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Knife Law

waffenrecht

The legal situation in Germany

The legal situation naturally plays a decisive role when buying a knife. All items sold by us within Germany are allowed according to German weapons law. The buying, selling and owning of all knives sold by us here is definitely legal. The carrying of fixed knives with a blade length of more than 12 centimetres, cutting and stabbing weapons as well as knives that can be locked with one hand is, however, legally regulated in the Weapons Act. The transport in a closed container is not classified as carrying.

The paragraph § 42a WaffG

Within the Weapons Act, paragraph 42a explains the prohibition of the carrying of apparent weapons and certain portable objects in Germany:

  1. It is illegal
    1. apparent weapons,
    2. Slash and strike weapon Annex 1 chapter 1 subparagraph 2 No. 1.1 or
    3. Knifes with one-hand lockable blade (one-hand-folder) or fixed blade knife with a blade length over 12 cm.
  2. Annex 1 not applies
    1. for the use to take photo-, shoot films-, or television features theatre performance,
    2. use for the transport in an enclosed space,
    3. for the lead of this objects paragraph 1 No. 2 and 3, provided there is a legitimate interest in doing. The far-reaching regulation is unaffected.
  3. A legitimate interest paragraph 2 No. 3 is, when the lead of this objects connected with a professional practice, heritage, sport or a general accepted purpose.

Knives that can be "opened and locked with one hand" are knives that have a device for opening with one hand and a blade lock. If a knife has only one of these features, it is not affected by § 42a.

"Slash and strike weapon" are objects the purpose of which is to be used as a weapon, as is the case, for example, with double-edged daggers or bayonets. A simple suitability of an object does not make it a weapon. For example, a kitchen knife can of course also be used as a weapon, but its intended purpose is decisive for its classification as an object of use, which is why a kitchen knife is not classified as a weapon.

For all these objects (fixed knives with blade lengths over 12 centimetres, knives that can be locked with one hand and cutting or stabbing weapons), the law only allows them to be carried if there is a justified interest. This legitimate interest is defined as leading "in connection with sport, the practice of traditional customs or a generally recognised purpose".

The generally recognised purpose

The so-called "generally recognised purpose" is nowhere specified in more detail. At this point we would like to expressly point out that the legislator does not speak of an "officially recognised" or "legally recognised" purpose. The wording "generally recognised purpose" suggests that this refers to the normal sense of the people or common sense according to which the use of a pocket knife, for example, is customary and appropriate in various situations. Self-defence is not recognised by the legislator as such a purpose.

Since this definition is very broad and vague, it cannot be ruled out that a controlling official, for example, might present a different, more restrictive interpretation. However, the legislator has included this "generally recognised purpose" in the law. Therefore, general statements such as "one-hand knives are generally forbidden" or "the use of one-hand knives is generally forbidden" are clearly wrong.

Anyone wishing to avoid a dispute about this definition or its scope can, of course, remove the opening aid from a one-hand knife as far as technically possible. If the knife in question can no longer be opened with one hand, in our opinion it is also no longer subject to the restriction of § 42a. Many of our knives therefore come with the appropriate tool to remove the thumb pin at least temporarily.

As a responsible citizen, you can decide for yourself how you want to use your knife. Of course, the disassembly of the thumb stud has the slightly bland aftertaste of premature obedience, which is due to the inaccuracy of the law. The carrying of the knives in question should be legal under the circumstances defined in the text of the law.

The legal situation in other countries

Other countries in Europe and the world of course have different legal regulations. For deliveries to customers outside Germany, further country-specific restrictions or prohibitions for certain items may apply. The customer himself is responsible for ensuring that the import and possession of the items ordered by him do not conflict with the laws of his country. Unfortunately, we cannot know, explain and interpret all the different laws of the different countries.

Legal advice

We would also like to point out that this summary is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice in the strict sense. An individual and binding legal advice, which deals with your specific situation, cannot and should not replaced. All information provided is therefore without guarantee of correctness and completeness.