Georgia

It is important to know what kind of knife you are carrying in Georgia and what the state laws are regarding that knife. The Georgia knife laws are some of the fairest in the nation, although there are still restrictions on carrying certain knives and other weapons.

Georgia Knife Laws Quick Look

Preemption? Yes. The state has a broad preemption statute. Localities may regulate the sale or use of knives.

Concealed Carry? Yes. Knife laws in Georgia specifically allow for the carrying of a concealed or unconcealed knife.

Open Carry? Yes. Knife laws in Georgia specifically allow for the carrying of an open or unconcealed knife.

Schools? No. Knife laws in Georgia specifically allow for the carrying of a knife within 1,000 feet of school property.

Off-limits places:

  • Schools
  • Court
  • correctional facilities,
  • mental health facilities,
  • bars/nightclubs (with liquor licenses),
  • secure areas of airports and bus/train stations,
  • government buildings.

Length & critical dimensions: No knife with a blade exceeding 12 inches can be carried concealed either without a license. Knife laws in Georgia permit knives considered "common pocket knives." These are not limited by length or any other dimension.

Legal Types of Knives In Georgia

The types of knives legal in Georgia include the following:

  • Pocket knives
  • Non-licence required switchblade or gravity knives
  • Armored belt buckle knives,
  • Billy/shank (single bladed),
  • Bowie knife or other fixed blade knives with a sheath.
  • Dirks,
  • Stilettos,  
  • Poison "daggers,"
  • "Razor" knives with a blade folded into its handle,  and throwing stars.
  • Switchblades and similar knives.

Illegal Types of Knives in Georgia

There are no illegal knives in Georgia

Georgia Knife Ownership Law

Buying knives in Georgia is legal, the sale of long knives is only prohibited when they are used as a weapon. The legal age to purchase any knife in Georgia is 18. Any minor that purchases or carries a "switchblade," dirk, stiletto, ballistic knife (no matter how it's unfolded), or a "belt buckle knife," may be convicted of a misdemeanor.

Georgia Knife Carry Laws

Some of the gun carry laws in Georgia include the following:

Georgia Knife Open Carry Laws

Knife Open Carry is legal in Georgia, subject to local ordinance. Also there are no restriction to the type of knife, as long as the knife is not longer than 12 inches and 

Georgia Knife Concealed Carry Laws

In Georgia, knife concealed carry is legal. In order to legally conceal a knife in Georgia, it must be securely encased and inaccessible from your person. You need a license to conceal carry a knife that has a folding blade.

Georgia Knife Concealed Carry Laws

Knife Concealed Carry is legal in Georgia, subject to local ordinance. Also, there are no restrictions to the type of knife, as long as the knife is not longer than 12 inches.

Georgia Laws for Different Types of Knives

Different knife laws in Georgia include the following:

Georgia Switchblade Knife Laws

Switchblades, also known as automatic knives or switch mechanisms. The state defines a switchblade as a knife containing a blade that opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button or other device in the handle of the knife. Switchblades are legal in Georgia.

Georgia Ballistic Knife Laws

Ballistic knives are legal in Georgia. The state defines a ballistic knife as any knife with a detachable blade that is propelled by a spring-operated mechanism, by gas, or air. It does not include guns; it only applies to knives.

Georgia Bowie Knife Laws

Bowie knives are legal in Georgia. The state defines a "bowie knife" as any fixed blade of at least 10 inches in length that is designed to be worn upon the person by means of belt or shoulder harness, and which has a sheath and consists of not less than 10% of parts made of steel.

Georgia Fixed Blade Knife Laws

Fixed blade knife laws in Georgia include that it is legal to have and carry a fixed blade so long as the blade is restrained by a sheath, scabbard, case, or other cover designed for carrying weapons. It can be carried openly or concealed.

Georgia Hidden Knife Laws

The Laws in Georgia regarding hidden blades include the following:  Any knife that is worn under clothing, such as a penknife or other small folding knife, is considered "hidden." The definition states that it may be illegal if there's intent to use the blade in a threatening manner.

Georgia Knife Point Laws

The point of a knife in Georgia is the sharp, lethal part of the blade that extends from the handle. The law defines it as any metal that can be used to inflict injury on another person either by stabbing or cutting. A large "sissy" knife with an unsharpened edge may not be considered a deadly weapon.

Georgia Knife Sheath Laws

Knives must be carried in sheaths, scabbards, or cases designed for carrying knives. The law excludes any knife made of a synthetic material that is not detectable by a metal detector and which may be worn openly. It's also illegal to carry a concealed knife with an exposed blade 12 inches long or longer, or any other dangerous weapon.

Georgia Knife Permit Laws

A person without a permit may not carry any knife concealed on or about his/her person, in or on a vehicle, or elsewhere if the blade of the knife is exposed. To conceal means to hide the knife from the view of another person by carrying it in such a manner that allows easy access to the weapon.

Georgia Knife Law by Size

In Georgia, the length of any knife is measured from end to end and does not include the handle. You will require a license if you want to conceal carry a knife that is longer than 12 inches.

Relevant Georgia Knife Law Statutes & Penal Codes

Georgia knife laws and penal codes include the following:

  • Georgia Code 16-11-127 (2011)
  • Georgia Statutes § 16-11-126 (2011)
  • Georgia Code 16-3-241.1 (2011)  
  • Georgia Code 16-3-24 (2011)
  • Georgia Code 16-3-20 (2011) G
  • Georgia Statutes §16-11-126 (2011)
  • Georgia Statutes §16-3-21.1(a)(2) (2011)   

Georgia Knife Offenses, Defenses, Restrictions & Penalties

They include:

Legal Defenses for Knife Charges

In Georgia, knowingly carrying a knife during the commission of or attempt to commit sexual assault, aggravated battery, forcible rape, murder, cruelty to children in the 1st degree, hijacking of an aircraft, kidnapping with bodily injury, kidnapping for ransom, and terrorist threats is illegal.

Knife Charges are also illegal if the person is in possession of a dangerous knife and points it at another individual or commits any crime while carrying that knife. There are also restrictions on knives in court facilities and government buildings. There's a fine for this offense of $1,000 to $5,000, imprisonment for one year, or both.

Exceptions for Law Enforcement and Military

In Georgia, it is legal for anyone to own or possess any type of knife including ballistic knives, switchblade knives, throwing stars, and grenades. There are no restrictions on carrying a weapon in the state for military personnel. For police officers in municipalities with gun ordinances that don't match state law concerning guns, they're allowed to carry firearms if the city they're in allows them to do so.

However, when serving a warrant or if the officer is responding to a disturbance call concerning domestic violence, the person may be asked for identification and whether he/she has any weapons on his/her person. The officers are allowed by law to confiscate all weapons and dangerous knives from anyone who is arrested or detained.

Restrictions

  • It is a prohibition to possess a knife within school premises.
  • It is a prohibition to possess a knife in a court of law.
  • It is a prohibition to possess a knife in any government building.
  • It is a prohibition to possess a knife in an airport terminal.
  • It is a prohibition to possess a knife on the premises of an institution of higher learning unless it's an administrative or maintenance building.
  • It is a prohibition to possess a knife on school buses, but folding pocket knives without blades that measure less than 3 inches are allowed.

Penalties for Knife Related Offenses

For any unlawful possession of a knife, there are fines ranging from $500 to $5000, and one year in prison for first-time offenders. For second offenses, the punishment is two years imprisonment. If the person is carrying a dangerous weapon or explosive device with the intent to terrorize someone, then the penalty may be increased by five years.

For unlawfully selling a knife, there is a fine of $500 to $5,000 and imprisonment for one year. If the person has an intent to use the knife while committing arson or assault then the penalty may be enhanced by two years.

Georgia Knife Law FAQs

Some of the most frequently asked questions and answers about Georgia knife laws include the following:       

  • How Long Can a Knife Be in Georgia?

It is legal to carry knives less than 12 inches long. However, you need a license to carry knives that are 12 inches or longer.

  • What types of knives are legal to carry in Georgia?

There are no restrictions on the type of knife you carry in Georgia. However unless it is over 12 inches long, there's no need to have a license.

  • What is the length limit for pocket knives in Georgia?

The length limit for pocket knives in Georgia is under 12 inches.

  • What types of knives are illegal to carry in Georgia?

In Georgia, it is illegal to carry a knife that has a blade over 12 inches long without a license. It's also illegal to carry throwing stars and daggers in public.

  • Can I sell or transfer ownership of a knife in Georgia?

Yes, you can sell or transfer ownership of a knife in Georgia. However, if the recipient is not over 18 years old and is not a member of your family, then you have to give written consent for them to legally own the weapon.

  • Is it Illegal to scare someone with (brandish) a knife in Georgia?

Yes, it is illegal to scare someone with a knife in Georgia.

  • Can a minor carry a knife in Georgia?

Yes, a minor can carry a knife in Georgia. However, they cannot legally carry knives that have blades over 12 inches long without adult supervision.

  • Are swords legal in Georgia?

Yes, swords are legal in Georgia. However, you cannot carry them on your person for the purpose of terrorizing people.

  • Are switchblades legal in Georgia?

Yes, switchblades are legal in Georgia.

  • Are folding knives legal in Georgia?

Yes, folding knives are legal in Georgia.

  • Are fixed blade knives legal in Georgia?

Yes, fixed blade knives are legal in Georgia. However, you cannot carry them on your person while you intend to terrorize someone.

  • Are butterfly knives legal in Georgia?

Yes, butterfly knives are legal in Georgia. However, you cannot carry them on your person if you intend to terrorize someone.

  • Are automatic knives legal in Georgia?  

Yes, automatic knives are legal in Georgia.

  • Are spring-assisted knives legal in Georgia?

Yes, spring-assisted knives are legal in Georgia. However, you cannot carry them on your person if intending to terrorize someone.

  • Are gravity knives legal in Georgia?

Yes, gravity knives are legal in Georgia. However, first-time offenders will be charged with a misdemeanor and fined from $500 – $5000 and face up to one year in prison.

  • Are throwing knives legal in Georgia?

Yes, throwing knives are legal in Georgia. However, you cannot carry them on your person if intending to terrorize someone.

  • Can I own a knife in Georgia without a license?

Yes, you can own a knife in Georgia without a license. But remember that it is illegal to carry knives that have blades over 12 inches.

  • Are karambits Legal in California?

Yes, karambits are legal in Georgia.

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