21

Everywhere I go (except on planes), I carry a Swiss Army Knife as a fob daily tool and a multitool in my backpack. Today I learned that apparently you're not allowed to bring pocket knives to Europa Park. This got me rather confused because not only would it be rather difficult to do harm anyone with a pocket knife (one that you're allowed to carry in Germany) but I also think that when I once was there as a child, you could actually buy Swiss Army Knifes in the park. Now this is a childhood memory and it's rather blurry, so I'm not sure.

I think my knives are completely standard and carried by many people but here are pictures so we're clear on what kind of pocket knives I'm talking about:

As I'll be arriving to Europa Park by public transport, I can't just go back to my car, put whatever they don't allow me to carry in there, and return to the entrance. Will they just tell me to come again without them? Will they take them? Will I be able to get them back?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – JonathanReez Jan 30 at 23:12
  • I don't understand why for one day you can't leave them at home! You can survive without them! – jason.kaisersmith Feb 11 at 8:58
31

Posted from comments as asked.

I made a similar mistake at tourist attractions in the past when I forgot mine was in my bag, I had it confiscated from me and it was apparently disposed of. I asked if I could collect it on my way out as it was a family gift but a policy is a policy and there was nothing the staff could do.

Edit: I was given the option of leaving without refund and keeping my knife with me.

If you email/call beforehand you will get a definitive answer as a small pocket knife can be classed differently or the same as a knife depending on who has written the rules. If you choose to contact them and they say it is okay, then bring a printed/digital copy of that so you can show it if you do run into problems. If you can't get any answers it would be best to leave it at home than risk losing it/getting removed from the park.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Ankur Banerjee Jan 30 at 13:59
  • When the comments have been move to a chatroom, go there to post your comments. Any posted here run the big risk of being deleted. – Willeke Jan 31 at 20:00
20

It looks like you won't be allowed in to the park with a knife, and if you try to do so then it may be confiscated by park security and / or you'll be ejected from the park.

The list of prohibited items includes "sharp/pointed knives" and "pocket knives" (thanks to Toivo Säwén for pointing out the second one) with the only exceptions listed as "blunt cutlery knives, manicure sets, student pencil case equipment (scissors, compasses etc)"

From the park rules

3.3. Weapons and offensive items (pistols, knives, chains, knuckle-dusters, fireworks, etc.), nor any kind of discriminatory, violence glorifying, or anti-constitutional material must not be carried within the park site.

....

  1. Visitor Security Checks

8.1. All visitors wishing to enter the park premises (to which these Park Rules apply) must declare their consent to the voluntary security checks performed by the security staff of Europa-Park. All instructions outlined by the security personnel must be followed. Any lack of cooperation may result in the direct refusal of entry to the park for the unwilling party. The security personnel are authorised to examine visitors who they may deem as posing a threat to safety due to alcohol consumption, drug abuse, or carrying a weapon. All visitors must declare their consent to the possible examination of their clothing, luggage or containers carried on their person.

8.2. Security personnel are authorised to ban visitors who may pose a threat to safety from the park’s environs.

8.3. The same applies to visitors who refuse to submit themselves or their personal effects for security checks. In addition to this, security personnel are authorised to seize any goods deemed not in accordance with the Park Rules (i.e. drugs, weapons, etc.).

8.4. Security personnel are authorised to carry out random security checks on visitors already on the park premises.

  • 15
    There might be a difference in definition between a swiss-knife and an "offensive" type knife as they allow piknic in the park and cutting is part of a piknic. but don't take chance, leave it at home. – Max Jan 29 at 12:39
  • 4
    Indeed, the linked list of prohibited items includes "pocket knife". – Toivo Säwén Jan 30 at 12:38
  • 8
    “All visitors […] must declare their consent to the voluntary security checks” — this is obviously some strange usage of the word ‘voluntary’ that I wasn't previously aware of… – gidds Jan 30 at 17:49
  • 1
    @gidds I onced bip-ed in an airport at security, and the guy asked me if I was willing to let him touch me to check me. I said "well yes of course, but what if I didn't want?" he then pointed at some policers in the back and said "then they'll do it, and they won't be happy", haha – Rafalon Jan 31 at 8:01
  • 2
    @gidds it's voluntary because you can refuse the security check and not enter the park. – Kat Jan 31 at 19:04
3

A couple years ago my family went to Universal Studio. My daughter had two larg-ish knives in her bag and she realized that as we were walking from parking to the gates.

She ended up hiding them under a bush along the path rather than going all the way back to the car.

She picked them up on the way out that evening.

  • 6
    I'd be concerned that if security sees you hiding a knife on the property, that could be cause for them to stop you and question what you're up to. Which might not be the end of the world after you provide an explanation, but it also might be unpleasant. – Zach Lipton Jan 30 at 22:53
  • I was also concerned when my daughter caught back up to us much faster than I expected (adult 20yo daughter, so able to go back on her own). Once it was done, it was less of a problem to just wait until leaving to see if they had been discovered. – Michael Richardson Jan 31 at 15:46
  • 6
    Eh, I've had to resort to the "stash a knife someplace" solution on a number of occasions, including while visiting the Statue of Liberty in NYC. I found a likely looking traffic cone under which to leave it...only to find that somebody else had already stashed their knife there :). – larsks Jan 31 at 17:28
1

There have been (and still are) lots of discussions about "Swiss Army Knives" and "Multitools" in Germany. Some say that they count as weapons (if you can lock the blade and open it one-handed) and as such wearing them in public is prohibited. This is regulated in §42A WaffG: https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/waffg_2002/__42a.html

For some references (all in German), see: https://knife-blog.com/multitools/ http://prolight-sound-blog.de/multitools-waffengesetz/ https://www.bonedo.de/artikel/einzelansicht/waffengesetz-gegen-multitools-das-aus-fuer-den-leatherman-und-konsorten.html

  • 1
    There's not much of a discussion really. There's knives that are illegal to own, those that are legal to own but not carry, and those that are legal to carry outside public events. And, there is the right of the owner of the lands (who may deny you access regardless). The law clearly defines appearance weapons, certain builds (e.g. fist knives, butterfly), and springloaded/gravity weapons as illegal. Further, length and the ability to open with one hand, and the ability to lock count towards carrying. Both depicted knives are without doubt legal to carry, only just not at public events. – Damon Jan 31 at 11:03
  • I'm not that much into knives to know for sure but from what I've heard, the knife has to be designed to be opened with one hand. I tried opening my Swiff Army Knife with one hand and was able to do so. But I cannot open my multitool with one hand. Still, the Swiss Army Knife certainly isn't designed to be opened with one hand and opening it with two is much easier and faster. German knife law is stupid anyway. You probably aren't even allowed to carry a box cutter cuz those certainly can be opened very easily with one hand despite the fact that they'd break if you tried to stab with them. – UTF-8 Jan 31 at 18:25
1

Well rules are... rules! It is useless to wonder whether they are pointful or pointless. A pocket knife like the swiss army knife you show is certainly not a very serious weapon. The problem is that the staff controlling the entrance need clear rules. A really pointful rule would be forbid all dangerous weapons. Simply every person could have its own opinion on where is the limit between a dangerous weapon and a harmless tools. So the solution is to edict simple even if rather stupid rules like forbid any knife or scissors because there is far less place for local interpretation.

0

Subjective but probably very relevant:

The red knife, if you mistakenly brought it into a place were you weren't supposed to, you might successfully excuse as being indeed just a pocket knife that you carry out of habit or because you use it for work and leisure, which you accidentally forgot to leave at home or stow in your vehicle/luggage.

The black knife would make most people assume that either a) you are a knife collector or outdoors fan that should know better than to be irresposible with it or to ignore a knife ban, or b) that you are up to no good and using the fact pocket knives are generally allowed if adhering to certain design rules (which should still be OK with if there isn't a longer blade in that one!) in public in germany where not prohibited as an excuse. Yes, I see it is just a multitool when taking a second look, but the military style looks and superficial similarity to a balisong (two folding handles) would at first have me quite alarmed if I saw someone handling that in public. (Legal) military styled knives and (illegal!!) balisongs are frequently carried by rough youth to intimidate...

In any case... in Germany, the (excuse the pun) defensive thing to do if you transport a knife and want to make clear you are not intending anyone harm is to pack it in a manner that makes instant access impossible (eg in multiple bags, wrapped and taped, in a locked or zipped box). With some knives, that actually makes the difference between legally transporting and illegally carrying it.

  • The picture doesn't show it, but the black knife is "less of a knife" then the red one. It actually holds allen keys, a small pliers, a small wrech and some other utensils. If you were holding one, no way you would assume OP to be either an outdoors fan or a knife collector. A mechanic or a plumber sure, but that's about it. – Douwe Jan 31 at 8:58
  • Yes, I did recognize that. However, what is recognized within, say, 1/4 second of seeing a potentially threatening object is what can be very decisive :) – rackandboneman Jan 31 at 9:47
  • @Douwe My black knife does not have allen keys which I regret so often. I would've needed them just half an hour ago. I borrowed my girlfriend's bike and when I wanted to ride home after it had fallen dark, I noticed that the front light is pointing almost straight down and every time I moved it up it fell down again. At first I thought "I'll just get my knife out and tighten the screw a bit." but when I wanted to tighten it, there was an allen screw securing the light. – UTF-8 Jan 31 at 18:17
  • @UTF-8, btw I watched a video somewhere that lighting hte road under your bike is better than just having a front/back light. – akostadinov Jan 31 at 18:35
  • @akostadinov That might very well be true, especially in an urban environment where you don't really gain much except visibility by having a headlight because everything is lit sufficiently. But it doesn't change the law that states that each bike needs to have a head light and a tail light. I was quite afraid of getting stopped when I encountered two police cars and a police motorbike on my way home because the bike I was riding was obviously not roadworthy according to law. – UTF-8 Jan 31 at 18:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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