Carrying knives to the woods - knife license...inevitably rambling onto American gun stuff

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henchy3rd

Full Member
Apr 16, 2012
415
270
Derby
A couple of questions here:
Why not have a knife license like they have for guns?
I’d be more than happy knowing my sharps won’t get confiscated if questioned by the law.

Last night I sent of an Email to the police, asking for clarity what would happen if I was stopped & questioned.. even though my knife & axe is buried in the bottom of my pack out of site?
Also asked other questions amongst other things as our sharpes are built for the purpose & are works of art(in my eyes).
I’ll post a copy if I get a reply.
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,141
4,493
Mid Wales
A couple of questions here:
Why not have a knife license like they have for guns?
I’d be more than happy knowing my sharps won’t get confiscated if questioned by the law.

Last night I sent of an Email to the police, asking for clarity what would happen if I was stopped & questioned.. even though my knife & axe is buried in the bottom of my pack out of site?
Also asked other questions amongst other things as our sharpes are built for the purpose & are works of art(in my eyes).
I’ll post a copy if I get a reply.

Brave man sticking your head above the parapet :)
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,617
1,561
Bedfordshire
Just for you to clarify...your email to the police was in regard to the pre-existing situation, or was it prompted in some way by the changes discussed in this thread?

At the 2019 Moot we had a policeman run through scenarios with people carrying knives in packs and the message was that it is situation and person specific. Two people could be sitting with identical knives in identical packs, in the same public place, on their way to the same destination. Both are committing an offence, but only one could have a defence, all based on the route they took to get there. For that reason I rather doubt that you will get as clear an answer as you might like. If they take the time to give varying scenarios, that would be awesome! I just think it very unlikely that they will.

I am not sure that licenses would have the sort of benefit that its sounds like you think they would. You can tell me if I have misunderstood.
  1. In order to possess a firearm or shotgun, one needs a license. This includes a fee and security inspection. If one agrees that bushcraft knives need to be kept under lock and key, one is suggesting they are somehow more dangerous to the public than the knives in every home's kitchen, which doesn't seem a good idea.
  2. Quantity and type of firearm and ammunition are part of the license. A similar format for knives would be problematic. How does licensing interact with buying and selling?
  3. To qualify for a firearm license one has to have a place to use it, and a purpose. This too would be a very bad approach to encourage for knife owner ship, and fairly unworkable I think to police.
  4. Even if you have a license for a firearm or shotgun, you cannot just wander around in public with one for no reason. It is up to you to prove good reason, same as we already have with knives.
What it seems that most people want when they talk about a license for knives is some kind of pre-check so the police can see what lovely nice responsible people they are, that will allow them to carry knives at times and places where they otherwise should not.
 

henchy3rd

Full Member
Apr 16, 2012
415
270
Derby
Just for you to clarify...your email to the police was in regard to the pre-existing situation, or was it prompted in some way by the changes discussed in this thread?

At the 2019 Moot we had a policeman run through scenarios with people carrying knives in packs and the message was that it is situation and person specific. Two people could be sitting with identical knives in identical packs, in the same public place, on their way to the same destination. Both are committing an offence, but only one could have a defence, all based on the route they took to get there. For that reason I rather doubt that you will get as clear an answer as you might like. If they take the time to give varying scenarios, that would be awesome! I just think it very unlikely that they will.

I am not sure that licenses would have the sort of benefit that its sounds like you think they would. You can tell me if I have misunderstood.
  1. In order to possess a firearm or shotgun, one needs a license. This includes a fee and security inspection. If one agrees that bushcraft knives need to be kept under lock and key, one is suggesting they are somehow more dangerous to the public than the knives in every home's kitchen, which doesn't seem a good idea.
  2. Quantity and type of firearm and ammunition are part of the license. A similar format for knives would be problematic. How does licensing interact with buying and selling?
  3. To qualify for a firearm license one has to have a place to use it, and a purpose. This too would be a very bad approach to encourage for knife owner ship, and fairly unworkable I think to police.
  4. Even if you have a license for a firearm or shotgun, you cannot just wander around in public with one for no reason. It is up to you to prove good reason, same as we already have with knives.
What it seems that most people want when they talk about a license for knives is some kind of pre-check so the police can see what lovely nice responsible people they are, that will allow them to carry knives at times and places where they otherwise should not. Its a get out of jail card.
It was due to the pre existing situation as I don’t want my knives confiscated just because I’m heading to the woods to enjoy myself.Just seems a very grey area to me?
But reading through some valid points on here,yes I can see it’ll be a nightmare to somehow license a knife, if not impossible.so I guess we all get tarnished with the same brush.
 

hudd4444

Full Member
Mar 13, 2019
84
42
48
Kent
I like the idea of having a permit to carry and use a knife in the woods.

It makes sense to me when not a lot else make sense at the moment.
 
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C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,617
1,561
Bedfordshire
Hudd4444,
If you have permission to be on the land, then you have a good reason, so no need for anything further.

If you don't have permission, what you are essentially asking for is a permit for something you will use to break byelaws, commit vandalism, maybe enable theft.
 

hudd4444

Full Member
Mar 13, 2019
84
42
48
Kent
@C_Claycomb I didn't think about the bye-laws and such which are in effect pretty much everywhere I go locally to me. I'm going to bury my head back in the sand, ignorance is bliss.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,141
4,493
Mid Wales
Indeed, we have all done it but without permission it's technically "Armed Tresspassing."

I believe carrying a blade onto land whilst trespassing is currently defined as 'aggravated trespass'. However, it still comes down to 'intent'. Carrying a firearm, even an air rifle, with or without ammunition, is armed trespass. (oops, I've used the 'F' word, please ignore it :))
 

slowworm

Native
May 8, 2008
1,346
357
Devon
I like the idea of having a permit to carry and use a knife in the woods.

It makes sense to me when not a lot else make sense at the moment.
Hope it's not similar to a shotgun or firearms certificate.

First you pay a fee to apply, possibly pay a fee over £200 for a medical report. Then you'll need to sort out secure storage. Add an alarm if you own over a certain number of knives. Notify the police within 7 days of buying a new knife. Add to that possibility of having to prove you have somewhere to use a knife before being allowed to own one!
 
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slowworm

Native
May 8, 2008
1,346
357
Devon
Without de railing the thread it’s worth noting that some of the worst firearms incidents we’ve had in the UK were by licensed firearms holders.
Having a licence doesn’t mean you won’t commit an offence.
Also worth noting the people involved in those incidents shouldn't have had their licences at the time.

Having said that I think it's likely that licensing has kept certain crime down.
 
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TeeDee

Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
7,634
1,621
47
Exeter
Can you imagine how many knives many of us have and how quickly we change them through swaps , trades, sales and purchasing? Keeping an upto date Log / Register would be like herding Cats.

Then there is those who make knives themselves which in essence would be the sharp pointy equivalent of a Ghost rifle.
 
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lostplanet

Full Member
Aug 18, 2005
1,917
146
50
Kent
One of the reasons I only carry a mora clipper, It makes my head spin trying to think of a solution to this issue.

What do other country's do?
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,141
4,493
Mid Wales
One of the reasons I only carry a mora clipper, It makes my head spin trying to think of a solution to this issue.

What do other country's do?
We're not allowed to talk about that ;)

Seriously though, I don't think comparing us to any other country has any merit at all; we are our history, we make legal decisions based on that.

At the sake of being contrary, I am happy with the way the knife law is in the UK. I am confident that when I carry a knife I have justification and that I am carrying legally. I don't try to tilt at windmills or push the limits because I don't need to in the activities that I'm involved with.

So, out and about every day I carry a legal folder; camping and backpacking I'll have a fixed blade but in my bag, not on my belt; in the woods (mine or with permission), I'll have a larger fixed blade and only have it on a belt when I'm actually working (you won't see me walking around the Moot with a knife on my belt, why would I need to?); Canoeing I carry a one-handed opening locking folding knife that stays with my buoyancy aid.

Whereas a young cop that doesn't actually know the law may question me, I am confident that I am not committing any crime.
 

slowworm

Native
May 8, 2008
1,346
357
Devon
One of the reasons I only carry a mora clipper, It makes my head spin trying to think of a solution to this issue.

What do other country's do?
You need to tackle the issue of why people carry knifes for self defence etc. Reduce poverty, education, etc which will mean spending money. Easier to ban something that may never have been a problem than so something sensible.
 
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Wildgoose

Full Member
May 15, 2012
505
192
Middlesex
Also worth noting the people involved in those incidents shouldn't have had their licences at the time.

Having said that I think it's likely that licensing has kept certain crime down.
Indeed.
There was serious talk a short time ago about introducing physiological testing to the licensing system, including some pretty invasive mental health questions.

if we apply that to knives I can see a lot of people being refused on grounds of having depression, PTSD etc
 

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