Offensive Weapons Bill

Written evidence submitted by Mrs Angela Wentworth (OWB143)

Dear Sirs,

I want to register my disapproval of the above mentioned bill, which would particularly prejudice the disabled who cannot always so easily go to shops to buy simple dressmaking tools such as good quality scissors, and tools for bonsai, and gardening in general

(shears, lopper, secateurs etc), as well as basic kitchen tools such as pastry and pizza cutters, ceramic knives and so on, at affordable prices. Many other hobbyists would also be prejudiced.

The best quality for prices for such items are almost always to be found only on the web.

Once again it will be the law abiding public who will be penalised, as illustrated by firearms laws where those who owned even antique collectors firearms (no one in my family) which had been de-commissioned nonetheless had to hand them in for destruction, even though in most cases the owners had no ammunition for the antique firearms.

The firearms laws have not lessened firearm availability nor offences by violent criminals. It is certain that those mechanically minded can make guns quite easily. The government cannot legislate against piping and other things that can be used to make such things, and it has proven impossible for the police to contain the trade in even powerful automatic weapons between those who want them and who have the means to pay whatever price is demanded. Plentiful information as to such crimes are in the media. Drill gangs for one type of gang type as an example.

Yet now an article is inserted to a new weapons bill, the only result of which would be to prejudice the law abiding and especially the disabled. Article 15 has been very badly thought out. In fact it appears to have not been thought out. No one is going to go on the rampage with pinking scissors for fabric or wirecutters (needed for bonsai wire), but anyone who wants a blade as a serious weapon could very easily sharpen a length of metal with a grinding or sharpening stone. In fact, not only metal but a strong enough stick of wood or piece of hard plastic could be sharpened and made into a point that would easily pierce flesh, if a violent criminal were determined - and I suspect some have already done that.

It is understandable that blades which are clearly designed to kill should be banned. Who in the UK needs hunting knives these days? Who would legitimately need a bowie knife? However, that doesn't at all justify the banning of all else to fully grown adults. To do so is a great over reaction which not only penalises the vast majority of normal consumers but would cause serious loss of sales by companies, and in turn the manufacturers. This would then lead to even more job losses including amongst the manufacturers of the equipment which is used to forge, mould, cut and sharpen the tools that are sold for perfectly innocent and lawful everyday uses about the home and garden.

I would ask you to please support objection to Article 15, on the grounds as set out above and on the grounds that it is highly unreasonable, and will not at all achieve a reduction in violent crimes by use of bladed weapons.

I want to also add that not many areas in cities and few towns now have specialist shops such as haberdashers and cooking utensil shops. There are barely any face to face outlets at all for bonsai tools. The few shops there are have a limited range of some but not all tools, and what is on offer is mostly priced at more than the average person can afford. Cheap four or five inch blade length scissors are no good for cutting longer lengths of fabric for curtains, duvet covers, chair and sofa covers, or dresses, for instance. Cheap Wilkinson shrub pruners and no good for bonsai and do not at all suffice for the specialised knob cutters that take out the knobs that blemish trunks and branches.

Nothing but wire cutters will work for the thicker wire required to train some bonsai trees.

Much would simply and wrongly become unobtainable to most of the law abiding public and I believe it to be unlawful for an article to be passed in a bill, when that article prejudices or makes impossible the natural right of myself and others to buy legal products as private individuals, and to receive such products through the post or by courier directly to our private homes.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any comments or queries through my email address, as this is the most convenient means

Thanking you in anticipation,

Angela Wentworth (Mrs)

August 2018

 

Prepared 13th August 2018