Offensive Weapons Bill

Written evidence submitted by Paul Freeman, Manager, DNA Leisure Ltd (OWB09)

I've been watching the progress on this bill with dismay from the point of an extremely responsible retailer.

We age check every order and will only post when we can prove the customer is over 18. We report customers to the police who repeatedly attempt to order from us without being able to prove their age. In addition, we report all suspicious purchases. Almost all online retailers have this process in place. The problem comes from Amazon and eBay where the sellers feel like they're immune to this need. 

Let's think about the proposals. 

1) Redefining 'flick knife'. Making a particular type of knife illegal. Why? Because it opens quickly or is scary? I've never met a spring assisted knife that opens faster than a kitchen knife. Just for example. One of the approximately 280 million kitchen knives in residential circulation. These types of knives are great for people with disabilities or weaknesses that prevent the use of a normal folding knife. 

2) Banning home delivery. Why? Anyone that wants a knife can go to their kitchen drawer. Sporting knives are not any more dangerous than an average kitchen knife. In many cases less so due to the very narrow cross section of a sharp kitchen knife. Again, this is discriminatory on disabled individuals who would struggle to leave their houses for a pick up. 

3) Creating an offense for anyone who owns a knife that was made illegal
at a later date . This one is just unfair. These products have all been purchased legally. It's just unfair on our customers to be criminalised arbitrarily on the whim of parliament. Under the guise of crime prevention but in reality, just political point scoring with the public. 

Criminals DO NOT follow the laws of the land, Murder and Assault are Illegal. What makes parliament think that they will follow new laws? Even if somehow every knife in the country was taken away, would stabbings stop? No! Prisoners have knives in prison! 

In short, the proposals in this bill do nothing but stop law abiding knife users and collectors from enjoying their hobbies and trades. I know you don't really think this will prevent criminals from being criminals. So please, reflect this in the bill. Make a full exception for knife collectors. Even a license would be preferable to this total restructure. Allow knife collectors, hunters, tradesmen to own and collect any type of knife they like under license. Un ban the knives that are already on the banned list and create a license for collectors. 

The bill should also provide powers for greater prison sentences for people cause offending. 

Please take this into consideration when you complete the bill. It's totally unfair on the
law abiding population to be criminalised by this bill. 

Just drop the firearms section. No point banning firearms that have never had a recorded use in crime under the pretence of crime prevention!

Kind Regards, 

Paul Freeman

Manager at DNA Leisure LTD

30 June 2018


Prepared 4th July 2018