carry it to public transport like bus or metro.

As per Section 16-1-24.1 of Alabama Knife Law, if any student or teacher carries a knife to school or other educational institutes then he or she will be rusticated or expelled with a fine. Any outsider who carries knives to school without permission would be convicted to jail for six months or will be charged $200 to $500 according to Section 16-1-24.1.

Final Thoughts

A knife is a useful tool but there are some lawful rules to use several knives which fall under Alabama Knife Law. Following and carrying forward the legal regulations of the state to others are our solemn responsibilities as responsible citizens. So, use the knife, but before buying it, know the respective legislations because violating the law may compensate you in various strict ways.