What Kinds of Weapons Can I Carry in Self-Defence?

Geisha in kimono holding a samurai sword

Generally, none. Under the Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act, carrying offensive weapons in public places is a seizable and non-bailable offence punishable with imprisonment and caning.

 

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It’s dangerous to go alone, take this with you! ✨ Unfortunately, that line only applies in games, and not reality. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ You can’t carry around weapons for self-defence in Singapore. 😔 – Any item that’s likely to cause hurt is deemed to be an offensive weapon. Carrying an offensive weapon around in public places, or keeping a weapon like that at home, is considered to be an offence under the law! Items specifically meant for self-defence, such as stun guns and pepper sprays, are banned here as well. 🚫🚫 – The exception to this law are items which have a legitimate purpose for recreation, such as baseball bats, or bringing knives along for a camping trip. The authorities won’t bat an eye as long as they aren’t being used to hurt people! 🤧👌 #SingaporeLegalAdvice

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Items are deemed to be offensive weapons if they are weapons likely to cause hurt. This would include parangs, knives and knuckledusters, to name a few. Merely possessing such weapons in one’s homes is also an offence punishable with imprisonment and caning. Various other offences in the Arms and Explosives Act are also applicable. A licence has to be obtained from the police in order for possession of weapons to be considered lawful.

Pepper sprays and stun guns, while generally allowed in many foreign countries for self-defence, are banned in Singapore. For a more substantial list of banned items in Singapore, click here.

Items such as baseball bats have a legitimate purpose for recreation and while capable of causing hurt, are unlikely to be deemed offensive weapons if they are not used in an offensive manner. Therefore, it is perfectly fine for you to carry your baseball bat around in public if you are heading for a baseball match. The same holds true for knives being carried for legitimate activities, such as camping trips.

It is however, not a legitimate reason to carry around a weapon for self-defence against robbers or molesters.  This is because although self-defence is permitted, Singapore law does not allow one to use greater force than necessary to defend himself.

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