Confused about Georgia knife law.

This is a discussion on Confused about Georgia knife law. within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I usually carry a Kershaw Whirlwind clipped to the inside of my pocket. I believe the blade is about 3.25" long. It never occurred to ...

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Thread: Confused about Georgia knife law.

  1. #1
    Member Array joepa150's Avatar
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    Confused about Georgia knife law.

    I usually carry a Kershaw Whirlwind clipped to the inside of my pocket. I believe the blade is about 3.25" long. It never occurred to me that it might be against the law to carry a knife. Now that I have been reading it, it seems that it is a bit vague and open to interpretation.

    16-11-126.
    (a) A person commits the offense of carrying a concealed weapon when such person knowingly has or carries about his or her person, unless in an open manner and fully exposed to view, any bludgeon, metal knuckles, firearm, knife designed for the purpose of offense and defense, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument of like character outside of his or her home or place of business, except as permitted under this Code section.


    What is a knife designed for offense/defense??
    How do you carry a folding knife openly?
    Is the pocket clip enough or does it have to be fully exposed?
    So basically unless I have a knife on a string hanging on the outside of my shirt, I cannot carry a pocket knife?


    Here is the States definition of a weapon.
    2) 'Weapon' means and includes any pistol, revolver, or any weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind, or any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, any other knife having a blade of two or more inches, straight-edge razor, razor blade, spring stick, metal knucks, blackjack, any bat, club, or other bludgeon-type weapon, or any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain, or any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart, or any weapon of like kind, and any stun gun or taser as defined in subsection (a) of Code Section 16-11-106.

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    Distinguished Member Array Anubis's Avatar
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    If part of the knife and its clip are visible, then it's "exposed to view".

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    Senior Member Array Moga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anubis View Post
    If part of the knife and its clip are visible, then it's "exposed to view".
    Is there case precedent from Georgia that is a source for this interpretation? Because that definition is certainly not present in Georgia law. In fact, OCGA 16-11-126 specifically states :

    unless in an open manner and fully exposed to view
    I'm not saying that there isn't, but I've yet to uncover such a decision.

    OP, if we can get the knife provision of SB308 passed this legislative year, people with carry licenses won't have to worry about whether carrying of a knife is legal. Please contact your senator to let them know how you feel about the legislation. If the Senate doesn't recommend it to the full house for a vote before 3/25 then the bill is dead until next year!!!
    2nd Amendment: because personal violence never makes an appointment.
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    Member Array AtlantaSW40's Avatar
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    Here is a great site with people experiences and much discussion about the Georgia law about firearms and knives alike:

    Firearm Discussion • Index page

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    Member Array DIXIETWISTER's Avatar
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    where i am at in Georgia people look at you funny if you dont carry a knife. I think that the law is vague on purpose.......if they want you they can get you type deal.
    You may not like guns. You may choose not to own one. That is your right.
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    2)Pray they get there in time." - A wise man

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    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    knife designed for the purpose of offense and defense
    any other knife having a blade of two or more inches
    your knife falls into both of these categories no?

    Its more then likely a "gotcha" law. Technically you are carrying illegally if its in your pocket buuuuuut most LEO in his right mind would most likely overlook such transgressions.
    There is something about firing 4,200 thirty millimeter rounds/min that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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    Member Array AtlantaSW40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razor02097 View Post
    your knife falls into both of these categories no?

    Its more then likely a "gotcha" law. Technically you are carrying illegally if its in your pocket buuuuuut most LEO in his right mind would most likely overlook such transgressions.
    In Georgia it is by no means a "gotcha" law. They are stupidly strict about knife laws as of late in Atlanta. Read this store about a guy who walked into a Target with his knife and was arrested for illegal carry. He had a conceal carry permit and was carrying his gun IWB at the time. The cop didnt even confiscate his gun, infact took it and dropped it off at his girlfriends house. But the cop did take him in for the knife.

    Firearm Discussion • View topic - Arrested for knife while legally carrying concealed

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    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to hear that... it stinks that they don't let you carry a knife. I do know that in Ohio the CCW license only pertains to handguns and no other weapons. Automatic and switch blades are illegal here except if you are disabled
    There is something about firing 4,200 thirty millimeter rounds/min that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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    VIP Member Array pittypat21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joepa150 View Post
    Here is the States definition of a weapon.
    2) 'Weapon' means and includes any pistol, revolver, or any weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind, or any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, any other knife having a blade of two or more inches, straight-edge razor, razor blade, spring stick, metal knucks, blackjack, any bat, club, or other bludgeon-type weapon, or any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain, or any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart, or any weapon of like kind, and any stun gun or taser as defined in subsection (a) of Code Section 16-11-106.
    I know this thread is a couple years old, but I feel it is necessary to clear something up here.

    This definition that you have provided is the definition of a weapon as used in code section 16-11-127.1 - which discusses specifically the carrying of weapons in school safety zones, on school property, or at school functions. Otherwise, the state provides other definitions.

    Code section 16-11-125.1 reads:

    As used in this part, the term:
    (2) "Knife" means a cutting instrument designed for the purpose of offense and defense consisting of a blade that is greater than five inches in length which is fastened to a handle.
    (5) "Weapon" means a knife or handgun.


    "this part" is talking about the carrying of weapons by licensed/unlicensed individuals. If you have a weapons carry license for GA or any state it has reciprocity with, you can carry a knife that is longer than 5 inches. If you don't have a weapons carry license, then so as long as your knife is under 5 inches, or is not designed for offense or defense, you don't have to worry about it. If you do find yourself in a school safety zone, on school property, or at a school function, then your knife (whether you have a license or not) must be either in your possession in your vehicle, or in a locked container in your vehicle - unless it's less than 2 inches long and not designed for offense or defense.

    Concerning your question of the knife being exposed, I'd suggest you go back and read code section 16-11-126, as it seems to have changed since you posted this thread. There's a lot there so I won't go over everything. Basically, though, it goes over what/how/when an unlicensed individual is allowed to carry a weapon without a license. Again, however, this definition of weapon when applied to knives only refers to knives with a blade over 5 inches long and used for offense/defense.

    So basically, the only thing that applies to you is carrying in a school safety zone, on school property, or at school functions. Your knife as you said is about 3.25 inches, so by every other definition, it is not a "weapon".

    I hope that clears it up for you...or that in the past two years it has been cleared up for you. At the very least, perhaps this will provide information for somebody else that needs it.
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