Offensive Weapons Bill

Written evidence submitted by Laurentius Huige (OWB33)

Please let me start with my thought, that the proposal of the Offensive Weapons Bill 2017-19 is not unreasonable. But as I have gathered, Amendment 15 will make it illegal to deliver knives and sharp edged objects to private homes. This will make it a criminal offense for me to buy sharp edged tools and plane blades, which I use for my profession. I am a violin maker, who works from home - a private address - and I am not alone. Nine out of ten artisans in the violin trade work from home. There are professionals who have a registered company, who work from home, there are the hobbyists, who make instruments from home and there are the students who have the potential and possibly the ambition to start a company working from home and there are the violin makers and restorers in employment, who work on their own instruments in their spare time.

I understand that there have been proposed multiple solutions that will reduce availability of blades to those who wish to use them as weapons, but that HM government persists with amendment 15.

Making it illegal to deliver sharp edged objects to private addresses will injure small self employed businesses and start-ups. Whereas the people who wish to bring harm unto others with the weapons mentioned and covered in the Offensive Weapons Bill will be able to find a way around it, I fear this bill will unjustifiably impede the small businesses in my trade (and other trades) who operate from a home. Where the bill does not make it illegal to purchase a sharp object from the shop, many specialist tools - with sharp edges - are only available online. Due to the nature of the niche market they cater for, they need to have a worldwide online presence and a worldwide reachable delivery market.

I - and I am sure many others - would welcome the Offensive Weapons Bill with a sound and well thought out exclusion for this problem.

Laurentius Huige,
Artisan Violins Laurentius Huige

10 July 2018


Prepared 17th July 2018