Knife laws in Arizona

Aren’t switchblades illegal? What’s the maximum blade length?

“The only United States law regarding auto-open (automatic) knives is referred to as the Federal Switchblade Act, (U.S.C. Title 15 Chapter 29). The act regulates the manufacture and introducing of switchblades into interstate (crossing state lines) commerce.  It has NO application to individual consumers, or most merchants who sell knives.  It has NO application to laws WITHIN a state.” (American Knife and Tool Institute, 2020)

(American Knife and Tool Institute, 2020)

AZ, has no law prohibiting switchblades or any other knives. Many local cities may still have a law that prohibits them, but the AZ Legislature preempted all the laws in AZ with the passage of ARS 13-3120 in 2011. So, any other local laws within the state are moot. Only the State has the power to regulate knives in AZ.

As a result, there are no current blade length restrictions in AZ.

A knife most certainly can be a deadly weapon though it is not specifically defined as such in ARS 13-3101:

1. “Deadly weapon” means anything that is designed for lethal use.  The term includes a firearm.”

(ARS 13-3101)

In ARS 13-3102, pocket knives are excluded from subsection A(1) and A(2) as far as concealing deadly weapons, by persons less than 21 years of age. This implies that they would be considered deadly weapons though.

“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;”

(ARS 13-3102)

So, if one is carrying a knife they must abide by the rules in ARS 13-3102. However, pocket knives may be concealed, or you know, carried in a pocket, by anyone regardless of age or CCW Permit Status.

The legislature chose not to define what a pocket knife is, so the casual definition of a folding knife that is carried in a pocket could be considered reasonable.  Knives in general would be considered a deadly weapon, particularly when used in that manner or intended to be used in that manner. So, all other laws that apply to deadly weapons, also apply to knives and pocket knives.

**This is provided as a Legal Information Resource and should not be treated as legal advice.