Offensive Weapons Bill

Written evidence submitted by Jurg Peterson and LionGate Arms & Armour (OWB151)

The draft bill in relation to antique, vintage, collectible and ceremonial bladed weapons is ill conceived (fanciful), unlawful and unenforceable.

1) Failure to provide Home Office directed exemptions as directed.
In Article 8, paragraph 38 of the Memorandum by the Home Office, it states;
"This Bill removes the location element for the offence of possessing these weapons, and instead provides for a number of defences relating to the nature of the weapon or the purpose of possession (note: 17)"

Note 17 states: "Namely where the weapon is of historical importance, is possessed by a person acting as an operator of a gallery, is possessed for educational purposes, is possessed for theatrical performances and rehearsals, is possessed for the production of films or the production of television programmes, if the weapon is an antique (over 100 years old), if (in respect of a curved sword) it was made according to traditional methods of making swords by hand, if the weapon was possessed for the purposes of a sporting activity or historical re-enactment and if the possession is in relation to religious ceremonies."

However, all of these "defences" are not in the draft Bill; the legal bean counters have neglected to include these, and thus the Bill is unlawful as drafted.

2) HM Queen et all
The Queen has one of the largest private sword collections in the UK at her private residences. There would be no defence for her to continue owning these weapons on the basis they are of historical importance as this would be elitist, unlawful discrimination. Because of her wealth, she can afford such special valuable weapons, an everyday person can not; they can afford a slightly rusty WW1 British army sword or even a WW2 war trophy in the form of a Japanese officer's sword. The measure of historical significance being proportional to the wealth of the individual versus the wealth of the Queen. It would be disproportionate to classify the everyday person's swords as illegal while, somehow, the Queen's swords were legal. Your Bill needs to be rewritten to the effect that if it is good enough for the Queen, it is good enough for her subjects. In addition, be advised, the leader of one of the main (top 3) political parties has an item of low national historical importance, but of great family historical importance, that would become illegal under your Draft Bill. I am certain many, many MPs and especially those in the House of Lords will have such items in their homes, and therefore you should make it a requirement for all such members of parliament to disclose and comply.

3) Rt Hon Sajid Javid, MP Vs Article 8 of the ECHR / Abuse of Power (Corruption)
Sajid Javid has said that in his opinion the Bill does not violate the ECHR (European Convention on Human Rights). But without the exemption for antique, etc. bladed weapons, it most certainly does. This is due to the fact that not once has such an antique etc. bladed weapon ever been used in a modern day crime of violence. As such, the Bill imposes an unfair and unlawful violation of a person's rights to respect for their private lives and (importantly) their correspondence (as this also covers deliveries). The Bill as is, is an unlawful arbitrary punishment without true crime, except for a crime against irresponsible unfounded diktat. This Bill, as is, is part of a slow process of turning this country into a nasty jack boot nanny state where bureaucrats without even the faintest grasp upon reality impose their false assumptions as misinformed and unnecessary laws in a clear abuse of power. The Bill, as is, is an Abuse of Power and a breach of the UK citizens' human rights. The Bill as it is, is a an abuse of our civil liberties.

4) Delivery Notices are a proxy unlawful restriction
The Bill says that sellers of bladed items must ensure the courier does not deliver the item(s) to persons under 18; this is unworkable / not possible and constitutes a harsher law than stated / intended. The only common couriers to carry such items are DHL and ParcelForce. They have no provision to ensure deliveries are made to people above the age of 18 except by any standard rules of transit. If you mandate this section of the Bill, ParcelForce and DHL will have no option but to blanket prohibit such items, as they do not have the facilities to implement this age restriction. This would mean only motorbike couriers could be used, which cost is totally disproportionate to the value / cost of the items and therefore would not be met by the buyers nor sellers. If you wish to implement such a restriction / condition of carriage, you must first consult with ParcelForce and DHL and ensure they do not simply blanket prohibit such items, else you are guilty of passing an unlawful proxy Bill condition, an unlawful arbitrary condition / law. This condition shows the technical and other authors of your Bill do not understand the problem and realities of life; they are, with respect, imbeciles if they believe notices on packages and courier screening are a possibility.

5) The Bill (in respect of antiques, etc.) is an ass.
Most people pay for items using PayPal, which you have to be 18 to have. Why would anyone pay hundreds or even thousands of pounds for an antique weapon when they can buy a modern piece for tens of pounds or even less? Go into most bric-a-brac stores and charity shops, and you will find so called modern Chinese made "samurai" swords easily / commonly available for a few pounds. This is because for years these cheap reproduction products have come into the country, so there are thousands and thousands of them available to wannabe criminals. Even if they were not, almost everyone has easy access to very dangerous kitchen knives. Even if they did not, you can buy four table knives (cutlery) from a pound shop and a knife sharpening block from a hardware shop 100% lawfully under this Bill. If a teenage thug wanted a cheap street weapon which he could not simply buy ready made, they could and would easily make some; they are not going to buy antique blades instead, are they? If you want to crack down on cheap dangerous weapons, do something about the lax rules of auction houses. Go to and search for "decorative swords", "samurai" and "katana", and you will see that thugs can easily buy such items at local auctions. You are trying to regulate an unregulatable problem. It is akin to the problem of sexual abuse / harassment (groping) on crowded Japanese trains which country has the toughest sex act regulations on the planet. You are not dealing with the core social problem or the easy access to cheap weapons. How is you Bill credible when people can legally buy deactivated guns, many of which have the potential to be reactivated?

6) Arrest / prosecute me now.
If this Bill as is passes as is, and is written onto the statute as law, I will 100% defy it, and it is my intention to encourage others, both antique / militaria dealers and collectors to do the same. I would advise them to describe their antiques, etc. as re-enactment or sporting items. I would advise them to stand up to such abuse of their civil rights in court if necessary. I personally would rather go to jail than submit to your Ridiculous Ineffective Nanny State Bill. If this Bill become law, I will immediately make a criminal complaint against the Queen and politician who have these items themselves, and I shall expect them both to be prosecuted and jailed.

August 2018


Prepared 30th August 2018