UK Weapons Law

Non Lethal
Self Defence Weapons

police spraying pepper spray on crowd

Do you know the UK Weapons Laws and safety guidelines regarding knives, guns and weapons.

The Offensive Umbrella.!

legal weapons UK  offensive weapon adapted umbrella

As you would expect, a knife, gun or rifle are quite obviously considered to be offensive weapons. But, and this is a big but, so is any other item that you have adapted as a weapon that could cause injury to another person.

You can buy many different types of  these "adapted" everyday items for self defence use - but they are illegal and considered an offensive weapon.

The implications of this are quite simple in so much as If you were to be caught with any item that could be used as a weapon, then the onus is well and truly on you -   it's up to you to prove you had no intention on using it as a weapon.

If you fail to give a good enough reason and subsequently found guilty of carrying an offensive weapon in public, then you could very well face a hefty  fine, imprisonment or both.

Self Defence Weapons

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In the United Kingdom it is not deemed to be illegal to own a knife in private, (ei: in your home or workplace), with the exception of:

Flick knives, butterfly knives and disguised knives.
But if any weapon is used in any type of threatening way, then any knife instantly becomes an offensive weapon in the eyes of the law.

Illegal Knives

  • It is against the law to buy or attempt to buy  any knife if you're aged under 18 in England and aged 16 in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.
  • You are committing an offence if you carry a knife in public, even if it's sitting at the bottom of your bag.
  • If you are caught for any of the above  you could quite easily  face a two years' imprisonment and a £5,000 fine.

UK Legal Knives

  • It's legal to have a knife in public if you have a genuine reason to do so - you may need it for your work (e.g. if you're a chef or a carpenter); - You can also carry a knife for religious reasons or is part of a re-enactment society.
  • There are also provision for smaller knives like the Swiss Army Knife, or if it's a penknife with the blade less than three inches long and non locking, of which you have no intention of using in any way to hurt anyone.
  • See our Legal Folding Pocket Knife Guide here

In A Nutshell:

You can own most types of knives of any size or shape,  BUT make sure you know whether it's deemed legal or illegal before wandering around in public with it...

Self Defence Weapons

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  • You will need a to obtain a UK Fire Arms Certificate [ FAC ] to legally own certain guns in the UK,  as there are very strict procedures and restrictions that must be adhered too in order to own certain firearms.
  • If you are aged between 14 - 17 you are permitted use an air-gun rifle or pistol  (as opposed to a firearm  that propels actual bullets) at a recognised air-gun club or within the confines of your own land or on private property but you must have the landowner's permission.
  • Anyone who is over 17 you can legally buy air-guns and the air-gun pellets as long as the air-gun is under the UK legal maximum muzzle velocity limit of 12ft.lbs for a rifle and muzzle energy for rifles and 6ft.lbs  for pistols.
  • Any air-gun that is over that limit will need a UK Fire Arms Certificate as they are considered high velocity. The Fire Arms Certificate must be obtained before they can be owned.

In A Nutshell:

Ensure your over 17. The only gun/rifle you can own is lower air powered. For anything more get a FAC first.

Self Defence Weapons
Pepper Sprays
(Noxious Liquid)

  • The purchase, ownership and use of 'pepper spray' is illegal in the UK and as such any form of noxious liquid spray is considered an offensive weapon. There are very specific laws that are in section 5(1)(b) of the firearms act 1968.

    This act sees to prohibit the use of any type of weapon of ANY description that can be used to spray [discharge]  ANY noxious liquid, gas or other substance. Whether that weapon is designed for that use or has been adapted for that use it is still illegal and is an offensive weapon in the eyes of the UK law.

    In A Nutshell:

    You cannot buy, own or use conventional pepper spray.

UK Legal Defence Spray

Self Defence Weapons
Legal UK Alternative
To Pepper Sprays
(NO Noxious Liquid)


They are a gel base semi permanent gel spray that is very effective as a self defence deterrent.

Please click here for our article on the 'Self Defence Spray'.

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