Ok folks. In chat earlier today I posed a question legal to  carry or not. Well the state of Florida's laws are as follows. Know your state law !


Whether it's concealed or not, it's still a weapon. A "common pocket knife" is not a weapon. A knife that's a decent-sized fixed-blade, or has an assisted opener, or generally has features that differentiate it from being a "common pocket knife" is no longer exempt from "weapon" status.

According to Florida law, one can only openly carry chemical spray or " A nonlethal stun gun or dart-firing stun gun or other nonlethal electric weapon or device that is designed solely for defensive purposes." No other weapon is permitted to be carried openly.

Florida law also describes what deadly weapons are. "'Weapon' means any dirk, knife, metallic knuckles, slungshot, billie, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapon except a firearm or a common pocketknife, plastic knife, or blunt-bladed table knife."

Lastly, Florida law also prohibits carrying of concealed weapons unless licensed to do so.

So let's review.

  • Common pocket knives are not weapons in the state of Florida. They may be carried concealed or openly as such.
  • Knives that are not common pocket knives are weapons in the state of Florida.
  • Florida law prohibits carrying weapons openly with only two exceptions, neither of which are knives.
  • Florida law prohibits carrying weapons concealed unless licensed to do so. Knives are defined as weapons. Common pocket knives are not.

You can carry a common pocket knife in any way, shape, or form, to your heart's content. If you want to be technical, it can go into places where any other tool can't (being exempt from the status of "weapon"). Policies regarding knives to not effect the common pocket knife. Yadda yadda, and so on and so forth.

When a knife that is NOT a common pocket knife is carried, it CANNOT be carried openly (790.053), and cannot be carried concealed (790.01) unless the carrier is properly licensed (790.06).



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A favorite page of mine, when traveling is STATE KNIFE LAWS . A quick search on the web is the best way to find the most current information though.

Glenn- I may be dense but the definition of common pocket knife stills seems a bit vague to me? For instance, I've seen, from time to time some guys wearing a Buck 310 Lockback Folding Hunter or similar folding lockback in a sheath on their belt unconcealed. Now do you think that would be considered an "ordinary pocket knife" as far as the law goes?

I guess some guy legally hunting deer in say, the Ocala Forest would need a concealed weapons permit (which I do have) to carry his hunting knife on his belt and then he'd better make sure it doesn't show a bulge in his jacket or he would be "illegal" again? 

Please don't take offense, I think your article is great. I just think the law seems rather, well, nuts or am I missing something?


Anyone engaged in fishing or hunting or going to and from such activities can not only openly carry a knife of any size, but a firearm as well. Who's to say from whence those fella's carrying their folders where coming from, but also remember that if the weapon cannot be defined by the naked eye as indeed being a weapon, it is considered hidden from sight.


For example: Lots of folks have taken to carrying their small handguns in Walther P-38 holsters that effectively keep the weapon out of sight and it is perfectly legal to do so. Therefore; concealed can mean concealed even if it isn't in your pocket, just as long as the average person cannot identify what is in the pouch, sheath, whatever, and especially in these days when cell phones are on everyone's belt in all sorts of carrying cases.


When in doubt, common sense rules the roost, and the courts have been more than lenient in interpreting to our favor but that doesn't mean the local constabulary will. Bottom line: It's not the judge who'll give you the hassle, so no harm, no foul,  but who wants to spend a night in jail because an officer's feathers were ruffled. It's forever been a good idea to have a lawyer's business card at the ready. If the local yellow pages don't seem to have one to your liking, the NRA can usually point you in the right direction.

Bob- thank you for the information regarding this issue. Seems a shame that Florida has put decent sportsmen and outdoorsmen in this precarious situation.

I added these to the Switchblade Discussion but they are just as relevant here:


Knifelaws online


Bernard Levine's State by State Knife Laws


Knife Rights -- Join Them


AKTI - American Knife and Tool -- Support Them

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