Travel Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for road warriors and seasoned travelers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a retractable baton which is a self-defense weapon. (It has no other purpose but as a weapon.) I am considering bringing it on my trip to Denmark, but of course, only if I can be sure it is allowed.

Are such items legal to bring into Denmark?

Are they legal to carry in Denmark?

Thanks.

share|improve this question
19  
Out of curiosity, what is the train of thought that made you consider bringing a self-defense weapon to a Western European country? I don't know your current country, but Denmark does not have that much crime. In fact, according to numbeo.com/crime/rankings_by_country.jsp, it's the 3rd safest place in Europe, and only just misses the top 10 worldwide. – Nzall Mar 13 at 19:51
    
It's not that I am very worried about the likelihood of being attacked. Rather it is the particular vulnerability: carrying passport, plane tickets, heavy bags; being in a foreign country where it would not be so easy to deal with the loss of all cash on hand. The best self-defense strategy would be to rent a car (or travel by taxi), but I am planning to avoid that to save money. I should add, even if the national crime rates are low, it does not mean there are not high crime rates in certain areas; and foreign travelers are less likely to know which areas to avoid. – NotADane Mar 14 at 19:26
up vote 20 down vote accepted

Possession of blunt weapons is illegal in Denmark without a specific permit from the police.

Source: Statutory order concerning weapons and ammunition, etc (in Danish), §16 part 1 (9).


General background (not aimed specifically at the OP who seems already to be willing to follow the rules):

The weapons ban enjoys considerable support among the Danish population* and is vigorously enforced. It is not uncommon for first offenders to receive jail sentences for carrying a knife when going out driking. A baton will probably count as less severe than a knife, but even if you manage to walk free, a 3000-kr ($400) fine can be expected. And averring that the weapon is just for self-defense is unlikely to mollify police or judges.

The foundation of weapons policy debate in Denmark is a near-universal consensus that a nightlife where everybody is armed "for self-defense" is less safe for everyone because it increases the risk that trivial drunken altercations will spiral into something tragic, even where everyone thinks they're just defending themselves. Thus, a significant law-enforcement effort goes into keeping such defensive weaponry out of potentially unstable situations such as nightlife or football matches -- on the theory that visible and firm enforcement of the weapons ban will help everyone else feel safe enough not to try to arm themselves in respone.

*) At least, as regards items that are clearly and exclusively weapons. In contrast, there is an ongoing debate about whether our regulation of knives is overbroad; in some cases it has criminalized knives that were genuinely being used as tools rather than weapons, and a relaxation is presently making its way through parliament.

share|improve this answer
2  
How can they possibly enforce that? I can understand firearm and knife restrictions, and I could see regulating purpose-made retractable batons and the like, but any stick of sufficient length and thickness could be used as an effective blunt weapon. They can't exactly ban sticks... – Darrel Hoffman Mar 13 at 16:36
15  
Police and courts do this all the time. Whether something is a weapon or not depends on context. People have been charged with possessing a weapon for carrying a baseball bat, if they have no other baseball equipment and are clearly not going to a baseball game. – DJClayworth Mar 13 at 17:23
9  
@DJClayworth: Okay, future reference: If you plan to beat somebody up with a baseball bat, bring a glove as well for appearances. – Darrel Hoffman Mar 13 at 17:41
4  
@user568458 Such flashlights are hardly urban legend. They are sold under the Maglite brand, usually to law enforcement, though anyone can buy one. – Michael Hampton Mar 13 at 19:01
12  
@DarrelHoffman They can't ban sticks but they can ban you from carrying a stout stick around the middle of town on a Saturday night without a damned good excuse. Context is everything. If you're walking in the forest, somebody attacks you and you pick up a stick to beat them with, that's self-defence; if you walk into the town centre with a stick just in case somebody attacks you, that's carrying a weapon. – David Richerby Mar 14 at 1:55

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.