Know Your Knife Laws: Georgia

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On January 2nd, 1788 Georgia became the fourth state to ratify the new and unusual United States Constitution. After slogging through the authoritarian nanny-state muck of the mid-Atlantic Nanny States, it feels good to be back in free country again. When it comes to knives, that free country is Georgia. It wasn’t always so, but let’s get to the good news first…

…After a short disclaimer: As I mentioned in the first installment of ‘Know Your Knife Laws’, I’m not licensed in any state except Washington and none of this is meant to be relied on as legal advice. If you need to know what you can or can’t get away with under any state or local law, you’ll need to hit the law books yourself or call a lawyer in that state.

So where’s the good news I promised? Right here. The simple version of Georgia knife laws can be summed up in one sentence: you can carry any blade you want, any way you want, any place in the state so long as it’s not over five inches in length. You can carry bigger blades with a concealed weapon permit, and Georgia is a ‘shall-issue’ state for those. (For the longer version, look up Official Code of Georgia § 16-11-125.1.)

Georgia’s wonderful State law also pre-empts local ordinances, although there are still the usual restrictions about carry in schools, courthouses, prisons and the like, as well as regulations about giving or selling knives to minors.

All of this good news is the result of hard work by Knife Rights. Georgia knife laws had been a mess of absurd and contradictory local restrictions, but SB432 simplified state law and preempted local regulations. It went into effect on July 1st, 2012.

Conclusion: Georgia trusts you and respects your right to armed self-defense. And that is simply awesome.


  1. Loyd says:

    I am so thankful that I was blessed enough to be born in and live in a state that is so freedom friendly. You mentioned Knife Rights’ fight to simplify and fix knife codes in GA. Georgia Carry did the same in 2009. I cringe in horror when I hear about the laws in the Northeast and elsewhere.

    Clay, those of us in South Georgia say you can keep your water. We can’t help that all those greedy Atlantans are so thirsty. You have some of the most beautiful country I’ve seen along the Tennessee River.

  2. Highvoltage says:

    Can’t wait to visit GA for the upcoming Blade Show!

  3. jared says:

    Do you mean the whole knife can only be 5 inches or the blade of the knife?

    1. These laws typically refer to the blade length, which is the entire protruding part beyond the bolster or guard, not just the cutting edge.

  4. David Banner says:

    Since July 1st, 2012, Georgia is a very knife friendly state. You can own basically any knife you want and you can carry, open or concealed, a knife up to 5 inches in length. And, if you would like to carry a larger knife, all you need to do is get a weapons license.

  5. james says:

    is it suppose to be a 5″ blade or knife overall

    1. William says:

      5 inch blade brother, I always lay the blade length ways across my palm for good measure. I conceal a Gerber profile along with my 1911. handle doesn’t matter so long as the blade is 5 or less. hope this helps

      1. The Georgia Knife Law Reform bill which will increase the blade length limit from 5″ to 12″ passed out of Senate Committee today.

        Please contact your GA State Senator and ask them to pass the bill.

        I have a new piece on this development coming out tomorrow morning, but here is some background.

  6. Jonathan says:

    Do these laws apply to minors or do you have to be a certain age to carry a knife

  7. Taylor says:

    I’m 16 am I allowed to carry a pocket knife with a 5″ blade or shorter in my truck as long as I’m not on property that there not allowed on

  8. michael says:

    can you Knife carry like a hurt one or a arm one

  9. Jason M Bader says:

    moved from Indiana, where there IS NO BLADE LENGTH LAW. someone help to get that down here

  10. Vinny, Canton, GA says:

    A question that I’d like to know the answer to is can I own a knife over 5” if I don’t carry it without a carry license? I like to collect knives that I don’t carry. Only show.


  11. Anon says:

    This information is out of date now. The law changed in 2017.

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Know Your Knife Laws: Georgia

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