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Knives and the law

Last Updated: Wednesday March 26 2008 11:25 GMT

Can I buy a knife?


If you are under the age of 18, the simple answer is: NO!

In England, Northern Ireland and Wales, if you're under the age of 18 you're not allowed to buy:

  • Any knife, knife blade or razor blade
  • Any axe
  • Any other article which has a blade or is sharply pointed
  • Anything which is made or adapted for use for causing injury to people

In Scotland, you cannot buy any type of knife if you're under 16 years old.

Illegal blades

Some knives are illegal to everyone, however old they are:

Flick knives - Where the blade is hidden inside the handle and shoots out when a button is pressed. They are also called switchblades or automatic knives.

Butterfly knives - Where the blade is hidden inside a handle that splits in two around it, like wings. The handles swing around the blade to open or close it.

Disguised knives - The blade is hidden inside something like a belt buckle or a fake mobile phone.

Guide to Knives and the law

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