Knives and other dangerous objects

The legislation in this area deals with knives, stabbing weapons, cutting weapons and other dangerous objects intended to be used as a weapon for a criminal threat against someone’s life or health.

It is prohibited for anyone to have a knife, stabbing weapon, cutting weapon or other dangerous object with them in a public place, in areas around schools, or in vehicles in a public place, unless having such a weapon may be considered justified or appropriate under the circumstances. The prohibition applies to items intended to be used as a weapon for a criminal threat against someone’s life or health.

Under no circumstances may a person under the age of 21 own, borrow or use a spring-assisted knife (switchblade) or spring-stiletto knife.

A violation of the Swedish Knife Act may result in imprisonment for up to six months. If it concerns a serious violation of the Swedish Knife Act, it may result in a fine or imprisonment for up to one year. 

Examples of dangerous objects

  • Butterfly knives (balisong)
  • Sabres
  • Spring-assisted knives (switchblades)
  • Stilettos
  • Swords
  • Karate sticks
  • Ninja stars/throwing stars
  • Brass knuckles


Examples of exceptions to the prohibition:

(when having of such on one’s person may be considered justified or appropriate)

  • A military soldier bearing a knife with their uniform
  • Craftsmen who are using a knife with their work
  • Mushroom pickers carrying an appropriate knife during hiking
  • Normal use of a pocket knife or multi-tool/Swiss army knife

Transfer of dangerous objects

Brass knuckles, ninja stars or other items particularly suited for use as a weapon for a criminal threat against someone’s life or health, as well as spring-assisted knives or spring-stiletto knife, may not be handed over to persons under the age of 21 nor marketed for sale.

Therefore it is forbidden to sell all types of especially dangerous items according to the examples in the above list. It is also forbidden to transfer (for example, give or send the items to any persons under 21 years old). If you give or sell dangerous items to a person under 21 years old, you can be convicted of a crime. In addition, if a person under 21 years old buys or receives such an item they can be convicted of a crime.

Importation of dangerous objects

For the importation of dangerous objects, a permit is required. (This does not apply to sabres and swords.) Permission may only be granted for the importation of items intended to be part of a collection of weapons or held for some similar purpose.

The request for a permit/licence is assessed and determined by the Police in the city where the importation is to take place, meaning at the border where you enter Sweden. Please also note that you may also be required to clear the items with Swedish Customs.

Pepper sprays

Tear gas, pepper spray (oleoresin capsicum spray) and similar self-defence sprays are encompassed within the Swedish Weapons Act. Therefore permission is needed from the Police to be able to have such devices. Bringing them into Sweden requires an importation permit, which can be applied for at the Police. The granting of a permit/licence is very restrictively.

Until it has conducted an analysis of the substance, the Police is unable to answer the question whether or not a particular product is encompassed within the Swedish Weapons Act. There are a variety of self-defence sprays on the market. Some are encompassed within the Swedish Weapons Act, while others are not. You are responsible for ensuring that the product you purchase is not subject to the requirement to obtain a permit. If you carry such a product without a licence/authorisation, you may be charged with a crime under the Swedish Weapons Act.