Legal, Trends

Can you carry a knife without permission? Check if you know the current regulations in Poland

Many people mistakenly believe that they cannot carry a knife every day. In fact, both owning and carrying a knife are absolutely allowed. However, you have to follow a few rules. What kind? Read on.

Can any knife be bought without permission?

The answer to this question is: YES. In the light of Polish law, a knife is a utility and it is not treated as a white weapon, therefore it is not subject to the Act of May 21, 1999 on weapons and ammunition. You can easily buy a folding knife, spring knife, butterfly knife and knife with a fixed butt. However, watch out for any other items that have a hidden blade in them. Such a device is already a weapon according to Art. 4 sec. 1 of the above-mentioned Act. Therefore, an umbrella or a cane with a retractable blade requires an appropriate permit issued by the district police commander.

Interestingly, in the light of the law, a saber, sword, ax and any other historical weapons are not considered weapons. However, although you do not need a permit to have it, we do not recommend walking down the street with a sword. Getting a good knife would be a better option.

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Is it allowed to carry a knife?

You will certainly find a lot of inaccurate information on the Internet about the limitations of owning white weapons due to the length of the blade. It results from two legal acts: the Regulation of the President of the Republic of October 27, 1932, Law on weapons, ammunition and explosives, and the executive regulation of January 27, 1936, on white weapons and on restrictions on arms trade. However, these laws were revoked a long time ago and do not need to be complied with.

You can carry a knife with you, regardless of its size. It also doesn’t matter whether you hide it under your jacket or keep it in view. However, there are a few situations where it is illegal to carry a knife.

When is it forbidden to have a knife?

Firstly, according to 50a § 1 of the Code of Petty Offenses, anyone who carries a knife in a public place with the direct intention of using it for criminal purposes is punished. In such a situation, the law enforcement authorities must prove that in fact both conditions exist: possession of a knife and the intention to commit a crime with its use.

Another case where the possession of a knife can be prosecuted is when attending a mass gathering or event. You don’t have to intend to use the blade for criminal purposes – just have it with you. And while in the case of an assembly it is only an offense (art. 52 par. 1 of the Code of Petty Offenses), it will be considered  a crime during a mass event (art. 59 par. 1 of the Act of March 20, 2009 on the safety of mass events).

The Code of Misdemeanors indicates one more situation in which mere possession of a knife is illegal. We are talking about the participation in the ride of an organized group of participants of a mass sports event (Article 50a § 1a). Do not take the knife with you if you and an organized group of fans are going to the game by train, metro or bus.

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The right to carry a knife – who has it?

Anyone can buy and carry a knife or other blade, as long as it is not hidden in an object that does not seem to be associated with a melee weapon at first glance. So you can walk the streets without any problems with your favorite model in your pocket. However, it’s better to leave it at home if you want to attend a gathering, mass event, or a trip to a match.

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