Knife Laws in Georgia – Are You Allowed to Open Carry a Knife in Public?

Knife laws in Georgia are not that complicated at all. But legal statutes, codes, and fancy words may confuse you. That’s why I am going to simplify the laws in dimplier words so that anyone can understand that. Georgia is a state where everyone wants to go due to its natural beauty and landscape. At the same time, this state is considered a paradise for hunters and campers. Since Georgia has great wildlife, natural resources, and landscapes, hunting, camping, and other recreational activities are popular and common there. For hunting and camping, individuals require weapons such as knives, firearms, etc. And that’s why I have intended to write this article so that people can understand is carrying and wielding knives is legal in Georgia or not.

Overview of Knife Laws in Georgia

In Georgia, it is legal to own and possess all types of knives but with some restrictions. For instance, a knife length that exceeds 12 inches is illegal to carry, whether open or concealed. At the same time, it is illegal to carry knives in certain locations, such as school safety zones, government buildings, pooling centers, airports, courthouses, places of worship, etc. However, owning, possessing, selling, and transfer of knives for intent to assault or unlawful activities are illegal. Individuals can own a knife on personal property, vehicles, and personal space. And the wielder has to be at least 18 years to own, carry, buy, and possess a knife.

Definitions of Knife and Weapon in Georgia Law

Georgia State law doesn’t view every sharp object as a knife or any cutting or blasting thing as a weapon. They have a clear definition for those terms, which are:
  • Knife: Georgia State Law §16-11-125.1 defines a knife as any cutting instrument that is designed for the purpose of offense and defense consisting of a blade that is 12 inches in length crafted within a handle.
  • Weapon:16-11-125.1 also defines weapon, which is any knife and handgun.

Is it Legal to Carry a Butterfly Knife in Georgia?

When it comes to carrying a butterfly knife in Georgia, the question arises Can You Purchase a Butterfly Knife in California? Well, in California, butterfly knives are generally illegal to possess or sell. Similarly, in Georgia, these knives are restricted under certain circumstances, so it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific laws in both states to ensure compliance.

Knife Legality and Carrying Methods

In Georgia, it is legal to own and possess any knife as long as the knife is shorter than 12 inches and you are at least 18. And the knives that are allowed in Georgia are:

What Knives Are Legal in Georgia?

These knives are legal to own and possess in Georgia:
  • Pocket knife.
  • Folding knife.
  • Bowie knife.
  • Balisong/Butterfly knife.
  • Throwing knife.
  • Lipstick knife.
  • Cane knife.
  • Belt knife.
  • Dirks.
  • Daggers.
  • Stilettoes.
  • Push knife.
  • Switchblade
  • Ballistic knife.
  • Switchblade
  • Undetectable knife.
  • Karambits.
  • Any knife less than 12 inches in length.

What Knives Are Illegal in Georgia?

As per §16-11-125.1, any cutting weapon that exceeds the blade length of 12 inches is considered knives are illegal in Georgia. Thus, all knives that have a blade length of more than 12 inches are prohibited in Georgia, regardless of their type.

What Are the Knife Carrying Laws in Georgia?

Though knife possession is legal in Georgia, carrying knives have some restrictions. Let’s take a look at what those restrictions are:
  • Open Carry:As per §16-11-125.1, any individual can carry any knife openly as long as the knife is no longer than 12 inches.
  • Conceal Carry:Conceal carry of knives isn’t an issue as well in Georgia. That’s because as long as the knife is 12 inches or less in length as per §16-11-125.1, you can conceal carry knife.

Age Restrictions for Knife Possession and Carrying in Georgia

Yes, Georgia has an age restriction for knife possession and carrying. As per §16-11-101, minors who are under 18 years old can’t possess, carry, own, sell, or buy any knife. Individuals have to be at least 18 years or older to possess any type of knife, or they will meet with legal consequences.

Location Restrictions to Carry Knives in Georgia

Georgia has few locations where knives are strictly prohibited from carrying and possessing, which are:
  • School Safety Zones: According to §16-11-127.1, school is prohibited from knife possession and carrying. However, a knife that has a blade length of 2 inches or less is allowed. But other than that, all knives are prohibited. This includes Kinder-garden school, primary, high, college, university, and other educational institutions.
  • Other Locations:16-11-127 prohibits knife possession from certain other places, such as courthouses, government buildings, pooling centers, places of worship, airport, etc.

License to Carry Knife in Georgia

As I mentioned above that all knives that are longer than 12 inches in length are prohibited in Georgia. Well, you can still carry those long knives. But you need to have a license for that. Yes, according to §16-11-126 and §16-11-129, individuals who are adults can get a license for knives and other firearms. Then they will be able to carry knives regardless of their length and open or conceal them.

Self-Defense and Justifiable Use of Knives in Georgia

In Georgia, it is justifiable to use a knife for self-defense. But there are few regulations to that. The knife that you are using must follow all the legal terms of Georgia State Law, which are 12 inches or less in length. At the same time, you have to be 18 to carry a knife. On the other hand, the knife is permissible for self-defense only if you don’t have any other way to defend yourself from a threat.

Penalties and Consequences for Violating Georgia Knife Laws

Most of the Georgia Knife Law violations are considered misdemeanors, which are punishable with a $1,000 fine or/and one year of imprisonment. But, the violation of §16-11-127.1, which is carrying a knife in school safety zones and other prohibited locations, is considered a felony.

Exceptions and Exemptions of Knife Possession in Georgia

Georgia has quite the regulations on knife possession and carrying. But there are few exemptions to those knife laws. As per §16-11-130, peace and law enforcement officers, active military personnel, National Guard can carry and possess knives without being worried about the knife laws. On the other hand, as per §16-11-126, §16-11-127.2, and §16-11-129, individuals who have a license for a knife can carry one regardless of the blade length and other regulations.


Georgia is a paradise for knife enthusiasts. That’s because, like other state knife laws, such as New Jersey, Florida, Ohio, and Colorado, Georgia doesn’t prohibit knives. As long as the knife is 12 inches or less in length, you can carry any knife you want, whether open or concealed. And if you have a license, you can carry any knife regardless of its length.


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