What Are The Laws Of Crossbow Hunting In The UK?


Hunters need proper weapons to be successful in their endeavors, and they must also know the rules and regulations regarding the said weapons in their area, which is why you should check out this post. In the UK, having a crossbow is legal, but there are certain aspects of the law that you should know, concerning crossbow bolt field tips and other elements.

Hunting with a crossbow is illegal in the UK

To start with the aspect that concerns hunters directly, while crossbow ownership and use are allowed and legal in the UK, you should know that you are not allowed to hunt with one. While in the US, crossbow hunting is legal, and so is in many European states, in the UK, the local laws sanction the use of a crossbow for such a purpose.


Sellers should never sell crossbows to people under 18 years of age

Another important aspect of the law governing the possession and use of crossbows in the UK is how sellers should behave. For starters, they should never sell a crossbow to a person who is not of legal age. It doesn’t matter if you consider your teenage son or daughter perfectly responsible for holding such a weapon, and even firing it, the law is clear.

Let’s not forget that a crossbow is a lethal weapon and that means that misuse can lead to dangerous consequences and accidents. So, in the end, what the law says has more to deal with safety than with other aspects.

When someone goes to a store to purchase a crossbow, his or her information regarding age will be checked with the help of a system that is also used by other industries that fall under the same restrictions, like gambling. The system protects the customers’ data and only uses the database to provide accurate information under circumstances such as someone trying to buy a crossbow.

If you make your purchase online, and the seller cannot verify your age, you will be asked for additional information, such as a copy of your ID, be it a driver’s license or a passport. As long as you are over 18 and you can prove it, you will encounter no issues with purchasing a crossbow in the UK.

It is essential to add that the same regulations apply for letting to hire crossbows. A person who tries to buy or hire this kind of weapon without being of legal age can also be held accountable by the law, another aspect to bear in mind.


Where can you shoot a crossbow?

Let’s say that you were successful and now you are the proud owner of a crossbow. Where are you allowed to shoot it? Again, the law makes things rather clear. You will only shoot your weapon on private land, which means that you will be able to practice in your backyard, on a farm or a field.

You can also practice your aim at an archery range or club. As long as the businesses offering such services are licensed and work according to the rules and regulations in place, you will be able to shoot your crossbow there without anyone having the right to bother you.


Open carry is illegal in the UK

Another thing you should know about the laws governing crossbows in the UK is that open carry is illegal, as well. Since crossbows are considered lethal weapons, they cannot be held out in public. In case you have some idea that you could walk around with your crossbow on display, you can get arrested.

The best advice is, of course, not to test the patience and understanding of the policemen in your area, and keep your crossbow concealed. In case you are on your way to the archery range, make sure that you keep your crossbow in the trunk of your car, un-cocked so that it doesn’t shoot a bolt by accident.


Regarding possession – what else you should know

Underage individuals should, by no means, be found carrying a crossbow that can fire or discharge a bolt. They should not be seen with the parts of a crossbow that could be put together for the same purpose. That means that crossbow kits are just as illegal for possession if the owners are under 18, as crossbows are, in general.

Owning a crossbow is not illegal

In regards to bolt field tips and other similar accessories, the law is clear. You can own a crossbow, and you can also hold broadheads. Just like crossbows, they are not considered illegal, but you cannot hunt with them. Nonetheless, you should know that having broadheads is discouraged, as they are considered risky for anyone around you.

Strict safety regulations must be obeyed if you want to use broadheads. Even if you’re going to practice at a public range, you might have the surprise to find out that you are not allowed to use them there, as they are considered too damaging for the target. It is better to stick to other options so that you don’t have to go back home from the archery range without shooting once.


About hunting in the UK

One thing you should know about hunting in the UK is that overall it is not allowed by the law. So, the fact that you can’t use a crossbow for hunting is more related to the fact that individuals can’t go hunting in the UK at all, rather than the nature of the weapon you picked.

Some can be undertaken but under exceptional circumstances. For instance, there is a permit for hunting deer, but it is challenging to get it. Nonetheless, you should know that vermin like rats can be shot, but only if it happens on private land, and you have the landowner’s permission.

In brief, don’t forget that hunting is illegal for the most part in the UK, with a crossbow or otherwise, and that, if you want to get one for practice in your backyard or at the archery range, you should still pay attention to all the details the law has in place.



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