Canadian Knife Laws – What You Can And Can’t Carry

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Canadian Knife Laws are one of the most vague things I’ve ever read. I’ve spent a bit of time researching this subject, but keep in mind this is in no way, shape, or form, legal advice*. Every province, municipality, city, police officer, and court may have different views when it comes to this subject. Luckily Canada has updated their online resources to include an actual list of prohibited weapons, rather than leaving it open for guessing.

First, let’s take a look at the Canadian Criminal CodeSection 84 simply states,

prohibited weapon means

(a) a knife that has a blade that opens automatically by gravity or centrifugal force or by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in or attached to the handle of the knife…

Canadian Knife Laws
What You Can’t Carry

Canada has recently updated the information online to actually state what is illegal to import and posses in Canada [source]. Here’s the list:

  • automatic knives such as switchblades;
  • centrifugal knives such as flick knives or butterfly knives;
  • gravity knives;
  • mace or pepper spray designed for use on humans;
  • nunchaku sticks (nunchucks);
  • shuriken (throwing stars);
  • manrikigusari or kusari (fighting chains);
  • finger rings with blades or other sharp objects projecting from the surface;
  • Taser and stun guns shorter than 480 mm;
  • crossbows designed for one-handed use;
  • crossbows 500 mm or shorter;
  • Constant Companion (belt-buckle knife);
  • push daggers;
  • devices shorter than 30 cm concealing a knife blade (e.g. knife-comb);
  • spiked wristbands;
  • blowguns;
  • Kiyoga or Steel Cobra batons (spring batons);
  • spring-loaded rigid batons (triggered by a button or lever);
  • morning stars; and
  • brass knuckles.

With that said, it’s also illegal to conceal any knife and with the intent to harm. This include self-defense! More details below.

Canadian Knife Laws
What You Can Carry

Anything other than the above. There are no limits on length. BUT, and this is a big but, the knife you carry must only be used as a tool (a.k.a. utility knife, hunting knife WHEN HUNTING, etc.). As stated above it do not conceal or have the intent to cause harm; this includes self defense!

This law is about intent. This means if you’re caught with a knife that’s concealed on your person while in a location you don’t require a knife to be used as a tool, you may be in for a bad time.

Example, walking through a dark alley at night with a utility knife in your pocket for protection sounds like a good idea. However if an officer of the law stops you and finds it, they can easily conclude there is no other reason for you to have it except for the intent to cause harm to another person.

Furthermore, this also means you can be charged with assault with a weapon even when defending yourself. Why, because the intent to use it for such an occasion is there before you even stepped out from your house.

Of course if you buy a set of kitchen knives or a sword to hang on your wall, that’s okay. But you wouldn’t be concealing those anyway or walking around in dark alleys at night with your shopping bags. I hope.

Daniel on has a perfect analogy for this,

Your belt is a weapon if you hit someone with it. If you are just walking around with a belt, it is obviously no offence. However, if you intentionally conceal your belt and intend to use it as a weapon (both of which the prosecutor must prove) then that would be an offence under section 90, as crazy as it sounds.

Anything can be considered a weapon in Canada when the intent to use it as a weapon is there.

Canadian Knife Laws

Don’t be dumb. Seriously. Don’t import or get your hands on any of the prohibited weapons in the list above, don’t conceal, and don’t have the intent to cause harm, threaten, or scare others. Use a knife as a tool and tool only.

kage258 on the Blade Forums puts it nicely,

As a general rule of thumb, carrying a fixed blade in its sheath on one’s hip while going to or coming from work would not be seen as an offence (barring local provincial statutes, municipal bylaws,) providing its length and design would not be seen or construed as intimidating (such as a “Rambo” knife.) However carrying the same knife in the same manner while going out to the movies, or to the pub, or just being out & about, could be seen as unjustifiable and could be interpreted negatively by local authorities, leading to confiscation and/or charges.

Sources if you’d like to read more and visit forum discussions:

*DISCLAIMER: This information is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for such. If you are seeking legal advice then I recommend that you retain an attorney. There is no guarantee as to the accuracy of this information, nor will I be held liable for any claim, demand or damages, actual or consequential, of any kind or nature, known or unknown, arising out of or in any way connected to this information or the issue it pertains to.
Canadian Knife Laws - What You Can And Can't Carry
Article Name
Canadian Knife Laws - What You Can And Can't Carry
Canadian Knife Laws have always been a little vague. Gain clarity with this guide on what knives you can and can't carry in Canada.

7 thoughts on “Canadian Knife Laws – What You Can And Can’t Carry

  1. These couple of paragraphs, concern me, as a fellow Canuck.

    Number one. Police in Canada cannot just wantonly violate Section 8 (Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure), and 9 (Freedom from arbitrary detention or imprisonment) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, just because a person is walking down the alleyway. Not to mention this couple of paragraphs is contrary to section 11 (Presumed innocent, until found guilty in a court of law).

    Second, the self defense laws in Canada, have also changed drastically since the Harper Government. The Supreme Court of Canada, has ruled that the court MUST take into account the accused’s perception of danger to their person, or life, at the time of the event. It’s the job of the Crown to PROVE malicious intent. Canadians have the right to defend themselves, but the rule of reasonable force should always be considered.

    Furthermore, in a case about 15 years ago, a man walked into his girlfriends place of work, saw that she was being raped by a customer. Went out and grabbed a rock, and beat the rapist. The crown argued that the boyfriend premeditated this attack, and should go to jail for inflicting grievous bodily harm on the rapist, since he left and got a weapon to defend his girlfriend. He was found to be not guilty in a trial of his peers.

    Ultimately, use common sense when carrying a knife, and remember the rule of reasonable force. If they have a weapon, use a weapon. If they don’t, leave your knife alone, unless there is no other alternative, and the threat to your life is perceived as real.

  2. Man fuck this country. I can’t protect myself??? What about my girlfriend she’s supposed to just let someone rape her??? Idgaf what the law says i carry a fucking switchblade at all times and I’m working on getting a jumbo can of bear mace. I live in fucking Newton Surrey come here after the sun goes down and tell me you feel safe. Im moving to the States id rather have Trump as my country’s leader than be completely defenseless in my own god damned county. Who the fuck agrees with me?

    1. You p***y, I live in Whalley, get an assisted opening knife, and a can of dog spray.. we have coyotes running around at night, sometimes in packs.. it’s not an unreasonable excuse to have them.. and I wont even get into all the pitbulls. I, like yourself, am also working on immigrating to the US as well, Canada sucks balls now, not the Canada I was born and raised in.

  3. Y;all got it wrong mates,,,You carry a 1″ bike cable, on your waist or on a Jacket pull out…Anyone fuck with you on you bike ,or person, whip that thing out with a solid end on it..Why I thought I bust the guys skull the first time I used fucks with Charlie now…I just tell cops it a belt,or a bike lock…but must be thick solid steel/rubber outside!!!

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