Offensive Weapons Bill

Written evidence submitted by Mr J Barnes, Director, BDU Imports Ltd (OWB40)

I am writing to you today to stress my views on certain aspects of the new Offensive Weapons Bill being proposed. 

I have worked in the outdoor industry for most of my working life and am the Director of 2 different companies within the sector. My business operates domestically through a large High Street store, website and some third party sites. We also trade Internationally.

I have always striven, when supplying edged tools, to have systems in place to ensure that underage sales do not take place and think the idea that banning sales being delivered to domestic addresses is not only naive it simply won't have any material effect on reducing knife crime. 

We all know that the default "weapon of choice" for most knife crime is something that is easily accessible and completely untraceable and there is already a good source of large deadly weapons available in every home ie. every domestic kitchen drawer.

The most pertinent point I would like to make today that is directly relevant to the proposed Bill is that it will not address the issue of thousands of products currently  being fulfilled by companies like Knives & Tools UK (https://www.knivesandtools.co.uk/), and some other companies like them. This company appears to be UK based but they are not, they are based in The Netherlands and are not subject to UK law as it is so the likelihood of them complying to any new laws is simply bunkem.. 

Knivesandtools, Laan van Westenenk 8, 7336 AZ Apeldoorn, the Netherlands.

They are now one of the biggest knife dealers presently operating within the UK market and if you are not looking into reigning in businesses like this then all you will do with the new Bill is hand even more business to yet another foreign company. It is already a struggle to deal with companies like this under the current laws as they are not only selling some products at cost, they offer free delivery and free returns. 

They are attempting to dominate the entire European market and by further tilting the playing field in their favour within the UK you just hand more business to a company that will sell anything to anyone. I know they are rubbing their hands with glee that all parties in British authority have chosen to not restrict any overseas company delivering to a domestic address and this will give them a great boost while suppressing perfectly legal sales by trusted UK companies.

We are struggling to exist as it is and further restricting how we can deliver an age checked delivery to a UK citizen to their home address will likely tip many companies over the edge.  

We have, collectively, been stressing this point for a couple of years now and no one has listened yet so I am wondering whether I am simply wasting my time, yet again......

Your sincerely 

Mr J Barnes
Director
BDU Imports Ltd
The Bushcraft Store
TBS Outdoor Ltd

10 July 2018

 

Prepared 17th July 2018