Self-defense laws in the UK / Canada – Not as harsh as you might think





The previous video in which I made an inaccurate statement about how people in the UK have to worry about legal repercussions for protecting themselves that …

43 thoughts on “Self-defense laws in the UK / Canada – Not as harsh as you might think

  1. Bob Bobskin says:

    The argument about the prohibition against carrying weapons, effectively means that ANYONE carrying a weapon is committing an offence, and thus makes all weapons immediately illegal (out of the box). It therefore means that there can be no justification for the use of a weapon, thus cutting the number of weapon offences. (that's the theory…)

  2. Bob Bobskin says:

    As a British Lawyer, I have used "reasonable force" to remove someone from my house when I told them to leave.
    Reasonable force is "proportionate force" not "minimum force". Let's say it was a home invasion. It's dark. You pick up a knife.
    That's probably reasonable (although not necessarily sensible as you are putting a weapon in the equation which could be used against you).
    Now, you must not go "too far", and by that, we mean that you cannot calmly get a weapon and chase him, after he has run away.
    Also you cannot "premeditate" your use of force. so if you go put yourself in a hide and wait all night, hoping someone will break in, you will not be using reasonable force.

  3. Accrovideogames says:

    I rarely disagree with you Skallagrim, but I can argue against your opinion that you should be allowed to carry a weapon on yourself in case you need to defend yourself. In too many cases, people carrying weapons tend to use unreasonable force to "defend" themselves. They tend to use their weapon when the threat is benign (e.g. verbal insults, bullying and intimidation). People also tend to feel overconfident when they carry a weapon and are thus more likely to fight back when provoked instead of trying to avoid a conflict. There's a reason why police officers require extensive training so that they don't make these mistakes. I've seen too many cases of murder stories on reality television where people carrying a knife for "self-defense" actually used it unreasonably.

    Now, I agree that non lethal weapons like pepper spray should be allowed, but don't be surprised if you get into legal trouble for spraying a bully when your life was obviously not in danger. While the same problems are still present, at least the consequences are lessened since you can't actually kill someone with such weapons.

    I was bullied on a daily basis in elementary and high school and I once repeatably bludgeoned a bully in a bus with my metallic umbrella (it bent) when I was in seventh grade (12-13 years old). I was totally out of control and berserk, I was sick of all these years of being bullied by him. If I had a knife, I might have used it. Do I regret beating the crap out of him? Hell no, but I certainly would have if I had killed him with a knife. I fortunately didn't get into trouble and the guy obviously never bullied me ever again. It wasn't the first time I used disproportionate force to attack a bully. I once repeatably stabbed someone in the back with a pencil while I was in fourth grade (9-10 years old). I also didn't get into trouble, obviously.

    People who know me are very surprised when I tell them about these events because I'm a very pacifist person. So not only have I seen plenty of empirical evidence with real murder stories, I also happen to be a living example of it. As you said, people who carry weapons in case of self-defense are usually not violent, but that doesn't matter.

  4. ASTRAL THIEF says:

    What about that guy that shot those assholes who were trying to kill him by firebombing his house? He got more prison time than they did when he shouldn't have gotten a single seconded behind bars.

  5. Janice Livingston says:

    You can't physically remove someone from your property but once you establish that they must leave and they don't or refuse or display aggression you can now arrest them and hold them until the police come. The amount of force required could end their life but only if they fight you or attack , if they are trying to get away from you to create distance or just leave doesn't give you the right to use deadly force .I've watched videos where one women broke into a house to cook in the kitchen for a few hours with groceries she had just bought and another where a woman was asleep on the couch and refused to leave …in fact begged to stay after being asked to leave numerous times. In both cases the invaders were removed by police with no physical contact with the owner of the property .The woman in the kitchen had lived at that address 2 years prior and just wanted to cook there because she liked the house and the other was just someone who went home to the wrong address after a night out but seemed to need a place to stay .

  6. Kevin Crowe says:

    In the UK if someone breaks into their property they may as well help the thief empty the place,if you try to defend yourself or your property and hurt the fucker it's you that ends up getting arrested.UK law cuts your balls off as far as self defence goes.
    The UK protects the criminal not the victim,and when you phone the police their response time to an emergency is around an hour and a half,if they turn up at all. I once reported the pub we used to live opposite to was being broken into,I phoned 999 three times while I watched them emptying the place,three hours later they turned up,what a Fucking joke..

  7. Writers United says:

    I live in Ontario Canada and I was jumped a day ago, I'm 17, what can I have to defend myself, I wanted to buy dog attack spray but that's not legal for self defence, I have a keychain thing that works perfectly like knuckles but is this legal? What if they don't have weapons?

  8. general Fatboi says:

    british laws why are you carrying that greatsword sir guy 1 says for self defense officer says sorry thats against the law guy 2 says eh mate just about to murder an old enemy how bout you officer says carry on then

  9. Macasis kaishak says:

    it is stupid to ban weapons carry as a precaution for self defense

    because idiots say your paronioded or looking for a fight or your a murderer or scared of t
    other people so much you feel the need to defend yourself when you can simply flee and get a cop to handle it if someone tries to attack you on the street which is wrong you will die or be in the hospital for a while if you run or don't or the attacker will go to the hospital or die

  10. Gone Fishing says:

    Only one politician party in Canada believes in self-defence and passing a concealed carry handgun bill for all qualified, vetted and trained Canadians.

    As a Canadian, I always got shoved into voting for one of the three evils, aka, the one I thought would do me the least harm. As the years went by after each election I would watch our freedoms erode regardless of which of the three parties got in. Clearly it is time for a different strategy.

    The Key to Restoring Canada – Principles of the Christian Heritage Party.

    1.     We support the right of citizens to Self-Defence and Self-Protection. Police cannot be everywhere, at all times.  Therefore we support the right of Concealed Carry of a Handgun for all qualified, vetted and trained Canadians who wish to have one.
    2.     We support the duty of the State to protect its citizens. Therefore we support a strong Canadian military consisting of Army, Navy and Air Force.
    3.     We support a Fair Sales Tax.  We do support a progressive income tax where citizen get penalized for working hard at two jobs. Therefore under a Fair Sales tax a citizen and employer would keep all they earned. This would produce more money to spend and stimulate the economy. It would also produce more money for employers to hire employees and create an abundance of jobs and the possibility of earning more for themselves.
    4.     We support a balanced budget.
    5.     We are opposed to deficit spending and deficit borrowing which mortgage the future of Canadians. We would not use deficit spending unless there were a state of emergency declared such as war.
    6.     We affirm that the primary functions of government in the marketplace include providing a sound system of currency; and prohibiting fraud, theft, violence and collusion, and punishing those who commit them.
    7.     We support the family as the fundamental building block of a healthy society.
    8.     We define marriage as between one man and one woman for life.
    9.     We support that children are a gift from the Creator to the parents to raise, not the State.
    10. Canada has as a principle the right of all citizens to an education. This eventually ensures employable and their ability to contribute towards society. We would therefore introduce a system of vouchers so that parents could decide where they want to educate their children (whether it is a Public, Private, Religious or Home School) to best equip them for the future.
    11. We do not support Taxpayer funded abortion, taxpayer funded condoms or taxpayer funded contraceptive pills.
    12. We support the individuals right to life from the womb to natural death.
    13. We do not support that sexual aberrations and gender confusion be pushed onto the public.
    14. We support keeping jobs in Canada and resources would be processed within Canada.
    15. We do not support the unproven theory of man-made global warming nor a resulting carbon-tax that would further cripple Canadians and cause a loss of jobs.
    16. We support clean air and clean water and that business practices should keep pollution to a reasonable minimum.
    17. We support codifying the right to private ownership and enjoyment of property .
    18.  We believe in Freedom of Speech and the right to criticize Government without fear.
    19. We believe in Freedom of Religion.
    20.  We believe in the multi-cultures of Canadians and that Canadians have a right to practice their differing cultural beliefs under the democratic rule of law as long as it does not harm another.
    21. We believe that the Indian Act should be abolished and that Treaties should be quickly settled according to any legal entitlement and the principles of Democratic rule of law.
    22.  We believe that the State has the sovereign right to determine who can and cannot become a citizen of Canada.
    23. We believe that the State has the right to deport any immigrant who is involved in major criminal offences.
    24. We believe in the Charter of Rights as under God to ensure the rights of all individuals.
    25. We would not open the door to Immigration to buy a block of votes, and put pressure on Canada’s healthcare system, welfare system and senior’s pensions.
    26. We would plug immigration fraud, and close the borders to illegals. Mass immigration would be immediately stopped and we would shift the focus off immigration towards domestic growth and job growth. The cost for Canada’s immigration policy would be made public.
    27. We affirm our determination to maintain the Parliamentary system of government consisting of Crown, Senate and House of Commons because it has proven itself over the centuries to be stable, just and conducive to the welfare of the people.
    28. We support Democracy and the Judeao-Christian heritage upon which Canada was founded upon and which has historically contributed to our National Identity as Canadians. This heritage has inspired the policies you just read and the foundation of many principles contained in Canada’s Criminal Code. We do not support Sharia Law nor any other Law System other than the Democratic Rule of Law.
    29. We support the Sovereignty of Canada. We do not support a globalist one world government. Ultimately this would only lead to a world dictator under one dominant ideology.
    Check out these and other common sense principles at http://www.chp.ca  Join us in restoring Canada to common sense.

  11. Robleeswagger88 says:

    Ontario Canada here, yea my dad was jumped behind a bar by 4 guys around 10 yrs ago, cut about 8 times (where 1 cut entends from right side ab area to about the spine).  with a box cutter and carpet knife, and the young adults were known for cutting ppl in bars and the court system tried to charge my dad, where the young adults got off with probation.

  12. Wouter Schip says:

    I'm 19 and mostly carry a stiletto-ish knife, not to stab someone in the neck when I have an argument at the bar, not to stab someone when he punches me, though I will hit him back. but if someone else draws a knife or weapon I'm not just standing there with my thumbs up my ass. also just showing you have a knife on you will probably stop someone from punching or in general hurting you. though do most officers care nope, its a knife u can kill someone with that so that's why you're carrying it.

  13. andlir says:

    Real case from Sweden:

    A man was in the evening in his house. He was living alone in a remote area in southern Sweden

    He heard something outside his door and got to it.

    He found that two younger men was breaking trough the entrance door.

    The men outside told the man inside that they had come to kill him. They had knifes.

    The man inside went to the phone and called his sister. He said that he was attacked and the attackers wanted to kill him.

    After the call to his sister, he got his shotgun (from a safe) and went back to the entrance door. The men outside still trying to get inside the house. The man inside shot through the door, hitting one of the intruders so the intruder died on the spot. The other intruder fled, but the man inside shot once more, and the fleeing intruder also died.

    The man inside the house, who said he was just defending himself, was sentenced to 4 years in prison for manslaughter. The verdict was appealed and in higher court, he was sentenced to 2 years in prison (he had never been sentenced to anything before,.He was in all a law abiding citizen.)

    But both court said: You have used to much force. Both intruders, saying that they where there to kill you, carrying knifes, now are dead because of you defending yourselfe. You are guilty!!!

  14. Dylan Chua says:

    "Burglar comes in the house"
    Me:hey you! Get out!
    Burglar: no, but I'm not gonna hurt you.
    Me:I have a gun!
    Burglar: but I have the law in my side.
    Me: hey you're called the perpetrator here not me.
    Burglar: umm no "hands documents"
    Me: well fuck me.
    "Burglar heads to the door"
    Me: want some tea too?

  15. Ken Chalk says:

    The problem is, that making something like a pepper spray or CS gas legal carry, is that it then becomes legal carry for the crooks, who can evade prosecution in a stop and search.

  16. diesel92kj1 says:

    If someone burgled you, you are only entitled to use "Resonable force" and trust me it will always go court & 8 – 10 times you will be convicted. Up the legend Tony Martin!

  17. Kaiens Valentine says:

    haha you're surprise in same way that there is some non-sense in law of what it comes to self-defense but I think that it actually works quite good for most of Europe, Canada and USA. I'm from Argentina and here you could not even touch a burglar because you will end up in jail in most of the cases. Seriously, if you see how bad Argentinian (and other South American countries) laws work, you would die of a heart arrest. Here everything benefits criminals….

  18. Carl Steiner says:

    WTF?!

    Your laws are much better -at least in this point compared to germany,
    where all the judges of the private tribunals just expect that you will face every attack with the lack of emotion like a buddha,
    and will wait patiently for the police to come and report the crime you didn't prevented because you wanted to follow this suicidal """ideal""".

  19. Spunter11 says:

    This is an old video so probably not many people will read this. However, I have worked alongside Canadian law enforcement for nearly a decade now. I can assure you, the vast majority of Crown Council investigations (R.C.M.P. investigating) are usually more interested in who the perpetrator is rather than the method someone used to defend themselves.
    The term "reasonable force" is vague for a reason. To give an example, When I was first getting trained, my instructor gave a very interesting story.
    In Calgary a Macs store was robbed by a man with a knife. The owner was behind the counter at the time, but he had a shotgun under the counter. When he pulled out the shotgun, the thief ran for it. The owner chased after him and shot him in the back in the middle of the road.
    The owner although had to appear in court, wasn't charged with anything. There were two chief lines of reasoning for this. The first was that the perpetrator was a problematic individual in that area for a while now. Using drugs, getting into fights, etc. The store owner also knew him, so precedence was set.
    Second the store owner was afraid of future actions from this guy. Not to condone anything like vigilantism, but did have a history of vengeful acts. The judge thus gave the store owner the benefit of the doubt. Now there is plenty of room for argument on whether this was the correct act or not. Also I had absolutely nothing to do with this case so don't get mad at me.
    The point of this is though, Judges don't expect you to make the most rational decisions in tense moments. You usually have A LOT more "wiggle" room to defend yourself than a lot of people think. In Canada it is up to the crown to press charges, and the crown presses charges based on what the law enforcement says. That is why you have to go to the police station and file a complaint first if you want to get charges considered against someone.

  20. Rokoman says:

    Important point is that the legal reasoning behind why you can't carry a weapon is different to the reasoning behind when it's OK to use it.

    In the UK it's perfectly possible to legally defend yourself with a pistol but quite separately it's not legal to own one because the UK government judges that allowing people to routinely carry them would be an unjustifiable risk.

    To illustrate. In the USA, police routinely carry guns. Guaranteeing that a certain number of innocent people will be fatally shot by misjudgement or plain accident. Of course despite this the US police need to carry guns because they're common enough that they have to expect the people they're arresting are armed. The cats out of the bag so to speak.

    in the UK pistols for example are quite rare. So you using a pistol to defend yourself is fine. But if everyone carried one then there'd be more opportunities for a dispute/fight (at a bar, between spouses, at work, etc.) to turn lethal. Not that they don't already but the chances are lower when people must improvise a weapon instead of already carrying an effective one.

    Or so government reasoning goes.

  21. Just Another Captain says:

    Dear Sir, in Canada we also have the "Good Samaritan" law. It allow any individual to come to the aid of another without fear of prosecution. So in your case of the old lady, she just has to call out for help, or for you can see her in distress, and you can run to her aid and use "reasonable force" to ensure she safety. And reasonable force also looks at size and numbers of attackers. If your attackers are 3 men the same size as you. It is reasonable that you may have to kill /cripple one or two in order to detain/stop the last one from attacking the old lady. Just because we don't carry guns doesn't mean we're not safe.

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