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Thread: Law article question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Blog Entries


    Questoin from bushtuckerman for Danzo


    Everyday to college I take my locking bladed Supertool 200, which I use for odd jobs, for instance my teacher just the other day needed a screwdriver and I happily gave him my multitool. The tool is kept in its pouch and is zipped in my rucksac at all times. Despite my legal intentions for its use, however, in light of your article I can only understand that I am breaking the law, as I am not heading to the country on any trip, I am in a public place and the blade locks. Could you shed some light on it for me?

    Before I have been more careless in transporting my Opinel in the cargo pocket of my trousers (say I forgot to take it out of my pocket when going into town, as I use it as an everyday tool and it is always handy), and at the same time I understood it was legal anyway, because the blade is under three inches and by my knowledge not fixed bladed. I have also carried some large fixed bladed knives at the bottom of my rucksac when going from A to B (a friend's house), highly dangerous weapons but normal Bushcraft attire. In these situations I have not exactly been in the 'bush', but that is difficult when my friend lives in the town, which has not in the slightest bit disuaded him from learning the subject. Could you please explain the details of the laws surrounding the situations I have mentioned, as I found it difficult to relate your article to them, which I hasten to add was very interesting, and certainly useful!

    Another issue perhaps is that I was only 16 last year, which is the required age to buy some knives, though I don't know the relationship between owning and buying a knife in this context.

    Thanks for the article and taking notice of my question,

    Ian aka bushtuckerman
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    South Wales


    First of all I'm not a lawyer but I have been able to find some case law which helps explain the issue about locking knives: Some other interesting stuff in the thread, particularly about knowing the law

    Essentially the issue is twofold: firstly unless you have "good reason or lawful authority " in a public place you're only allowed to carry a folding pocket-knife with a blade less than three inches in length.

    "Self defence" isn't a good reason to carry something outwith that description, nor is " I forgot", "I was using it earlier" but "I need it for work and am carrying it to/from work" might be. You'd have to be able to prove that though.

    There's no specific reference to countryside or anything like that. It's up to you to show that you "have good reason or lawful authority" for carrying, eg a fixed blade knife, in relation to the activity you're carrying out, going to or coming from.

    Now the lock knife bit, eg the leatherman wave, or Spydie Delica, or Opinels, is based on case law in which courts have found that the lock essentially stops the knife from folding and means that it is not a folding knife. Simple eh, debatable maybe, but that's what the judges have decided.

    I suspect not getting yourself searched is a good start though.... I have a vague memory that some more recent public order legislation gives the police powers, in certain situations, eg demonstrations, football matches, to use a very wide defintion of what might be an offensive weapon so even your Classic SAK could get you in trouble


    but remember I'm not a lawyer

  3. #3
    danzomekahiro Guest


    I just spent half an hour replying!!!!!!

  4. #4
    danzomekahiro Guest


    Where the **** is my whole reply!

    Angry Danzo

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    South Wales


    Nuttin' to do with me guv :!:

    Don't you just hate it when that happens :-(

  6. #6
    danzomekahiro Guest


    Sorry, Mrs Danzo is on the verge of giving birth and I have very long stairs!

    Between her and the computer, that is. I have been doing a lot of running vertically.

    As a general statement if it locks it is illegal. However, if you have a good reason for carrying the knife then you are OK. A good reason needn't be something 'official' or very clever or anything else. It is simply whether or not you can explain your knife. Ask yourself the question; do I need a knife to do my stuff. If you can say yes with absolute truthfulness, and justify that, then no police officer will be able to do anything to you, according to the strict letter of the law.

    The reality might be a little different, however. You cannot take any knife on to school premises without good reason, and this would need to be along the lines of a craft knife for a tech course or a Cooks knife for Home Economics. Bear in mind though that a Police Officer is MUCH less likely to believe a younger person and you might well spend some time in an interview room down the Station until the situation is clarified and resolved. The Police may well confiscate the knife, even an Opinel.

    The problem you have with the fixed blade is that although an older person might be able to explain to a PC that the knife being carried was for bushcraft, or just to teach a friend bushcraft and hence fell in to the 'good reason' that same PC is very unlikely to believe a young man (or young woman) in the age group most commonly nicked for carrying knives as weapons. This is clearly unfair but sadly it is the way things work. Why not pop over to and ask Ross what he thinks. He is a serving cop who moderates our legal forum with me and has an 'Ask-a-Cop' question in which he tells us about how the law is applied by an Officer on the street.

    I hope that helps


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