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

Last updated on October 20th, 2023 at 05:18 pm

This article was created to be a brief synopsis of the law according to my understanding and is not legal advice. Knifeade is not a legal service provider. Using this site does not create a client/lawyer relationship. Because knife laws can be interpreted differently by different people and entities it is recommended that you consult legal counsel for specific information and guidance.

Navigating the complex world of knife laws can be quite a task, especially when attempting to understand the specifics in your state. In Arizona, the laws around the use, possession, and carrying of knives are fairly liberal, making it a knife-friendly state. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of Arizona’s knife laws to equip you with the essential knowledge you need.

If you are a knife owner or enthusiast in Arizona, regulations surrounding the type of knife, its intended use, and the location where it’s being carried are crucial. Thankfully, Arizona stands as one of the least restrictive states in the Union concerning knife-carry laws. However, it doesn’t mean there are no laws.

In this guide, we will delve into specific rules and regulations governing the open or concealed carry of various types of knives. Familiarizing yourself with these laws will better equip you to legally and responsibly exercise your rights as a knife owner in Arizona.

Our Top Rated “50-State-Legal” Knives

*These knives are listed based on their broad legality across states, but always consult your local laws before making a purchase.

Does Arizona Have Statewide Preemption Knife Laws?

Indeed, Arizona has statewide preemption knife laws, ensuring that local municipalities cannot enact prohibitive laws regarding knives that surpass state laws. This was established in 2011 to reduce confusion among citizens traversing the state. The amendment prevents any political subdivision of the state from enacting ordinances, rules, or taxes concerning the transportation, sale, possession, carrying, transfer, purchase, gift, licensing, or registration of knives or knife-making components, creating a uniform law across the state​​.

Arizona Knife Definitions

As you read this post, you should know that Arizona has specific knife definitions you should know:

  • Knife: A cutting instrument inclusive of a sharpened or pointed blade.
  • Deadly Weapon: Anything designed for lethal use, including knives, depending on the intent of use​.
  • Prohibited Possessor: Individuals forbidden from carrying a deadly weapon, such as convicted felons whose rights have not been restored, individuals serving a prison term, and individuals considered a danger to themselves or others without restored firearm possession rights.

Knife Types & Their Legal Status’ In Arizona

Legal Knives in Arizona

Arizona law allows adults aged 21 and older to legally carry a wide variety of knives. This includes, but is not limited to, pocket knives, switchblades, automatic knives, fixed blade knives, daggers, dirks, stilettos, bowie knives, machetes, and other cutting instruments like swords, katanas, and bayonets. There are no specific restrictions concerning these knives for adults over 21 years of age​.

Illegal Knives in Arizona

There are no prohibited types of knives in Arizona. However, restrictions exist concerning carrying knives in specific locations and by certain individuals, such as prohibited possessors.

Knife Length Laws

There are no statewide restrictions or laws concerning the blade length of a knife that can be carried, either openly or concealed, in Arizona. This liberality applies as long as you are 21 years or older. However, specific locations like schools, government buildings, or private properties may have their own rules and regulations regarding the possession and carry of knives​.

Arizona Knife Carry Laws

Arizona knife carry laws determine how and where you can carry knives within the state. Here is what the law says:

Open Carry Laws

Arizona is a lenient state regarding open carry knife laws, allowing individuals aged 21 and older to carry any type of knife, regardless of its size or the type of blade, openly. For those under 21 years, the law permits the open carry of pocket knives only. Open carry implies that the knife is in plain sight and not hidden from others’ view. Although Arizona has lenient open carry laws, carrying a knife onto school grounds, government buildings, or private property that expressly prohibits the possession of knives is still illegal​.

Concealed Knife Laws

Arizona law permits the concealed carry of any type of knife, irrespective of the blade length or type, for individuals who are 21 years or older. Individuals under 21 can only concealed carry pocket knives. However, it’s illegal to carry a deadly weapon concealed on your person or within your immediate control while committing a criminal offense, on school grounds, or within polling stations on election day unless authorized by law​.

Age Requirements (Can Minors Buy and Carry Knives?)

Arizona law permits minors to purchase and carry pocket knives only. However, automatic knives can only be purchased and owned by individuals who are 21 years or older. It’s a criminal offense to sell or transfer a deadly weapon to a prohibited possessor, including minors​.


Exemptions to Arizona’s knife laws include being in your own dwelling or place of business, being a peace officer or military personnel on active duty, among a few other specified situations.

Sale, Transfer, and Manufacturing of Knives

Laws Regarding the Sale of Knives

The sale, transfer, and manufacturing of knives are generally allowed in Arizona. However, it’s a criminal offense to sell or transfer a deadly weapon to a prohibited person, which includes individuals with certain criminal backgrounds or mental illnesses​.

Arizona Knife Law FAQs

Are switchblades legal in Arizona?

Switchblades are legal in Arizona. Arizona law allows the ownership, possession, and open or concealed carry of switchblades for individuals who are 21 years or older. For those under 21, only pocket knives can be carried, whether open or concealed.

Are butterfly knives illegal in Arizona?

Butterfly knives are not illegal in Arizona. Arizona’s laws permit the ownership and carrying of any type of knife, including butterfly knives, for persons aged 21 and above. Individuals under 21 years are only allowed to carry pocket knives.

Are OTF knives legal in Arizona?

Out-the-front (OTF) knives are legal in Arizona. Individuals 21 years or older are permitted to own and carry OTF knives, whether openly or concealed. However, for those under the age of 21, only pocket knives are legally permitted.

Are automatic knives legal in Arizona?

Automatic knives are legal in Arizona. However, they can only be owned and carried by individuals who are 21 years or older. Minors are restricted to only owning and carrying pocket knives.

Are gravity knives legal in Arizona?

Gravity knives are legal in Arizona. The state’s laws allow for the ownership and carrying of gravity knives for those 21 years or older. Minors under 21 are only allowed to carry pocket knives.

How old do you have to be to carry a knife in Arizona?

In Arizona, anyone can carry a pocket knife, regardless of age. However, to carry types of knives other than pocket knives, you must be 21 years or older.

Can a felon carry a knife in Arizona?

Arizona law considers it illegal for a prohibited possessor, such as a felon, to carry a knife, regardless of the type. Felons in Arizona are prohibited from carrying deadly weapons, which under the state law includes knives other than pocket knives. Always consult with a legal professional for advice if there are any doubts.

Arizona State Knife Law References

Official Sources of Arizona’s Knife Laws

  • ARS 13-3120: Sets regulations for knife laws in Arizona, prohibiting local governments from regulating the possession, transportation, or use of knives​1​.
  • Arizona Statute § 13-3102: Governs the carry of knives, defining a “deadly weapon” as anything designed for lethal use, which may include knives​2​.
  • Arizona Revised Statutes Title 13 – Criminal Code: Regulates the transportation, possession, carrying, sale, transfer, purchase, gift, devise, licensing, registration, or use of a knife or knife-making components in the state​3​.

Significant Court Cases

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find specific court cases related to knife laws in Arizona. Or maybe that’s “fortunately”?

Timeline of Major Changes in Arizona’s Knife Law

  • N/A


Arizona knife laws are quite straightforward, making it easier for residents and visitors alike to adhere to them. With a good grasp of these laws, you can safely and legally carry knives within the state, enjoying the liberties that Arizona provides to knife enthusiasts.

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