Knife Dealer Licence
In terms of Section 27A of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act, 1982 knife dealers require to hold licences from their local authority. This licensing scheme is administered by the Council's Licensing Team.
The impact of the Coronavirus (COVID -19) continues to have a significant impact on the processing of licence applications.
If you need to get in touch with the Licensing Team, please do so by email to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email enquiries will be prioritised and responded to on a priority/urgent basis. We cannot accept phone calls at present.
In the meantime, applications for licences and permits (with the exception of hire car applications, please refer to the hire car webpages for details of how to make these) should be posted to the
West Lothian Council,
along with cheques or postal orders for payment of any fee required and copies of all required supporting documentation.
If you are unable to post your application and fee please contact the Licensing Team by email.
Please be aware that there will likely be delays in the processing of applications due to changes in working conditions at present.
If you are an event organiser you should note that when possible applicants will be able to email amended applications for events which have been postponed due to Covid-19 as long as the details of the event remain exactly the same and only the event date is changing, any other changes to event details will require a new application to be submitted in the usual manner.
The Team are able to provide general guidance on the scheme but cannot assist you to complete your application form or provide legal advice on whether a licence is required. You should seek legal advice from a solicitor or advice centre if you are unsure as to whether you require a licence.
Do you need a licence?
A knife dealer's licence is required for carrying on a business as a dealer in:-
- knives (other than folding pocket knives whose blades do not exceed 3.5 inches (8.91 centimetres) in length or knives designed for domestic use;
- daggers (other than kirpans or skean dhus whose blades do not exceed 3.5 inches (8.91 centimetres) in length;
- knife blades (other than those designed for domestic use);
- any other article -
- (a) which has a blade; or
- (b) which is sharply pointed
- and which is made or adapted for use for causing injury to the person.
What is the definition of a "dealer"?
In terms of Section 27A(4) of the said Act dealer means a person carrying on a business which consists wholly or partly of -
- (a) selling;
- (b) hiring;
- (c) offering for sale or hire;
- (d) exposing for sale or hire;
- (e) lending; or
- (f) giving,
to persons not acting in the course of a business or profession any article mentioned above (whether or not the activities mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (f) are carried out incidentally to a business which would not, apart from the provisions of Section 27A of the said Act, require a knife dealer's licence)
What is the definition of selling?
"selling", in relation to an article mentioned above
- (a) includes
- (i) selling such an article by auction;
- (ii) accepting goods or services in payment (whether in part or in full) for such an article; but
- (b) does not include selling (by auction or otherwise) such an article by one person on behalf of another;
and "sale" is to construed accordingly
- For the purposes of Section 27(4), an article is not to be treated as being exposed for sale if it is exposed for sale (by auction or otherwise) by a person other than the owner.
If you want to apply for a licence you must submit an application form along with the required documents and the appropriate fee.
Application forms which have guidance notes attached to them and a list of fees are available from the downloads section of this page. You should read the guidance notes carefully before completing your application form.
There are two separate application forms. One is for persons applying for a licence as an individual and the other is to be completed by applicants who are companies, partnership or organisations.
All applications are copied to the Council's advisors who can recommend that conditions in addition to the standard conditions detailed on this page are attached to the licence when granted. The advisors may visit your premises prior to submitting their comments to the Licensing Team. In particular the advisors may request that the following conditions be included in your licence if your application is granted:
- Requirement to have CCTV cameras on the premises
- Requirement to have secure display cabinets on the premises
If you do not want to accept any recommended conditions then the application would be referred to the Licensing Committee for a decision to be made regarding which conditions will apply to your licence. Mandatory background checks will be carried out on all applicants by Police Scotland and applicants' details will be retained on computer. You will be contacted once vetting is complete.
Any member of the public can make an objection or representation about a knife dealer's licence application unless the application is for a temporary licence.
A guidance note explaining how an objection or representation can be made can be viewed here
Applications which do not attract any adverse comments/objections are granted by the Chief Solicitor under delegated powers. All other applications require to be referred to the Licensing Committee for determination. You will be advised if your application is being referred to the Licensing Committee. The Committee meets on a monthly basis.
We have nine months in which to determine your application however the majority of applications are determined within 60 days.
You should notify us as soon as you can if your details change or any of the information given in your application becomes out of date due to a change in your circumstances.
If you no longer wish to hold your licence you can surrender it to the council at any time by returning your licence together with a letter stating that you wish to surrender it. If you surrender your licence it will cease to have effect.
Complaints regarding the service offered by knife dealers should be made direct to the premises. Complaints regarding the conduct of licence holders may be made to the Licensing Team. These should be made in writing by email or letter providing full details of the nature of the complaint and sent to the Licensing Team using the contact details on the top right handside of this page.
Complaints regarding unlicensed knife dealers' should be made to Police Scotland by calling 101.
More information regarding
Application forms which have guidance notes attached to them are available from the downloads Documents on this page.