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Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer / Blog / Weapons Crime / Weapons That Are Illegal in Florida – And Three That Are Somehow Legal

Weapons That Are Illegal in Florida – And Three That Are Somehow Legal


While a firearm may seem like the obvious choice for self-defense in Fort Lauderdale, there are all kinds of additional possibilities. Some may be attracted to certain weapons because of their silence, concealability, or non-lethality. Others may lack the legal right to own a firearm, giving them no other choice but to consider alternatives that do not require licenses. While these options can certainly prove effective, some are illegal in Florida – and it’s important to identify these weapons to avoid criminal consequences.

 Weapons You Had No Idea Were Illegal in Florida 

Some illegal weapons may seem surprising to residents of Florida. This is especially true given the fact that many illegal weapons in Florida are less lethal than legal firearms. 

  • Ballistic Knives 

The only illegal type of self-defense blade in Florida is a ballistic knife. These types of knives may seem like normal blades at first, but they feature ejectable points. Although they are often confused with switchblades and spring-assisted knives, the blade on a ballistic knife doesn’t just spring open. Instead, users can shoot the entire blade several meters. A ballistic knife is essentially a projectile weapon. Keep in mind that virtually every other knife imaginable is legal in Florida – including butterfly knives, Bowie knives, and gravity knives. 

  • Pepper Spray Canisters with More than 2 Ounces 

Pepper spray is legal for self-defense in Florida, but only under certain circumstances. The most important restriction to consider is the capacity of the weapon. In Florida, you are only allowed to carry a canister with a maximum capacity of 2 ounces. The canister must also be compact in size, and you can only use it for self-defense purposes. 

  • Brass Knuckles 

Brass knuckles are legal in Florida, but only if you carry them openly. If you conceal brass knuckles, you could face legal consequences. In practice, however, this makes brass knuckles effectively illegal in many cases. Brass knuckles often look like rings from afar, and therefore it is very difficult to “open carry” these weapons without accusations of concealment.

 Weapons That Are Somehow Legal To Carry in Florida 

While it might be surprising to learn that some weapons are illegal in Florida, it may be equally shocking to learn that others are legal to carry. Here are examples: 

  • Swords 

Technically speaking, there is no law against carrying swords in public. You can obtain them legally in Florida, store them in your home, and even carry them as self-defense weapons. The only caveat is that you must open carry your sword if you wish to go out in public. This means that the sword must be clearly worn on the outside of your body. For example, you may wish to wear a sword on a scabbard. Although this would be legal, police have reportedly charged people with public mischief for bearing swords in public – so it’s probably not a good idea. 

  • Pepper Ball Guns 

Although carrying more than two ounces of pepper spray is illegal in a canister, there are seemingly no restrictions on how many pepper balls you can carry. Pepperball guns are like paintball guns, but they fire ammunition that emits a cloud of pepper spray upon impact. That being said, you may need a concealed carry license to carry a pepper ball gun in public. 

  • Shuriken 

Also known as “ninja stars,” shuriken are legal in Florida – just like throwing knives. In Florida, it is legal to conceal carry a knife with a blade shorter than 4 inches. This applies to shuriken, throwing stars, and similar weapons.

Of course, even if the weapon is legal to carry in Florida, if used improperly, you still could find yourself in legal trouble.

 Find a Qualified Weapons Offense Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale 

If you need more guidance on legal and illegal weapons in Florida, contact a qualified weapons offense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale. Reach out to Haber Blank today to get started.




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