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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

Posts: 485

PostPosted: Wed 12 Dec, 2012 1:26 pm    Post subject: Swedish Blade Laws         Reply with quote

Hi all,


I'm moving to Sweden in the next six months to do my masters and I have some questions about blade laws there.

1. I know that carrying knives in public places is banned. Does this apply even to small pocket knives? Are there length/style limitations?

2. I know that in Denmark, one has to have an 'edged weapons permit' to own fighting knives/swords. Is there anything similar in Sweden?

3. Will I have any trouble with customs when shipping my swords to Sweden from the US? Is there anything I should know about shipping a sword to Sweden?


Thanks for any help/advice you can give.

Ian

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Emil Andersson




Location: Sweden
Joined: 17 Oct 2010

Posts: 136

PostPosted: Thu 13 Dec, 2012 12:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Ian,

I don't think there's any mention of a blade's size in order to bypass our knife laws, but I know that you can be allowed to keep a small pocket knife or multi-tool on you provided that you don't appear suspicious about it.

I've never had any problem with swords, although I haven't ever been stopped and had a police officer take a look at them. Our group has talked with the police about training outdoors in public and our blunt swords are fine as they're not considered "real" weapons.

There's no need for a permit to own a sword, and you should not run into any problem with the customs office aside from paying the hefty 25% import tax. I've imported plenty of weapons and haven't had any issues at all. I'm not sure if moving your own personal belongings into the country will invoke the tax payments, though.

Anyway, I doubt you'll have to experience any issues at all. I hope you'll like it here. Happy
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Viktor Abrahamson




Location: Sweden
Joined: 07 Aug 2008
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Posts: 74

PostPosted: Thu 13 Dec, 2012 12:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi,
I just had a look at: http://www.polisen.se/Lagar-och-regler/Vapen/Knivar-med-mera/
The Swedish police informs about knives and other edged and martial weapons.

The law is named: Lag (1988:254) om förbud beträffande knivar och andra farliga föremål.
Translated to English it is a law against Knives and other dangerous objects.
All knives and other edged weapons meant to hurt or kill others are prohibited in public places, schools and even in your car in public places.
Any kind of knife or even a baseboll bat or iron tube can fall under that law, if it is intended as a weapon.
You need a good reason to carry a knife in public. It should be needed in your work or something similar.

1. I know that carrying knives in public places is banned. Does this apply even to small pocket knives? Are there length/style limitations?
There are no leangth/style limitations. The limitations are in intent of the user.

2. I know that in Denmark, one has to have an 'edged weapons permit' to own fighting knives/swords. Is there anything similar in Sweden?
I can't find any information like that. and I have never heard of it. (For Sweden)

3. Will I have any trouble with customs when shipping my swords to Sweden from the US? Is there anything I should know about shipping a sword to Sweden?
There is a permit needed for dangerous objects, but the police homepage states that Sabres and swords are excluded of that.


Hope any of this is usefull.

/Viktor
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Roger Norling




Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Joined: 27 May 2009

Posts: 109

PostPosted: Thu 13 Dec, 2012 4:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Actually, the law and the practice of the Police isn't always entirely congruent. If you read closely, you'll se that the law actually says you are not allowed to publicly carry knives, screwdrivers, baseball bats or other such thing,s on your body or in your car, if they are intended to be used as a weapon in a crime against life and health. Technically, if you do not intend to commit a crime then there shouldn't be a problem.

However, the Police are also allowed to act preemptively if they suspect someone of planning to commit a crime, so they can take your knives or swords on the spot. If so, then it is important to object, ask for a reason and a copy of a report right there and then. Otherwise they have a right to destruct them.

Sometimes, the odd police might be a bit over-zealous not being quite sure about how to apply this law. There have been an instance ofrtwo of HEMA practitioners being questioned and people at Renaissance Fairs having their swords confiscated. But those were carried openly in scabbards among tourists.

Generally, I would advise you to carry them in a manner that shows you can't pull out your swords or knives quickly. A case, or a gun-bag etc is simple enough to get and that will lessen the risk of problems considerably.

Oh and carrying a sharp knife on your person in public, for self-defense, is considered a crime, as that kind of violence would still be a crime. It is a sure way of ending up in trouble.

Reading up on the law is good, as is carrying a little memory card with things to say and do if you end up in trouble with the police. I carry a laminated one in my wallet as a small insurance.

No licenses are needed as already said, and there shouldn't be any problems with customs either.

Quarterstaff instructor
Gothenburg Free Fencers Guild
http://www.gffg.se

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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
Joined: 19 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Dec, 2012 4:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Norway has similar lax blade laws. The danish rules are extreme, and larely a response to gang wars between 1% biker gangs (local HA and Bandidos chapters), and imigrant street gangs.

One intersting tidbit here is that as of last year, the danish police (in Arhus, at least) made a ruling that blunt reenactment weapons where not covered by the blade law. This was a major relief, since foreign reenactors do not need permits in their home countries, and Arhus hosts the largest free fight reenactment event in northwestern Europe. Previously, obtaining some kind of of police aproval for bringing reenactment weapons to Denmark was pain for all parties, as our native police can not issue a permit for something that is legal.
It was never a practical problem, though.

Countries like Norway and Sweeden traditionally have piles of weapons; Compared to gun the US, the main difference is that the use of guns for self defence is not legal and legitimate the way it is in some US states. All use of force has to be proportionate to the threat posed. Thus, you are not allowed to use a lethal weapon unless you are directly defending your own or someone elses life.
In Scandinavia, guns are for hunting or sport (both of which are pretty common). You can neither buy or use a weapon for self or home defence.
(Edited for accuracy)

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201


Last edited by Elling Polden on Thu 13 Dec, 2012 6:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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Robin Smith




Location: Louisiana
Joined: 23 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Dec, 2012 5:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling Polden wrote:
Countries like Norway and Sweeden traditionally have piles of weapons; Norway has more guns per capita than the US. The main difference is that the use of guns for self defence is not legal and legitimate the way it is in some US states. All use of force has to be proportionate to the threat posed. Thus, you are not allowed to use a lethal weapon unless you are directly defending your own or someone elses life.
In Scandinavia, guns are for hunting or sport (both of which are pretty common).

Not to side track, but you sure about that stat? According to a Cambridge small arms study (http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/publications/b...-2007.html) the US has 88 guns per 100 residents, which is #1 in the world. Norway has 31 guns per 100 residents (#11). Even Switzerland, with its issued rifles, only has 46 per 100 (#4). This falls pretty much in line with every other such per capita numbers I've seen...

A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
Joined: 19 Feb 2004
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Posts: 1,576

PostPosted: Thu 13 Dec, 2012 6:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah, yes, you are right. Thats what you get for typing without We used to have a higher rate, when the issed rifles of the home guard was counted in, and the population was smaller. The exact number and ranking seems to vary a bit from source to source. As always with statistics, it depends on how you count. If you only count longarms, for instance, the US numbers would presumably drop dramaticaly compared to the rest. The UN apparantly puts Norway at 5th, Behind the US, Switzerland, Finland and Yemen.
"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

Posts: 485

PostPosted: Thu 13 Dec, 2012 9:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the responses everyone. Sounds like swords will be no problem and pocket knives should be OK as long as they look innocent (i.e. not intended to commit crime, something like a Swiss army knife/penknife) and I behave/carry it responsibly. It also sounds like this is enforced based on the attitude/interpretation of the individual officer and the situation. I'm not really a fan of dance clubs, and I've never had trouble in a bar, so I will probably never give the police reason to search me and it won't be an issue.

Really looking forward to the move, should be an adventure. I have a lot of museums to see, and camping to do. Hopefully a bit of hunting sometime also. Of course, I'll have to do some studying when there is time.

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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