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Thread: Knife laws in France?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* John N's Avatar
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    Default Knife laws in France?

    My dad is going to do some camping in France and I was wondering what knife carry laws are like over there?

    Optimally I'd send him off with a smallish locking folder like the small Sebenza.

    How about surrounding countries?

    Thoughts?

    Thanks,

    -john

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Frenchyled's Avatar
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    Default Re: Knife laws in France?

    I don't know exactly the restriction for Knife in France.
    I know it's classified as weapon of 6eme category.

    I'll search more information for you, and post here when I'll have all you want for your father's trip.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Frenchyled's Avatar
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    Default Re: Knife laws in France?

    John,

    Here a small traduction for you, of french laws for Knives (6th category) :

    "The bearing of the weapons of 1re (war weapons), of 4th (said firearms of Defence) or of 6th categories (cutting weapons) is forbidden, even if you have an authorization of detention of weapon.
    For cutting weapons not - classified in 6th category, the bearing is forbidden without justifiable motive.

    Bearing of handguns
    The bearing of the handguns of 7th category (weapons of shooting, fair and show) and of 8th category (historic weapons and of collection) is forbidden.
    Any malpractice is liable to a fine, even of a prison sentence.

    Particular cases
    The carrying of firearms of 1re, 4th or 6th categories can be authorized for professional motives (police officers or customs, agents of surveillance, for example).
    The members of approved sports associations (shooting, martial arts) can transport weapons of 1re, 4th or 6th category, subject to making it with a justifiable motive.

    During their justifiable transport, these weapons are have to be at once useful, either by resorting to a technical device answering this objective, or by dismantling of one of their details of security.

    For any piece of information, address:
    In your prefecture,
    To your sub-prefecture. "

    I hope this is clear for you, it's not even for French people [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Here, but in French you will find a summary in tabular form of the classification of weapons in France [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    French law

    I hope it's an help for you [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* John N's Avatar
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    Default Re: Knife laws in France?


    It sounds like basically you can't carry knifes, or if you do, they should be as unsuitable for defense as possible. :-)

    I noticed their didn't seem to be a catagory for "utility". Just various "weapons". Don't people carry knifes for utility there? And if so, are there guidelines to help you select one that will not be missunderstood?

    Thanks,

    -john

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Knife laws in France?

    John N,
    I was in France in 2000 and purchased a stiletto-type automatic knife (switchblade) at a combination knife/fireworks/souvenir shop in one of the historical cities (Sarlat, if I remember correctly). I wouldn't think they'd sell them if you couldn't carry them, but what do I know? Maybe if you brandish a knife as a weapon that would be frowned upon, but if you are using it as a utensil (cooking, for instance) that would be OK.
    Kirk

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Frenchyled's Avatar
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    Default Re: Knife laws in France?

    For my understanding of our laws, you can buy any knives but you can't have one over you [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ohgeez.gif[/img]

    It is very evident that small knives, even of bigger for fishing, for example, are often in my pockets. I never have had a problem with the law for all that. Distinction between utility's knife and fight's knife is not easy to make, that is why French law is not very clear on the subject.
    Personally I think that your dad can wear a knife over him on the condition of not showing it in the belt. If it is discreet and not perceived as a weapon or an aggression's object by the others, there is no problem.

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    Default Re: Knife laws in France?

    Id play it safe and just give him one of the SAKs (under 3" blade). These are pretty much the only socially and legally tolerated knife for EDC.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* John N's Avatar
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    Default Re: Knife laws in France?


    Sorry, silly question, what is SAK?

    I was originally thinking about this knife. Too large? Too utilitarian?

    http://www.1sks.com/store/chris-reev...l-sebenza.html

    My guess is this one would be pretty safe. Smaller, more ornate:

    http://www.1sks.com/store/chris-reeve-mnandi.html

    Thoughts?

    Thanks,

    -john

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* wasabe64's Avatar
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    Default Re: Knife laws in France?

    Okay, I've read the link provided by Pascal, under the 6th category, they only list fixed-bladed knives, bayonets, brass knuckles, shurikens, blow-guns and other exotic weapons.

    It is safe to assume that they do want you to be carrying any fixed-blade knives on your person in public. (no stated length restriction)

    I think the recommendation for a Swiss Army Knife makes the most sense. Perhaps a very harmless-looking folder?

  10. #10
    Flashaholic chiaroscuro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Knife laws in France?

    I've never had trouble packing a SAK (swiss army knife) in France or elsewhere in the EU over many years and many trips.
    It's also an expendable knife that I wouldn't cry over if I lost it.I would shed some tears over losing a Sebenza,though. You,will of course have to put it in your checked luggage--no carry-ons.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Knife laws in France?

    Yup, chiaroscuro has it right, i meant Swiss Army Knife. Although not the last word in quality, they are sturdy enough for most cutting tasks you're likely to encounter whilst camping. And yep, theyre also cheap enough that if it got confiscated by the authorities (unlikely), you'll only have lost a relatively cheap and easily replacable tool, unlike the much more expensive Sebenza.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Knife laws in France?

    Ok, I got one of these Opinel knives in France and had it in my backpack for God knows how long when I was over there. Reading this post made me realize how often I was that close of getting busted, especially after these bombings and the CRS were all over the place...

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* 1 what's Avatar
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    Default Re: Knife laws in France?

    Hi Guys,
    Does anyone know if the law has changed since 2004. I usually have a 2.5inch folder in my backpak and an spending December in France.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* NA8's Avatar
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    Default Re: Knife laws in France?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frenchyled View Post

    ...The carrying of firearms of 1re, 4th or 6th categories can be authorized for professional motives (... agents of surveillance, for example).
    Wow, what's the French phrase for: "agents of surveillance" ?

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    Flashaholic* Coop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Knife laws in France?

    I've been on holiday in france a lot of times. Always carried a small pocket knife without any problems. I even got through the entrance check at disneyland resort paris carrying a leatherman charge Ti, Victorinox picknicker, Emerson mini cqc-7b... I don't recommend trying this tho, the area was heavily guarded, military/gendarmerie folks carrying machineguns all over the place, hows that for a rude awakening when coming out of the magical kingdom...

    Anyway, I never had any problems while there. You could use the french chauvinist feelings a bit and carry a french brand knife (Opinel on a budget, or Laguiole for the big spenders), that might cut you a little slack....
    Last edited by Coop; 10-31-2008 at 03:42 PM.
    ... Never underestimate the power of human stupidity ...

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