We’ve all waited for information about the new knives carrying laws. And it happened – the Sejm announced amendments to the act of May 21, 1999 on weapons and ammunition, which will enter into force on May 1, 2021. Unfortunately, this means the end of carrying knives without permission. In addition, everything indicates that most knife owners have to prepare for another expense.
The right to carry a knife – current regulations
Until now, each knife was considered a utility item and was not bound by the provisions of the Weapons and Ammunition Act. As long as the blade was not hidden in items such as a walking stick or an umbrella, the knife could be carried on a daily basis without permission. However, the Code of Petty Offenses specified situations in which carrying a knife was prohibited, namely:
- in public space with the intention of committing a crime,
- while participating in a meeting or mass event,
- during the trip of an organized group of participants of a mass sports event.
However, the possession of the knife was not subject to any records or additional fees. You could buy knives regardless of their purpose and use them not only for survival or bushcraft, but also in everyday life. Unfortunately, that has already changed.
Changes to the right to carry a knife
Now, if you wish to become the owner of a non-kitchen knife, you will have to go through a two-step verification process. The verifying authority will in each case be the Knife Committee established at each County Police Headquarters.
What will the verification look like?
Stage 1 – formal. You should report to the poviat police station appropriate for your place of residence and submit the application together with the relevant documents. Those are:
- Certificate of no criminal record
- Employment certificate
- Certificate of no medical contraindications for knife possession
Your application may be accepted or rejected – e.g. due to errors or missing documentation. You can then complete or correct the data and submit the papers again – but not more than 3 times a year. After verification of the documents, you will be directed to the second stage.
Stage 2 – psychological tests. These will determine whether you are a knife holder or a suit for the wrongdoing with a blade. They are carried out by a psychologist at the Knife Board at the poviat police station appropriate to your place of residence. You will receive notification of the test date by mail.
If you pass both steps of the verification, you will be entered in the register of knife owners and will be given permission to own a knife. However, if there is any uncertainty, the Knife Committee may ask you for a new review at any time. Then you will have to go through the whole process again.
The law and the knife – where do these changes come from?
According to the Ministry of National Defense, the law on the use of knives has become stricter due to the increasing number of attacks by the so-called “stabbers” throughout the country. In just 2020, over 500,000 dangerous events involving a knife were registered!
“Too easy access to” military “knives makes some people want to do things that they have only seen in action movies or computer games,” says Jan Kowalski from the Department of Armaments Affairs.
Interestingly, according to research, kitchen knives provoke this type of behavior much less frequently. “This is because kitchen knives are not militarily associated. In the eyes of the average person, a kitchen knife is just ordinary home equipment. It does not evoke bloody associations and does not provoke violence, ”explains the psychologist on duty at the headquarters of the police in Sromowce Niżne. “Unless someone watched Hitchcock’s Psycho,” he adds.
As a preventive measure, the film has already been entered on the list of works prohibited by the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sports.
Do knife users agree with this change?
To get to know the opinion of our followers on Facebook, we conducted a survey that clearly showed what knife owners think about the new provisions. Over 90% indicated that the new regulations are, in their opinion, pointless and unnecessary. There were, however, voices praising the changes to the act.
“And very well! It finally will be safer. You go everywhere with these knives, wait till I get stuck on one, ”comments Nosacz_58.
However, these are exceptions that prove the rule that knife users do not want new regulations.
What about the knife carrying tax?
The law is not retroactive, therefore existing knife owners will not have to undergo verification. However, for this reason, the government levies an 18% tax on carrying a knife on them. The given amount is calculated from the value of your knife according to the price list, which will soon be on the website of the Ministry of National Defense and every district headquarters in Poland. If you bought a knife cheaper or second-hand, you will be at a loss.
According to the new regulations, each owner of a knife other than a kitchen knife should, within one month of the entry of the act into force, report to the poviat police headquarters appropriate for a given place of residence and enter the register of knife owners. Then he has to pay the appropriate amount to the Knife Committee. Payments must be repeated every year. Note – anyone who conceals the possession and use of a knife other than a kitchen knife is subject to a fine of PLN 5,000!
“We take it very seriously,” warns Jan Kowalski. – The safety of our citizens is the most important for us. “
For this reason, the Knife Committee will have full access to customer data of every Polish knife shop. This is to make it easier to reach those who will attempt evading tax. The first inspections are expected to start in June 2021.
Knife law has never been so strict
While the law on owning and carrying a knife has changed over the years, it has never imposed such severe restrictions on citizens so far. We can only guess that the new regulations will discourage people from buying knives, and the current owners will prefer to get rid of their copies and switch to kitchen knives.
The government is also announcing a new blade law that will apply not only to all kinds of knives, but also to scissors, forks, crochet hooks, ice skewers, needles and spits. The bill is to be submitted at the beginning of 2022, but we hope that the Sejm will give up further restrictions by then.
We believe, however, that die-hard knife lovers will do everything to continue to enjoy having their favorite blade despite the limitations. Therefore, in order to meet the expectations of our customers, from May 2021 we are introducing the following services to our offer:
- advising on applications for permission to have a knife,
- assistance in obtaining appropriate documents,
- mock psychological tests and mental support in case of bad results.
We are with you and for you. Especially today, April 1, 2021, if you know, what we mean … 😉