A query on the law

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Owner7771

A query on the law

Post by Owner7771 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:25 pm

A friend of mine is wanting to send Me a semi automatic assisted opening knife I am curious as to how the law stands on such items. I know if there is a button on the handle its a illegal weapon however if its a flipper on the blade or thumb stud is it still ilegal?

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Mellony
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Re: A query on the law

Post by Mellony » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:31 pm

I would not like to say m8, your best bet would be to get some info from the horse’s mouth as it where:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/contactus/customs.htm

Let us know how you get on.

Regards

Mello

Owner7771

Re: A query on the law

Post by Owner7771 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:54 pm

Thanks for the tip Mello I have already submitted a query to them and will of course update when I get a response. It will be good to know if this avenue of collecters items is open its a gray area though so had to have a check up on it. Ok just found out could be upto 15 working days to get a response from them so could be a while before I can respond :-)

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Moon
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Re: A query on the law

Post by Moon » Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:06 pm

Assisted openers are not illegal in the UK yet but trying to import one from the USA will probably end in it being seized by Customs, less likely but not unheard of from a Country within the EU, best bet is to buy one from a retailer within the UK.

Owner7771

Re: A query on the law

Post by Owner7771 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:21 pm

if they clear it I will give the friend the go ahead and if they do cease it they have to imediately mail you and give you the option to go to court giving you 14 days to respond from the date of the letter. If assisted openers where available here (blades UK) I would consider them however I wouldnt want to use the overprised site which is the only one I have seen that stocked them

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Moon
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Re: A query on the law

Post by Moon » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:27 pm

Owner7771 wrote:if they clear it I will give the friend the go ahead and if they do cease it they have to imediately mail you and give you the option to go to court giving you 14 days to respond from the date of the letter. If assisted openers where available here (blades UK) I would consider them however I wouldnt want to use the overprised site which is the only one I have seen that stocked them
If who clears it...HMRC? :S
They can't until it's actually in the UK and they definitely won't when it is...when they send you the letter of notification of seizure you'll have the option to go to Court sure enough but you will lose and it'll cost you £1500 for the privilege which is a lot more than what you'll pay for any "overpriced" A/O from a UK retailer.
There must be close to 100 threads on British Blades forum from inexperienced people who think they're saving money by importing a folding knife from the States only to have it seized and those knives don't even have to be A/Os...any knife that locks isn't safe from being classed as a gravity knife.
Let's not forget the extortionate shipping fee that most US retailers charge, the Duty and VAT plus the handling charge on top of US prices and it doesn't work out as cheap as what many think, if at all in some cases. ;)

Owner7771

Re: A query on the law

Post by Owner7771 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:28 pm

I wont be paying for the knife it will be a gift from a friend over there I will not do anything illegal neither will she. I dont know if it will make any difference to UK screening but US now internally screens all mail as of this year due to it becoming a federal offence to use any US mail carrier to ship switch blades gravity knives and butterfly knives.

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Re: A query on the law

Post by Geordie Ross » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:36 pm

Hi owner, if this gift is sentimental to you or the sender I doubt it's worth risking it. See if she has any "leagal" blades to send ;)

Owner7771

Re: A query on the law

Post by Owner7771 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:56 pm

and its not the knives themselves that are overpriced its the site they are sold on :-) I have in the past had one of the ninja machette//shortswords and was happy with it and the delivery time and precautions that My then partner who bought it for Me as a birthday present was over the age asking Me over the phone about her :-). Ive just telephone ordered a elk ridge knife for Myself today and intend soon to order other blades.

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Moon
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Re: A query on the law

Post by Moon » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:43 pm

Owner7771 wrote:I wont be paying for the knife it will be a gift from a friend over there I will not do anything illegal neither will she.
I understand that you nor your friend won't be doing anything illegal but I'm afraid that isn't how the Customs Officers at Mount Pleasant will see it, trust me, I've read of too many instances where a folding knife which is freely available in the UK has been seized as a 'flick' knife or a gravity knife when it's clear that it isn't and I don't believe that there's a Court in the land that wouldn't see an A/O as an automatic knife.
Owner7771 wrote:I dont know if it will make any difference to UK screening but US now internally screens all mail as of this year due to it becoming a federal offence to use any US mail carrier to ship switch blades gravity knives and butterfly knives.
I know that's not right because some States haven't banned switch blades, balisong and gravity knives or sword sticks etc. so it can't be a federal offence and how do US retailers sell them to people in other countries where they aren't illegal?
Go ahead and have your friend Stateside send you the A/O, it' ll be no skin off my nose when it goes in the crusher but you asked for advice and I'm trying to give it to you but it seems like I'm not saying what you want to hear and you don't like it. :|

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Loz
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Re: A query on the law

Post by Loz » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:06 am

Trouble is no-one knows if AO's are legal in this country or not. the Home Office have said they have no plans to clarify but are most certainly not sympathetic towards AO's, HMRC are quite happy to seize them as automatic knives, if you appeal by filing a notice of claim, you'll go to a county court where you may win or lose but that case would not change policy anywhere, only if you lost and appealed right up to the house of lords or perhaps this new E.U supreme court system (that I haven't familiarised myself with) - only at these levels is a precedent set, but the kicker is even if you win, hmrc have a habit of then pushing for new legislation to definitively ban/alter whatever it is they have been fighting and lost - they do it all the time.

Truth be told the only way to make them definitvely legal is to lobby your MP into creating legislation to confirm it - the same as they have in the U.S.

We won't sell them as it's quite possible we could be selling a prohibited weapon, which would be a minor problem for us but more importantly a major problem for the customer, you see you can carry a non-readily folding knife over 3" with a reasonable excuse e.g. work, but there is no reasonable excuse for carrying a prohibited weapon, you could potentially be prosecuted but had you been carrying a standard lock knife, you would have been fine.

Owner7771

Re: A query on the law

Post by Owner7771 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:57 am

The law is not clear on knifes in any way although its not in the prohibited list you can be prosecuted for an offensive weapon if you carry a lock knife. I was threatened with it for carrying a leatherman until I explained the reason for it which was for emergency maintenance while working security. I only have knives for collection purposes or for camping and hunting you are allowed a knife with a blade of up to 8 inches for camping 10 inches for hunting. If you want a carry knife by a non locking clasp knife with a blade of less than 3 inches such as a Swis army knife to ensure safety from prosecution. Please note when carrying a knife for camping hunting or work secure it in the bottom of your rucksac or boot of car or glove compartment untill such time as you arive at work do not have it readily available such as in a pocket on your belt or wells of your car you will end up loosing it and possibly even fined or jail time take care when transporting your knives at all times

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Moon
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Re: A query on the law

Post by Moon » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:17 am

Owner7771 wrote:...you are allowed a knife with a blade of up to 8 inches for camping 10 inches for hunting.
Where did you get that crap from? :mrgreen:

Owner7771

Re: A query on the law

Post by Owner7771 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:52 am

I was inccorect in My mesurements Im sorry about that one the maximum length of hunting knife allowable is 4 inch blade maximum filiting knife for fishing is 6 inches and camping may only use a 4 inch bladed hunting knife. I am sorry about My over stated allowances on the previous post. Please note this bang up to date blade length allowance is from a rival site so I cannot mention it here however I will happily provide site owners with this information so they may verify the source for themselves.

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Moon
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Re: A query on the law

Post by Moon » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:28 pm

Owner7771 wrote:I was inccorect in My mesurements Im sorry about that one the maximum length of hunting knife allowable is 4 inch blade maximum filiting knife for fishing is 6 inches and camping may only use a 4 inch bladed hunting knife. I am sorry about My over stated allowances on the previous post. Please note this bang up to date blade length allowance is from a rival site so I cannot mention it here however I will happily provide site owners with this information so they may verify the source for themselves.
That may be what the law states in Vanuatu, Kiribati or wherever but it certainly doesn't apply in the UK, there are no restrictions whatsoever on the length of blades for specific purposes, the only conditions required by law is that the knife is legal and you can show good reason for having it in your possession.

Send me this site where you've obtained "this bang up to date blade length allowance" via PM please.

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