I know I’ve covered the UK Knife laws before so this is a bit of an update as I try to work around a personal health and safety issue when out in the field pest controlling. (aka BUNNY MEAT!)
What I need is a fixed blade double edged blade, no more than 18 cm (7 inches near enough) with just under a 3 inch blade, serrated on one edge for cutting heavy duty natural fiber, and other well woven synthetic ropes, plus tie wraps. The sharp edge is for field dressing rabbit or hare.
Only here’s the thing. I suffer from cold finger syndrome.
So my hands get cold even in the summer.
Cold hands and dexterity don’t exactly go hand in hand.
(If you’ll forgive the pun).
Thus, I have a habit of slicing my fingers with a folding knife that has not got a locking blade. PLUS this puppy has a serrated edge. (See later why these two things are highlighted)
I also need something easily deployable from a rigid scabbard I can carry strapped to my forearm or calf, and that’s why I need small.
Everything in italics was coped from the net (Link)
Laws for Carrying a Knife in Public
If an adult gets caught carrying a knife it can result in a 4 year prison sentence and an unlimited fine. A second conviction for the same offence would result in automatic imprisonment.
LAWS ON KNIVES UK: Legislation governs selling, buying, or carrying a knife. It is against the law to:
- Sell a knife to anyone younger than 18 years old. An exception applies if it has a folding blade up to 3 inches long (7.62 cm).
- Buy, sell, or carry any type of banned knife or weapon.
- Carry a knife in a public area without a valid reason. An exception applies if it has a folding blade and the cutting edge is no longer than 3 inches (7.62 cm).
- Use any kind of knife (even a legal one) in a threatening way.
Lock Knives UK Law
The definition of a lock knife is one that has similarities to a folding knife. That means a spring holds it closed. But, it also has a mechanism that locks the blade in position when extended ‘fully’. Thus, you cannot close the bladed part without releasing that mechanism.
No matter how short the blade is, the law does not define any type of lock knives as a folding pocket knife. Thus, it is illegal to carry a lock knife without a valid excuse for doing so.
Lock knives were not made to be a weapon per se. Thus, they are not typical offensive weapons ‘in the eyes of the law’. Even so, it is an offence to have possession of a lock knife in a public place (without a reasonable excuse for having it).
Note: Possession of a multi-tool may also break the laws for carrying a knife in the United Kingdom. (Shucks, there goes Gerber and other top of the range tool makers)
This type of instrument often incorporates a prohibited bladed instrument or a sharp point. This is despite other sections of the tool being of use to a person in a public place (e.g. a bottle opener or a screwdriver). As a rule, lock knives:
- Contain a blade that locks and then refolds by pressing a button only.
- May include so called ‘multi-tool knives’ that contain other useful devices as part of the instrument.
Complete List of Banned Knives and Weapons
United Kingdom law does not all anyone to bring into the country, hire, lend, sell, or give to another person:
- Batons (including side-handled, straight, or friction-lock truncheons).
- Blowpipes (sometimes called a blow gun).
- Butterfly knives (aka balisongs) which have a sheath hidden inside a handle which splits in the middle.
- Disguised knives which may be any bladed instrument or sharp point hidden inside something that appears to be like an everyday object. Typical examples include a brush, a buckle, lipstick, or a phone).
- Flick knives (aka automatic knives or switchblades) which is a type of dagger hidden inside a handle that shoots out after pressing a button.
- Gravity knives.
- Hand or foot-claws.
- Hollow kubotans which are a cylinder-shaped keychain that holds spikes.
- Kusari (or manrikigusari) which is a weight attached to a cord, a rope, or wire.
- Kusari-gama which is a sickle attached to a cord, a rope, or wire.
- Kyoketsu-shoge which is a hook-knife attached to a cord, a rope, or wire.
- Push daggers.
- Shurikens (aka death stars, shaken, or throwing stars).
- Stealth knives which are knives or spikes not made from metal (except those used at home such as for food or part of a toy).
- Swords (including samurai swords) which have a curved blade over 50cm) There are some exceptions such as antiques and swords made to traditional methods before 1954.
- Sword-sticks which a hollow walking stick or cane that contains a bladed instrument.
- Telescopic truncheons which extend automatically after pressing a button or a spring in the handle.
- Zombie knives which contain a cutting edge, a serrated edge usually with images or words that suggest its use is for violent acts.
Valid Grounds for Carrying a Knife or a Weapon
In some cases, the reason to carry a knife or a weapon in public may be a good one and not breaking any laws on knives. Typical examples would include:
- Transporting knives that you use at work to and from the actual workplace.
- Taking the item to a gallery or to a museum in relation to an exhibition.
- Using it in a demonstration or while teaching someone how to use it.
- Using it for in film, theatre, television, historical reenactment or for religious purposes (e.g. some Sikhs carry the kirpan).
Common Questions about Knives Answered by the Police
Is it Illegal to Carry a Knife in Your Pocket?
As a rule, yes it is illegal to carry any sharp or bladed instrument in your pocket while in a public place. The law excludes a folding pocket knife providing the blade is less than 7.62 cm or three (3) inches.
Even so, it is not a total ban. It would be for the person in possession of such an instrument to prove they had a valid reason for possessing it. For example, it could be genuine while fishing or back packing across the Lake District. Thus, it would not be unreasonable to use a sharp knife to prepare a meal.
You would have much more difficulty justifying the possession of a knife on the streets of a city or a town. Even so, there may be occasions when someone has a genuine reason to do so.
End of copied stuff, the rest is all me.
So. Am I stuffed? It would seem so.
There is however another point I’ve got to make.
To import illegal listed weapons into the country for sale is a definite No-No and wham, I’m VSF by laws designed for the domestic terrorists I call kids aged 8 upwards, THAT WILL BE IGNORED by criminals and other assorted trash, who are sometimes ethnically challenged.
Now I can buy over the Internet and just hope it’s not picked up on entry into this once green and pleasant land. My argument would be it is a tool and has a valid and health and safety reason for possessing it.
YET if I said it was for Pest Control, Prepping, and Survival!
I will probably become a person of interest to our easily persuaded and totally paranoid government, and end up tagged as a potential terrorist.
And all because of 2½ inches of pointy steel.