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Laws for Buying and Carrying Knives in the UK

In the UK, buying and carrying a knife is a little bit different than anywhere else in the world. Understandable so, the United Kingdom has stricter rules about weapons in general – who can carry them, when it’s appropriate to carry them and when you can use them. These laws have earned the UK one of the lowest homicide rates in the world. When it comes to carrying knives, it is important to have regulations, because someone could become injured or killed very easily. When it comes down to it, there is no real reason for someone to carry around a large knife if no one is intending to do that person harm. Here are some laws for buying and carrying knives in the UK.

One law has to do with restricting persons from being able to carry knives around in public. Right now, you cannot have a knife that is any larger than three inches. The exception, of course, is if you have a good reason for having a deadlier knife. However, getting this permission is hard and a judge must grant it to have legal credence.

Another law restricts people from using a knife that requires the force of gravity to become released from its sheath. For instance, flick knives or switchblades that come out of their sheath by using the force of gravity or the push of a button are expressly forbidden, especially if they are large or intimidating. The law also states that these knives are illegal to sell too. If you were in the US, you could easily visit Swordsaxe and purchase a switch blade, but in the UK it will not be possible – you could even get a fine or spend some time in jail for have this type of knife on your person.

Next, it is illegal to carry a butterfly knife. These are knives that can be folded shut and then opened like a butterfly’s wings. Because these knives are so dangerous, they are forbidden to sell too. If you are caught with one of these knives, you could receive jail time. If you see one of these knives online or on the black market, you want to refrain from making a purchase. The only exception to this law is if you have a butterfly knife for the sake of exhibition or show.

Lastly, you want to read up on all the laws regarding knife carrying and knife purchasing, because you just never know what the consequences will be. In the UK, the justice system is extremely strict when it comes to the ownership and usage of knives. No matter what, though, some police officers may misconstrue a utility or pocketknife as a weapon and you could get in a lot of trouble. The result of these strict laws is that fewer people have been killed or injured as a result. So, if you are a knife enthusiast, you shouldn’t grumble at the laws, you should be glad they are there in the first place.


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