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Pocketknives and concealed carry in Florida

Florida allows people to open carry knives, meaning you can have a knife on your belt where everyone can see it. However, concealing a knife changes things drastically from a legal standpoint. You can get a concealed weapon permit and then you can carry a hidden weapon, but you can't do so without a permit.

Many people assume that concealed carry laws only apply to firearms and then get arrested for concealing knives. This confusion can get you into trouble with the law when you did not know you were breaking the law to begin with.

There is also confusion over different types of blades. It may seem obvious that you can't conceal a massive knife with an eight-inch blade, but what about a pocketknife or a multi-tool with a blade? Do you really have to open carry them to comply with the law?

You do not, in most cases. The law states that ordinary pocketknives can be carried out of sight, as most people do. This is also true for work knives, multi-tools and box cutters. A carpenter who slides a utility knife into his or her pocket isn't breaking the law.

For pocketknives, the legality depends on the length of the blade. If it is under 4 inches, then it can be folded and carried in a pocket. If it exceeds four inches, then it has to be open carried or carried with a permit. Most pocketknives do not come close to four inches, so they are legal.

If you get arrested for concealing a weapon without knowing it was illegal to do so, be sure you know what defense options you have.

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