What are knife carry laws in European countries?
Call me a knife snob (or slut), if you will. I love my pocket knife. I want to bring it to Europe. I don’t want it confiscated, and I want to respect local laws. But I don’t yet know what they are!
Why do I want to bring my pocketknife?
Living in Oregon, for about a year in Eugene I worked a side job at a knife shop. It turned me into a knife snob, I freely admit. I’m very particular about my cutlery, from kitchen knives to pocketknives. I also love to carry my folding knife from Benchmade, the best knife manufacturer in the U.S. (if you’re ever in an Excalibur shop in Oregon or Washington, for example, you’ll notice that all the employees wear Benchmades – these things rock. That, and we’re all snobs.)
When in Oregon, have a look at people’s hip pockets. It’s not at all uncommon to see a metal clip showing – that person is carrying a pocketknife (and legally, having the clip showing means it’s not being carried concealed). And no, it’s not because they’re out to hurt someone or any crap like that. For the most part, people use knives as tools, not as weapons. They use them for work, for the outdoors, or just to have a knife on-hand because, well, the buggers are useful.
I carry a model officially called the 942SBT Osborne Axis, and like a lot of these other folks, I’m always finding it handy. My girlfriend also carries a pocketknife; she was even recently in a wedding, and on the way to the church she used hers to take some loose threads off one of the bridesmaid’s dresses. In Europe, I plan on using my Benchmade as a mini chef’s knife; for a 3.4-inch blade, it does wonders in the kitchen.
I plan on taking my Benchmade to Europe, but I’m hazy on what the carry laws are, and so far I haven’t had much luck googling. Can I legally carry it in my pocket? Should I leave it in my pack/the hostel? How do the laws differ from country to country, or is there a more EU-wide legislation that holds sway? I don’t want to lose my knife or have legal problems because of it, but I also know how handy it is to have it on me.
Do I think that I’ll have many problems because of my knife? Honestly, no. I tend to be a pretty low-radar person. But when it comes to carrying a pocketknife, and when you’ve talked with lots of folks who do, it’s just smart to have an understanding of local laws. Europe ain’t Oregon; I’m going to feel more comfortable knowing what’s what.