The industry calls for government to cut 'misguided' plans for online knife sales ban

By Georgia Bronte contact

- Last updated on GMT

The industry calls for government to scrap proposed online knife sales ban
A petition for the government to scrap a policy proposal that would stop knife suppliers shipping knives to customers’ homes has been signed by over 21,000 people, including Wahaca founder Thomasina Miers and celebrity chef Mark Lloyd.

The policy, which is under consideration as section 15 of the Offensive Weapons Bill, would make it an offence for a knife seller to deliver or arrange delivery of a knife to a home or locker where the sale was made remotely.

The penalties for breaking the law include fines and prison sentences, with the maximum sentence being 51 weeks.

The new law would make it impossible for self-employed tradesmen to have bladed tools delivered to their residence, and the petition also says that the law would contravene the human rights of the housebound and infirm who are unable to travel to shops. 

Concern has been expressed across the industry by those that would be worst affected by the proposed policy, such as chefs and knife suppliers.

“The new proposed legislation will make it illegal for me to post knives directly to the homes of my customers and will severely threaten the viability of my business, and many others,” says Harriet Murland, managing director of knife supplier Kin Knives, urging people to sign the petition.

“Please sign the petition to remove Article 15 of the offensive weapons bill. The draft new law would damage my company so much.”

The government responded to concerns with a statement stating the exemptions it would introduce to the policy, but it was seen as inadequate by many industry players, including Kin Knives, which describes the response as “pathetic”.

Certain knives exempt from the restrictions would include bespoke knives; knives with blades less than three inches long; and table knives, and deliveries to residential addresses that are registered as running as businesses from home would be permitted.

If the petition reaches 100,000 signatures it will be debated in parliament. To view the petition click here.

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