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Knife Laws in Canada

Discussion in 'Knife Laws' started by Avenged7x, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. Avenged7x


    Dec 20, 2012
    Hello all, I havent got much knowledge about the laws in Canada on owning knifes. I was always interested in owning some, but now that I think about it, I dont know much about actually being able to own certain ones.

    I know any gravity knives, push knives, butterfly knives ect are illegal.

    Just for example, I would love to own one of these:

    Obviously not to carry around, but to keep in my home.

    Can anyone tell me about owning axes/tomahawks, fixed blades, sabers, throwing knifes, folding knifes, swords and spears, and how to store them?
    Again, I never really owned a knife other than a switchblade, so I dont know a whole lot and I would really like to start collecting some.
    Thank you in advance for the help :).
  2. Razorsharp1986

    Razorsharp1986 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    As far as I know, you can't have Autos, Balisongs, push knives or anything along these lines.
    No gravity knives, neither.
    You can have a knofe of any size, as long as you don't conceal it. You may only use knives in utilitarian fashion, also. Not for self defense.

    I live in Ontario, and have been harrassed many times by police officers, but never had any knives confiscated.
  3. 4 s ter

    4 s ter

    Apr 22, 2001
  4. Avenged7x


    Dec 20, 2012
    Thank you for the help. So basically it's legal to own anything other than whats listed there (push knives, knuckle knives, switch, gravity, ect..)
    If I bought something, how would I go about having it in my home? For example, a machete or a tomahawk. Those arent really the kind of things you put up on a wall like a katana.
  5. PS-RagE


    Oct 6, 2009
    You sound like you are talking about weapons? As Canadians, we don't own weapons so there is no proper way of carrying or storing them. Knives, on the other hand are cutting instruments i.e. tools. Tools are carried openly and stored - wherever.


    Jun 6, 2012
    A7X eh? Listening to them right now :) I've got a bunch of knives, some pretty big ones too. To me they're not weapons, just tools I really like. I keep mine on my bedside table, in a drawer, a closet or under my bed. I know that some people on the forum keep their expensive knives in a safe or their gun locker. If the knives you have are legal here in Canada I don't think there's a way you're not allowed to store them in your own house. Try not to scare away house guests tho.
  7. roughneckrob


    Jul 3, 2009
    Every knife you listed on your want list is ok to own and carry if need be. Knife laws are pretty slack here in Canada.
  8. Knivesandoutdoors


    Dec 10, 2012
    I live on the Quebec side, and same here, never had knives confiscated. But for sure balisongs, autos, gravity and push knives are not allowed.
  9. mlehto


    Oct 20, 2012
    Here is the Criminal Code definition of a prohibited knife

    For subsection (b), you need to consult the regulations prescribing prohibited weapons


    As for possession, there are several offences that need to be considered

    The key is never admitting to using the knife for any type of defence or offence. It is only a tool for cutting boxes. This should be your answer if you are ever asked why you have a knife.

    As far as carrying concealed this is a grey area. Technically a knife isnt a weapon until it is used or intended to be used as such. This is different from a gun which is always considered a weapon under the law. Therefore you could have a knife concealed in your pocket, as a pocket knife was originally intended to be carried, or even have a belt knife under a jacket, as long as you can clearly articulate that the knife is just a tool with a legitimate purpose. The second part of the offence of carrying a concealed weapon involves the intent to conceal the fact you are carrying a weapon. If you never admit any intent to conceal the knife, and it is being carried in a traditional way such as in your pocket or on your belt, and even a neck knife under a shirt, there would be no intent to conceal the knife.

    Again if you call it a tool, and articulate that it is only used as a tool for typical tasks, and carry it in a typical manner be it belt, pocket, or even neck, you should be just fine.

    Remember you are innocent until proven guilty, and these types of offences all typically require you to incriminate yourself by admitting to either concealing the knife, or admitting it is being carried as a weapon.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  10. Knivesandoutdoors


    Dec 10, 2012
    Can't agree more,period.
  11. Torm


    Jul 12, 2007
    As long as you aren't carrying it concealed and it looks like a legitimate tool rather than a "fighting knife" you should be alright. For example: don't pack a large fixed blade around town shopping and not expect to be hassled. The same blade out hiking though would be just fine though. There are no rules for knife storage in Canada really.
  12. lumberjake


    Mar 13, 2012
    Oh, just one thing I'd like to add from personal experience. Yes, knife laws are pretty lax here as they are concidered "tools." One can legally carry any size fixed blade about in the open legally however you may get unwanted attention, and possibly confiscation by police because they can interpret certain sections of the law the way they please because, bottom line, they can! What can you do about it except file a complaint that they will likely investigate themselves. For example, I owned a common liner locking CRKT M16, a cop tried multiple times to "flick" it open using full arm swings. He succeeded after about half a dozen swings and took it. Why? Apart from being a a$$, a knife that can be opened by gravity or centrifugal force is illegal. This was brought into law to cover balisongs, however, it is also a "tool" for police to tack on a charge if they can on very commonly sold at every store folding knives with looser pivots. I never got charged but lost my knife. Upset, I looked this law up and it appears that case law states it should be able to flick open in three tries. Of course a lawyer costs more than my knife so I never fought the confiscation but its a lesson learned that this section of our criminal code can and will be taken advantage of by cops with attitudes. Unreal considering I could walk into ANY knife retailer and find a bunch of illegal weapons. Ridiculous.
  13. triggermortis


    Jan 16, 2013
    I am new here and just looked through this section on Canadian laws. MLEHTO seems to have the most definitive answer. I have never heard of how neck knives could be interpreted before. I do know that carrying a knife in a traditional manner, like a pocket knife in a pocket is legal, since it does not indicate an intent to conceal.

    Also, right on the money, is your statement about answering questions. In Canada, you are under no obligation to answer any questions, but if you do, do not talk about any use of self defense. You are actually allowed to defend yourself with a knife, but are not allowed to prepare in advance for such use. It must be a spur of the moment expedient use and must appear as such and must be necessary as such.

    I got pulled over on my motorcycle in Toronto and the cop demanded to know what I used my belt knife for. It has a fixed blade, not a folder. I told him I use it to cut cartoons out of newspapers, which was exactly the truth. I do cut them out. He snatched it out of my holster when I bent over to retrieve a bungie cord. A knife collector cop I met told me that a good explanation for carrying a knife is to cut fruit.

    I am 65 and have carried a knife on my person for 50 years, almost every day. Just last year, I got pulled over on my motorcycle on the 401 highway. The cop had me put my knife down, so I put it on my saddlebag. He says, no, put it on the ground on the other side of the bike and walk around to this side. That was a Cory knife (from Montana) with a crown stag hilt in a leather sheath.

    I have never had a knife confiscated except by Canada Customs. I ordered 10 knives by mail from the US. 3 were folders. Customs notified me that the 3 folders violated the centrifugal force aspect of the law and told me I had 3 options. a- they would destroy them. b- I could pay to return them to sender. c- I could appeal the decision. Well, I am retired now, so I sent them a list of days I could show up for the appeal and waited for their response. They sent me a letter about 3 weeks later, saying that they held the appeal, I lost and they destroyed the knives. They didn't advise me when I could attend the appeal. They probably didn't want me there anyway at their kangaroo court. The knives were just cheap things anyway, so I didn't bother any further with them.

    That is all for now.

    Do you guys talk about bayonets too?

    Alan Harper


  14. davids78bronco


    Aug 17, 2013
    New guy digging up an old thread to a similar question I can't find an answer too...

    I carry a S&W Border Guard Rescue. While, technically, not a gravity knife, it can be opened with a flick of the wrist. I've also heard both sides of the border guards' temperments. And while I never intend to be an ass, I also don't want my knife confiscated. What are the odds that I use it for everything from hunting and fishing to opening boxes to be believed?
  15. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford

    Aug 20, 2008
    If it can be opened with a wrist flick it doesn't matter what your explanation is, it's still a prohibited weapon.
  16. ExArchAngel


    Aug 5, 2013
    Cool knife, and I've recently done a huge research project on this, looking through the criminal code, court cases, judge's journals, etc.

    From what I can gather- at home? anything goes so long as it isn't prohibited.

    To carry, it can't be a weapon. That means, it can't be advertised as one by the MANUFACTURER (the vendor can say whatever the hell they want), 2: you can't use it as a weapon, and 3: you can't have the intent to use it as a weapon.

    SO- thats the law, I'd avoid the obvious, don't bring it out to bars and such, but the chances of you even having a run-in with the police are pretty low. You can even have it in your pocket, unclipped, if it isn't a weapon, which, under law, if you aren't using it as one, it isn't.


    They can pretty much do whatever they want from what I've gathered, Cop A might take the knife because it's sharp and pointy, whilst Cop B might think it's fine and send you on your merry way.

    My advice? Don't do stupid illegal things, because that's how you get into trouble. Also, don't worry about getting it confiscated, just ask when you can get it back, and for the officer's name and badge number I suppose.

    ALSO- if it flicks open without you touching the blade, the flipper on the back or anything, tighten the pivot a little to prevent a cop from flicking it open, determining it a prohibited weapon, and deciding to charge you with carrying a concealed weapon (5yr maximum sentence).

    It all seems scary and threatening and OH MY GOD JAILTIME, but really, don't be stupid, don't flash it around in public, etc, and you'll be fine.... know what I mean?
  17. Thomas Linton

    Thomas Linton

    Jun 16, 2003
    Yah. Really lax. :eek:

    Only as compared to worse, such as the UK.
  18. stabman

    stabman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Or a bunch of the USA.

    No length limit here.
    I can own a sword cane...in many Stateside locales you cannot.

    Don't try comparing "freedom level"; it just don't pan out once you look closer.
  19. Thomas Linton

    Thomas Linton

    Jun 16, 2003
  20. fcdt3


    Dec 13, 2016
    Is a small neck knife, with leather sheath, legal to wear/carry in Canada?

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