I recently called my local police department concerning Florida's knife laws, and nobody could, or would give me a straight answer. Does anybody out there live in Florida or know what the various laws state.
I'm going to make this a general post because I think it would be more useful to the forum this way.
Knifeart has an article specifically on knife laws by state at <a href="http://knifeart.com/knifeart/kniflawbysta.html">this page</a>. <a href = "http://www.ncsl.org/public/sitesleg.htm">This page</a> has links to general legislation for states, so you can do the searches yourself.
I`m a born-and-bred Floridian. I checked into this some time ago.
The deal here is that you can carry any knife you please, short of a switchblade, when on your way to-or coming back from a hunting or fishing trip. Within reason, don't run around town with a shotgun and fishing pole with a broadsword swinging from your hip.
The deal with pocket knives is they are not defined as weapons, except for switchblades, so you can carry them, even concealed, without worry. The wording is "common pocket knife", doesn't mention length but I`d stay this side of four inches. Since it says a "common pocket knife" that implies whatever sort of pocket knives are in common use, so your tactical piece should be kosher. If you've got a bad cop/judge, he might say your high-end custom number isn't "common". That's why I carry a Buck.
I got taken to jail over a scrap a while ago(come on! If you don't mix it up once in a while you're not living right. Besides, a friendly brawl is a normal part of social interaction in these parts) I had my Buck Titanium on me. 4 inch blade, finger-grooved titanium handle, and I was involved in a fight. You'd think they'd have freaked out. My cop, who was pretty cool actualy, just took it, had it stowed with my other possesions that were on me, and they gave it all back the night they released me. Florida is a pretty hip state, some may be better, but a lot are worse. We're a shall-issue state with quite reasonable laws. We've got the "Somebody Orother" Act down here, basicaly it means that weapons laws are legislated on the state-level, so some municipality can't rule against them or impose stricter limitations. Keep in my some folk are more comfortable `round knives than other. Don't pull out anything to formidable in the presence of yuppies. Though you won't be in violation of any law, they will flip their wigs and you`ll have to wait for the cops to show up and tell them you`re not hurting anybody and in violation of no law.
In short, your folder IS street-legal. Just don't do anything stupid with it.
P.S. I DID NOT use the knife in the fight. Like I said, friendly brawl. Use common sense. Just `cause you're having it out doesn't neccesarily mean try to KILL the other guy!
"One of God`s Prototypes. A powerful mutant, never even considered for mass-production.
Too weird to live. Too tough to die."
If you're looking for Florida law, I suggest you look at <a href = "http://www.leg.state.fl.us/citizen/documents/statutes/1998/ch0790/ch0790.htm">Chapter 790</a> of the state constitution. This is from 1998.
From what I've seen
<dt>1.There is no specific maximum length
<dt>2.Anything other than a "common pocketknife" is considered a weapon. This isn't really defined well
<dt>3.Carrying a "weapon" concealed is a misdemeanor unless a permit is obtained
<dt>4.in a car, it's legal to have a knife either securely fastened not on you or concealed and on you, but not readily accessable
Please note that this is only a summary of the laws that I saw applying to almost everyone with a knife in Florida. There are many details.
Sevans, I am also a Florida native for about seven years. If you have recently moved here or are thinking about it you should consider getting your concealed carry permit. This extends to edged weapons as well as handguns and is extremely easy to obtain here in the sunshine state. It takes a lot of the guess work out of what you can and can't carry. There is however a particular law concerning auto-knives.something about being manufactured in the same state as it is carried but I can't recall since it doesn't really apply to me. I reccomend refering to 790 as well for the specifics and hitting a local gun show for your carry permit class..The biggest problem,practically speaking,in this state is not so much what you can carry but how to conceal it!! Ninety degrees and humid requires some definate wardrobe sacrafices to carry a concealed knife or firearm. Good luck.BO
Thanks to all (especially jpbulli for putting in so much work and a great link)!!
This law still leaves specifics foggy at best, so I think I'll just limit myself to a 4" folder on down for daily carry. I wish I could get a clear picture of the legalities concerning fixed blades. I'd like to get a Dozier NY Special or Arkansas Toothpick if I could carry one of them!!