Knife dealers

The Council is responsible for the processing of all licence applications including Knife Dealers.

Licence summary

If you deal in knives or swords you must have a knife dealer's licence.  You do not need this licence for selling kirpans, skean dhus or folding pocket knives with blades shorter than 8.91 centimetres or knives designed for domestic use.

Eligibility criteria

Licence applications must be made to the local authority (known for these purposes as the licensing authority) for the area in which your business operates and should be:

  • made in writing (usually on application forms available from the local authority)
  • signed by yourself
  • accompanied by a fee

The application must specify:

  • the type of licence you're applying for
  • your name and address and, if someone else is exercising day-to-day management, that   person's name and address
  • where the application is made on behalf of a company or partnership, the name and registered or principal address, the address and the area from which the licensed activity will be carried out, names and private addresses of directors or partners and, if someone else is exercising day-to-day management, that person's name and address

Your application must also contain either:

  • a declaration that you are displaying a public notice in relation to your application (see below)
  • a declaration that you do not have rights in the premises that enable you to put up a notice, and detailing the reasonable steps that you have made to acquire those rights

From the date of making your application, you must (where possible) display a notice in or near your premises for 21 days stating:

  • that you have made an application for a licence
  • the particulars specified in your application
  • that any objections/representations relating to your application must be made to the licensing authority, the form in which they must be made and the deadline for doing so

At the end of this period you must submit a certificate to the licensing authority stating that you have complied with the requirement to advertise notice of your application.  If you have separate premises for the selling and dispatch of stock, you may need a licence for each of the premises.

Conditions may be attached to your licence, eg in respect of secure storage and display of the knives.

You must make detailed written records on the same day as any transaction. The records must be kept for three years from the date of the transaction and you must provide full details of:

  • the customer's name
  • how you verified the customer's name
  • how you checked that the customer was at least 18 years of age, or why you thought this was not necessary
  • the item involved in the transaction

You must ensure that certain listed items are not visible from the street or any public entrance to the premises.

You must display a notice which must be visible at all times at the point of entry to your premises, at the point of sale or counter, and in a position where all customers can see it. The notice must be A4 size, and the lettering must be legible and no less than 5 millimetres high. The notice must contain the following wording:

  • "it is an offence to sell to a person under the age of 18 any knife or knife blade (except if the person is aged 16 or over and the knife or blade is designed for domestic use)"
  • "it is also an offence to sell to a person under the age of 18 any razor blade, axe, sword or other article which has a blade or which is sharply pointed and which is made or adapted for use for causing injury"
  • "customer may be asked to provide details of his/her age and identity (which may be recorded or copied and kept for inspection for up to 3 years)"

If you are dealing in swords, you must also take all reasonable steps to find out what the sword will be used for and include this information in the record of your transaction.

If you sell second hand knives you may be required to hold both a second hand dealer's licence and a knife dealer's licence.

A licence is usually valid for one year, after which you will need to renew it following the same process.

Regulation summary

Fees

A licence fee is payable:

  • £230 for 1 year

Application evaluation process

Applications must be made in writing (including by electronic means) and signed by you or your agent (including by electronic means).  The licensing authority will send a copy of the application to the local Chief Constable and other relevant consultees.  The licensing authority will also give notice to the public in local newspapers of every application.

Will tacit consent apply?

Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the licensing authority by the end of a period of 120 days permitted for final determination of the application.

Apply for a Knife Dealer Licence

There are two ways of applying:

Failed application redress

If you wish to appeal against a decision you may do so to the local Sheriff within 28 days of the decision. The Sheriff can only uphold an appeal if they consider that the licensing authority:

  • erred in law
  • used incorrect material fact when making their decision
  • acted contrary to natural justice
  • didn't exercise their discretion in a reasonable manner

Appeals against a Sheriff's decision can be made to the Court of Session within 28 days of the decision.

Licence holder redress

If you wish to appeal against a decision you may do so to the local Sheriff within 28 days of the decision. The Sheriff can only uphold an appeal if they consider that the licensing authority:

  • erred in law
  • used incorrect material fact when making their decision
  • acted contrary to natural justice
  • didn't exercise their discretion in a reasonable manner

Appeals against a Sheriff's decision can be made to the Court of Session within 28 days of the decision.

Consumer Complaint

If you wish to appeal against a decision to grant a licence and you are a valid objector, you may do so to the local Sheriff within 28 days of the decision. The Sheriff can only uphold an appeal if they consider that the licensing authority:

  • erred in law
  • used incorrect material fact when making their decision
  • acted contrary to natural justice
  • didn't exercise their discretion in a reasonable manner

Appeals against a Sheriff's decision can be made to the Court of Session within 28 days of the decision.