Action against possession of weapons among young people: Drop your knife and do something with your life

Today sees the start of a new campaign, Drop your knife and do something with your life, to combat knife possession among young people. Carrying a knife is not normal and certainly not cool. It creates unsafe situations, because carrying a knife makes it easier to use it, with all the unfortunate consequences this entails. The campaign discourages the possession of weapons among young people by calling on them to hand in their knives. More than 200 municipalities will participate in the collection week between 11 and 17 October 2021, during which young people can hand in their stabbing weapons anonymously and without facing punishment. In some of the participating municipalities, it will also be possible to hand in firearms. Visit to see where the drop-off locations are.

The action plan was adopted last November. Since then, the parties involved have been working more closely together to make young people and their parents aware of the risks of the possession and use of weapons. They tackle the possession of weapons (with a particular focus on stabbing weapons) by means of preventive searches, weapons and locker checks at schools and information lessons. The joint weapons amnesty campaign taking place between 11 and 17 October is organised and facilitated nationally by the Ministry of Justice and Security in cooperation with the police and the Public Prosecution Service.

According to Minister Grapperhaus and Minister Dekker, it is important that the rules governing weapons are clear to young people: ‘

Carrying a weapon is against the law. This applies to all types of knives, from stilettos to potato peelers. If you can’t prove to the police that you need a knife for your profession or education, you shouldn’t walk the streets with it. If the police catch you with a stabbing weapon, you’ll be given a hefty fine – and you’ll be in even bigger trouble if you run into an aggressive person and things go sideways,’

says Minister Grapperhaus. 

Minister Dekker:

‘Carrying a weapon too often means using a weapon. An argument can quickly turn into a stabbing that way. We’re sending a clear message that young people and weapons don’t mix.’

Legislative proposal

Minister Grapperhaus expects to submit a legislative proposal to prohibit the sale of legal knives to minors for consultation at the end of this year. Furthermore, the Ministry of Justice and Security and large retail chains are discussing ways for retailers to prevent the sale of legal knives to minors in the meantime.