Offensive Weapons Bill

Written evidence submitted by Martin R. Cook (OWB81)

1. My interest in these proposed restrictions comes from my life-long interest and hobby of collecting military bayonets and knives, a pastime I have had for over 45yrs. These proposed laws threaten this.

2. I have only two areas of concern regarding this bill. Firstly;

"New restrictions on online sales of bladed articles, including restrictions

on deliveries to residential premises"

3. I currently buy my edged weapons from on-line Militaria dealers both here and abroad as it is the best, and one of the few sources for them these days.

I provide online sellers with prove of my age whether they ask or not.

I am happy to ‘register’ with them, and e-mail a copy of my drivers license/passport as proof that I am over 18yrs and of my address.

4. The proposed restriction on delivery to residential premises is frankly a ridiculous knee-jerk attempt to solve the problem of under 18yrs buying knives online.

- The problem of youths acquiring knives will not be solved by this proposal.

- It will be impossible to police, and likely will be widely abused.

- I believe it is an un-necessary restriction of my freedom of choice and my human rights.

I wish to be able to continue to have ‘bladed articles’ posted to my home address.

5. Secondly; I am aware of the current restrictions on the sale etc of certain weapons.

I believe the current laws are adequate and do not need amending.

"A new offence of possessing certain offensive weapons (the weapons concerned are already subject to restrictions on their sale, manufacture and importation)"

6. However if the law is amended, as a collector of military knives I would like to see an exemption for articles of ‘significant historic interest and/or kept as part of a collection’.

I expect the onus would be placed on the individual to show the article was ‘of significant historic interest’ and/or ‘part of a collection’.

7. Several of my knives I have inherited from my father, and have been handed down from relatives who fought in both World Wars.

Am I to be made a criminal for possessing these family heirlooms in my own home?

8. Here are some ‘general’ examples of the kind of weapons I am talking about, these knives are highly sought after both here and abroad and are in my opinion of significant historic value;

The WW1 British Officers private purchase ‘Clements’ Knuckle-Trench knives and the famous ‘Robbins of Dudley’ push daggers, knuckle-dusters carried by both allied and axis troops and the American, French and Belgian issue Trench daggers to name a few.

In living memory is the German WW2 Luftwaffe parachutists ‘gravity knife’, made to be used with one hand to cut parachute cords, a favourite wartime bring-back souvenir, highly prized by soldiers and collectors then as it is now.

Not to mention all sorts of push-knives, knuckle knives and daggers issued to and made by the Home Guard and Auxillary Units here in WW2, all now valuable collectors items.

More recently, the Argentinian military issue knuckle knives, most taken as booty from Argentinian prisoners by our soldiers in the Falklands Conflict…..

Most of the surviving examples of these weapons are relatives bring-backs from WW1 and are treasured and historic items and kept for future generations by relatives, and by collectors.

10. There are many other such historic military knives and daggers and other offensive weapons, all parts of our heritage, which would become illegal to possess in your own home if this new law is approved.

11. They are also valuable, not just culturally, many are worth several hundreds of pounds each.

Collectors do not want compensation, they want their collection!

- I realise most people do not approve of, or understand us military knife collectors,

but we do exist, and we are passionate about our hobby.

The new laws would ruin this hobby forever.

I fear that this proposed change to the law will criminalise law-abiding families and genuine collectors.

Yours faithfully,

Martin R. Cook

July 2018

 

Prepared 23rd July 2018