Out of the 50 states, Arizona finds itself with the reputation of having some of the most lenient knife laws.  Very few restrictions exist related to the purchase, sale, ownership, and carrying of knives.  The guide below aims to clear any confusion surrounding the questions of knife ownership in Arizona.

Arizona Knife Definition

The term “knife” refers to an instrument used for cutting that possesses a sharpened or pointed blade.  Knives are considered tools until their use more aptly fits the description of “weapon.”

The definition of “deadly weapon” includes any object designed for lethal use.  Firearms fall into this category, but knives are not automatically included.

Is a Knife Considered a Weapon in Arizona?

The definition of “deadly weapon” includes any object designed for lethal use.  Firearms fall into this category, but knives are not automatically included.

While a knife has the potential to cause damage, it does not get classification as a weapon unless the purpose of its use changes.  As stated earlier, Arizona knife laws classify as tools until the intent behind their use changes.  If a knife serves as a tool used in the act of committing a crime, that crime’s charges will then rise to the level in which you would want a seasoned Phoenix violent crimes attorney.

You may use a knife in Arizona in any manner, provided you do not engage in an activity that would be considered a crime.  When a knife is used in the process of committing a crime, the knife then classifies as a deadly weapon and charges elevate.

ARS 13-3120

Compared to firearms, knives in Arizona have a great deal fewer regulations.  In fact, ARS 13-3120 sets regulations for knife laws in the State of Arizona. It prohibits local governments from regulating the possession, transportation or use of knives.

Persons carrying knives must follow and obey laws governing concealed weapons.  This includes a prohibition from carrying knives in courtrooms, schools or other government buildings.

Additionally, it’s illegal to carry a knife in the commission of a crime or act of terrorism.

What are the Age Requirements for Carrying a Knife in Arizona?

No restrictions for knife ownership by persons aged 21 and over currently exist. Minors under 21 years of age face regulations related to the carrying of knives.  Someone under 21 cannot carry a knife larger than a pocket knife in a concealed manner.  Citizens of any age can legally carry a pocket knife. Any folding knife with a blade less than 4 inches in length qualifies as a “pocket knife.”   This includes a knife on their immediate person or within their mode of transportation.

What is the Legal Length of a Knife in Arizona?

Technically, no formal restrictions apply to the length of blade, closure type, or number of edges a knife may have.  Individuals may carry a knife of any length within their rights to carry. The only restriction would be, as mentioned previously, that those under 21 must only carry pocket knives.

Arizona Concealed Knife Laws

The state of Arizona makes no distinction between open carry and concealed carry. The same rules apply to both cases. It’s legal to carry a concealed knife with no length restriction.

If for whatever reason, you are stopped, pulled over, etc. Arizona knife laws do require individuals to inform police officers or other law enforcement officers if they are carrying a knife.

Can a Felon Carry a Knife in Arizona?

The subject of knife ownership and possession after a felony conviction can become complicated.  Individuals convicted of a crime and placed on the prohibited possessor list may not own or carry a deadly weapon.  The key thing to consider in this instance remains what constitutes a deadly weapon.  Most household knives or pocket knives do meet the criteria for consideration as deadly weapons.  Hunting knives and switchblades, however, would most likely classify as a deadly weapon.  The scope of use and intention behind possession of the knife takes priority when determining if someone legally possesses a knife.

What is a Prohibited Possessor?

Sometimes the law can conflict itself. This can be the case with prohibited possessors (and domestic violence defense) in Arizona.

According to Arizona legislation, “Prohibited possessor” means any person:

  • found to constitute a danger to self or others,
  • convicted of a felony or adjudicated delinquent for a felony and whose civil right to possess or carry a firearm has not been restored,
  • at the time of possession, serving time within a correctional facility or center,
  • at the time of possession, serving a probation term,
  • undocumented or a nonimmigrant alien traveling with/without documentation for business or pleasure or studying in Arizona and maintains a foreign residence abroad, or
  • found incompetent pursuant to rule 11 of Arizona rules of criminal procedure

For individuals classified as prohibited possessors, any use of a deadly weapon results in harsh penalties and potential prison time.

Arizona’s state knife laws aim to prevent the contradiction of local municipalities’ ordinances concerning knives.  State legislation designed to supersede local laws found itself put into place in 2013 in an effort to streamline and simplify the myriad statutes related to knife possession and use.

Charged With Assault with Weapon?  Contact Belen Law Firm Today.

If you aren’t sure whether you have the right to own and carry a knife in Arizona, or if you have run into legal issues where knives are involved, contact the trusted, compassionate Phoenix criminal defense attorneys of Belen Law Firm.  Our Arizona criminal attorneys will work to put you in the best position possible and provide competent, compassionate defense.

Call us today at (602) 715-0908 or leave us a message on our website.  Contact us today for your free and confidential consultation.