1

There is a LOT of conflicting information on this subject online, mostly revolving around whether or not traditional dress is "sufficient reason" to carry what is essentially a knife in public.

My questions are thus:

  • Is it legal to carry a Sgian Dubh in public whilst wearing traditional Scottish dress in the UK?
  • Does the blade have to be blunted?

Whilst all answers are appreciated, I would be particularly interested in any precedents or specific litigation related to this topic.

0

This is a reasonable summary of knife law although it omits the national costume as a 'good reason' (aka reasonable excuse or defence) for carrying a knife in public: https://www.gov.uk/buying-carrying-knives

It is illegal to ... carry a knife in public without good reason, unless it has a folding blade with a cutting edge 3 inches long or less .. Examples of good reasons to carry a knife or weapon in public can include:

  • taking knives you use at work to and from work
  • taking it to a gallery or museum to be exhibited if it’ll be used for theatre, film, television, historical reenactment or religious purposes, for example the kirpan some Sikhs carry
  • if it’ll be used in a demonstration or to teach someone how to use it

Legislation

s49 Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995 Offence of having in public place article with blade or point (as amended) ... (4) It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1) above to show that the person had a reasonable excuse or lawful authority for having the article with him in the public place. - http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1995/39/part/VI/crossheading/offensive-weapons

s139 Criminal Justice Act 1988 Offence of having article with blade or point in public place ... Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (4) above, it shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he had the article with him— (a) for use at work; (b) for religious reasons; or (c) as part of any national costume.

0

See Criminal Law (Consolidation) Act 1995 Sec. 49, ssec. 5(c)

it shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1) above to [F4show] that he had the article with him... (c)as part of any national costume.

applicable throughout the UK.

-1

Appears it's legal (don't need to blunt it) outside of low tolerance areas with high security.

That being said, a police officer passing might not be familiar with the law at the scene, but after speaking with the station, should know that it's fine (expect an initial reaction of "umm naughty").

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy