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florida knife laws

Discussion in 'Florida Glockers Club' started by boarhunter, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. Hi all, I know this a florida gun forum , but we might look into , our knife laws. Ive checked into some laws for my trip to N.Y and found it shocking if you carry a knife, even a blade 2" folder, can slap you a fine or jail... There many court case in N.Y that if you buy a knife from home depo or other stores there and, if its under 4" rule like a pocket folder with a pants clip, The cops and the state are making there own rule as the go along. And the style of knifes are to belived to be part of there rules. Like my Emerson Karambit knife , Its a pocket 2 1/2" blade but some states will hang you.......Ive checked out some of our state laws but but its a another grey area , from what I can see.. Do you guys know where and what the laws here in florida stand for us blade carry citizens... Thanks for the help. John B
  2. chewysolo

    chewysolo Don't Re Member

    May 4, 2007
    From what I understand, there is no blade limits with a ccw as long as its concealed. Without a ccw I think its up the the officer.

  3. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Jr Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    Unless there was a recent change that I'm unaware of in FL you can opencarry as big of a knife as you want. Won't say you won't be stop and harassed for carrying around a true bowie knife, but legally you can. For concealed I believe it is 4" without a permit, and no limit with a permit.
  4. Yea you might be right on that, but Ive read at some post on line if you have a permit to carry a gun , they can treat a knife gun/ law the same, what Im saying is say you have a weapons permit and that knife can be considered a weapon buy a cop , and if it exposed just like a gun it could be unlawful. I know that you can carry open but but with a gun permit "does the knife law change?" I herd that some states have a common knife law, and some states do not look at a self defense knife the same even if its in your pocket..... Boy am I screwed up! I just carry my G20 on my hip and my G26 in you ankel holster and leave my pen knife home...:) :) :) :) ha ha ha
  5. Mr. Blandings

    Mr. Blandings

    Jun 20, 2001
    Florida State Statute Chapter 790 covers the laws of Florida regarding weapons and firearms. This section of the law will provide the things that you cannot do legally in Florida concerning weapons and firearms.

    Open carry:
    There is no prohibition in Florida law against the open carry of a knife, no matter the blade length. (As a practical consideration, if you attempt to walk around with a 10" fixed blade hanging on your belt or a broadsword across your back - you will likely find yourself the center of attention with local law enforcement. You may also be asked to leave many places of business.

    You cannot legally carry a concealed weapon unless you possess a valid concealed weapon/firearm permit.

    A knife is considered a concealed weapon if it it carried concealed unless it is a "common pocketknife".

    In 1951, the Florida Attorney General issued a legal opinion that a "pocketknife" was a folding knife with a blade up to four inches in length. In 1997, the Florida State Supreme Court confirmed that opinion.

    We still have the undefined term "common", but so far everyone seems to be leaving the Spyderco, Benchmade, Camillus, etc... tactical style folders alone. The only subsequent case law concerning "pocketknives" in Florida that I am aware has all been connected to convicted felons or criminals on probation that were carrying knives.
  6. "Thanks" MR Blandings, That's kinda what I seem to find on that law, online. I will continue to carry my emerson Karambit everyday as my backup and when Im at work and cannot carry my gun>.
  7. FlaChef

    FlaChef Steyroid

    Jul 4, 2004
    a while ago i had a chance toi sit in on an informal Q&A session w/ mr gutmcher at a pistol tournament he was signing his book at. On the topic of knives and what is a common pocket knives he said the us supreme court determined it to be a folder of under 4", but another federal district court (i forget which one) added the caveat that only as long as it does not have "combat features; such as assisted opening, a handguard, or camouflage pattern"
  8. Mr. Blandings

    Mr. Blandings

    Jun 20, 2001

    I believe your recollections as to which courts handed down the opinions you speak of may be a bit off.

    The courts in question are Florida state courts: the Florida State Supreme Court and various Florida State District Courts of Appeal.
  9. Mr. Blandings

    Mr. Blandings

    Jun 20, 2001
  10. Mr. Blandings

    Mr. Blandings

    Jun 20, 2001
    Oh yeah, there was another question that boarhunter asked:
    No, the law does not change, per se, when you have a CCW (permit). You can still open carry a knife even if you're carrying a concealed firearm at the same time. However, if you do have a CCW there is a certain advantage to concealing everything.
  11. FastJuice

    FastJuice NozeBleedSpeed

    Mar 29, 2006
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Florida Knife Laws

    790.115 Possessing or discharging weapons or firearms at a school-sponsored event or on school property prohibited; penalties; exceptions.
    (1) A person who exhibits any sword, sword cane, firearm, electric weapon or device, destructive device, or other weapon, including a razor blade, box cutter, or knife, except as authorized in support of school-sanctioned activities, in the presence of one or more persons in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner and not in lawful self-defense, at a school-sponsored event or on the grounds or facilities of any school, school bus, or school bus stop, or within 1,000 feet of the real property that comprises a public or private elementary school, middle school, or secondary school, during school hours or during the time of a sanctioned school activity, commits a felony of the third degree,

    790.225 Ballistic self-propelled knives; unlawful to manufacture, sell, or possess; forfeiture; penalty.
    (1) It is unlawful for any person to manufacture, display, sell, own, possess, or use a ballistic self-propelled knife which is a device that propels a knifelike blade as a projectile and which physically separates the blade from the device by means of a coil spring, elastic material, or compressed gas. A ballistic self-propelled knife is declared to be a dangerous or deadly weapon and a contraband item. It shall be subject to seizure and shall be disposed of as provided in s. 790.08(1) and (6).
    (2) This section shall not apply to:
    (a) Any device from which a knifelike blade opens, where such blade remains physically integrated with the device when open.

    790.06 License to carry concealed weapon or firearm.
    (1) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is authorized to issue licenses to carry concealed weapons or concealed firearms to persons qualified as provided in this section. Each such license must bear a color photograph of the licensee. For the purposes of this section, concealed weapons or concealed firearms are defined as a handgun, electronic weapon or device, tear gas gun, knife, or billie, but the term does not include a machine gun as defined in s. 790.001(9).
  12. big88foot

    big88foot Millennium Member

    Jul 28, 1999
    Pensacola, Fl
    I don't think anyone has mentioned it, but many people find it amazing that "switchblades" are legal in Florida - as long as the blade stays attached to the handle, and can't be "shot" at someone.
  13. Mr. Blandings

    Mr. Blandings

    Jun 20, 2001
    The switchblade bans of the 1950's were the "assault weapon" bans of their day.

    In the 50's, there came to be a perception of a growing juvenile crime wave that was symbolized by the switchblade knife. Hollywood jumped on the bandwagon with both feet by giving switchblades a criminal connection in movies of the day. As a result, knee-jerk legislators enacted laws prohibiting the possession of knives that had been used by all sorts of law abiding citizens for years.

    Fast forward 30-40 years and now so-called "assault weapons" are highlighted in every gangster/thug movie that comes out of Hollywood, and all the anti-gun legislators want to pass some sort of ban. It doesn't matter that statiscally these so-called "assault weapons" are only used in a very small number of crimes (the same as it was for switchblades).

    It's simply the fact that things that appear exotic or sinister will frighten the sheep.

    So it's really not amazing at all that switchblades are legal in Florida. What's amazing is that so many other jurisdictions have laws against switchblades.
  14. South Fla

    South Fla ©South Fla 2015

    Oct 10, 2006
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
  15. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Jr Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    I work in retail and was showing someone a knife today. They were looking for a fathers day present. They asked about a couple of knives in the case, then pointed to a benchmade and asked to see it. I told her as I was reaching for it that it was quite a bit more and was an automatic. She acted like she was looking at something blackmarket, and said "He doesn't need one of those, he doesn't want to kill anybody". I almost pulled out my assisted opening, to show her and say that its a "semi-auto", and hasn't hurt anyone before. (I have received 5 stitched though from one, when they first came out. But thats another story)
  16. passive101


    Nov 26, 2006
    So a 3" gravity folding knife from CRKT should be fine?
  17. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford mmhmm

    Oct 2, 2003
    How about local laws? FL's preemption law does not apply to anything but firearms and ammunition and while it's likely to be an issue, it's something to keep in mind.
  18. kilo905


    Nov 14, 2006
    Check out Coultas v. State (4DCA 2007).

    In a nutshell, LEO does a traffic stop, and guy comes out of vehicle with a knife handle visible in his pocket. Guy was arrested for CCW and drugs were also found. Courts suppressed the drugs ruling that the knife in question was not a weapon, so no arrest should have been made. Courts ruled that for a knife to be a weapon, it generally has to be designed for use as a weapon, or is actually used as such (i.e. stabbing someone with a pencil).

    Generally speaking, no folding knife is designed for stabbing, but calling this a grey area is an understatement.

    BONUS: Article mentions R.V. v. State (1986) where the Court ruled that Nunchuks are always weapons as they have no social purpose.