Offensive Weapons Bill

Written Evidence submitted by Michael Venu s on behalf of A. S.Handover Ltd (OWB168)

I am writing on behalf of A. S.Handover Ltd. and our sister company Jackson’s Art Supplies Ltd. who are retailers of art materials and, with changing purchasing preferences, many of our sales are now fulfilled by mail order.

We would ask the committee to consider the following points and suggestions in their deliberations:

Restrictions on knives with a blade of less than 3 inches

We are concerned about the impact of the proposed legislation on the sale of products used by artists and crafts people.

We note that in a letter dated 23 August 2018 to one of our customers (HOCS ref. MIN/0012309/18) Victoria Atkins MP states that all knives that can cause serious injury will be restricted other than encased razor blades and folding knives with a blade of less than three inches.

In the official response to the petition to remove section 15 of the bill, however, the Home Office have omitted the word "folding" in their response:

Other items that would be exempt from the prohibition on delivery to a residential address would include encased razor blades; knives with a blade of less than 3 inches; knives that cannot cause serious injury, for example table knives;

We propose to the committee that they should consider removing the word "folding" from the definition of offensive weapons so that all knives with blades less than 3 inches fall outside the restrictions.

Restrictions on wood working tools

We sell lino cutters which are similar to small screwdrivers in shape and yet while both are "capable of causing serious injury to a person which involves cutting that person’s skin" it may be that only the screwdrivers could be delivered to residential addresses.

We would welcome clarity in the legislation to enable the correct assessment of whether items should be classed as "bladed articles"

Exemptions for artists and Craftspeople

We would like to propose an exception for artists and crafts people in the same way as the bill is making allowances for sales to bona fide sports people. The knives used in certain sports are considerably more dangerous than those used in arts and crafts.

Summary

We ask for a tighter definition of Bladed Articles which would exclude those with a blade less than a certain length.

We also ask for tools such as chisels, which could be construed as having a blade, to be excluded from the legislation

We ask that an exemption be made for artists and craftspeople in the same way as an exemption has been made for sports persons.

September 2018

 

Prepared 10th September 2018