Legal Weapons UK – Self Defence Weapons Law – What Is Legal

UK Legal Weapons
 Self Defence Weapons Law for Preppers

legal weapons UK shotgun

Firstly, as a Prepper and a member of the UK public, you must know the rules and more specifically, self defence weapons  laws that apply during 'normal times' regarding buying, owning and using legal weapons in the UK.
Of course in a SHTF situation things would be very different and all those 'normal times' laws and rules would go right out the window as we enter a country WROL.

But, for this article and moment in time, I am assuming normal law and order are in place here in the UK..!

Similarly, defending what is rightly yours and ensuring all your efforts to prepare for a Doomsday scenario ARE worth it - it naturally follows that you have to be prepared to defend your family, your home and your survival supplies.

example: UK Legal Folding Pocket Knife

Typical UK Legal Folding Pocket Knife

For more information & prices, see: UK Legal Knives

When SHTF, the next thing to happen will be a country WROL.

looters kicking in window

Almost inevitable for people to take the law into their own hands as looting and unlawful acts increase.
People will become more desperate for the essential items like food, water, medication and any other supplies they can lay their hands on.

As a result, their next move will be to invade your home, moving systematically along your street to find these essentials.

Quite how you decide to defend yourself, your family and supplies will be a very big decision to make.

UK legal Pepper Spray Alternative


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Safehaus Criminal Identifier Spray
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Possibly the very best form of UK legal weapon you have in your arsenal is you ability to KEEP QUIET and generally only tell other preppers who are in your prepping network - the more people who know you have good supplies of food and water, the bigger the risk to you and your family.

Legal Weapons in the UK and the laws regarding All weapons are mighty strict 

Well let me put it another way: They are mighty strict for the honest law abiding citizen like you and me, whereas the criminal, of course, doesn't give monkeys about the law. Meaning they have the weapons, you are left defenceless....

Although UK law is quite specific, it still basically says that just about anything can be deemed as a dangerous, unlawful and offensive weapon in certain situations - so be aware, use that umbrella to attack someone, when all they did was poke their tongue out at you, and you could find yourself getting arrested..!

police handcuffs

With regard to a generally considered 'offensive weapon', those situations are primarily, if you are carrying the weapon in a public place AND if you are caught carrying, what can be considered an offensive weapon, you'd better have a pretty dam good, convincing reason.

Otherwise - again, your nicked mate. - Along with CONFISCATION of the weapon and a huge fine, you risk an even bigger chance of imprisonment.

As an example - a prepper would only have a couple of GENUINE reason to be carrying around a razor sharp skinning knife, an axe or maybe a 8" hunting knife - these are:

  • Carrying it to a bug out location or bushcraft site or survival course
  • Using it for bushcraft skills whilst out practising such skills
  • Carrying it back home
  • Taking it to or from a repair shop [eg. to be resharpened]

Of course, it must go with saying that concealment is the order of the day when taking an "offensive weapon" out into a public area and travelling from A to B.

bushcraft axe


Carrying your axe, knife or anything considered as an offensive weapon around, in public, like this photo, is absolute stupidity, especially in our current' total fear' society.

By that I mean: When making your way to and from your destination, always keep it out of sight from anyone, do not have knife hanging from your belt or anything else that would cause alarm or concern to the public.

When I go to bushcraft camp, I put any knives or my axe deep inside my rucksack, well out of sight and not easily accessible without pulling everything out first.

It simply makes sense, this is not the wild west. You intend using these tools at camp, so keep them safely and responsibly out of sight.

Remember, we see this as an essential tool for survival, others will see you as a maniac, so just be sensible.. 

Other than the above reasons, as a prepper, I don't see any other need for that weapon to leave the confines of your own home and be carried around anywhere in public - it makes plain simple sense really. 

What constitutes an offensive weapon?

not guilty image

The laws in the United Kingdom are very strict on this and what the law books say about them can be found in the: Prevention of Crime Act 1953. Section 1 (1)

This Act is a law that was passed in 1953 and is currently undergoing changes being made to this law. But remember, just about anything can be deemed an offensive weapon if you try!

However, the law says: "Prohibition of the carrying of offensive weapons without lawful authority or reasonable excuse."

  • Any person who without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, the proof whereof shall lie on him, has with him in any public place any offensive weapon shall be guilty of an offence

So, first rule of ensuring you comply with the offensive weapons laws in the UK is, whatever type of weapons you decide to add to your survival kit - DO NOT TAKE THEM OUTSIDE IN A PUBLIC PLACE.

Keep them at home and if you wish to practice with them it must be on your own land or land where you have complete permission from the land owner [maybe a farm and you are helping to keep a vermin problem down by shooting rats with your air gun.]

If you do need to take any weapon within a public place then think twice about your reasons and ensure they are genuine and legitimate.

The UK Has Been Indoctrinated With A Fear Of Knives

The massive amounts of scare mongering and genuine fake news that revolves around knife crime, has now reached fever pitch.

fake news

 Personally I think the current UK knife laws are sufficient, as are all the UK weapons laws.
The trouble is everyone is being tared with the same brush - and that brush is saying we are all criminals and not capable of being normal responsible human beings, and that we are incapable of common sense.

Meaning our limp wristed, namby pamby, so called leaders and politicians , who have no backbone, simply give in to every whim.

Unfortunately folks, our rights are being eroded at an alarming rate. You'll soon have to put in a written request to be allowed to fart before long...!

UK Legal Weapons
Public Carry Exceptions

Typical UK Legal Folding Pocket Knife

* It is, however, legal to carry a non lockable folding pocket knife or multi purpose tool provided the blade is below 3" long and cannot be locked in the open position. BUT... there will still be times when you must have a reasonably good, valid reason to be carrying it. Because there are some situations where a pocket knife [carried legally or not] would not be acceptable to have in your pocket.
** Typically this would be entering a football ground - the ground would have its own rules and regulations regarding quite a few prohibited items.
{ see our Best Legal Folding Pocket Knife guide here }

Another great legal knife is the laguiole artisan B45 STAINLESS STEEL UK LEGAL FOLDING POCKET KNIFE
Totally UK legal to buy, own and carry in occurrence with the law.

Being a non-locking knife with a blade that is under 3" makes this the perfect little pocket knife.

what weapons are legal in the uk stop and search

It makes sense you would think twice about the implications of taking a pocket knife to a football match, regardless of the fact that a pocket knife is deemed as a legal weapon in the UK - it's just common sense - "Oh, I'm sorry officer, I forgot it was in my pocket", is not a valid reason - if that's your proposed excuse, expect to get it taken away and probably you as well.!

Also, a place like a football stadium would have very specific rules regarding what can be brought into the grounds.  Alcohol and knives being a prime example.

Weapons, cutting tools and hunting equipment are essential to us preppers, and most of us simply think of them as essential survival tools, especially when practising our survival skills, but make sure you carry and use them responsibly and within the law.

Whether you think of an axe, a knife or a rifle, as a tool or a weapon, it really doesn't matter - it is you who is getting penalised and expected to conform.
However, jolly old Mr Criminal, who doesn't give a monkeys about laws and rights, will just go happily on his way arming himself to the hilt, regardless of the law.

Below are UK legal tools and weapons you are allowed to own, without needing to acquire any form of license or certificate of ownership.

This does not mean you can just go wandering around anywhere in public with them..!


Although anything can be made into a weapon, this list is for what most people will generally accept as commercially available weapons and edged tools.

Below are all legal to own without requiring any special checks or require you to obtain a legal FAC [ firearms certificate ] or any other special permission.

Remember, to buy any edged weapon in the UK (that is anything other then a ‘legal’ folding pocket knife) you must be over 18 years old.

Although this list is not extensive, it does cover most of the various weapons and edged tools you can own and use as a prepper:
Please use the links below, to our review pages - 


If you want to know more about the UK Knife Laws that are in place in Britain today, then check out our article showing the exact things you need to know about knives:

If you are concerned about being stopped on suspicion of carrying a weapon there are also specific Stop and Search laws that you need to know -

There are also many other firearms that you can legally own here in the UK - from a semi automatic rifle to a shotgun - they are all legal to own.

What must be obtained first, in order for you to own one legally, is a UK Firearms Certificate - see the UK Gun & FireArms Laws here.

Finally the list above gives you an idea of the Legal Weapons you can own here in the UK without needing any special permission or licence.

Of course exactly how you decide to use them is up to you - but use them outside the UK offensive weapons laws and you will find yourself in trouble.

As I mentioned earlier, anything can be used as a weapon if you so wish, so really it all boils down to how sensible you are during normal peaceful times. Of course, in a SHTF situation all normal rules go out the window..!

Steve Hart  -  UK Preppers Guide

Just as a final note here:

Hunting Knife - Buying requirements: Name, address, age, proof of identity and address. Not legal to carry in public.

Ikea 10" Cooks Knife - Buying requirements - pop into Ikea, pay, walk out.

Just Saying.........!

what weapons are legal in the uk

Hunting Knife   /  Cooks Knife

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Skip to comment form

    • Chris on May 17, 2021 at 11:04 pm
    • Reply

    Just carry a walking stick and practice using it to defend yourself. Defend. As in bludgeon mercilessly. Problem solved.

    • Phil Dodshon on May 15, 2021 at 11:25 pm
    • Reply

    I trek around with a knobkerrie cane made of hardwood or cane made of injection moulded plastic, they shift nettles and brambles, can fend off dogs and if applied to the jaw of an aggressive human will redefine their understanding of pain and ensure I continue on my way unmolested, equally usable on knees and face (in fact any bone), not on temples as that will possibly kill. Can accompany me anywhere.

    • LadyKaos on May 13, 2021 at 5:56 pm
    • Reply

    I have a leatherman that has been modified to have non locking blades (less that 3”), although the file and saw are still locking, the law says “no fixed or longer than 3” bladed/pointed article” and I can’t find anything anywhere stating if a saw or file counts as a bladed article or not, any ideas is this tool is legal EDC?

  1. You can have an old police-style truncheon if you have a *reason* to have it about your person. I’ve put the link to an article on the subject in the website box that should be clickable from my name above here.

    • Paul Gregory on March 17, 2021 at 10:02 pm
    • Reply

    Nice article, thanks for publishing . Just one point though ……… UKARA is a retailers association, not a permitting body (UK Airsoft Retailers Association). The law doesn’t require UKARA membership/registration for a RIF (realistic imitation firearm), it just requires a defence. Showing membership of any airsoft site or even just proving you regularly attend events is an acceptable defence for the police. I have run sites/events, been investigated by police, and been detained for possession of airsoft RIFs (nosey, panicky neighbours), so I have lots of experience and knowledge of it.

    • E on February 24, 2021 at 3:52 pm
    • Reply

    its interesting cos i can carry a hockey stick around and not certain knives. i probably have a higher chance of killing someone by hitting them across the head with a cricket bat or hockey stick than if i stabbed them.

    • Angii on December 26, 2020 at 4:18 am
    • Reply

    Foraging and wild food articles would be good.

    1. Check though this site.
      There are many articles on exactly that..

    • Graham Hope on August 29, 2020 at 12:11 am
    • Reply

    It’s worth pointing out that the law in Scotland is different, particularly for air guns and can also include paint ball and airsoft guns depending on the power.

  2. I know this website presents quality dependent posts and other information, is there any
    other web site which provides these things in quality?

    • james ghoraishi on April 8, 2020 at 10:38 am
    • Reply

    can you carry a gun in public but if you’re a armed police officer off duty and you have your police card

      • Sparky on August 29, 2020 at 8:31 pm
      • Reply

      No. Armed police are issued with firearms at the start of their duty shift. They are not personal weapons. Northern Ireland has different legislation and it is legal to own firearms for personal protection within the Province.

    • Elias Fakanami on February 19, 2020 at 8:27 pm
    • Reply

    Handheld rock slings are an excellent hunting and survival tool, massively cheaper than the bow, the ammunition is plentiful at river beds and they weigh barely anything on top of being wearable and not alarming to the general public.
    They require a lot of practice though.

    • Joshua McIlveney on November 11, 2019 at 12:38 am
    • Reply

    I was contemplating on getting a portable staff but I have no Idea whether it’s legal to own it in the UK or not could someone please find out and tell me thanks

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