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Offensive Weapons Act 2019

On 14 July 2021 the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 brought in tough new measures that strengthened law enforcement’s response to violent crime. The act makes it illegal to possess dangerous weapons in private, including knuckledusters, zombie knives and death star knives, and you will soon have to verify you are over 18 to buy bladed items from the internet. The video below will tell you more about the changes to the law, and how it may affect you.


What items can I no longer possess?

The legislation amends section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 to make it a criminal offence to possess in private any weapon set out in the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) Order. Since 1988 it has been an offence to manufacture, sell, hire, offer to sell or hire, possess for the purposes of sale or hire, import, lend or give weapons to which that section applies, and this section makes unlawful the simple possession of these.

In England and Wales, and in relation to this legislation, a private place is a place other than:

• a public place
• school premises
• further education premises, or
• a prison

How does this affect online purchases?

Later in the year, you will notice changes to the process of purchasing bladed articles online. These will include:

• You will need to verify you are 18 or over. This may include the use of identity documents, credit checks or age verification systems.
• You CANNOT have bladed items delivered to a locker or other automated pick up point.
• Items will be clearly labelled as bladed articles, and those delivering the items may ask you for proof of age.

Be prepared for these changes now to ensure you receive the items you order promptly and without issue, and ALWAYS ensure you store knives securely at home.

Image by Samuele Errico Piccarini

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