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Danish knife laws and their unexpected consequenses

Updated on September 10, 2009

When laws take it too far

As in almost every society around the globe, we see that violence among people in general and young people in particular is growing. A society wants to protect its citizens as well as possible, and try to legislate in order to do so.

In Denmark we have very strict weapon laws, and it's not easy to get hold of a gun. You have to have a special license, which only few people obtain. If you're a hunter eg., you have to take both a theoretical and practical test. You have to keep your weapon in a special locked cupboard, and keep the ammunition locked up another place than the weapon itself. So actually we don't see many shooting episodes caused by young people getting hold of guns that weren't bought with criminal intentions. I like the fact that most homes have no access to guns

But knives are a problem, some knives being illegal too, but they are so much easier to get hold of. Every household have their share of knives; a lot of jobs demand using a knife, and even the scouts learn how to use it. There a laws very strictly restricting the use and transport of knives, which is a good thing.

But lately it seems that danish authorities suffer from paranoia! Last week a young man was sentenced 7 days of prison for having two hobby knives in his car, meant for using at his job, where he had to cut up used cardboard boxes at the petrol station where he worked every morning. 7 days of prison was bad enough for forgetting to remove the knives, but the worst thing was, that with a sentence for offence against the law like this one, his dreams of getting a future within the police were forever gone! This is really taking the laws too serious. There were no signs of him wanting to use the knives for anything criminal, they were just discovered through a routine control of his car.

At least the sentence has been appealed and will be tried at the Supreme Court in Denmark. I care for safety, but fear a society where paranoia leaves no room for common sense.


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      Traveler 3 years ago

      I have had the ability to travel extensively and have seen a wide variety of weapon laws across the world. They rarely work as intended. There is one common denominator. Criminals. When crime is socially acceptable in certain parts of a city due to dis-functional families or crushing poverty then violence is the result. As a US citizen I have guns in my house and a permit to carry one. Yet my access to weapons does not create violence as I am a law abiding, hard working member of society. Change the role models and available opportunities and violent crime will greatly decrease.

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      Disappointed Dane 4 years ago

      Denmark's knife legislation is insane! A once great society of Viking warriors and explorers transformed into a communist paranoiac scared country... It's a shame...

    • goejsen profile image

      goejsen 8 years ago

      I totally agree with you - yes paranoia really is a big danger for our democracies. We also see it in the area of religion - fearing some muslim extremists suddenly makes some politicians afraid of any kind of religious activities. It's very sad

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      Barbara 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Happily a knife cannot cause a disaster such as our local Columbine. Paranoia seems to wreak more havoc on a democracy than any real danger, doesn't it, sigh.