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Thread: New UK blade postage law (Offensive Weapons Bill)

  1. #1
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    Feb 2002
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    New UK blade postage law (Offensive Weapons Bill)

    Hi folks,
    The draft wording of the new law has been released:
    https://services.parliament.uk/Bills...documents.html

    Basically it prohibits the postage of bladed items to residential addresses, but included 'defences', such as for sporting/reenactment equipment. It also seems to imply that blunt objects are not classed as blades! (a first in UK law)

    However, shockingly, antiques are not even mentioned. I have been heavily involved with lobbying on this, mostly from the fencing perspective, but now I urge you to write to the Home Office on the matter of antiques.

    Here is what I sent - they treat emails just as officially as physical letters (I have been a Whitehall civil servant for over 15 years myself):

    ____________________________________________

    To: public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

    Dear Home Secretary,

    Reading the text of the new UK Offensive Weapons Bill, I welcome the legal 'defences' for the postage of bladed items to residential addresses, which are legally used in sports and historical re-enactment.

    However, I was shocked to see not a single mention of antiques!

    The antique arms and armour trade, including through auction houses such as Christies, is worth tens of millions of pounds a year and is of immense historical and cultural significance.

    Traditionally, in UK law, antique weapons have been explicitly and specifically exempted from nearly all Offensive Weapon legislation since 1988.

    Please reassure the antiques trade that you will be including exemptions/defences for antiques?

    ​The antique trade is dependent upon home delivery and many businesses are at stake.

    Regards,
    .........................

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Durham, UK
    Posts
    104
    Hi Matt
    Thanks for raising this.

    To be honest when I raised this last year I realised that antiques were not explicitly excluded and assumed that they would be covered in the postal ban. I have not had time to read the whole bill but has the definition for weapons to be prohibited (even in the home ) been tightened to exclude antique swords?

    I will join you in raising objections but fear the government will not change course.
    Kind ,Regards
    Ian
    Last edited by IMoran; 06-21-2018 at 09:08 AM. Reason: To remove overtly political point, I spend far too long thinking about politics for my wellbeing!

  3. #3
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    Hi Ian,
    There are explicit 'defences' (practically exemptions) for sporting and re-enactment blades. There is also an implied defence for a blunt blade.

    They have not added anything to the Offensive Weapons list, they have simply made those things illegal to own, as well as to buy and sell (previously it was only illegal to buy and sell). Antiques are already exempt from that list - explicitly and repeatedly in the wording of the law.

    Given that there are already defences for sports/martial arts/reenactment posting of blades, we simply need them to get antiques added to that list.

  4. #4
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    The second reading of the Offensive Weapons Bill (2018) is tomorrow, so there is no time to lose.
    Please read and sign this petition to request that antiques are exempted from the new legislation, as well as supporting the 'defences' already proposed for sporting, reenactment and custom blades.
    https://www.change.org/p/sajid-javid...-and-hobbyists
    If you have 2 minutes, please either send this petition link to your local MP, or Home Secretary Sajid Javid ( sajid.javid.mp@parliament.uk ) or the Home Office ( public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk ), or even all three!
    Of course, if you write a sentence or two to go with your message, it is likely to have more impact.
    Thanks for your support - we have already got changes put into the new Bill - let's keep up the momentum!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Wokingham, UK
    Posts
    314
    I've done all of them. Fingers crossed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    208
    Done!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Wakefield uk
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    416
    Done��

  8. #8
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    Nov 2013
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    North West US
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    I do not suppose they would pay much attention to a letter from your cousins in Wyoming. I really enjoyed my stay in the land of mist and fog in the 70s but too many rules, regulations and laws now. So sad to me people in power want to control everything you do. Good luck I do wish you gentlemen the best collecting and studying history is a good sport.
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Madrid, Spain
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    1,489
    That's Europe, man!

    Here in Spain we suffer the punishment of an extraordinarily restrictive regulation, too. Regarding firearms, the most restrictive in the world, only second to Japanese one. In our particular case I think that the European Union is not the one to blame, our Government already acts with a deep disregard to its citizens. Specially with those minorities silenced by the media, like the honest weapons owners and collectors.

    Although in recent times, I have to admit that the UK are coming closer to us... please act before is too late! You have all my sympathy.

    JJ
    SI, SI
    NO, NON

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Near Cambridge UK
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    In May 2019 the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 became law in the UK, and it has specific implications for the carriage of bladed weapons.

    The following is now an offence:

    Name:  Screen Shot 2019-11-09 at 12.09.52.png
Views: 115
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    Defence allows for sporting purposes or re-enactment, antiques however are not exempted, despite submissions during the passage of the bill.

    There are is also a defence if delivery to an over-18 is ensured, but this is tightly circumscribed with conditions.

    - Purchaser verified as 18+ (likely to require prior ID check such as passport or driving licence copy).
    - Package clearly marked as containing bladed article and can only be delivered to a person of 18+.

    Links here:
    The Act in full
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/201 ... ts/enacted
    Draft guidance
    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... dance_.pdf

    A quick look around auction houses and dealers suggests awareness and/or interpretation of the new law is patchy and varied. seems likely there will be implications for UK collectors.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    ENGLAND
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    Since the bill passed I've been sent a sword through parcel force no questions asked by the auction house although in the end I did have to collect it from the post office requiring I present I. D.

    Whether the delivery driver would have asked if they had found me home... who knows. It certainly wasn't marked as a blade.

    As a private collector I've wondered about sending the item Poste restante to a post office by which means you can ensure it is collected by the addressee.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Near Cambridge UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by james.elstob View Post
    Since the bill passed I've been sent a sword through parcel force no questions asked by the auction house although in the end I did have to collect it from the post office requiring I present I. D.

    Whether the delivery driver would have asked if they had found me home... who knows. It certainly wasn't marked as a blade.

    As a private collector I've wondered about sending the item Poste restante to a post office by which means you can ensure it is collected by the addressee.

    Yes, same with me. I received one from an auction house without ID check and no package marking. I think the awareness of the new law is fairly limited at the moment. It is possible that delivery may become difficult if the delivery companies decide simply not to carry these type of articles due to hassle/legal risk. We'll have to see.

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