Florida is one of the states that emphasizes on self-defense. This is why its knife laws are open and gives the courts a leeway of interpreting them.
Most knives such as multi-tools and box cutters are classified as working tools. However, ballistic knives are banned and it is illegal to possess or carry them in public.
There are numerous ordinances that place restrictions on the length of knife or concealed carry. The law defines what pocket knives are, puts restriction on length of knife that can be carried in public, and areas where knives are forbidden.
The law allows people to possess any other type of knives other than ballistic knives. Section § 790.225 of Florida statues outlaw possession of ballistic knives. In fact, the law says that it is illegal for anyone to manufacture, possess, display, own, use or sell ballistic self-propelled knives. One can own, possess or sell other kinds of blades such as pocket knives, Bowie knife, throwing star, KA-BAR knife, sword-cane and hunting knives. These knives may be carried openly. Also, it is important that you read court precedents to help you see what the court may consider legal or illegal. According to the available precedence, you may own belt knives, Bowie knives, balisong knives and other disguised knives. It is also legal to possess and own throwing knives and undetectable knives which cannot set off metal detectors.
It is illegal to buy, own, possess, and sell ballistic knives.
Limit on Knife length
There are no limits imposed on possessing, selling, buying, displaying or carrying openly knives other than ballistic knives. However, there are ordinances that represent exception to these laws.
One may conceal and carry pocket knives, tile cutters, box cutters, blunt table knives, plastic knives and multi tools. Section § 790.001 defines a weapon as any kind of a knife. A person who carries concealed weapons, a device or any other electrical weapon is said to have committed a misdemeanor of the first degree. Such a person will be subjected to punishment as provided in S 775.083 or 775.082. However, persons licensed to carry concealed weapons are exempted from these. The law classifies ballistic self-propelled knives as dangerous weapons, and they are treated as contraband items in Florida.
There are exceptions to prohibitions on carrying knives. Law enforcement officers, the military, or government officials carrying knives for government activities are excluded from the prohibitions. Also, individuals who engage in hunting or fishing activities are exempted from these prohibitions.
Other knife laws in Florida
Note that Florida state law allows people to own and possess many types of knives including exotic knives. It also allows individuals to open carry a wide range of knives. Even though, concealed carry is problematic because of reinterpretation of what is meant by common pocket knife through Supreme Court precedents. If you are a knife owner, you can only conceal and carry plain pocket knives with smooth and non-serrated blades that are less than 4”. Note that concealing and carrying multi-tools, box cutters and other work knives is allowed.