Question for those across the pond.

For those who live in areas where firearms are not an option and those that are smart enough to have a back up.

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Question for those across the pond.

Post by Maverick299 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:55 pm

My dad is going to England for a week, from the U.S. He is throwing a Kershaw Chive into his checked luggage. Will that get him arrested in London if he's caught with it? What are the laws? Thanks in advance!
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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by MacAttack » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:13 pm

Quick answer Knives: the laws on buying and carrying
Not what you're looking for? ↓

The laws about buying and carrying a knife depend on the type of knife, your age and your circumstances.
Basic laws on knives

It is illegal to:

sell a knife of any kind (including cutlery and kitchen knives) to anyone under 18
carry a knife in public without good reason - unless it’s a knife with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less, eg a Swiss Army knife
carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife (the list of banned knives is below)
use any knife in a threatening way (even a legal knife, such as a Swiss Army knife)

Lock knives (knives with blades that can be locked when unfolded) are not folding knives, and are illegal to carry in public.

The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is 4 years in prison and a fine of £5,000.
Good reasons for carrying a knife

Examples of good reasons to carry a knife in public can include:

taking knives you use at work to and from work
you’re taking knives to a gallery or museum to be exhibited
the knife is going to be used for theatre, film, televison, historical reenactment or religious purposes (eg the kirpan some Sikhs carry)

A court will decide if you’ve got a good reason to carry a knife if you’re charged with carrying it illegally.
Knives that are illegal

There is a complete ban on the sale of some knives:

flick knives (also called ‘switchblades’ or ‘automatic knives’) - where the blade is hidden inside the handle and shoots out when a button is pressed
butterfly knives - where the blade is hidden inside a handle that splits in two around it, like wings; the handles swing around the blade to open or close it
disguised knives – eg where the blade is hidden inside a belt buckle or fake mobile phone
gravity knives
sword-sticks
samurai swords (with some exceptions, including antiques and swords made to traditional methods before 1954)
hand or foot-claws
push daggers
hollow kubotan (cylinder-shaped keychain) holding spikes
shuriken (also known as ‘death stars’ or ‘throwing stars’)
kusari-gama (sickle attached to a rope, cord or wire)
kyoketsu-shoge (hook-knife attached to a rope, cord or wire)
kusari (weight attached to a rope, cord or wire)

This is not a complete list of banned knives. Contact your local police to check if a knife is illegal or not.




If it locks open it is not legal.

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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by wee drop o' bush » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:18 pm

Maverick299 wrote:My dad is going to England for a week, from the U.S. He is throwing a Kershaw Chive into his checked luggage. Will that get him arrested in London if he's caught with it? What are the laws? Thanks in advance!
Beyond Mac's good info I'm not sure :?:
You could try private messaging Ad'lan as I'm pretty sure I remember him replying in detail in a similar thread (but I could be mistaken)
Hope your dad has a great trip anyway.
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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by Maverick299 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:19 pm

Thanks. The blade is under 3", but it does lock open........so I'm guessing they might frown on that.
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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:23 pm

To add to the list (though one of our natives could tell you better) self defense and general purpose are not, to my understanding, valid reasons for carrying a knife in the UK. I'd bet my standard wager that there is no valid reason under English law for a vacationing citizen to carry a knife, and that you'd lose a costly court case if you were found with it.

If he's looking for defensive use, there was a great thread that the_alias and Adlan among other had put up. For general utility, I'd tell him to get a Leatherman Squirt or whatever that have scissors in place of pliers and no knife blade.
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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by Maverick299 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:25 pm

Its for utility. Knifes are handy, especially while on vacation when you don't have the luxuries of home and access to normal tools
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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by wee drop o' bush » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:28 pm

Maverick299 wrote:Thanks. The blade is under 3", but it does lock open........so I'm guessing they might frown on that.
London varies greatly from one area to the next.
In this instance I'd say that gathering prior knowledge about where he is going and situational awareness once he is there are the best options legally available to your dad.
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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by Maverick299 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:43 pm

I just relayed everything to him from this thread and he said "I'll take my chances". I warned him to not pop it open in public to cut a loose stitch on his shirt!

Thanks for the quick replies ZS!
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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by Ad'lan » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:45 pm

Maverick299 wrote:Thanks. The blade is under 3", but it does lock open........so I'm guessing they might frown on that.
Yeah, I just searched for a picture of it, the lock it was shown with means it'll be considered an offensive weapon. Your father would need a 'reasonable excuse' to have it on his person. Utility will not be considered a reasonable excuse to have a lock knife. Under no circumstances should you ever admit to having anything with you in the UK with intent to use it in self defence. Saying it's for self defence turns having say a cricket bat in your backseat from a cheery talking point with the copper who used to play for county (or so he claims) into a crime.

I would advise your father to either; Disable or preferably remove the lock or: get a knife that's under 3" and doesn't have a locking blade. A knife such as this will be legal to carry everywhere in london, as a utility blade. Of course, if you use it in public or it's seen on your person and someone feels threatened enough to report it, the police tend to respond to knife reports.

I like the Opinel no. 6, as the lock can be easily removed with a pair of pliers.

My EDC is a Victorinox, which has the added bonus of being an even less threatening swiss army knife, an item that won't raise much of an eyebrow.


If your dad has it in his luggage, it should be fine, taking it from the airport to his hotel, and saying it's his utility knife, that's a reasonable excuse. Using it on the way is iffy, carrying it around london would definitely be a bad call.

I hope your dad has a great time. My advice is to buy him a cheap, non locking knife that's under 3" long, so as to comply with the Law and advise him that walking sticks are not regulated, and indeed, some local county councils has even provided self defence lessons with them.
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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by Ad'lan » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:53 pm

Maverick299 wrote:I just relayed everything to him from this thread and he said "I'll take my chances". I warned him to not pop it open in public to cut a loose stitch on his shirt!

Thanks for the quick replies ZS!
Well, if he gets stopped with the knife, or asked about it by a police officer, he should be aware that they'll consider it a weapon, and would like him to tell them about it when they ask, (they usually ask you if you have anything sharp or dangerous before they search you). One shouldn't describe it yourself as a weapon. I highly doubt that a policeman wants to go through the trouble and paperwork involved in charging an american tourist (though they do like to make examples occasionally, especially if the person kicks up a fuss and the law isn't on their side), but if so, he'll probably have the weapon confiscated, and he'll have to make a reasonable excuse plea to get it back at a later date (make sure you get a receipt if this is what you plan to do).


Now, before we scare your dad off from the UK, I will say many is the time I have gotten out my (perfectly legal) opinel on the train, and cut some thread. Admittedly, starting to then sew does alter the public perception of a knife.
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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by wee drop o' bush » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:01 pm

Which opinel is that Ad'lan?
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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by Sworbeyegib » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:25 pm

I really like opinels, I think that would be a great option, even without the lock to use.

I think it would be a good idea to have a specific knife thread for blades that are practical, and comply with England's laws. Kind of a show and tell of what's popular there. I remember seeing some SAK threads a long while back, complete with homemade modifications and upgrades.
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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by Ad'lan » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:09 am

wee drop o' bush wrote:Which opinel is that Ad'lan?
No. 6
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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by Zerve » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:39 am

I think a lot of it depends on the officer involved. I imagine a lot wouldn't arrest an American on holiday but they would probably would take the knife off your dad if found with it. My dad was a police officer for 30 years so I've got a pretty good knowledge of the law and having a GOOD reason for carrying a locking blade is a must. I carry my rat 2 for work and most other places and when I'm not working I'm taking a pretty big risk but I had a SAK snap shut on my fingers years ago and won't use non locking knives anymore for that reason.

I have a chive but I'd never carry that in public because of the assisted opening. Some of the laws are very vague and that by an officer might be seen as an auto knife which has already been said as straight out illegal.

The CRKT liong mah seens to be a very popular choice for UK carry at the moment.

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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by Red Tamarillo » Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:53 am

I've always thought the Svord Mini Peasant with 2.5" blade, or Peasant (if you ground a fraction from the 3" blade) would be good UK choices. Work won't let me link to the Svord website, but here's the mini peasant at a random seller:

http://www.bladehq.com/item--Svord-Mini ... der--14875" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

But if it's for travelling and occasional use, just take a Swiss Army (non locking) and you get to use the other tools if necessary. Much better idea.

Self defense wise, I reckon stick umbrellas are a better idea than canes. A cane might make someone look like an easy target, whereas a stick umbrella with metal point just looks 'pointy' and offputting from a distance. (Not necessarily a golf umbrella, the next size down is probably more handy).
What I keep telling the girls at work- they only have to look like a slightly harder target, than the weakest (non-umbrella carrying) other person on the street. They don't have to look like the toughest hardarse on the planet.
Umbrellas must obviously look in place i.e. be carried when there's a chance it could rain.
I'm unsure about the unbreakable umbrella (I have one)- if it was used it would be catalogued as evidence one would think, and recognised. And then pre planning could be argued which is not allowed in our societies.
The good thing about a stick umbrella (and cane) is you have to/should carry them in your hand, so they're instantaneously available. No draw or pocket fumble needed. And have length. I'd rather have an umbrella than a little torch/pseudo kubotan. Remembering not to hit with the fabric/ribs part of the umbrella- they absorb impact. Good for blocking.

Summer- again you want something in hand. I like the idea of particular (metal) drink bottles. Taking into account a one, ?maximum two hit strategy, followed by bugging out or doing something different. Rather than expecting it to be an ultimate juggernaut momentum +200 hit points mace.

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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by Ad'lan » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:03 pm

Red Tamarillo wrote:I
Umbrellas must obviously look in place i.e. be carried when there's a chance it could rain.
He is coming to the UK. :wink:
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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by wee drop o' bush » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:22 pm

There will almost certainly be need for an umbrella :lol:
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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by Red Tamarillo » Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:16 pm

Yeah, one of the things a tourist can definitely get away with carrying in the UK even in summer is an umbrella- "doesn't it rain there all the time?".

But I also forgot, you can pretend to be one of those eccentric people who carry a rain umbrella on a sunny day to keep the sun off their skin.

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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by BullOnParade » Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:54 am

One thing I can tell you, don't bring your pocket knife to Windsor Castle. There are metal detectors at the entrance, the guards won't let it in the grounds, the guards may be nice enough to hold onto it until your tour group is done, pull you aside and explain that "this sort of thing is heavily frowned down on here" and your tour guide may call you "Rambo" for the rest of the week ...
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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by freenarative » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:00 pm

simple answer for a knife collector of 20 years+

NO

Only knives UNDER 3 inches and ones the DO NOT LOCK OPEN are allowed to be carried in public.

he could play dumb "sorry office, I didn't know!" but TBH I don't think he'd get it past customs. He'd be asked to post it home.

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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by BullOnParade » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:47 pm

freenarative wrote:simple answer for a knife collector of 20 years+

NO

Only knives UNDER 3 inches and ones the DO NOT LOCK OPEN are allowed to be carried in public.

he could play dumb "sorry office, I didn't know!" but TBH I don't think he'd get it past customs. He'd be asked to post it home.

HTH
Customs won't turn it away. It's ilegal to carry on his person, but not to leave in a hotel room.
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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by ForgeCorvus » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:56 pm

Not being too sure about the knife in question I googled it, interestingly the first link that came up was Amazon.co.uk so you can buy them here just not carry without 'Good Reason'
Frankly an assisted opener that locks is asking for trouble and does he really want to ruin his trip with the aggro ?

Buy him a SAK or one of these UK EDC Opinel.

I'm sure he'd be pissed off if one of us came over there and ignored a law because we think its daft (as a matter of record, most of us think that UK knife law sucks cold lumpy custard.... But we put up with it), when in Rome etc

Also, as others have said. In the UK there is no concept of carrying a Defensive Weapon


However, if he wants to 'fit right in' and protect himself (against rain ) might I recommend a Proper British 'Brolly
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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by Ad'lan » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:59 pm

ForgeCorvus wrote: Buy him a SAK or one of these UK EDC Opinel.
That's hilarious, how long have they been selling Opinels with the locking ring ready removed?
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Re: Question for those across the pond.

Post by ForgeCorvus » Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:04 pm

Ad'lan wrote:
ForgeCorvus wrote: Buy him a SAK or one of these UK EDC Opinel.
That's hilarious, how long have they been selling Opinels with the locking ring ready removed?
At least three years that I know of
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