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Saturday September 19th 2009

Phew - late page - sorry about that!

Yesterday afternoon, I was researching a little on the Danish weapon-legislation in relation to its paragraphs on knives. We have, I'm sure, the strictest law on knives in Europe, if not in the whole World! My research has been prompted by a couple of high-profile cases covered by national media, where a hobby forgotten in the car has resulted in a week in jail!

So the facts are that all folding knives with a blade of 7cm or shorter, which do not lock when open are allowed to carry! Anything above that, or if a folding knife locks in open position, is illegal to carry unless you have an "acknowledged purpose" - ie hunting, fishing or if you need a knife to carry out your job! For instance, I always carry a Leatherman when I do fieldwork, and that's allowed, but I *must* take it our of the belt if I stop by a gasstation on the way home! If I'm "caught" with say a Leatherman (on which the blades lock in open position) in my belt in the supermarket on the way home, it'll cost a week in jail!

The funny thing is that if you have an "acknowledged purpose" (that's either hunting, fishing or working) there are no limits to how big your knife can be!

Folding knives which can be operated singlehanded are totally illegal to both carry and even own!

The law has actually been like this for many years - 10 maybe - but the penalty frame has not. I think it was this spring that the government decided that getting "caught" with an illegal knife, and not having an "acknowledged purpose" would result in a week in jail!

Somehow it fine - reports indicate that far less knives are found in the nightlife, where they tend to end up in stabbings, and that's good of course. On the other hand it does seem grotesque that you can get a week in jail if you forget any normal folding knife with a too long blade in the car!

But - then again, we need to adjust our behaviour to this new law and penaltyframe, and simply not forget knives in the car, or carry them around in the supermarket. I suppose hunters rarely forget a rifle in the car :-)

Lars


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