Arizona Knife Laws [The Complete Guide]

Educating yourself about your state’s knife laws is essential, especially if you frequently need to walk around with a knife in the streets.

Each state has different laws regarding the open and concealed carry of knives and switchblades.

We’ve summed up the state’s knife laws right here in this guide for those who live in Arizona. So, let’s have a look!

What Defines a Knife in Arizona?

Under Arizona’s state law, a knife is any tool with a sharp or pointed blade that can be used for cutting. In addition, a knife can be used as a weapon. However, this definition differs from deadly weapons, which are specifically designed to kill. These include firearms and swords.

In other words, a knife in Arizona isn’t a weapon unless somebody commits a crime with it.

Citizens and residents in Arizona can legally use knives as a tool for cutting, fishing, hunting, and repairing.

Legal Age for Knife Carrying

In addition to legal knives and switchblade restrictions, Arizona also has laws in place regarding the age and carrying of knives. Any person who is 21 years of age and older is legally allowed to open or concealed carry any type of knife, including pocket knives and balisong knives.

However, those who are under the age of 21 may only carry pocket knives. Additionally, it is illegal for minors under 21 to carry a non-pocket knife concealed. It is important to note that felons are not allowed to carry any type of knife in public, regardless of age.

Regulations for Minors

Arizona state law imposes certain restrictions on minors under the age of 21 regarding carrying knives. While those over 21 years of age can carry any type of knife regardless of size, minors below this age may only carry pocket knives.

There is an exception for emancipated minors and those at least 16 years old who have permission from a parent or guardian to possess a switchblade or gravity knife. State law also prohibits the sale of deadly weapons to minors below 18, though this does not usually apply to ordinary pocket knives.

What Knives Can Citizens Carry in Arizona?

Under Arizona’s knife laws, all citizens can carry pocket knives in public without any restrictions or prohibitions. However, the person must be over the age of 21. Other than that, the knife’s blade must be shorter than four inches, and it must be carried in a concealed manner.

Adults over 21 may carry the knives concealed or openly, and there aren’t any restrictions, except in schools and around polling locations. Hydroelectric and nuclear power generating facilities are also included in this.

Nevertheless, all citizens are required to confirm that they’re carrying a knife in case a police officer inquires about that.

Here’s a clearer disclosure about the type of knives allowed in Arizona:

And now, let’s check some of the different knives’ laws.

Fixed Blade Knife Laws in Arizona

Similar to other types of knives, you can legally carry a fixed blade knife in Arizona, but only if you’re an adult (over 21). 

Butterfly Knife Laws in Arizona

Butterfly knives aren’t viewed as pocket knives under Arizona’s knife laws. In other words, you can only carry a butterfly knife if you’re over the age of 21.

Arizona’s Automatic Knife Laws

Arizona is one of the few U.S. states that allow buying, selling, using, and carrying (open or concealed) automatic knives. However, citizens under the age of 21 are restricted from carrying automatic knives in public.

Self-Defense Laws in Arizona

1. “Stand your ground” law: Arizona is a “stand your ground” state, which means that you have the right to defend yourself with deadly force if you reasonably believe that you are in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm.

2. Use of force in self-defense: Arizona law allows you to use a knife in self-defense if you reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily harm to yourself or another person.

3. Restrictions on use of deadly force: You cannot use deadly force in self-defense if you are the initial aggressor or if you can safely retreat from the situation.

4. Legal protection for using a knife in self-defense: If you are charged with a crime for using a knife in self-defense, you may be able to raise self-defense as a legal defense in court.

Can Felons Carry Knives in Arizona?

If someone is convicted of a crime, they’re required not to carry any deadly weapons in public. However, knives, especially switchblades and hunting knives, qualify as weapons, meaning that a felon can’t carry one in public.

What Is a Prohibited Possessor?

Prohibited possessors aren’t allowed to use or carry deadly weapons to prevent legal penalties and jail time. Based on Arizona’s legislation, a “prohibited possessor” is anyone who is:

  • A danger to self or other people
  • Serving a probation term at the time of possession
  • Serving time in a correctional center at the time of possession
  • Convicted of an adjudicated delinquent or a felony
  • Waiting to get their civil right to carry a firearm
  • Traveling for any purpose in Arizona (for non-immigrant or undocumented travelers)
  • Not eligible for criminal procedure laws of Arizona (rule 11)

One of the primary goals behind Arizona’s state knife laws is to eliminate the contradiction of local municipalities’ ordinances and make everything clear for citizens regarding the use and carry of knives.

In 2013, the State legislation was issued to supersede local laws to make them easier to understand for citizens and residents of Arizona.

Pre-2011 Arizona Knife Laws

Before 2011, Arizona had its own knife laws, and they could vary from one city to another. As a result, innocent citizens would be fined for carrying tool knives without doing anything wrong, which was just unfair.

Luckily, the laws were revised in 2011, ensuring that all types of knives are legal. The argument behind the rule is that almost all citizens use their knives peacefully, so it didn’t make sense to ban knives altogether.

What Self-Defense Weapons Are Legal in Arizona

Along with knives, here are some other self-defense weapons that you can legally carry in Arizona:

  • Tasers
  • Pepper sprays
  • Stun guns
  • Knuckles

Knife Trading in Arizona

Buying and selling knives in Arizona is legal, as long as the knife isn’t being sold to a prohibited person or someone under the age of 21.


If it was found that someone under the age of 21 is carrying a knife with a blade longer than four inches, they’d be fined $500. They’d else get up to 30 days of confinement.

On the other hand, answering inaccurately about possessing a deadly weapon would result in a $2,500 fine and up to six months of jail time.

What the Law Says

Deadly Weapon

§13-3101. Definitions
A. In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
1. “Deadly weapon” means anything that is designed for lethal use.

Concealed Carry

§13-3102. Misconduct involving weapons; defenses; classification; definitions
A. A person commits misconduct involving weapons by knowingly:
1. Carrying a deadly weapon except a pocket knife concealed on his person or within his immediate control in or on a means of transportation:
(a) In the furtherance of a serious offense as defined in section 13-706, a violent crime as defined in section 13-901.03 or any other felony offense; or
(b) When contacted by a law enforcement officer and failing to accurately answer the officer if the officer asks whether the person is carrying a concealed deadly weapon; or
2. Carrying a deadly weapon except a pocket knife concealed on his person or concealed within his immediate control in or on a means of transportation if the person is under twenty-one years of age.

Arizona Knife Carry Laws

As mentioned, Arizona has a liberal knife carry policy, with no restrictions on length, closure type, or number of edges. In general, anyone over the age of 21 can carry a knife concealed or openly. However, some local cities have ordinances that restrict the sale or carry of certain types of knives. It is important to be aware of any local regulations before carrying any type of knife in Arizona.

Places Where Knives Are Prohibited

Although Arizona does not have any laws prohibiting certain types of knives, there are still certain places where knives are not allowed. Knives are not permitted in schools, courthouses, on airplanes, in government buildings, and in correctional facilities. In addition, some businesses may also have regulations against carrying knives on their premises. It is important to know the laws and regulations of your local area to ensure compliance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are fixed blade knives legal in Arizona?

Yes, fixed blade knives are legal in Arizona.

Can I carry a pocket knife in Arizona?

Yes, pocket knives are legal to carry in Arizona.

Why are switchblades illegal in Arizona?

Switchblades are legal in Arizona.

Can I carry a 4 inch knife?

There is no specific law on the size of knives you can carry in Arizona, but it is illegal to carry a concealed knife that is intended to be used as a weapon.

What size knife is legal in Arizona?

There is no specific size limit for legal knives in Arizona, but it is illegal to carry a concealed knife that is intended to be used as a weapon.

Final Words

Alright, by now, you should be fully aware of Arizona knife laws. If you’re over the age of 21, there’s nothing you need to worry about.

However, if you’re under 21, you may only carry the knife in a concealed manner. Plus, its blade shouldn’t be longer than four inches.

See also:

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