Home > Knives

Canadians Petition to Ease Sweeping Knife Restrictions

Support us! GearJunkie may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

Residents are outraged at far-reaching bans on common blades, passed early this year by the Canada International Trade Tribunal (CITT).

More than 8,000 Canadians, and one member of Parliament, are backing a petition to relax the country’s ban on “centrifugal opening knives.” The ban drew headlines in recent months after government agencies announced strict enforcement of the law. It makes many folding knives popular throughout the U.S. illegal in Canada. These include flick, stud, disc, and flipper-activated blades.

But on Feb. 28, Canadian resident Thomas Perry launched a petition to “repeal the CITT’s decision to prohibit the import of one-hand opening knives.” In three weeks, the petition has amassed thousands of signatures, and it received an endorsement by conservative Parliament member Matt Jeneroux.

The petition remains open until 5:40 p.m. on June 28. After that time, the Canadian Ministry has 45 days to respond.

Sweeping Canadian Law Bans Many Folding Knives

Travelers to Canada will want to double check all their bags following the country's prohibition on many knives still legal in the U.S. and elsewhere. Read more…

Petition E-1552: Repeal Knife Prohibition

In January, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced it would crack down on folders coming into the country.  The law banning one-handed opening knives originally passed in 2015. The CBSA’s move followed a definitive dismissal by the CITT of an appeal to the law.

The result meant travelers to Canada had to leave all but the most basic knives and multitools at home. And it remained unclear whether residents with centrifugal and gravity knives lived in violation of the law.

Many online forums suggested a rule of common sense governed possession of folders in question. According to CanuckSurvival.com:

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.

Knives Illegal in Canada

As it stands, the following blades are illegal bring into and carry within Canadian borders:

  • Automatic knives open automatically by applying hand pressure to a button, spring, lever, or other device, in or attached to the handle of the knife. This includes knives that have a button, spring, lever, or other device located in the spine of the handle and attached to the inner part of the blade.
  • Centrifugal (aka folding, butterfly, and balisong) knives open automatically through the use of centrifugal force, moving in a circular path and directed away from the center of the body; i.e., can be opened with a flick of the wrist.
  • Gravity knives can be opened automatically by force of gravity, even if the knife can be additionally controlled by a lever or button.
  • A push dagger‘s handle is placed perpendicular to the main cutting edge of the blade (or blades) and any other similar device.
  • The “Constant Companion” is a belt buckle knife – a belt containing a blade capable of being withdrawn from the belt.
  • Concealed blades under 30 cm are defined as any devices having a length of less than 30 cm and resembling an innocuous object but designed to conceal a knife or blade; e.g., “knife combs,” penknives, lipstick knives, certain types of necklace knives, and knives contained in credit-card-sized cases clearly resembling real credit cards and designed as weapons.

For more information and resources on what knives are legal to carry in Canada, see our original coverage of the ban here.

And you can read the petition to repeal the ban, open until June 28, here.

Subscribe Now

Get adventure news and gear reviews in your inbox!

Join Our GearJunkie Newsletter

Get adventure news and gear reviews in your inbox!