Offensive Weapons Bill

Written evidence submitted by Mark Austin (OWB17)

With regard to the proposed law to make it an offense to post bladed items to home addresses in the UK: I understand the purpose of this measure and in general support it (and understand the reasons for which it is being proposed) but I would like to make you aware of the following points:

· If no exemption / defence is given to antique / vintage / militaria collectible dealers, I will be out of business, unable to provide for my family, period.

· As a group we are not your target audience in terms of being a threat to public order; you will not find one instance of such items being used to harm others today; kitchen knives and garden forks are more dangerous.

· There is a thriving industry in the UK currently for the sale of historical and ceremonial bladed items to legitimate collectors and even serving armed force officers. I am one of those collectors and suppliers. 

· We as a group would make the strong point that such items be given a "defence" similar to that for sporting and re-enactment items, or better still an exemption as previous legislation has done.

· To fail to do so would be a serious omission in terms of the purpose of the proposed legislation.

·  It would be an infringement of the current liberties of legitimate law-abiding collectors and also very damaging to many law-abiding businesses and to the economic interests of this sector. Given I am not collecting / dealing in any weapons used in violent crime, your bill as it stands is a violation of my civil and human rights to provide for myself and my family.

We strongly believe the proposed legislation ought to include a defence which requires the seller and/or purchaser to provide a statement in support of the historical legitimacy of the item(s).

Yours truly,

Mark Austin

4 July 2018


Prepared 9th July 2018