Do You Know The UK Crossbow Law?
First of all, as a prepper it is important to have a variety of good hunting tools at your disposal.
One of the very best and most stealthy is the crossbow - a silent, accurate and deadly hunting weapon that is well worth considering as a 'must have' bit of survival kit.
However, as preppers, we have a duty to ensure we all act within the laws of the United Kingdom [as they stand now], and make sure your safety and the safety of others is never ever compromised.
Failing to comply to the Crossbow Laws in the UK will result in serious consequences - namely, imprisonment if you're stupid enough to think you can go outside of these laws.
What Does The UK Crossbow Law Say?
Crossbow Act 1987
An Act to create offences relating to the sale and letting on hire of crossbows to, and the purchase, hiring and possession of crossbows by, persons under the age of seventeen; and for connected purposes.
[15th May 1987]
1; Sale and letting on hire.
A person who sells or lets on hire a crossbow or a part of a crossbow to a person under the age of eighteen is guilty of an offence, unless he believes him to be seventeen years of age or older and has reasonable ground for the belief.
2; Purchase and hiring.
A person under the age of eighteen who buys or hires a crossbow or a part of a crossbow is guilty of an offence.
A person under the age of eighteen who has with him—
(a) a crossbow which is capable of discharging a missile, or
(b) parts of a crossbow which together (and without any other parts) can be assembled to form a crossbow capable of discharging a missile, is guilty of an offence, unless he is under the supervision of a person who is twenty-one years of age or older.
4; Powers of search and seizure etc.
(1) If a constable suspects with reasonable cause that a person is committing or has committed an offence under section 3, the constable may—
(a) search that person for a crossbow or part of a crossbow;
(b) search any vehicle, or anything in or on a vehicle, in or on which the constable suspects with reasonable cause there is a crossbow, or part of a crossbow, connected with the offence.
(2) A constable may detain a person or vehicle for the purpose of a search under subsection (1).
(3) A constable may seize and retain for the purpose of proceedings for an offence under this Act anything discovered by him in the course of a search under subsection (1) which appears to him to be a crossbow or part of a crossbow.
(4) For the purpose of exercising the powers conferred by this section a constable may enter any land other than a dwelling-house.
This Act does not apply to crossbows with a draw weight of less than 1.4 kilograms.
So, in a nutshell, the above official government laws mean......
Section 1 - (The Sale): It is considered an offence for any person to sell or let on hire a crossbow or part/parts of a crossbow to a person under the age of 18.
Section 2 - (The Purchase): It is considered an offence for any person under the age of 18 to purchase a crossbow, or hire a crossbow or part/parts of a crossbow.
Section 3 - (The Possession): It is considered an offence for any person under the age of 18 to have on his/her person, a crossbow which is capable of firing and discharging a missile, or to have parts of a crossbow which together can be assembled to form a crossbow which is capable of firing and discharging a missile.
Please Remember This -
Hunting, in general, is illegal in the UK, however, any hunting can only be undertaken on private land with the landowners permission, and certain animals and birds can be hunted.
e.g. to hunt deer your require a very special hunting license. However, vermin like rats require no special license, just the landowners permission.
Using a crossbow (or any bow weapon) for hunting is completely illegal here in the UK.
The crossbow itself cannot be carried in public and a common sense approach should be adopted when transporting a crossbow.
However, It is not illegal to own a crossbow.
A note on the broadhead bolt:
Broadheads are not illegal to own or use in the UK, you just cannot bow hunt with them.
Although they are legal to own and use, it is highly discouraged, due to the risks involved in doing so, especially around wildlife and other people.
Broadheads should only be used in a safe, controlled environment, with strict safety measures in place.
Although legal, they are usually not permitted on public ranges and 3D course, because, in addition to the safety issues, they can cause too much damage to targets.
Finally - a crossbow is a powerful, lethal weapon and, as such, should be treated with a planned, common sense approach.
It should be given the respect it deserves as a lethal weapon - always use safe practices at all times and ensure you have ample space beyond your target.
Steve Hart - UK Preppers Guide