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Other Swiss Army Knife and UK laws

Discussion in 'General' started by Cabe6403, 30 Jun 2010.

  1. Cabe6403

    Cabe6403 Supreme Commander

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    Right, so I'm in Switzerland for the summer and I've been given a Swiss Army Knife as a gift. The knife in question is this one: http://www.victorinox.com/product/1/100/1004/1107/0.9023

    The large blade is about 3 1/8 inches long with the cutting blade maybe about 3. I know in the UK you are allowed to a pocket knife with a blade of less than 4 inches.

    The issue is that the blade locks open to prevent it from closing on your fingers while in use.

    I've had a search around the interwebs and there seems to be some disagreement about the method of locking.
    Some say that since it's a positive lock (i.e. keeps it open rather than preventing it from opening) it's legal.

    The argument was that if the blade can't be flicked out or fall out with gravity then it wasn't a locking blade. Although that seems questionable to me.

    Question 1: What is your take on this? I know there are some bit-techians that are also police officers in the UK so I'd be particularly interested on what they say.

    When I get back to the UK I don't intend on carrying it everywhere I go, probably to Uni (handy to cut and strip wires, screw things in/out etc) and camping trips etc. It's not like I'm going carry it around when I go out to a bar or anything.

    The other question I have is this: The locking mechanism is basically a little plastic slide which prevents the blade from closing. If I were to remove :)dremel:) this plastic slide (therefore removing the locking ability) I would assume it would then fall back onto the right side of the law?
     
  2. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    I'd say that's likely illegal.
     
  3. Teelzebub

    Teelzebub Up yours GOD,Whats best served cold

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    Actually they changed the blade length thing a while ago they can deem any knife a offensive weapon regardless of blade length.

    But I doubt you will have any problem and lock knive's are not illegal.
     
  4. Steve @ CCL

    Steve @ CCL CCL Tech. Support

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    I'm not going to say I'm 100% familiar with this, but as it is a multi tool and not just a lock knife, if you were to keep it in your rucksack // camping bag it would be understandable.

    Also why would a police officer know you were carrying the knife unless they searched you. A police officer can only search you if they believe and have it on good suspicion you have an intent to do harm etc. So unless you're running around waving this at people. Nobody is going to know you've got it in your pocket and nobody is going to try and search you.

    A friend of mine who's an air conditioning installation engineer, carries one of those lock knives with the serrated edges, uses it for stripping wires he was installing air con in a police station and a police officer mentioned something to him about it to which he replied "Tool of my trade" and the officer smiled and walked away. To elaborate on this; a butcher can carry his knives too and from work if packaged correctly therefore a sparky can keep a knife for stripping in his toolbox. A warehouse operative can carry a box cutter in his overalls etc etc.

    But besides ALL of that.

    You can walk into any camping shop over here and buy those knives.. If there was a law limiting it over here, you wouldn't be able to buy them over the counter.

    As bumsrush said, I don't think "Locking blade" is a specific criteria for an illegal knife. I was looking into the knife laws a while ago (I collect knives and swords) and I inherited an automatic knife, fully automatic in and out one of these buggers; http://www.wholesaleselfdefense.com/images/uploads/scarab-lightning-otf.jpg and "Automatic" is the only blade definition I could find and even those are legal to own, just can't be purchased or sold in the UK and obviously can't be carried (all my knives and swords are on display)
     
  5. Fishlock

    Fishlock .o0o.

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    This is something where discretion is used all the time. Being a PC, if I was to stop you outside a pub on a Friday night and you had it in your pocket I would nick you straight away, however if it was on your way to work and the knife was in a tool box or on a tool belt then I would advise you of the law appropriately and leave it at that.

    I'd like to think most PC's would do the same...
     
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  6. bahgger

    bahgger New Member

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    Since I have nothing useful to add to the discussion, I just want to say that is a rather nice gift you got. The old Swiss Army Knives I've seen are far less aesthetically pleasing as the one in your link
     
  7. Steve @ CCL

    Steve @ CCL CCL Tech. Support

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  8. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    All I know is that you need a reason to be carrying it - if your job requires it, like an electrician for example. Otherwise, knives are considered possibly weapons. I ended up taking mine off my keys because I was told even the excuse "I open a lot of boxes and letters at work" is not acceptable since I could leave it at work or use scissors. :/

    Steve - if you get caught at the wrong place at the wrong time or by a copper with a bad attitude then is it really worth the trouble?
     
  9. Fishlock

    Fishlock .o0o.

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    The trouble Steve is that if the case was to get to court, the judge is bound to keep within what case law has been brought up for similar cases. Although an offence always has a straight definition, it is brought together by case law.

    Some case law for folding pocket knifes, including locking ones include:

    R v Deegan
    Harris v DPP
    Fehmi v DPP

    If you have any doubt, about the only truely accurate place to look at on the net is www.pnld.co.uk.
     
  10. Cabe6403

    Cabe6403 Supreme Commander

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    Cheers for the advice guys! 1 hour and lots of helpful advice.

    My degree has a lot of Electronic & Electrical Engineering parts so I'm in labs building circuits and so on fairly often, I'd hope that that's a good enough reason.

    Cool site, though it only covers England =/
    I'm from Scotland.
     
    Last edited: 30 Jun 2010
  11. Cabe6403

    Cabe6403 Supreme Commander

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    *double post*
     
    Last edited: 30 Jun 2010
  12. Fishlock

    Fishlock .o0o.

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    Oh blimey, Scottish law is very, very different. I think my advise still stands, but don't hold me to it, you can get nicked for just about anything up there...
     
  13. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    Considering the fact that I've bought knives that lock open in the UK?

    Legal.

    As has been said, though, to carry it day-to-day, you need a very good reason for it, otherwise - as has also been said - It'll be considered a potential weapon if you're stopped for any reason, or if you happen to have to walk through one of these mobile metal detectors/x-ray devices they set up at random train stations these days.
     
  14. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Yea, you can buy them like you can buy cameras, but that doesn't stop the police arresting photo journalists on anti-terrorism charges though. *****.
     
  15. Fishlock

    Fishlock .o0o.

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    You'll find that only really happens in London. Police will be the first people to be criticised and ridiculed even more by the media if they knew we let someone go who was spotting for terrorists. Not only that, they are only 'charged' if there is such evidence of terrorism links, that there would be a realistic prospect of conviction in court. People always forget there is a very big difference between being arrested and being charged with an offence.
     
  16. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    Faulty logic. I've bought many illegal things and many legal things that could and have had illegal uses. You can buy a gun, but it doesn't mean you can carry it round with you without reason.
     
  17. Herbicide

    Herbicide Lurktacular

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    Yes and no -

    You don't need a reason to carry a non-locking knife (that has a blade shorter than three inches/76mm) in public. [LGT: S. 139, Criminal Justice Act 1988]

    You do, therefore need a good reason/reasonable excuse (depending upon which Act you're done under) for doing the same thing with either a locking knife or fixed blade of any length, or a non-locking knife with a longer blade.

    Also, mere possession of a knife will (should) not be grounds for an offensive weapons charge, the article in question (which can be anything at all) would have to be 'made, adapted or intended' to cause harm/injury.

    Lastly, I. A. NOT A. L.

    To answer the OPs question directly, the Outrider both locks and has a blade just over 3" (80mm or 3 1/16th inches)
     
    Last edited: 30 Jun 2010
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  18. Fishlock

    Fishlock .o0o.

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    Again, The Criminal Justice act in Scotland is different, it's also been amended very recently and due to be amended in the next two years, I would go through it to find the legislation for possessing bladed articles in Scotland, but I can't be bothered. It's probably very similar.

    Herbicide: The offence of possessing an offensive weapon is very different to possessing a bladed article (ie Knife). As you said an offensive weapon needs to be made, adapted or intended for it's use, whereas a knife does not.
     
  19. [ZiiP] NaloaC

    [ZiiP] NaloaC Well-Known Member

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    I should look to see what it is like here in Ireland. In the process of ordering in a SOG Jungle Primitive and am also waiting on a Victorinox as well.
     
  20. Herbicide

    Herbicide Lurktacular

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    There's something about it here (near the bottom) but it's a little complicated.

    For the UK, nothing but the sentencing (S. 42) seems to have changed.

    NaloaC, try Part V here
     
    Last edited: 30 Jun 2010

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