ARTICLE | THE USE OF COMMON OBJECTS IN SELF DEFENCE | by Orjan Pettersen
When carrying a common object intended for self defence, in many legal jurisdictions, the UK included, the legality is defined by the intended and relevant application of the object (as stated to the authorities, if challenged or questioned).
Carrying an everyday item such as a tactical pen, a tactical torch or a spray can is legally acceptable - AS LONG AS the declared purpose and potential usage of the item appears reasonable and relevant.
For example, giving a reason that a tactical pen is carried by you to be used to defend yourself, if required, makes the item an offensive weapon in law and carrying it becomes illegal.
Explaining that you have it because you anticipate to use it practically, such as together with a notebook or that you actually use it in your daily work, makes it permissible if you rely on as a reasonable force tool in a violent confrontation.
A tactical torch in your car is purposefully useful if you or someone else has a vehicle breakdown and can be explained, post-incident, as a reasonable item to have at hand.
The similar principle applies to common objects as self defence tools you plan to use in any intruder scenarios, such as within your home.
If you hit an intruder with the heavy metal lamp on your night table, it might be ok (if genuine fear for your safety was present and reasonable force was applied) but if your explanation to the police on their arrival is that the lamp was intentionally and strategically placed there to be used to strike potential intruders with, you’re now in potential legal trouble.
The point of this post is this: As a self defence practitioner, take advantage of common objects as self defence tools but invest thought in how you make these relevant to your daily activities and be clear on how you would appropriately and reasonably position their existence to the authorities, if questioned.
Finally, of course, make sure you receive training on how to use your self defence tools of choice, making you ready and prepared if you ever had to use them.