Offensive Weapons Bill

Written evidence submitted by Ryan (OWB130)

Hi

I would like to express my deepest concerns regarding the proposed offensive weapon bill.

I understand that the bill proposals include the banning of sending "bladed articles" to home addresses via post.

This is deeply unfair to both buyers and sellers of such items, and could prove crippling to many business.

If certain online retailers are not doing the correct age checks then we should tackle THOSE retailers.

And inforced already existing age checks.

Should a buyer really be expected to travel to perhaps the other side of the country to pick up an item they have ordered?

Not to mention they then have the uneasy (and expensive) prospect of transporting the "bladed article' back home with them.

Particularly unpleasant for those that do not drive, and are reliant on public transport!

The bill apparently wishes to ban the ownership of weapons already on the offensive weapons list.

Until now if someone owns such an object in their home they are not breaking the law.

This aspect of the bill will effectively criminalise anyone who even happens to own such an object!

Victimising innocent civilians who have no intention of using the object to commit any crime or hurt anyone!

Furthermore what about valuable antique weapons and thier collectors?

Up until now concessions have been rightly made to protect these valuable historical pieces and thier owners.

This bill we be deeply harmful to innocent people with legitimate reasons for owning, selling or buying such items, such as:

Collectors

Reanactment groups

Martial artist

Blade smiths

Antiques dealers

Cooks and chefs

DIY enthusiasts

Outdoorsmen and bushcraft

And probably many others aside.

If the aim of this bill is to prevent violent crime and gang violence it will fail miserably.

The majority of knife crime is committed using cheap, easy to obtain kitchen knives, box cutters, craft knives, screwdrivers or broken glass.

Many of these items are found commonly around the average home, can be purchased (or in some cases stolen) from high street stores and supermarkets, or in the case of glass simply picked off the ground.

In some cases homemade or improvised weapons are used, a knife is a simple object.

Caveman without metal made knives.

A piece of scrap metal or a butter knife could be sharpened into a point and used to shank someone. The list is endless.

The intention of the criminal is more important than the object he or she uses, it makes little different to a victim what type of knife was used to stab or cut them.

Bladed or pointed objects are used everyday by millions of people for all manner of jobs and tasks, why should they suffer just so those in power can be "seen to be doing something". Only for criminals to continue committing violent crimes the same as ever before.

The problem runs much deeper than what objects a criminal has access to.

The real problems are gang culture, education, parenting, job prospects, socially deprived areas and bored youths with a feeling of hopelessness.

These are the real issues, but rather than tackle the cause of crime some would rather take away innocent people's freedoms in a pointless, doomed attempt to be seen to be doing something, anything. Even it that something if unfair on the population as a whole.

Those who sacrifice freedom in the name of safety will wake up to find they have neither.

Regards Ryan

August 2018

 

Prepared 13th August 2018