While most countries ban a weapon by specifications, Greece bans them due to their use. According to knife laws in Greece, weapons are anything that you can use to harm others, even if it’s a 1-inch knife that is made for utility purposes only.
However, there are exceptions if you have your profession related to it.
Whether it be a knife or a gun, the Greece government will consider both of them to be weapons. Thus, knowing the knife laws here is mandatory to cope with the government.
Additionally, do not go to jail for a small reason as the Greece government does have the authority to put you so.
Nevertheless, there’s a lot to learn about Greece laws. Starting from what size knife is legal to carry in Greece to the penalties, we have covered it all. So without any further ado, let’s get started.
Before we dig in deep, let’s take a look at some highlights;
- Carrying any type of knife without justification is illegal.
- Importing knives doesn’t need licensing as long as it’s for reasonable use.
- There’s no legal length mentioned in the Greece law books.
- We recommend you avoid sensitive areas such as government buildings even if your profession requires a knife.
- You need to apply for a license to carry a knife if it’s not required by your profession.
- You will be penalized with at least 6 months imprisonment and a fine of at least 590 euros if you don’t follow the regulations.
List Of Illegal Knives In Greece
Greece is a country where they won’t tolerate any type of violence. As a result, they have completely banned knives to be carried. This is certainly one of the reasons why Greece has such a low stabbing death rate.
According to LAW 2168/93 Article 1, § 2;
Weapons are also considered objects that are suitable for attack or defense and in particular: Knives of any kind, except those whose possession is justified for domestic or professional or educational use, art, hunting, fishing or other related use.Greek Ministry of Justice. (1993). Law 2168/93.
Therefore, any knife you can name may fall under the illegal list except the ones justified for domestic or professional, or educational use.
Knives for art, hunting, fishing, or other related use are also permissible. We will discuss it later in the article. First, let’s check out some examples of illegal knives.
- Folding knives
- Switchblade knives
- Throwing knives
- Military Knives
- Ballistic knives
- Butterfly knives
As you can also see from the law mentioned above, the reasoning for self-defense is not valid. So don’t even try to justify yourself having a knife with you for self-defense if a cop ever pulls you over.
A. Importing Knives in Greece
If you ever think of importing knives, the same law mentioned above applies here as well. It must be justified for domestic or professional or educational use, art, hunting, fishing, or other related use. On the other hand, if it doesn’t fall under these criteria, you are simply not allowed to import knives here in Greece. As per Article 2 Imports from abroad § 8;
No permit is required for the importation of: Knives used for domestic or professional or educational use, art, game fishing or other related use, as well as fishing rifles.Greek Ministry of Justice. (1993). Law 2168/93.
B. Knife Length
At this point, you might be wondering does the legal knife length even has a significance here. As all knives without justified reason are banned, having this question in mind is certainly valid.
Well, the official law hasn’t informed us anything about the knife length that helps you justify your reason.
However, there are words among the streets and forums that less than 10 centimeters are the ideal limit. The measurement is taken from the tip of the knife to the butt.
If you ever want to justify the reason for your carry, no matter whether it’s for domestic purposes or professional, less than 10cm is best. There’s no reason for you to carry such a big knife with you in public, that’s just dangerous.
Post on a BladeForums forum where a question regarding Greek knife laws was raised. The material in the post dates back to 2006, therefore it might not be current.
I am able to offer some broad information, though, based on the material in the article and my knowledge of Greek knife legislation.
According to the post, the individual wanted to know if it was OK to carry a folding knife with a blade length of 3 inches or less when visiting Greece.
According to one commenter on the page, it is legal to carry a folding knife with a blade length of up to 5cm (about 2 inches) without a license. It was emphasized that carrying a knife in public, regardless of its nature, might still be viewed as suspicious conduct and lead to police action.
When traveling with or carrying a knife in Greece, it’s vital to check the country’s current laws and regulations because they may have changed since 2006.
Moreover, rules may differ based on where you are in Greece, such as in urban vs rural areas or various parts of the nation.
It may be better to speak with a lawyer or the Greek embassy or consulate in your home country for advice if you have particular queries or worries concerning Greek knife legislation.
C. Banned Areas for Knives
Even if you have solid evidence and reason for carrying a knife in Greece, there are certain areas you want to avoid.
No, there are no specific places mentioned in the knife laws in Greece. Here, you have to use your sense to justify the purpose of carrying.
There’s cannot be a reason for you to carry a knife in school, right? Yet, if you are a carpenter who’s making benches there, you are allowed to carry them.
Likewise, the same goes for sensitive areas like government buildings, military spaces, museums, and courts. Ask yourself everything whether you should have a knife with your there or not, you will know the answer.
If you need to have a knife with you and it’s not part of your profession, there are protocols. You have to apply to the government for permission to carry a knife with you and the reasonings.
However, when it comes to domestic, sports, etc, you don’t have to. Here’s what the LAW 2168/93 Article 7 Possession says about it;
A license is not required for knives, intended for fishing, hunting, art or domestic,Greek Ministry of Justice. (1993). Law 2168/93.
professional or other related use, for chemical ejection mechanisms,
intended for the same use, as well as swords and swords used for sport.
List Of Legal Knives In Greece
As you already know, as long as you can justify your reason for carrying, you may carry a knife. Thus, we have come up with different knives that one might need to carry for their profession. This includes utility knives.
Here are some examples of knives so that you feel comfortable carrying them provided that you have a reason to carry them;
- Pocket knife
- Swiss army knife
- Pen knife
- Sheetrock knife
- Stationery knife
- Carpet knife
Penalties For Not Following The Law
You will be penalized if you are ever caught with a knife, even if the only thing you did was carry a knife in car in Greece.
The only thing that can save you as per the law is your justification for carrying the knife. However, if you do fail to do so then Law 2168/1993 will apply to you.
As you can see, the penalty consists of at least 6 months imprisonment which can go up to 5 years. Additionally, there is a fine of at least 590 euros.
The list of illegal knives doesn’t get counted when it comes to carrying/owning a knife for professional use. Additionally, even if it’s a family heirloom, you might get away with it. As per the police authority;
Exceptions to this policy may apply for items used for fishing/hunting purposes, and for items considered family heirlooms or manufactured before 1922,” Jacobson said. However, exceptions are not automatic so consult with the Legal Office if you think an exception may apply to you.The Beacon Newsletter’s March 2020 issue
Stabbing Death Rate In Greece
Considering these strict laws, Greece has maintained a low stabbing death rate compared to other countries. Greece’s stabbing death rate is about 0.34 per 100k making them rank 147 in the whole world in terms of violence.
Here’s what Wise Voter’s data says;
To conclude, the Greece knife laws are quite hard to follow yet reasonable. You can buy a normal knife from a store and take it home and still might get stood and asked about it.
Well, certainly the cops will not say you a thing if you say you are taking it home for domestic purposes.
The laws here are all about justification and are done for safety reasons. On the other hand, if you fail to do so then the penalties aren’t very easy either. It consists of imprisonment and fines that you would hate to face.