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Thread: panicky in the UK

  1. #26
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    Simon, if you read my posts you'll see that the method of clubs etc worked perfectly to mitigate legislation against weapons here in Oz.

    It is a suggestion, that is all.

    Your post is confusing in that they are NOT going to take your sword, but they will ban them. Please can you clarify that bit?
    Bartender and Brewmeister for the Pub


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  2. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Mat Rous View Post
    Simon, if you read my posts you'll see that the method of clubs etc worked perfectly to mitigate legislation against weapons here in Oz.

    It is a suggestion, that is all.

    Your post is confusing in that they are NOT going to take your sword, but they will ban them. Please can you clarify that bit?
    If I may, Mat. The change is not, in fact, a change in the law. It is simply to add "samurai swords" to the list of prohibited weapons reference the Offensive Weapons Act. This prohibits their sale, manufacture and import (and I believe purchase as well).

    As with the other items on the list (sword sticks, butterfly knives, extendable batons etc) if you already own one, it's not illegal to continue to own it. The only possible worry for people with no wish to buy more replica Japanese style swords (or possibly any curved single-edged replica sword) is that they may have an even harder time transporting them and making "use" of them anywhere other than their own property.

  3. #28
    Exactly. It will not become illegal to own one, only to import or sell one. (I don't think it says "buying" one will be illegal, but obviously if they can't be imported or sold then you wont be able to buy one.)

    The law is not requiring existing owners to hand in theirs for destruction. It will just become impossible for anyone to buy replicas of curved swords, or more specifically "samurai" swords if the law's wording is that precise.

    What this means is that someone could quite happily build up a collection of replica armour and swords for their aesthetics and display but would not be able to include a "samurai" sword in it. I don't really understand why this type of sword has been singled out in this way. (Well I could hazard a few guesses, but my reasons would probably fall foul of moderation.)

    I'm not sure that it would be any more difficult to transport them than it is now. For example, while it is already illegal to carry one in public, it is perfectly legal to wrap them up securely and post them. I'm not sure that adding them to the Offensive Weapons Act will change this. There must be some precedent or case law stemming from previous additions to the Act that have had to be shipped for repair. What also isn't clear is whether someone carrying out repair to a replica sword would be considered under the law to be selling it. Or is a replica sword was send to have a new saya made for it, would this constitute "manufacture" and also fall foul of the law.

    Si
    Last edited by Simon Robbins; 12-28-2007 at 06:26 AM.

  4. #29
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    Doesn't lending and hire also fall foul of the proposed law? Wouldn't this make sending one to someone to work on illegal?

  5. #30
    It also means that any nihonto imported after the law goes inot effect are probably gonna need their shisa nbthk papers in order to qualify as a genuine japanese sword or antique, which are exempt from the law if i'm not mistaken.
    Alright! You and your bastages can gamble. But don't try no fargin' trick, otherwise you wind up with your bells in a sling!

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Thornton View Post
    It also means that any nihonto imported after the law goes inot effect are probably gonna need their shisa nbthk papers in order to qualify as a genuine japanese sword or antique, which are exempt from the law if i'm not mistaken.
    Hmm not sure on that, as I bet most import officers can't read Japanese.

  7. #32
    True. I wonder how they are gonna tell true nihonto from the reproductions.
    Alright! You and your bastages can gamble. But don't try no fargin' trick, otherwise you wind up with your bells in a sling!

  8. #33
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    Right from what I have read it seems that tanto will be fine. Can I have any confirmation on this?

    Will

  9. #34
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    Right from what I have read it seems that tanto will be fine. Can I have any confirmation on this?
    Yes!

    Tanto will not be included in the Amendment to the Criminal Justice Act (Samurai Sword Bill).

    (Provided the blade length is under 30cm)

  10. #35
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    Hi Jez, thanks for that... So the bill says that if the blade is over 30cm it is them a 'samurai sword'? I can't find the document on sfi otherwise id check myself.

    Thanks!

  11. #36
    By "blade", do they mean point to guard on complete weapon, or point to end of tang?

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan S Ferguson View Post
    By "blade", do they mean point to guard on complete weapon, or point to end of tang?
    Point to guard on complete weapon.

  13. #38
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    Jez, I just looked at the papers and cannot see where it states that tanto ie under 30cm would be excempt. Could you please show some light on this?

  14. #39
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    Hi William,
    Sorry I didn't reply earlier, I was double checking the links (also had my tea).Anyway try these:


    Samurai Sword Bill
    http://www.publications.parliament.u...06217.i-i.html

    Also Banning Offensive Weapons A consultation
    http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documen...07?view=Binary

  15. #40
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    Ah I see, thanks a lot Jez much appreciated.

    Looks like they are certainly covering their definitions with the term "For the purposes of this section, the term "samurai sword" shall mean a thrusting, striking or cutting weapon with a blade of 30cm or more which is curved to any degree, having one sharpened edge capable of inflicting a cut of any description on a person and having a hilt or a handle."

    This covers all sabres, which I take it have not been banned but I do not see where it says otherwise.

  16. #41
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    *double post*
    Last edited by Andrew Jackson; 01-04-2008 at 06:37 AM.

  17. #42
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    May also cover some kitchen knives...

    How long's my breadknife, I wonder?

    The provision in sub (5) for an order exempting anything they feel like exempting may be useful, although I have to say I dislike this approach of "prohibit by law, permit by concession".
    Never give a sword to a man who can't dance

  18. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Jez Hanton View Post
    Point to guard on complete weapon.
    Thanks Jez. I suppose that was the same question as william's phrased differently. The sabre issue is one that concerns me rather more.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jez Hanton View Post
    This a link to an old bill from 2006 that failed to pass. This is not the definition of "samurai sword" that the government is using.

  20. #45
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    Hi Peter,
    I believe this to be the original bill as introduced by the House of Commons, I'm not sure that it "failed to pass" as it is currently in the House of Lords. The Home Office Consultation Paper is only a summary.
    If you know where to find a more recent or up to date Bill then please let us know.
    Jez

  21. #46
    Forgive me, as I am not that knowlegable when it comes to the workings of the british government, but i read somewhere that the house of commons can force a bill through even if it is rejected by the house of lords. Cany anybody verify/deny this?
    Alright! You and your bastages can gamble. But don't try no fargin' trick, otherwise you wind up with your bells in a sling!

  22. #47
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    If memory serves, the 2006 bill is a private member's bill that disappeared (as most private member's bills do) due to not being given government time.

    The new proposals will add whatever definition they decide on to the Offensive Weapons Order and this (as far as I am aware) will not require a vote in Parliament.

    Regarding Andrew's question on the Commons overruling the Lords, you are thinking of the Parliament Act. This allows the Government to force legislation through the Lords and was most recently used to ban hunting with dogs.
    Last edited by Oliver Barker; 01-08-2008 at 06:31 AM.

  23. #48
    The commons can force a bill through, even though the Lords rejects it, if it was included in their election manifesto. The commons might be able to do this will a bill that was not in their manifesto- it is not clear and would be a case by case thing.

    Laws are introduced first as a bill. They get royal assent and become an Act. They are then enforced by an Order that is usually several months after the act becomes law. This extra time allows guidance to be sent out to police, lawyers and the courts.

    As Oliver says, the government might have got the right to circumvent this process by passing a law that allows the home secretary to add weapons to a list that he controls.

  24. #49
    A British government can indeed push a Bill through the Commons, despite a refusal by the Lords to pass it, although it usually takes time. (Conversely, it was an extremely fast and efficient process in the days when laws used to be justified ones.) The process has recently been streamlined by removing the voting rights of most hereditary peers.

    This isn't the issue with this latest proposal, though. Previous legislation was framed in such a way that additions to the list of offensive weapons could be made by an Order in Council. This could only be done because of such a prior provision. In a similar way, laws normally take force from the moment they are enacted, unless there is provision for a later date of coming into force.

    Note that there are two quite different criteria for offensive weapons in the UK. The lesser pretty much means "pointy thing", which you must have some reasonable use where and when you are carrying it, but can possess freely at home. Only a pocket knife with a non-locking blade not over three inches is considered justifiable just about anywhere.

    A small group of fairly precisely defined items can't be sold, imported or carried anywhere, including flick-knives (for about fifty years), or more recently butterfly knives and modern swordsticks. It is proposed to add swords to this list. (Incidentally for the other list, length is of cutting edge, and it would be logical to measure a tanto the same way. If logic has anyting to do with it.)

    The original proposal seemed to suggest swords commonly known as samurai swords, which curved European-style swords aren't. British courts don't like being dictated to, , and any attempt to say "That's what we're going to start calling them" is likely to result in embarrassing acquittals.

    This URL gives access to Adobe .pdf files of what was originally proposed, and a summary of the submissions the government invited, with a cutoff date in May 2007. These documents don't entirely clarify how they have reacted, and what they will put into force.

    http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documen...nsive-weapons/

    Do I think the proposals will protect people against large-sharp-object crime? Of course not, for all the reasons you know, and I don't think it is meant to. I think it is failure legislation, designed so that after the problem continues, they can say "Oh, but one tried all one could." If it was really about saving lives, they would do something about the larger numbers who die in police cells, under every circumstance from the most innocent to the most culpable.

    In many ways they weren't uninformed, either before or after the submissions, about nihonto or the type of sword which actually has figured in crime. Nothing in the submissions goes against their original intention of not banning genuine nihonto swords, including those made in Japan after the restoration of independence in 1954-54. The Japanese government has conveniently defined who can be a registered swordsmith, what is a legally ownable sword there, and how many he can make. So an accelerating flood isn't to be feared.

    It is early days to know what they mean by permitting the listed activities in relation to antique and perhaps modern nihonto swords, or by the changes not applying to swords already in Britain. Nothing so far suggests that club membership will be of advantage for anyone except martial arts practitioners. I would hope not, since collectors don't like being forced into organisations.

    In particular, it is difficult to know what is meant by exemptions for existing swords. If ownership isn't to be banned anyway, why say this? It may be that buying and selling will be allowed too, of swords you already own in the UK. The continued right to own is important. It means they have no leverage, except asking nicely, to make you prove where, when or from whom you got it.

    I disagree that governments are afraid of organisations. They LOVE "governing bodies", who can be intimidated into doing their work by stringent criteria for membership, while the politicians say "It isn't us."

    We must remember that registration means the danger of harrassment or confiscation. I also doubt if the police are ever uninterested in arresting for the crime of being arrestable. They meet a better class of person, and achieve the statistical nirvana of no offence till they have a culprit. With clearup rates running at about 20%, you could offset four failures.

    It is unlikely, and would be most unfair, if antique and probably modern Japanese nihonto were to be treated differentlly from antique firearms, which seem so relevant that I hope it's legitimate to mention them. The original intent of the police and Home Office was to restrict a long-standing but vaguely expressed exemption to include little but muzzle-loaders. But after several court cases against vindictive prosecution, including one of mine, and much lobbying by patently well-intentioned authorities, a long list of cartridge firearms, sometimes much more recent than the US standard, was conceded in the Home Office's "Guidance to the Police". If you are interested enough for a long download, you can find it here:

    http://police.homeoffice.gov.uk/news....pdf?version=1

    This, over the years, has been a most enviable success. Few if any such firearms have ever been used in crime, but a legitimate market and value has caused them to flow steadily into responsible hands, instead of passing from one schoolboy into another.

    The firearm exemption applies only to use as a curiosity or ornament, and I think attempts to look for a more serious antiquarian interest or large collection are becoming less pronounced. If Parliament means "object of serious academic study", it probably knew how to say so. So anybody with the ammunition, or carrying an antique into a bank or enemy's house, is back on the toasting-fork.

  25. #50
    I collect both Japanese and Chinese swords, does the ban mean that i can't import Chinese Jian? I think Dao are prohibited even though they aren't Japanese

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