Slicing Through Nanny State Knife Laws

by Todd Walker

Is that bulge in your pocket an illegal knife, or are you just excited to read this article?



How do your knives measure up – legally?

That’s right, in case you’ve just returned as a 30 year castaway on a remote, deserted island, there are laws that govern the length of your blade and whether you need a permission slip from the State to carry (open or concealed).

Welcome to Nanny State America! If you live here in these united States, pleading ignorance for carrying weapons (knife or gun) is not going to get you off the hook with our ever ‘watchful’ enforcers.

If you’re like most law-abiding people, you’re probably committing a-felony-a-day without even knowing it. To understand and stay within the law, you’d need to either go back to your island paradise or spend 8.31 hours per day for the next 2.7 years buried in law books.

There are 50 states, 57 according to the POTUS, that have different rules about possessing and owning weapons.

If you frequent cross state lines, you’d need to spend time researching all the state laws for travel route. Plus, you need to know how to interpret legalese.

Lets say you want to go visit your aging grandmother in Buffalo, New York. You leave Georgia and drive through several states and stop for fuel, beef jerky, and a room at Motel 6. You possess a Georgia Firearms License enabling you to legally carry your Bowie knife concealed (Crocodile Dundee style). It was a gift from your kids. So you carry it. (Just play along, okay)

How can you check to see if your able to legally carrying your knife (or any knife) in NY? Just do it and hope you don’t find out the hard way?

Here’s a better way.

The good folks over at contacted me to share their updated knife law resource. It’s different from other knife law sites I’ve seen. KnifeUp was written in 2013, includes legislature and case law, and translates lawyer-speak into plain, common man English.

Check out your state’s knife laws here. You might learn something and prevent you from committing that felony-a-day… when it comes to carrying knives, at least. NOTE: If you live in one of the other 7 states BHO is ruling over, you won’t be able find your state on the map over at KnifeUp! Call your White House for assistance in this matter.

One thing I learned about my state is…

Before July 1, 2012, different Georgia cities might have different rules regarding knives you could legally carry in their jurisdiction. Now, the state lawmakers passed a statewide knife law preemption effectively nullified local knife laws.

What this means is that you can travel from city to city without worrying whether a knife that is legal in your city is legal in the next town over. For example, it was legal to carry a 4 inch pocket knife in Columbus but, if you drove into Atlanta, you would be breaking Atlanta city law. – source:

For Georgia residents, our knife laws are unrestrictive compared to some states.

What this law states is that you can own any knife you would like as long as you keep it inside your property. You can carry, open or concealed, any knife that is less than 5 inches. This includes butterfly knives, switchblades, and any other type of knife that is commonly banned in other states. – source:

becker bk-2

My Becker BK-2 bushcraft blade is 1/4 inch over 5 inches requiring a State permission slip to legally carry off my property.

When Dirt Road Girl and I travel to other states, I always check to see if the states we visit recognizes and are reciprocal to our Georgia Firearm’s License. I’ve never really checked into knife laws for other states. With KnifeUp, I can. I’ve added their link to our Blogroll and Resources page under “Firearms/Shooting/Marksmanship” for future reference.

But wait! There’s more!

Even if you don’t care what your state knife laws are, but love knives, KnifeUp offers more resources than law-talk. I’ve spent some time rummaging through KnifeUp’s site and it’s loaded with other great information for knife aficionados and preppers.

They do reviews on sharp stuff (pocket knives, multi-tools, etc.). Find reviews here. The “Misc” tab is loaded with value-adding info on prepping, lists, and DiY stuff. You’ll enjoy their comparison of 3 machetes. Spoiler alert, the Gerber Bear Grylls machete didn’t win.

If you get some time to check them out, let me know what you think.

Keep doing the stuff,


P.S. As always, if this article was helpful, please share it freely with your friends with a link back to this site.

Categories: Life-Liberty-Happiness, Preparedness | Tags: , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “Slicing Through Nanny State Knife Laws

  1. Great info! Turns out CA isn’t so bad as long as your knife looks like a knife.



  2. Good to know! My husband actually just got stopped going into a baseball game because they thought his fitbit was a knife in his pocket. I never really thought about knife laws, I’m still trying to figure out the gun ones!


    • I always knew there were knife laws, but never knew exactly what they were for my state or the ones I travel to. KnifeUp really helps. 🙂


  3. Thanks for the info, this is good to know!!


  4. I looked at my states law through your link. It only gave part of the law.
    45-8-317. Exceptions. (1) Section 45-8-316 does not apply to:
    (a) any peace officer of the state of Montana or of another state who has the power to make arrests;
    (b) any officer of the United States government authorized to carry a concealed weapon;
    (c) a person in actual service as a member of the national guard;
    (d) a person summoned to the aid of any of the persons named in subsections (1)(a) through (1)(c);
    (e) a civil officer or the officer’s deputy engaged in the discharge of official business;
    (f) a probation and parole officer authorized to carry a firearm under 46-23-1002;
    (g) a person issued a permit under 45-8-321 or a person with a permit recognized under 45-8-329;
    (h) an agent of the department of justice or a criminal investigator in a county attorney’s office;
    (i) a person who is outside the official boundaries of a city or town or the confines of a logging, lumbering, mining, or railroad camp or who is lawfully engaged in hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, hiking, backpacking, farming, ranching, or other outdoor activity in which weapons are often carried for recreation or protection;
    (j) the carrying of arms on one’s own premises or at one’s home or place of business; or
    (k) the carrying of a concealed weapon in the state capitol by a legislative security officer who has been issued a permit under 45-8-321 or with a permit recognized under 45-8-329.
    (2) With regard to a person issued a permit under 45-8-321, the provisions of 45-8-328 do not apply to this section.


  5. I am curious as to what is the definition of “concealed” for a knife… Does a knife clipped inside one’s jeans front pocket with the butt of the knife sticking out an inch and the clip visible outside of the pocket (2.5″ clip) qualify as “open carry?”


  6. John D

    For anyone planning to visit the UK, knife laws are very restrictive. You can carry a penknife, with a sub 3 inch blade, provided the blade does not lock. Beyond that, you need to be able to provide a good reason for carrying one. For example, you should be able to carry a lock knife, if you are camping or backpacking. You could get into trouble if you carried it in the street. I carry a small mutli-tool without a knife blade and blunted scissors, which is a poor compromise.


  7. Pingback: Your 5 Inch Pocket Knife Could Land You 3-5… | Survival Life

  8. Nice Post!!!! thank You for sharing


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