Government introduces new Offensive Weapons Bill to tackle serious violence

Gov.uk is reporting that the Offensive Weapons Bill will make it harder for young people to buy knives and acid online with sellers requiring rigorous age verification to prove those purchasing knives or corrosives are over 18. Failure to do so will leave them liable for prosecution.

The Bill will also ban possession of weapons such as zombie knives, knuckle dusters and death stars both in public and private. Those who do will be forced to hand them in.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: “It is totally wrong that young people are able to get their hands on dangerous weapons such as knives and harmful acids. That is why we are making the laws around this even tighter.”

As such, existing offences of possessing a bladed article or offensive weapon on school premises has been extended to cover further education premises in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Amongst the measures of the Offensive Weapons Bill are:

  • the Bill creates a new criminal offence of selling – both online and offline – a corrosive product to a person under the age of 18. The substances and concentration levels of what constitutes a corrosive product are set out in the Bill

  • it creates new criminal offences prohibiting the dispatch of bladed products and corrosive products sold online to a residential address. The offence for bladed products is limited to those that can cause serious injury and includes defences for made to order items and those for sporting and re-enactment purposes

  • it updates the definition of a flick knife and prohibits the possession of flick knives and gravity knives (their sale etc is already prohibited)

  • it amends existing law to make it a criminal offence to possess certain weapons (such as knuckledusters and death stars) – the sale and importation of these is already prohibited. It provides for compensation of owners

Read more Government introduces new Offensive Weapons Bill to tackle serious violence

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