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UK bladed article law and what it means for carry

Discussion in 'Knife Laws' started by Yorkshire Boy, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. Yorkshire Boy

    Yorkshire Boy

    Sep 27, 2008
    This thread was started at an American member's wish.

    UK knives, that are non locking folders which are 3 inches or under require no reason to carry. Locking, fixed blades, axes, machetes etc... fall into the bladed article law.

    A bushcrafter with a parang, traveling on public transport is legally allowed to do so because they have reasonable excuse. A sea fisherman with a 7inch fillet knife on a pier also has a legal reason.

    Your behaviour and actions are taken into account.

    Some knives are classed as offensive weapons and are not allowed to be carried regardless of reason.

    No article is to be carried for the purpose of self defense in the UK. Americans have difficulty computing this law. Anything that is used to threaten or attack someone becomes an offensive weapon, this could be a cricket bat. This also causes some confusion for some Americans.

    If you are interested in Tony Martin, you must know he had his gun licenses revoked for shooting out his sister's window, the shotgun he used was unlicensed and it was a pump action with more shots than is UK legal. He shot/killed a youth in the back and seriously injured a man, and then Mr Martin fled the scene. Tony Martin only did a few years in prison for this.

    If you have any questions ask away.
    Pilsner likes this.
  2. b00n

    b00n Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 15, 2016
    I think the main confusion stems from the same confusion you guys in the UK have we have in Germany the whole "reasonable excuse" gray area, which it definitely is (and for a reason). If a 14 year old with a 4 inch locking knife without anything on his person indicating he is going into the woods get stopped in the London Metro, him telling the bobbies (you still call'em that?) "Mate I'm on me way to camp outside the city" will never be a reasonable excuse. If you have a 5 inch bushcraft knife and a backpack with a tent and are on the train station leaving London, your "reasonable excuse" will fly. What the main problem is (and possibly upside) that it's left to the Officers to decide what is a reasonable excuse. YES, legally you might be in the right, but they might still throw a bunch of legal hassle your way.
    I think sometimes it would simply be easier if they said: These knives are legal, these knives aren't legal. End of story, none of your business what I carry it for. Although it would most likely prohibit a lot more stuff solely because politicians rather just blanket ban stuff than do research or let people decide for themselves.
    Especially looking at UK Knife Crime (and crime here in Germany) 98% of stabbings are with Kitchen Knives, not Balisongs or OTF's or other (*insert spooky noises*) dangerous edged weapons. Similar banning knives only seemed like it has increased the use of acid in, at least according to the news media. (I freely admit I haven't looked into actual statistics).
    Just to clarify, not an attack on you Yorkshire Boy, just my two cents on the whole thing.
    Yorkshire Boy likes this.
  3. Yorkshire Boy

    Yorkshire Boy

    Sep 27, 2008
    I would rather reasonable excuse than outright bans. I would take my chances with a Bobby, knowing that if they had doubts I could talk to an experienced desk sergeant down at the station.

    That in America you can go to a different town, city, state and have different knife laws, we in the UK have national law. I don't know if you have the same in Germany.
    Pilsner likes this.
  4. zzyzzogeton


    Feb 17, 2013
    And we have 40+ x the area of the UK, and 5 x the population - one law is not appropriate for all areas.

    The draconian laws of NYC are what they (New Yorkers) apparently want, since they keep electing the same "progressive" politicians to elected office. People in other areas of the country elect politicians of a different breed, who reflect what their constituents want.
    Babboonbobo and Yorkshire Boy like this.
  5. Yorkshire Boy

    Yorkshire Boy

    Sep 27, 2008
    And it's through "what they want" that you live in a disUnited States and I live in a United Kingdom, that you have the NRA and knife rights to try to keep your precious 2a.

    Much disinformation on this forum from people who spout shite against my country, they feed the misconceptions.

    That an ESEE Junglas is illegal to carry in some areas of the US is laughable when even my dad could take one down to the allotment, walking down his village high street.

    Thank you for your reply and taking the time.
    Pilsner likes this.
  6. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    serious question and on topic...... so in the UK meaning what Wales, Scotland, northern Ireland, england...hope I'd didnt miss one.........local govt such as a city, london as an example vs. birmingham.....has or has no ability to have different or expanded ordinances/laws over the uks knife laws. expand that to say northern Ireland vs. Scotland or england vs. wales etc and what not. do they have seperate rules?

    reason i ask is.....here in the states. there is federal rules, state rules, county rules and city rules potential. I may have missed a layer of govt? they can be very different from one another potentially or very similar. makes it a mess of what's going on for regular folks trying to stay legal.

    thanks in advance.
    Yorkshire Boy likes this.
  7. Yorkshire Boy

    Yorkshire Boy

    Sep 27, 2008
    Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have devolved powers, they have their own political assemblies, England does not have its own governance we just have the British government.

    Knife laws are UK wide.
    Pilsner and jbmonkey like this.
  8. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    good info thanks. cities too? no ability to inact their own interpretation of uk laws or their own laws/ordinances etc?
  9. Yorkshire Boy

    Yorkshire Boy

    Sep 27, 2008
    No, regardless of what mayor's might spout knife laws are UK.
    Pilsner and jbmonkey like this.
  10. Quiet

    Quiet "That guy" Platinum Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    Hey, thanks for attempting to bash our country! That always gets positive, useful conversation going. :rolleyes:
  11. madcap_magician

    madcap_magician Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    I'm sure from time to time I'll envy you for your freedom to carry an ESEE Junglas down to the allotment on your father's village high street, knowing that if you get arrested for it, at least you'll have a 50% chance of talking your way out of it at the police station, if you can give a good enough reason for having it.

    That's totally a lot freer than my current ability to carry an ESEE Junglas, or nearly any other knife of any size or type, for any or no reason at all, down my city's main street, or anywhere else in my city or state, without the police stopping me at all.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  12. danbot

    danbot Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    UK "bladed article" law is ridiculous. There is no knife crime problem in the UK or anywhere in the world. There are only behavioral problems.
    jux t and shinyedges like this.
  13. oldmanwilly

    oldmanwilly Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    I agree that the non-uniform "weapon" restriction laws in the US are rather laughable in many cases. It is confusing at best, and tragic at worst, to have a "legal" knife on your belt become an "illegal weapon" by taking one step forward into a different city. That said, I would rather take the hodge-podge of jurisdiction-specific laws that we have now over a list of Federal restrictions that would pre-empt any beneficial deviation from state or local governments.

    I have little doubt that a Federal ban on possession/use of specific knives would be similar to Federal bans on certain firearms - overly broad and catering to the sensitivities of the ban's proponents. Once such a Federal ban is in place it would take a monumental, long-term effort to repeal or at least loosen it. Whereas, although still inefficient, state and local governments are generally more responsive and attempts to remove restrictions on knives (and firearms) have been more successful and in shorter periods of time.

    Luckily, I live in Texas where Kniferights recently helped guide the legislature to repeal the ban on carrying switchblades and further amend the penal code to redefine bowies, dirks, daggers, etc. from "illegal knives" to "location restricted knives." Now I can happily carry any blade of any length nearly anywhere I see fit, save for a few notable exceptions (schools, Federal buildings, courthouses, etc.). In spite of this I empathize with those in NYC, Chicago and elsewhere who can be arrested for carrying an assisted Kershaw in public.

    Your perception may differ, but I prefer a system where some jurisdictions are less restricted than others to a system where every jurisdiction is equally, yet overly restricted.
  14. shinyedges

    shinyedges Unfaltering Love & Undeviating Will Platinum Member

    Jun 5, 2012
    The beauty of the US is if you want to live in a place that micro manages what you can carry, you can.

    If you want the freedom to carry whatever you want, you can :cool:

    Choices and freedom are a beautiful thing.
  15. Xero Xero

    Xero Xero

    Nov 4, 2018
    Here's a discussion of knife laws in Oregon -- link provided per copyright "fair use."

    Seemingly anything goes so long as some specific knives are not "carried concealed." A knife clipped to a pocket is not "concealed" even if it's covered with a shirt, coat, etc. The Sheriff refers to this rule as "The Mackinaw Law" and this applies to handguns in holsters carried on the belt. Not considered "concealed" if carried in a holster on the belt, or in the case of knives, visibly clipped to the pocket.

    Double edged knives are lawful, as are cane swords. Whether or not a cane sword is considered "concealed" is open for debate. One's demeanor and behavior seems to come into play here. Local LEO tell me, "Sword canes are fine if you're not being a jerk." This "being a jerk" interpretation applies to covering your handgun with a ski-parka ("Mackinaw") in 90 degree weather.

    Interestingly, if one has a concealed handgun license the permit does not apply to concealed carry of knives over a certain length -- and Oregon law is not altogether clear about blade length. I have a full-bore switchblade stiletto with a blade in the 6" realm that I don't carry in my pocket, even though it might be argued that Oregon law views this as a "pocket knife." I have a short barrel "coach gun" that I can conceal under a coat, but this is unlawful despite having a carry permit. The Oregon permit says "Concealed Handgun Permit" and does not apply to concealed shotguns, nor concealed knives over a certain (unspecified) length.

    I keep a baseball bat in the truck. It's a weapon, no pretense that "It's for coaching kids to field fly balls." There's a machete in the truck, and sometimes a chainsaw. They're TOOLS -- as is the knife clipped to my pocket.

    "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    There's a sign on the door of the military dispensary, on the Army post -- "No knives or other weapons." I'm wont to point out that the military trained me to be a weapon.

    Knife Laws/August 2, 2015/ Rhian Hunt
    Knife Laws in Oregon

    Other than a few basic guidelines concerning illegal concealed carry and a law regarding possession of knives and other weapons by felons, knife laws in Oregon are defined almost exclusively via case law rather than statutory law. This leaves certain matters unfortunately vague, such as the precise blade length at which an ordinary pocketknife (legal to concealed carry) becomes a dangerous weapon (illegal to concealed carry). A switchblade is eligible for concealed carry due to another case establishing it as a type of pocketknife. There are essentially no limits on knife ownership, however, except for those imposed on felons.

    Any kind of knife can be openly carried in Oregon. Concealed carry is further complicated by a lack of statewide preemption and various local ordinances restricting this right even more closely than state law.

    Legality of Knife Possession
    For people who are not convicted felons and who reside in Oregon, there are no limits to knife or bladed implement ownership or to the blades which can be carried in the home. KA-BAR knives, machetes, swords, sword-canes, throwing stars, gravity knives, ballistic knives, throwing knives, balisong knives, hunting, fishing, and skinning knives, Bowie knives, survival knives, single-edged and double-edged fixed blade knives of all sizes, disguised knives such as lipstick dirks or belt-buckle knives, and all other kinds of knife can be bought, sold, manufactured, owned, given or received by private individuals.

    Section § 166.270 of the Oregon Revised Statutes of 2013 forbids a convicted felon to even own a switchblade knife, a dirk, a dagger, an automatic knife, or a stiletto. All of these are knives otherwise legal to own in Oregon, making the Oregon knife law stricter than most other states, where felons can own all legal knives even though they are typically forbidden to carry them outside their own premises.

    Open carry of any legal knife is unrestricted except on school grounds, at schools, in courthouses, prisons, and certain posted government buildings.

    Knife Length Limit
    The state of Oregon has never attempted to limit the length of knives or blades that can be owned or open carried. A pocketknife with a blade 4.75” long is proven by case law to be legal to carry, while one with a blade 6” long is not; the knife length limit for concealed carry lies somewhere in between.

    Concealed Carry of Knives
    According to the Oregon Revised Statutes of 2013, section § 166.240, it is a misdemeanor to carry dirks, daggers, ice picks, knives whose blades deploy via a spring or centrifugal force, or any “similar instruments” concealed. Extensive annotations attached to the section use case law to clarify the statute and ensure it is not unconstitutionally vague.

    Two case law precedents, City of Portland v. Elston, 39 Or App 125, 591 P2d 406 and State v. Harris 40 Or App 317, 594 P2d 1318, both occurring in 1979, lead the state to declare that section § 166.240 means that it is illegal to carry any knife concealed except for a pocketknife.

    Another 1979 opinion, State v. Strong, 41 Or App 665, 598 P2d 1254, established that a pocketknife with a folding 4.75” blade is legal to carry concealed. State v. Witherbee in 1986 further established that a 6” blade is illegal and no longer counts as a pocketknife. However, the case does not establish a firm limit and even directly admits that it is “vague” but that this vagueness is not a legal defense. Therefore, the boundary of blade length legality for a concealed carry pocketknife lies somewhere between 4.75” (legal) and 6” (illegal), with no official indication of the dividing line.

    Muddying the waters even more, State v. Ramer, 671 P2d 723 in 1983 created a precedent whereby a switchblade is legal to concealed carry as a pocketknife because the Webster’s Third New International Dictionary defined a switchblade as a “pocket knife.” The defendant, Michael Lloyd Ramer, was still convicted for carrying a stabbing weapon, however, making the verdict basically incomprehensible.

    Other Knife Law Considerations in Oregon
    Oregon supports robust knife ownership and knife open carry rights. The Beaver State’s concealed carry rights enable carrying a pocketknife with a blade up to 4.75” long legally, but provide no exact upper limit. Local ordinances supply additional complexity. Independence, OR allows pocketknives with blades 3.5” or shorter to be concealed, while Lebanon and Troutdale make a 3.5” blade illegal and state the blade must be under 3.5” to be carried out of sight. Research of local ordinances before carrying is prudent.

    Resources and Further Reading
    http://www.leagle.com/decision/19861378717P2d661_11328.xml/STATE v. WITHERBEE
    http://www.leagle.com/decision/19831394671P2d723_11376.xml/STATE v. RAMER
  16. Babboonbobo


    May 20, 2017
    Your damn right our 2nd amendment is precious!!
    Knife laws throughout the United States are a menagerie of local and state laws but there are a lot of folks working on fixing this. The problems here are the larger cities that try to form laws similar to other countries instead of what should be formed here for our population!
    And yes once again we are what and who we are BECAUSE of OUR 2nd which is very precious!!
    Prester John likes this.

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