Much like in the United States, public officials have offered changes in UK knife laws over the years.
But recently, the UK has made numerous substantial changes in how they regulate the sale and possession of knives. It’s come in reaction to a rash of knife-related incidents in the UK, particularly London.
Some of these have already become law, while others are expected to do so in the coming months.
Evolving UK Knife Laws
One of the biggest changes in recent months has been the movement to change laws surrounding the purchase of knives online. The law was changed by the UK Parliament after a rash of street stabbings occurred.
In one case, six teenagers were stabbed in one 90-minute period in London. While four of the victims were seriously injured, none died. Much of the violence in London has been attributed to warring street gangs.
The new UK knife laws will ban people from ordering a knife online and having it delivered to a private residence. Those who buy online will have to pick up the knife in person. The retailer will have the responsibility to ensure the knife is legal and that the buyer is at least 18 years old – a requirement of British law.
Zombie Knives and Knuckle Dusters
Zombie knives and knuckle dusters – which are essentially brass knuckles – have been added to the list of banned knives by the UK. The government banned knife list also includes flick knives (essentially switch blades), as well as gravity knives, swords and push daggers.
Knives are banned unless they are carried in public for a “good reason.” Those reasons include:
- Carrying a knife you use at work
- Taking it to a gallery or museum to be exhibited
- For use in theater, film, television, historical reenactment or for religious purposes
Penalties can include four years in prison and unlimited fines.
Ban on Knives at Schools
The government also is banning possession of any type of knife on the premise of any further education campus, essentially colleges or universities.
The UK also is expanding its ability to stop and search people suspected of carrying illegal lives as well as acid, which also has been used in recent attacks.
Police and public officials have said the changes are needed to combat the sudden outbreak in fatal attacks, especially in London. Knives have been used in many of these attacks.
However, knife proponents have spoken out, saying the UK knife laws are far too restrictive for those who own knives legally for collecting purposes or for use in the outdoors. They have called on British officials to deal with the causes of the violence – mostly associated with gangs – rather than passing restrictions that step on the rights of all knife owners in the UK.
How does that affect tourists?! un assisted folding knives?? leathermans??
in all honesty I will NOT travel to a country that refuses to let an honest law abiding vietnam vet carry a 3inch folder. I use my Leatherman wave many times a day.
Do they have any idea how stupid this law is??? My friend who lives in Manchester UK just got arrested for having SCREWDRIVERS in his car! The charges were dropped but he had to spend the day in jail! I would remind the foolish people making these idiotic laws that all it takes is for someone to sharpen a piece of plastic like a toothbrush to make a stabbing weapon lethal. Or sharpening metal of any kind. Are you so stupid to think that by taking knives from law abiding citizens you will quell the illegal tendencies of those who are hell bent on killing????
Stop this law abiding citizen crap, we’re not American. The police can arrest you for being in possession of any item they believe can be used as a weapon.
It is not an offence to possess an item the police believe could be used as a weapon and the police cannot arrest you for that. It is an offence to have with you in a public place an article designed as a weapon or modified to be a weapon or carried by use for use as a weapon – unless you can demonstrate that you have lawful,authority or a lawful excuse for so doing. So, if they find a cricket bat in your car on a public road, and can prove you had it there for use as a weapon, then you must demonstrate some good reason for that. Carrying a weapon just in case of trouble is not considered a lawful reason. If you have reason to fear imminent violence, thst may give you a lawful excuse. Knives can be caught by the law against carrying weapons, but even if the knife is not made or adapted or carried as a weapon, you need to demonstrate a good reason for having it in public. Carrying a lock knife for fishing or a chef’s knife on the way to work (as a chef) are examples. There is an exception for small folding pocket knives. You don’t need to provide a reason for carrying one of those max 3″ blade and non-locking
Issue as I see it is the difference between being a subject of the crown vs. being a citizen as in the US. Yes, the UK is different from the US, but citizens of the US have natural rights vs. rights granted by the government to the citizens. The Bill of Rights are NOT rights given to citizens, they are statements of specific importance that the government are prohibited from violating.
The British were once a very proud people. Now the influx of immigrants from other countries that do not have the same moral turpitude as the native people has caused all kinds of drama and chaos. Crime is to the roof. The honest people are now suffering. Multiculturalism is a lie.
I’m British & your comment is absolute nonsense! Most knife crime is from inner city gangs of young British kids. Nothing to do with immigration.
Since the UK Home Office refuses to keep statistics on actual gang membership, or even provide a definition of what a “gang” is, there’s no way to determine the racial makeup of inner city gangs in the UK. In the USA, hispanics and african-americans constitute between 80-89% of gang membership, whites at about 10-13% (varies somewhat from year to year). See: https://nationalgangcenter.ojp.gov/survey-analysis/demographics