UK Knife Law Changes Are On Their Way
Uk Knife Law is about to change when the new Offensive Weapons Bill comes into force. Whilst the new Uk Knife Law Changes will only affect our UK readers. This article is still worth a read even if you are not a UK resident. Especially if you plan to visit the UK in the future.
The Offensive Weapons Bill plans to introduce new powers into Uk Law. These powers are said to be required to tackle three main issues:
- Knife crime.
- Acid attacks.
- The risk that criminals could obtain powerful firearms.
The purpose of this article is to get you up to speed on the new Uk Knife Law Changes. We will cover the following subject matter.
- Why The Offensive Weapons Bill 2018 has Been Proposed.
- The Proposed Changes & Implications.
- Next Steps leading Up to the UK Knife Law Changes Becoming Law.
Why The Offensive Weapons Bill 2018 has Been Proposed
The UK Government has stated that issues such as Knife crime and acid attacks are a major cause of public concern. Stating that:
These crimes have a devastating impact on communities, not just in our major cities but across the country.
They go on to say that the proposed measures detailed in the Offensive Weapons Bill will give greater protection to the public and communities. Whilst at the same time delivering their commitment to tackling serious violence providing law enforcement with the powers they need to keep the public safe.
Proposed UK Knife Law Changes & Implications
As mentioned above for the purpose of this article were only going to cover the proposed UK Knife Law Changes and implications. They are as follows:
Proposed UK Knife Law Changes
- Create new criminal offences prohibiting the dispatch of bladed products sold online to a residential address.
- Create new criminal offences for delivery companies of delivering a bladed product for a seller based outside the United Kingdom to a person under 18.
- Update the definition of a flick knife and prohibit the possession of flick knives and gravity knives. (their sale is already prohibited)
- Extend the existing offences of possessing a bladed article school premises to cover further education premises.
So let’s take a look at numbers 1 to 4 above and our opinion on the implications of these proposals.
#1 Prohibiting dispatch of bladed products sold online to a residential address
This is going to mean that once the Bill becomes law. You will no longer be able to order any knife, pocket or otherwise for direct delivery to your home. Instead, you will have to visit a store and buy directly. Or best case scenario order online for delivery to a preapproved collection point where your identity can be checked.
#2 Delivering a bladed product for a seller from outside the UK to someone under 18
This is to prevent anyone under the age of 18 circumventing the new law by ordering from an international supplier for UK delivery. Which makes perfect sense really.
#3 Update the definition of a flick knife
This proposed change is currently causing a little confusion. With many worried that a definition change in this area may intentionally or unintentionally affect non-locking slip joint folding pocket knives. Such knives are currently legal in the UK as long as they meet the following criteria:
- Folding Blade.
- The cutting edge is 3 inches long or less.
In the newly proposed Bill Clause 19 states that it would amend the current legal definition of a flick knife to read as
Any knife which has a blade which opens automatically.
(i) from the closed position to the fully opened position, or
(ii) from a partially opened position to the fully opened position, by manual pressure, applied to a button, spring or
other device in or attached to the knife, and which is sometimes known as a “flick knife” or “flick gun”
Therefore our interpretation of this proposal is that it should not affect people in the Uk who are used to carrying their faithful pocket knives. (But we shall see!!)
#4 Update existing offence of possessing a bladed article school premises
This one’s a no-brainer really as unless you have good reason to. You shouldn’t be carrying a knife on school or university premises. The proposal is designed to further current law ensuring it applies to all educational premises. The law currently does and should still continue to allow an individual to carry their trusty swiss army knife.
The new proposed Bill has already had its first and second reading in the house of commons chamber. So the next stage is the committee stage. Below is the usual process that’s followed in order for the bill to become an act of law and therefore enforceable.
The Committee stage is where A bill is considered, line by line, by committees of MPs or peers. During this stage changes or amendments are proposed and voted on. Commons bill committees are normally made up of around 20 MPs.
As part of this process, anyone who considers themselves to have the relevant expertise and experience. Or a special interest in the Offensive Weapons Bill. Can also apply to have there say heard by the committee by submitting their views in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee.
Heres an excerpt from there announcement about this made on the 28th June 2018:
The Committee is expected to meet for the first time on Tuesday 17 July 2018; it will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage, which is expected to be not later than 5.00pm on Thursday 13 September 2018. However, please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can end earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Thursday 13 September 2018.
The bill, with amendments or changes, is ‘reported’ to the House of Commons so members can check the amended bill. Those not involved at the earlier stage may also suggest further changes to the bill.
During the third reading, MPs will debate and vote on the bill in its final form. Further amendments may still be introduced In the house of Lords. A bill approved by one chamber is considered by the other.
For example, if a bill begins in the House of Commons and is approved it’s then sent to the House of Lords. Where it goes through the same stages.
If the Lords were to make changes to the Bill. It would then return to the Commons for MPs to consider the Lords’ amendments. Both the Commons and Lords have to agree on the final Bill proposed before it can become law.
The Monarch’s ‘assent’ turns a bill into an Act
With approval from the Lords and the Commons obtained. A bill will also need formal approval by the monarch. This is called ‘Royal Assent’.
This is very much a formality as the Monarch always gives their approval on the advice of ministers. At which point the bill then becomes law, and is described as an Act of Parliament.
UK Knife Law Changes – Conclusion
So will the new Uk Offensive Weapons Bill 2018 help to cut knife crime?
Maybe it will and then again maybe it won’t. Knives are not really the problem it’s the people who use them in a bad way that are the problem.
I once watched a UK documentary in which gang members carrying machetes were questioned on what if anything would put them off carrying knives. Their reply was they would rather carry one and risk a short Uk prison sentence. As opposed to not carrying one and getting stabbed by a rival gang member.
Rightly or wrongly there is a certain logic to this reply. Ideally, we should be focusing our attention on helping solve the ever-growing gang culture. Working in communities to get to the route of the problem. At the very least prison, sentences for violent knife crime should be far longer to act as a greater deterrent.
A Degree of Injustice
There are many Preppers, survivalists, campers, hikers, and other people who find it very useful to carry knives on a daily basis. Such people treat these tools with respect and don’t go waving them about and attacking people.
Whilst the new proposals will still allow certain knives to be carried if a there is a genuine reason. The walls are to some degree closing in. Should the average law-abiding citizen who wants to carry a knife on them for emergencies like cutting a seat belt in a crash be stopped from doing so.
Of course not, yet we suffer because of the actions of parts of society that need help in other ways. People who rarely respect the law anyway.
One final rant linked to Uk Preppers who are doing there best to be prepared. If the SHTF in the UK, law enforcement, and armed forces will have the means to protect themselves. But you’d be wrong to assume they can guarantee to protect you.