He sometimes walks on public highways to get to the fields and has adopted a no knife policy when going fishing for the same reasons. We live in the central belt of Scotland. Where does he stand legally with taking a knife hunting or fishing?

Shooting legal advice
Scottish law differs to that in England and Wales but the main legislation affecting anyone using a knife for the purposes described by your son is the same throughout Great Britain.

It is illegal to have any sharply pointed or bladed instrument (think scissors, screwdrivers, Stanley knives etc as well as ordinary knives) in your possession in a public place without good reason or lawful authority.

The only exception to this is the traditional pocket knife with a non-locking, folding blade less than three inches long.

A public place is anywhere the public has or is permitted to have access. The land on which your son ferrets may or may not be a public place but it is virtually certain he has to travel via a public place to get there.

If your son is carrying a knife for the purpose of paunching rabbits or gutting fish then he has a good reason for having the knife with him and is acting entirely within the law.

That covers your son for travelling to and from the place where he ferrets or fishes and also covers him if he stops off in a shop for a pint of milk or whatever on the way home.

However, if he were to go to the cinema on a Friday night and find he had forgotten to remove the knife from his pocket before leaving home he would be liable to prosecution.

It is an offence to sell a bladed or pointed item to anyone under the age of 18. The law is intended to stop inner city thugs and hooligans from cutting up each other or innocent bystanders.

Unfortunately it causes the law abiding more inconvenience than it causes the ungodly.

It is also a sad reflection on modern society that law abiding teenagers feel themselves at risk of being stopped by the police when t