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Is A Kubotan Legal In Canada? Understanding Canadian Self-Defense Laws

Updated: Jan 25

a kubotan keychain

A Kubotan (or Kubaton ) is a compact self-defense keychain tool, and you can have 2 types - one with a concealed knife integrated into it, and a kubotan version without a knife.

In Canada, you cannot carry anything for the purposes of self-defense in Canada. So - no, a kubotan in any form is illegal to carry because it is assumed that you will use it as a self-defense tool.

Keep reading to find out why.


Can I Defend Myself With A Kubotan?

As Canadians, we cannot technically defend ourselves with a Kubotan or with any self-defense tool. But defending yourself depends on the situation.

If you are under attack and you happen to carry some kind of tool like pepper spray (for wildlife) and you use that against a person, this might be permissible depending on the context of the crime and on how much "force" the attacker used against you. You can't bring a knife to a gun fight, as they say.

If you want a more thorough explanation on what is legal when it comes to self-defense in Canada, jump to this guide instead. Or learn about carrying a knife in Canada here.

Back to the Kubotan.

Is A Kubotan Legal In Canada?

Is a kubaton legal in canada? The Criminal Code of Canada doesn't provide a specific mention or classification of Kubotan, which makes the legal status of Kubotan without concealed knives unclear.

What we know for certain - when a Kubotan has a concealed knife integrated into it, the kubaton is illegal and becomes labelled as a prohibited weapon under the Criminal Code of Canada.

According to the Criminal Code, a prohibited weapon is defined as:

  • A knife with a blade that opens automatically by gravity

  • Has centrifugal force, or hand pressure applied to a button

  • A spring, or other device in or attached to the handle of the knife, or any weapon, other than a firearm, that is prescribed to be a prohibited weapon​​.

Section 90 of the Criminal Code of Canada says that carrying a concealed weapon, a prohibited device, or prohibited ammunition is an offence unless authorized under the Firearms Act​​.

In this configuration, the Kubotan acts both as a self-defense tool and a concealed carrying case for the knife, with the concealment suggesting that the knife is hidden or not immediately visible to other people.

If such a Kubotan with a concealed knife is presented at a pre-board screening checkpoint at an airport, the security are required to notify the police, which could lead to charges and prosecution for the individual carrying the item​​.

But given the lack of a specific mention of Kubotans in the Criminal Code and the broad definition of prohibited weapons, it's advised to consult with a legal professional to understand the potential legal implications fully.

There are also online retailers like Gorilla Surplus that list Kubotans among self-defense tools available for purchase in Canada, implying a level of legality for ownership, at least​ - but this seems to be false information and websites like this are attempting to sell their products.

The context of carrying, such as concealment and the presence of a knife or other weapon integrated into the Kubotans, seems to play a significant role in its legality.

Final Thoughts: Is A Kubotan Legal In Canada?

For a definitive understanding of the legal status of Kubotans in Canada, consulting with a legal professional or local law enforcement may be advisable.

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