The law on legal-carry knives

This may well be a 'legal carry' but be careful where you take it all the same.

This may well be a 'legal carry' but be careful where you take it all the same. - Credit: Archant

Phill Price shares his thoughts on legal-carry knives

It seems that almost every day we hear on the news of another terrible crime involving the use of knives, and that the authorities are making combatting these dreadful events their top priority. People like me, and thousands of country people, carry knives every day and need to be very careful in our actions.

Know the law

The law allows that we may carry a non-locking knife with a blade of no more than three inches, the classic Swiss Army knife being typical of the type. The irony is that non-locking knives are less safe to use than locking models because the blade can shut unexpectedly and cut you. However, the law is the law and we need to very sure to be on the right side of it.

Even if your knife is technically legal, I'd counsel very strongly that there are many places you should never carry it. For example; I'd never carry one into a pub. You'd be hard pressed to explain to a policeman why you needed to open a box or cut some string whilst you were having a pint. If there was any trouble, I think it's fair to say that in the current climate people would presume you were up to no good, so why take that risk?

Out of sight

If I go into town, I always leave my knife in the car out of sight and I make a point of checking my pockets any time I think carrying one could be perceived as negative in any way. Again, it doesn't matter that you might not be breaking any laws, but it's really not worth taking a chance.

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One of my close friends is a countryman and a carpenter.

He has a small folding knife in his pocket in just the same way he always has a pencil behind his ear. He recently went into a government building where there was a metal detector and was promptly arrested. His 2½" knife locked open and he's been charged. I feel completely certain he didn't think he was doing anything wrong and was simply naïve, but the damage is done.

Use your head

Please don't allow this to happen to you. If for any reason you feel concerned that you shouldn't have your knife with you, leave it at home or put it in your car. Knife crime is right at the top of the police list and we must be very careful in our legitimate use of knives. Of course, there are many places where we can use them without restriction, such as when hunting on private land, but away from that, it's better to be safe than sorry.