Your 5 Inch Pocket Knife Could Land You 3-5…

By on April 25, 2014

I carry a knife with me everywhere I go…. Minus the airport. ( I only needed one thorough pat down to never make that mistake again…)

To me it is a utility tool and not a weapon (unless I need it to be).

I use my knife daily for dozens of different tasks and carry one or more with me any time I travel.

I have driven across multiple states  in a day and never realized that I was possibly committing a new felony in every city and every state that I passed through…

Until I read this article from Todd over at

Is that bulge in your pocket an illegal knife, or are you just excited to read this article?


That’s right, in case you’ve just returned as a 30 year castaway on a remote, deserted island, there are laws that govern the length of your blade and whether you need a permission slip from the State to carry (open or concealed).

Welcome to Nanny State America! If you live here in these united States, pleading ignorance for carrying weapons (knife or gun) is not going to get you off the hook with our ever ‘watchful’ enforcers.

If you’re like most law-abiding people, you’re probably committing a-felony-a-day without even knowing it. To understand and stay within the law, you’d need to either go back to your island paradise or spend 8.31 hours per day for the next 2.7 years buried in law books.

There are 50 states, 57 according to the POTUS, that have different rules about possessing and owning weapons.

If you frequent cross state lines, you’d need to spend time researching all the state laws for travel route. Plus, you need to know how to interpret legalese.

Lets say you want to go visit your aging grandmother in Buffalo, New York. You leave Georgia and drive through several states and stop for fuel, beef jerky, and a room at Motel 6. You possess a Georgia Firearms License enabling you to legally carry your Bowie knife concealed (Crocodile Dundee style). It was a gift from your kids. So you carry it. (Just play along, okay)

How can you check to see if your able to legally carrying your knife (or any knife) in NY? Just do it and hope you don’t find out the hard way?

Here’s a better way.

The good folks over at contacted me to share their updated knife law resource. It’s different from other knife law sites I’ve seen. KnifeUp was written in 2013, includes legislature and case law, and translates lawyer-speak into plain, common man English.

Check out your state’s knife laws here. You might learn something and prevent you from committing that felony-a-day… when it comes to carrying knives, at least. NOTE: If you live in one of the other 7 states BHO is ruling over, you won’t be able find your state on the map over at KnifeUp! Call your White House for assistance in this matter.

One thing I learned about my state is…

Before July 1, 2012, different Georgia cities might have different rules regarding knives you could legally carry in their jurisdiction. Now, the state lawmakers passed a statewide knife law preemption effectively nullified local knife laws.

What this means is that you can travel from city to city without worrying whether a knife that is legal in your city is legal in the next town over. For example, it was legal to carry a 4 inch pocket knife in Columbus but, if you drove into Atlanta, you would be breaking Atlanta city law. – source:

For Georgia residents, our knife laws are unrestrictive compared to some states.

What this law states is that you can own any knife you would like as long as you keep it inside your property. You can carry, open or concealed, any knife that is less than 5 inches. This includes butterfly knives, switchblades, and any other type of knife that is commonly banned in other states. – source:

becker bk-2

My Becker BK-2 bushcraft blade is 1/4 inch over 5 inches requiring a State permission slip to legally carry off my property.

When Dirt Road Girl and I travel to other states, I always check to see if the states we visit recognizes and are reciprocal to our Georgia Firearm’s License. I’ve never really checked into knife laws for other states. With KnifeUp, I can. I’ve added their link to our Blogroll and Resources page under “Firearms/Shooting/Marksmanship” for future reference.

But wait! There’s more!

Even if you don’t care what your state knife laws are, but love knives, KnifeUp offers more resources than law-talk. I’ve spent some time rummaging through KnifeUp’s site and it’s loaded with other great information for knife aficionados and preppers.

They do reviews on sharp stuff (pocket knives, multi-tools, etc.). Find reviews here. The “Misc” tab is loaded with value-adding info on prepping, lists, and DiY stuff. You’ll enjoy their comparison of 3 machetes. Spoiler alert, the Gerber Bear Grylls machete didn’t win.

If you get some time to check them out, let me know what you think.

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