Talk:Knife legislation

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Japan: Katana are not offensive weapons?[edit]

Somehow I consider the following unlikely:

"With the exception of Japanese Katana, any other swords are regarded as offensive weapons. However, if they have artistic value, possession is legal as long as the sword is registered."

So Japanese katana, artistic value or not, are not regarded as offensive weapons, and any civilian may carry them in public without a police officer bothering them? Was the Meiji-era Haitō edict ever officially overturned, then? And why don't I see modern-day swordsmen parading around the streets of Tokyo on a daily basis? 13:55, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

"Legal" and "police officers won't bother you" are two very, very different things, especially in countries like Japan. Elmo iscariot (talk) 19:07, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
To try to be slightly more helpful, there are two reasons that "not an offensive weapon" makes more sense than it might seem. First, "offensive weapon" is often a legal term covering specific kinds of weapons. So a country can, for example, call handguns and switchblades "offensive weapons" which are illegal to own, while making other weapons (like katanas or, say, double barreled shotguns) less restricted. This wouldn't necessarily mean you can carry a katana or shotgun down the street. Second, again, there are many things that aren't illegal but that you won't see people doing on a daily basis. In my home state of New Jersey in the US, for example, the concealed carry of handguns is effectively banned for at present, but it's perfectly legal for me to walk down the street with a rifle slung over my shoulder. Still, I've never in my life seen anybody carrying a rifle in public here. If anybody tried, I guarantee he'd be tackled by police and dragged through as much traumatic legal procedure as they could possibly justify. Many legal activities simply aren't done due to public disapproval or to extrajudicial pressure from the justice system. Elmo iscariot (talk) 20:10, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

UK court of final appeal changes[edit]

Should: <<As the only higher court in England and Wales is the [[House of Lords]>> now read: <<As the only higher court in England and Wales WAS the [[House of Lords]>>  ? Wikdane (talk) 15:15, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

well, shouldn't it just be changed to the supreme court?--UltraMagnus (talk) 20:23, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

some more details[edit]

Can someone put this stuff in here? They have references, too. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:48, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

United Kingdom[edit]

Referring to the final sentence:

"Swiss Army Knives with locking blades are illegal to carry in the UK and the crown prosecution service have attempted to prosecute policemen, hikers and picnickers who possess such weapons" [15][16]

I can find nothing in either reference to support this statement (i.e. that locking 'Swiss Army' knives are illegal in the UK). The statement also appears to contradict earlier wording that states that lockable blades expelled by springs, gravity assistance or 'centrifugal' force (Swiss Army knives do not operate in these ways) are illegal . Clarification would be appreciated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:19, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

-- this is from the definition of "pen knife" which is supposed to be non-locking! A typical Swiss army knife is non-locking, though it does have a resistance to closing, of course (it's not a liner lock or a back-lock, for example). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:01, 11 June 2012 (UTC)


sevral sites link to this page to refer to the legality of carrying swords in public but this page isnt too specific n them, its mostly about switch blades and such. are there even any specific laws about swords? (talk) 01:32, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Thats a good question; I have the same question on knives in pensykvania in Pensylvania law. (talk) 14:27, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

England and Wales[edit]

There is a section of this article titled England and Wales but there is no mention of the law in Scotland. Is there a distinction between the law in England and Wales and the law in Scotland or should this section be called the United Kingdom? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ossamauk (talkcontribs) 17:59, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

No - the law is different in Scotland. (talk) 16:10, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Canadian Weapon Laws[edit]

Nothing actually defines a knife, after some searching, I found this useful document part 4 defines melee weapons. (talk) 06:58, 15 June 2011 (UTC) Italic text

UK on Swiss Army Knives[edit]

Regarding this line:

Swiss Army Knives with locking blades are illegal to carry 'without good reason' in the UK and the crown prosecution service have attempted to prosecute policemen, hikers and picnickers who possess such items without a specific and immediate reason.[10][11]

It is true that SAKs with locking blades are illegal to carry 'without good reason' in public places in the UK (CJA S139). However, it is likely that hikers and picnickers will in many cases have "good reason" and the two citations are extremely flawed examples.

The first citation refers to a case in which the subject actually had a Buck Whittaker lock knife (not an SAK) and the police had received a report that he had threatened someone with it.

The second citation refers to a case in which the subject had a non-locking SAK in his hand luggage. It does not refer to locking SAKs as per the first line, and the issue here is carrying the knife through airport security, not a general carrying-in-public issue.

Recommend we delete from "and the crown..." unless someone objects... (talk) 16:08, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Edit: Here's a follow-up article re that first citation: (talk) 17:01, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

You're forgetting the case of Nicholas Samengo-Turner, which is also referenced. In 2004 Samengo-Turner was in his car when he was stopped at one of London's infamous mass warrantless search checkpoints (the so-called "security zone" authorisation) and was arrested for possessing a small Swiss Army multi-tool with two short locking blades (2 15/16 inch/7.47 cm and 2 5/8 inch/6.68 cm) in the locked boot of his car. While eventually cleared, the arrest and over-reaction by police authorities and the crown prosecutor cost Samengo-Turner a huge business deal and thousands of pounds in court costs. The multi-tool knife was seized and destroyed.Baton Charge Racing Boss ClearedDellant (talk) 15:29, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

The whole section on the UK is alarmist and accusing the authorities of over-reacting. While this may be true, the alarmist bit makes things look worse than they are. It is, for example, clear that a person can carry a "pen knife" (<3 inch, non-locking) in any place without any particular reason (except if that place itself explicitly forbits it, e.g. schools, airports beyond security control, etc.). With such items, the issue becomes what one *does* with them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:56, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

The entire section is duly referenced and accurately describes the state of the law and current law enforcement policies in the UK. British knife laws are extensive and complex, and often place the burden on the accused to prove that he did not violate the law. Furthermore, Parliament is not constrained by a Bill of Rights. See the Terrorism Act 2000, Section 44, which allowed police to search citizens or foreigners without cause or even reasonable suspicion in areas designated by the government as security or crime enforcement zones. This custom of constantly expanding the scale and scope of mass warrantless searches of the public recently brought a reproach from the European Court of Human Rights! While Section 44 has been ruled illegal, the risk of arrest for technical knife violations (and seizures of knives on questionable grounds by HMS Customs) remains high. If you can come up with referenced material that would provide additional insight, you are welcome to do so. But please don't forget to substantiate your statements with valid secondary references and to sign your contributions, including the talk page.Dellant (talk) 13:48, 22 July 2012 (UTC)


In the Wikipedia article is stated that "The law further provides that knives which are purposely designed as weapons for use against human beings (for example, knives with thrusting-type blades such as daggers or stilettos, or military combat arms such as combat knives or bayonets) are either prohibited or require a special license". To my knowledge this is not true. They are regarded as free weapons which means that you have to be at least 18 years old to own and/or carry one. Apart from this they are free to own, buy, sell and produce. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:11, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Please do not remove referenced material from the article. Your unsubstantiated personal knowledge is not relevant. If you have a contribution to make which you can support with valid secondary references, you are welcome to add that material, but please don't remove contributions that are referenced. And don't forget to sign your contributions, including the talk page.Dellant (talk) 15:20, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
I wish you would refrain from introducing incorrect information into the article. The following paragraph:

The law further provides that knives [are] which are purposely designed as weapons for use against human beings ... are either prohibited or require a special license.

is demonstrably false. While it is true that such knives may be considered "weapons", possession of such weapons is not illegal (except for minors), or indeed subject to a license. The somewhat obscure sources you cite (one paraphrasing the other) are simply wrong, I am afraid.

For the record: I am an Austrian lawyer. For an online reference, I suggest this commentary from Sonja Jell from the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior, or indeed any of the relevant lawbooks. Please do not revert without discussion. IGreil (talk) 12:13, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

I undid another removal of this paragraph. Please let's discuss this here, if you feel the need for it. If it's "unsourced", it simply means that there is no prohibition on such weapons in the Austrian arms act; how exactly do you prove a negative? Fire arms (all kinds, really, hand guns, rifles etc.) are heavily regulated, and there is the possibility of a total weapons ban for specified, untrustworthy individuals, but absent that, all people over the age of 18 are by default allowed to possess, keep and carry "weapons". Apart from the complete ban of "hidden" or disguised weapons and certain types of melee weapons, there are no further weapon-specific restrictions in the Act. IGreil (talk) 10:12, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
Why not just specify what's clearly prohibited and decline to list what isn't? —ADavidB 18:15, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
We're pretty much doing that, actually, but I'm not sure it's sufficiently clear. The Austrian Arms Act distinguishes four categories of objects: they can either be a) forbidden outright, b) subject to authorization or approval, c) not specifically mentioned, d) not weapons at all. Weapons disguised as common objects (sword canes, e.g.) and certain melee weapons (brass knuckles, e.g.) fall under category A, while category B is mainly reserved for firearms of all kinds.
Apart from that, it usually matters little whether a given object is a "weapon" (i.e., "an object that by its very nature is intended to reduce or eliminate the defensive ability of a person through direct impact"), or not, since such weapons may be freely possessed and carried by all people over the age of 18 (excepting those having been forbidden from bearing weapons of any kind, who may still possess and carry regular knives and the like.)
I think pointing this out in clear language is warranted: at the end of the day all kinds of knives are implicitly permitted (and none are expressively forbidden) by the Arms Act. IGreil (talk) 19:25, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
I have amended the article on switchblades as well, as far as the Austrian legal situation is concerned. It, too, suffered from numerous factual errors. IGreil (talk) 11:59, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
Once again, please do not remove referenced material from the article. Your unsubstantiated personal knowledge and your occupation is not relevant. If you have a contribution to make which you can support with valid secondary references, you are welcome to add that material, but please don't remove existing contributions that are referenced with valid sources.Dellant (talk) 17:08, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
Did you actually read what I have written so far? You're certainly not commenting on it. The article by one "Oliver Lang" that you keep quoting is not, in my book, sufficient proof. It is also factually wrong, plain and simple.
I am wondering about your agenda here, by the way. Do you know anything about Austria or its legal system? Are you just trying to be difficult? I'd really like to know what you're trying to achieve. IGreil (talk) 21:54, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

United Kingdom[edit]

The 1689 Bill of Rights was not made by Parliament and thus cannot be unmade by Parliament it is a Treaty between the people and The Crown this is the reason why the 1689 BOR is still published by Parliament/Government on their website as an act still in force and not repealed in any part. Notice the highlighted pink text, click on the ? mark: If this is not the LAW then what is lawful how can any person be sure of what is lawful? The members of Parliament rely on the BOR for protection from the law: Most experts on british Constitutional law say that the Crown,Government,Parliament and the Judiciary have conspired to unlawfuly disarm the law abiding British people, of course criminals do not obey the law. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:02:17, March 29, 2012 (UTC)

  • I agree with you. But until you can come up with a dispositive court case duly referenced, this belongs on the talk page. And don't forget to sign your contributions. Dellant (talk) 00:19, 2 April 2012 (UTC)


The article talks about stringent regulations, but doesn't actually say what is permitted. OK, no swords, but what kinds of knife and where? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:18, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

Correcting a Reference?[edit]

I think that Citation 72 is incorrect. It refers to United States Code, Title 15, Chapter 39, Sections 1241-1245 but I think it's actually supposed to be Chapter 29. Even though I looked at them both, I don't want to change it, just in case I'm crazy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:35, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

You're not crazy, you're correct. Fixed, thanks. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 05:39, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Original research and synthesis in the UK section.[edit]

I've noticed that a lot of the commentary in the UK section seems to contain a lot of conclusions which are not warranted by the citations given. Surely this is WP:SYNTH?

I'm wondering whether the section might be best cut down to give just the basic facts of the law, and cut out the dubious commentary, which seems to be someone's opinion. The summary section could easily be dropped in my opinion. G-13114 (talk) 14:38, 23 May 2014 (UTC)


"have broad discretion to authority to prohibit the carrying" - what is this supposed to say? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

The statement in this section should probably read "... have broad discretion and authority to prohibit the carrying ..."; feel free to change it if you see fit.
Please also, sign your additions to talk pages, and it would be helpful when asking questions about a specific statement in an article, if you'd link to the section. Thanks. fredgandt 00:36, 28 February 2016 (UTC)
The "discretion to" word pair is removed. —ADavidB 13:34, 29 February 2016 (UTC)


I've just been trying to find references for the Italian section, and found nothing useful, except this at which states that "The project is still at the development phase."

I continued on to the linked project and partly because it's written in Italian (a language I don't read) I found nothing relevent. I did find a "ROYAL DECREE" of "November 16, 1939" about the "Rules for the acceptance of flooring materials" though - so that's good -_-

This section needs to be evaluated by an expert in Italian law. My many and varied searches did turn up one article stating that "The Italian legal system is inordinately complicated and most lawyers (avvocato) and judges (giudici) are baffled by the conflicts between different laws, many dating back centuries, and EU directives serve to complicate matters further." fredgandt 04:44, 28 February 2016 (UTC)

"Carrying a knife in Italy is strictly forbidden" can't possibly be true. It's also contradicted later in the same paragraph: "unless a specific circumstance of need exists". I'm going to remove this section until we have a source. Kendall-K1 (talk) 03:53, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

Wrong order[edit]

Why is the Netherlands between France and Germany when the rest of the list is in alphabetical order? Is there any reason for this or is it an error? Coco Chen (talk) 09:58, 3 August 2016 (UTC)

I found no valid reason and put the Netherlands section in its alphabetical position between Lithuania and Norway. —ADavidB 13:19, 3 August 2016 (UTC)

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Obscure notes![edit]

Hello all, what does a phrase like "Bryan v. Mott, 62 Cr App R 71 (1976)" (see footnote #64 in the article) actually mean? I am assuming that it is a reference to a jurisprudence in the case of Bryan versus Mott in the Court of appeal in 1976, but could we have a more explicit reference and if possible a link to the source?(Bear with me, I am trying to translate this into French.) Thanks in advance for your help. Pensées de Pascal (talk) 17:46, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

Kitchen Knives[edit]

Can anyone here clarify the UK law on Kitchen knives?

If I purchase a knife from a shop and it is still in its packaging and I am stopped by the police on my way home, what is the likelihood of being arrested? Can I be sure that I will be treated as innocent until proven guilty in this situation?

If I am transporting a kitchen knife that I already own from one premises to another and the knife is inside a closable case or box with a latch so that it is not immediately ready to use, what is the likelihood of being arrested if I am stopped? Can I be sure that I will be treated as innocent until proven guilty in this situation?

What is the likelihood of being arrested if I use a kitchen knife to cut food at a picnic in a public park? Can I be sure that I will be treated as innocent until proven guilty in this situation?

In my view, I think that the law very much needs to be clarified in cases such as the above. (talk) 02:55, 15 July 2017 (UTC)