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Measuring 3 inches (non-locking); law and practice?

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by C_Claycomb, Dec 8, 2019.

  1. Fadcode

    Fadcode Full Member

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    If it was determined on the ability to stab, then all of those measurements wouldn't matter, as even a blade less then 3 inches could stab and kill someone, I know they had to draw the line somewhere, but the law does state, a knife or sharp implement, so in theory the length of the knife wouldn't matter or how big your pen, screwdriver, chisel, etc, etc was, the determinating factor would be why you have it, and what you intended to do with it..
    Saying that, a good defense would be the way the Law is written, the following is copied from the Govt website, and you can see just how misleading it is.

    It’s illegal to:
    • sell a knife to anyone under 18, unless it has a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less
    • carry a knife in public without good reason, unless it has a folding blade with a cutting edge 3 inches long or less
    • carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife
    • use any knife in a threatening way (even a legal knife)
    You can see that point 1, does not refer to carrying, yet point 2 does, yet they both conflict each other regarding the length of the blade.
    which in truth puts you in a precarious position if stopped and searched, and probably your attitude would be the important factor.
     
  2. demographic

    demographic Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    I'd interpret it as A but then again personally I just use smaller folding knives anyway.
    Some that meet the legal criteria are damn ugly and almost guaranteed to draw attention so I see the Lansky World legal contraption as offensive.
    Not so much illegal, just offensive.

    I took a file to a Svord Peasant and shortened it by knocking on a quarter of an inch but the damn thing is still a bit numb to cart about in my back pocket.
    One day I'll maybe modify the handle and round that weird pointy bit off but the whole thing is still a bit long for my needs anyway. Realistically I should have started out with a Mini Peasant.

    I'm generally carrying a small locking folder at work (not into pubs and nightclubs) in addition to a stanley knife.
    The Stanley for cutting plasterboard (well scoring it actually) and DPC against concrete as its cheap enough that I can just replace the blade but its handy to have a small properly sharp knife for opening the packaging on things, sharpening carpenters pencils and whatnot.
     
  3. petrochemicals

    petrochemicals Full Member

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    A screw driver is not a bladed article in the sense of slash cutting (it is called a screwdriver blade, but then again so is grass etc), but it is a pointed article over 3 inches in length, so it does not count as a blade but counts as a pointed article over 3 inches in length. A stanley is illegal based upon its fixed nature.
     
  4. Corso

    Corso Full Member

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    Why reply to my quote of Case law with your opinion? - Its not my opinion its the courts interpritation of the law and currently the final word on the subject, until the subject gets raised again in a higher court or the law changes

    read about it here, I've even quoted the relivant parts for you

    https://swarb.co.uk/regina-v-davies-cacd-1998/

    'The court was asked whether a screwdriver fell within the prohibition of section 139(2). It was apparently an ordinary screwdriver with no sharp point, but it had what the trial judge had described as ‘blades positioned on each side of the driving head’.

    The common sense assumption that lies behind that section is that Parliament sought to prevent or deter the carrying of what might be broadly called sharp instruments in public, not any article that has a blade — even if a screwdriver can be so described — but an article with a blade that falls within the same broad category as a knife or a sharply pointed instrument. That follows not only as a matter of common sense, but by looking at the specific items that are mentioned in the section, that is to say sharply pointed instruments or folding pocketknives, and inferring from that what the nature of the bladed article is to which Parliament was referring.
    It seems to us, in that comparison, that it would be quite unlikely, indeed in our view impossible, that Parliament intended an article such as a screwdriver, just because it has a blade, to fall into the same category as a sharply pointed item or a folding pocketknife.
     
  5. TLM

    TLM Forager

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    "‘blades positioned on each side of the driving head’."

    That is a very weird screw driver.

    I think that the smallest knife that was used for killing some one in the Finnish Police's Crime Museum is 50mm long.

     
  6. Tony

    Tony White bear (Admin)
    Admin

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    The law states cutting edge, if it was the whole blade length they could have just said blade length...
     
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  7. Corso

    Corso Full Member

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    The point of that statement being quoted was the judge had interpreted the legislation by stating

    'The court was asked whether a screwdriver fell within the prohibition of section 139(2). It was apparently an ordinary screwdriver with no sharp point, but it had what the trial judge had described as ‘blades positioned on each side of the driving head’.

    The Judge had ruled it wasn't a pointed article.
     
  8. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    I’ve often wondered if the law is deliberately slightly ambiguous to allow a certain amount of discretion for police officers and courts. There’s a big difference between a gardener who forgets they have the knife on them when they pop in the shop at lunchtime and those who are carrying the knife or spike for nefarious means.
     
  9. Corso

    Corso Full Member

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    CPS decides if a case meets two criteria

    Is there enough evidence against the defendant?
    Is it in the public interest for the CPS to bring the case to court?
     
  10. HillBill

    HillBill Bushcrafter through and through

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    The wording of the law should be changed. As it stands in its current wording, you could have a 5" blade non locking knife, so long as only 3" or less is a cutting edge. Which would be legal by the word of the law.
     
  11. Corso

    Corso Full Member

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    I'm no expert at all but took a bit on an interest on how courts work after I was called up for Jury service - found the whole thing quite fascinating.

    From what I understand there is a common sense approach to how laws are applied that gets sorted out in case law and that example would probably fall fowl of the mischief rule and be dismissed by the judge.

    The main aim of the rule is to determine the "mischief and defect" that the statute in question has set out to remedy, and what ruling would "suppress the mischief, and advance the remedy". In applying the mischief rule, the court is essentially asking what part of the law did the law not cover, but was meant to be rectified by Parliament in passing the bill.

    And the one that <3" locking blade fell foul of IIRC

    It is one of three rules of statutory interpretation traditionally applied by English courts.

    The other two being the plain meaning rule and the golden rule


     
  12. petrochemicals

    petrochemicals Full Member

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    This has GOT to be a wind up.
     
  13. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    So, on that basis, you feel you are within the law to carry a 100mm total blade length folding knife with a 20mm sharpened section (or any other sharpened edge less than 3")?
     
  14. SaraR

    SaraR Full Member

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    I've wondered about this too, after buying a "UK legal carry" that when measured has a length C that is at the legal limit, meaning that length A is longer or course.
     
  15. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    When you buy a knife described, advertised and sold as 'UK legal carry' should that not be enough for them to pass scrutiny?
    Are those knife models seen and approved by an authority, or is it just an unqualified opinion by the manufacturer/importer?

    Just wondering.
     
  16. Stew

    Stew Bushcrafter through and through

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    just because the seller has told you it's uk legal carry, doesn't mean it is. :)
     
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  17. Stew

    Stew Bushcrafter through and through

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    Not at all. It's very much the sort of thing that happens in court.
     
  18. Corso

    Corso Full Member

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    Why because you don't like it?Or are you not sure about the link i posted

    its here in black and white on the CPS website

    https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/offensive-weapons-knives-bladed-and-pointed-articles

    Possession of Blades / Points
    Section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) 1988 prohibits having an article with blade or point, in a public place (including a folding pocket knife if the cutting edge of its blade exceeds 7.62cm (3 inches)).

    Section 139A of the 1988 Act extends the geographical scope of both of the above offences to school premises.

    For the purposes of sections 139, 139A and 139AA of the CJA 1988:

    • a butterknife, with no cutting edge and no point is a bladed article; (Booker v DPP 169 J.P. 368, DC);
    • a screwdriver is not a bladed article; (R v Davis [1998] Crim L.R. 564 CA);
    • a "lock knife" does not come into the category of "folding pocket knife" because it is not immediately foldable at all times; (R v Deegan [1998] 2 Cr. App. R. 121 CA).
    If you read the judgement in full it makes a lot more sense than either of the other two judgments, Booker V DPP or the famous R v Deegan

    If they had ruled in favour of a screwdriver falling foul alot of other ordinary objects would be banned too - pens,pencils, umbrellas

    you have to remember this doesn't change the fact if it was modified or is brandished in a certain way if wouldn't fall foul of the offensive weapon act - thats a completly seperate law


    See post #31 - The Courts would see that as an attempt to get round the legislation and you'd be in alot of trouble with the Judge - expect a stiffer sentence than if you'd had been procecuted for having a >3" cutting edge slipjoint
     
  19. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    Exactly, so why would anyone assume that is what the law meant?
     
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  20. Corso

    Corso Full Member

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    you've lost me? The law states what it states its up to the judiciary to apply it

    I will say it again - ALL legislation is sorted in the end by case law
     

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