Offensive Weapons Bill

Written evidence submitted by The Register of Professional Turners (OWB29)

1. The Register of Professsional Turners (RPT) represents (mainly) woodturners who earn a living turning items from wood and other materials for the construction industry, art market and craft markets in the UK.

2. We currently have about 200 members nationwide. Many of our members live in remote areas of the country.

3. Most of our members will purchase tools of the trade directly from the manufacturer, usually a UK company.

4. The members of the RPT have expressed concern about their continuing ability to purchase the tools of their trade using postal services. These tools are sharp edged tools but are essential for the continuance of carrying on the business of woodturning.

5. When manufacturers dispatch these tools that are always sensibly and safely wrapped or boxed to prevent any injuries occurring during the delivery journey. We are not aware of any injuries happening over the last 20 years or so since the rise in availability of this type of tool.

6. In the past specialist woodturning tools were difficult to obtain and woodturners would alter different tools for use, some of which were to the detriment of the user, but since the adoption of woodturning as a hobby by more and more people tool companies have been encouraged to produce specific for purpose tooling that is now much safer to use. These tools are used not only nationwide but worldwide.

7. It is essential that tools of the trade, in this case woodturning tools, should continue to be allowed to be sent through the post to woodturners all over the country. To this effect the RPT requests that a clause be added to the Bill exempting tools of the trade.

8. It is worth noting that due to a youth training initiative jointly sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Turners of London, The Register of Professional Turners and the Association of Woodturners of Great Britain (3000 plus members) some of the country’s hobby turners are under the age of 18. These young people, 12 to 19 years of age, are being taught how to turn wood safely and responsibly and this includes the safe use and sharpening of bladed tools. It would be a mistake to include tools capable of producing works of art in a list of items that could not be purchased directly from the manufacturer.

9. The RPT has now had repeated calls from its members to ask that article 15 of the Offensive Weapons Bill is revised to allow companies that produce woodturning tools and those woodturners, whether professional or hobbyist, that have a need to purchase tools through the post, to be allowed to continue to do so.

10. Woodturning tools are many and varied from gouges of different size and shape to skew chisels that can hold a razor-sharp edge or even just a "point" tool, a round bar sharpened to a pyramid type point for detailing work. But they can all be classified as blades of one sort or another. We ask that the term blades or the type of blade should be more specific.

11. The Register of Professional Turners is happy to be consulted on this subject and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this matter.

Signed on behalf of The Register of Professional Turners
John R Boyne-Aitken RPT
The Register of Professional Turners.
C/o The Turner’s Company Clerk

11 July 2018


Prepared 17th July 2018