Is It Legal To Carry A Swiss Army Knife In The UK? Find Out Here!

Is It Legal To Carry Swiss Army Knives In The UK?

With knife crime in the UK on the rise, there are new laws constantly being made surrounding the legalities of knives. Today we are going to clear up exactly where the UK currently stands on carrying a swiss army knife on your person.

Age Restrictions

Just like with alcohol, it is illegal to sell any kind of knife to a person who is under 18 years old. This means that if you are found selling your swiss army knife to a child then, regardless of whether or not it is legal for you to carry the knife, you will be arrested.

The Size Of The Knife

The laws that are focused around swiss army knives are very sized focused. The law clearly states that any pocket knife with a blade up to 3 inches is legal to carry without you having to give a valid reason.

It is also stated that this knife must be a non-locking knife and should fall under the classification of a pocket knife. A standard swiss army knife will fall into this category and will be the right length to not cause you any trouble.

Do keep in mind that while it is legal to have a non-locking swiss army knife on your body in the UK, there are still areas that are no knife zones such as football stadiums and other such areas. In these areas, it is illegal to have knives and you will be prosecuted as such.

The Intent

Good Intentions

A large part of being allowed to carry a swiss army knife in public is your intent behind carrying it. If you injure somebody with your knife then you will face the same criminal offences as someone carrying a butterfly knife.

If you are planning on using your knife for leisure purposes such as theatre or a historical reenactment then you are allowed to carry a swiss army knife with you. Likewise, if you plan on using your knife for religious purposes such as the kirpan that Sikhs carry, then this is also acceptable. However, if you are stopped by a police officer or anyone else carrying out the law then you are to tell them why you have a knife on you and they have the power to search your person if needed.

Not only are you allowed to carry a swiss army knife with you for leisurely reasons, but you are also permitted to keep one on you if you plan to go camping or teach someone else some survival skills. Again, you should be able to explain why you are carrying a pocket knife with you at any given time otherwise your knife can be confiscated and you may suffer prosecution.

Bad Intentions

Even though the UK prides itself on being a knife safe zone as long as those knives fit within the confines of the law, there is a fine line between good intentions and bad ones as well as how other people will see those intentions.

The minute that you threaten somebody with your knife then you will be instantly breaking the law. Of course, this leads to the possibility of you having a heated argument while you happen to be carrying a knife.

If you happen to be having an altercation with somebody and it gets a bit of hand, if you are found with a swiss army knife on you then you will be seen as the threat and breaking the law.

The best thing to do during those rare times that you happen to be carrying a swift army knife in public is not to argue with anybody or even playfully threaten your knife. Be friendly and cooperative if an officer asks your intent behind your knife.

What If I Get Arrested?

If you do get arrested or anything else and your case goes before a court, you will need to have a very good reason as to why you were carrying a swiss army knife around with you.

If it is deemed that you planned to use the knife as a weapon then you will get charged with carrying illegal weapons on your person. However, if you are found to have pure intent then your case will be dropped and you will still be allowed to keep a knife with you for such activities. Keep in mind that survival knives are more likely to be seen as a weapon if you planned to hunt with it.

Do be aware though that a case may already have been established as you were carrying a knife around with you, so it is best to not be carrying a swiss army knife on you in public without a very good reason that would hold up legally.

What Kind Of Knives Are Illegal

While you may be allowed to carry around a swiss army knife along with other small pocket knives that fit the legal description, there is a long list of weapons that are deemed illegal. This list includes:

  • Samurai swords
  • Any type of curved swords
  • Gravity knives
  • Butterfly knives


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