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  1. #1
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    Law in UK regarding the sgian-dubh

    For my birthday my daughter bought* me a genuine sgian-dubh but I'm wondering how often I'll get to wear it?
    Its new and although it does not have a sharp edge it does however have a very sharp point!
    She paid quite a bit of money for it, even got it engraved so I'm hoping to wear it on most occasions when I'm kilted but I'm thinking this might be a problem and possibly illegal!!

    Can I ask what experiences other UK forum members have had when wearing a genuine sgian-dubh?

  2. #2
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    I have worn the kilt and with it a sharp Sgian-Dubh(SD) for nearly four score years in Scotland with never a problem with the police. I am no lawyer, however, an SD(not any old knife) is regarded as National Attire when worn with the kilt and therefore can be worn quite legally. Common sense is required though, particularly as knife crime is, as you no doubt know, a major concern to all thinking people within the UK at present so, wave it about in public at your peril and think where you are going with it and YES, there are times and places where we all now have to consider the wisdom of carrying one. There are alternatives if you really cant bare to be without something stuck in you hose, such as Sgian-Brew. A fancy handle with a bottle opener instead of a blade. In truth though, you are not making a faux pas by not wearing anything in your hose top.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

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  4. #3
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    The Q is offline Oops, it seems this member needs to update their email address
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    While wearing a for someone wearing the national costume of Scotland that is the kilt:
    In England and Wales, the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (section 139)[4]
    and
    In Scotland it is legal under the Offensive Weapons Act 1996 (section 3 and 4)[5]


    to carry a Sgian Dubh - see knife legislation.

    Also
    Carrying of Knives etc. (Scotland) Act 1993

    (4) It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1) above to prove that he had good reason or lawful authority for having the article with him in the public place.

    (5) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (4) above, it shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1) above to prove that he had the article with him—

    (a) for use at work;

    (b) for religious reasons; or

    (c) as part of any national costume.



    Note. an owner of any property, can still refuse you entry if carrying a sgian dubh, so it's up to a pub if they want to let you in..

    Note I'm intending to get the above laws, printed and sealed on card to carry in my sporran just in case...
    Last edited by The Q; 4th July 19 at 03:16 AM.
    "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give"
    Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Q View Post
    Note I'm intending to get the above laws, printed and sealed on card to carry in my sporran just in case...
    I carry a copy of the law now after having to explain it to the police. "A member of the public" in Chorley, Lancashire informed a constable that I was carrying a knife. I was walking around town one day waiting for my wife getting her hair done. The constable was very apologetic about having bothered me. I told her I wasn't bothered as I was only waiting for my wife anyway. I explained the law, as stated above, she double-checked with her boss and all was well. I haven't needed the copy of the law, but just in case...

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  8. #5
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    Here is a handy link you can bookmark on your mobile: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1995/39/section/49

    Clan Mackintosh North America / Clan Chattan Association
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    Wilson, Campbell, Bartlett, Munro - a few of the ancestral names, mainly from the North-east of Scotland




  9. #6
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    law in UK regarding the sgian dubh

    I have a couple close friends one being a retired police sergeant, and the other a serving police sergeant asked to have a look at my sd when we were at a do and both said they did not have a problem with it, but like Jock says just use your head and sensibility, and enjoy.

  10. #7
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    Interesting to see the Scotland laws.

    Here in the US it varies by State. In addition to each State's baseline laws, municipalities often have their own more restrictive laws.

    The California baseline law only bans concealed knives; wearing a knife in a sheath, in the open, is legal. I do wonder how wearing a knife tucked in the top of one's knee-socks would be viewed (it's half concealed).

    The exceptions here in California are

    Possession of Knives on School Grounds Penal Code 626.10
    It is illegal for any person to bring or possess any dirk, dagger, ice pick, knife having a blade longer than 2 1/2 inches, folding knife with a blade that locks into place, or razor with an unguarded blade upon the grounds of, or within, any public or private school...

    Possessing a Knife in a Government Building Penal Code 171b
    Legal blades 4″ or longer that are fixed or capable of being fixed are illegal within any state or local public building...

    So as a piper who is often playing on school and other public grounds I leave the Sgian at home!
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  11. #8
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    I suspect that in the UK there is the aditional crime of behaving like an idiot which acts as a lens through which problems are viewed. In the distant past I often carried some large knives around when doing catering and never had a problem, except getting them back if loaned out, and the police were quite open that someone seen as 'a problem' would be prosecuted for carrying even a small knife just as a way of getting them off the streets.

    The situation might have been somewhat tightened up now that society is different, but as I always pointed out - I'd be far more likely to take someone out with the chunk of frozen stewing beef in my shoulder bag than to try to find the time to unpack a knife from my roll.
    I presume to dictate to no man what he shall eat or drink or wherewithal he shall be clothed."
    -- The Hon. Stuart Ruaidri Erskine, The Kilt & How to Wear It, 1901.

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