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Neil Babbage
Neil Babbage's picture
Consultation on Offensive Weapons

You may find this of interest. It includes proposals on acid, etc but also making it illegal to hold certain weapons privately.


Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

There is a proposed change to the law that means even having an “offensive weapon” in your own home, with no intention of using it, will be a criminal offense.

“There would be defences available for this proposed offences similar to other knife legislation, and we are also considering defences on cultural, artistic and religious grounds. For example we would not wish to criminalise a display in a museum. However, subject to these exceptions, we see no case for such dangerous weapons to be in someone’s home and possession. Even if the owner of the weapon in question has no intention at all of using it, there is a risk that they may be targeted by criminals intending to steal it.”

As I read it, this only applies to the items defined as offensive weapons here:


There are quite a few “martial arts weapons” listened there, but none that people would generally practise with or own i.e. shuriken, balisong, kusari gama, etc are listed as offensive weapons, but sai, tonfa, etc are not.

So, while what is currently proposed would not affect Kobudo practitioners, it may be time for a clean out if collectors have any of the listed weapons. I can’t imagine many do, but you never know.

This proposed change would seem to be a good one:

“We also intend to amend the existing offence of threatening with an article with blade or point or an offensive weapon set out in section 139AA of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. This currently requires the prosecution to prove that the defendant threatened another with the weapon “in such a way that there is an immediate risk of serious physical harm to that other person”. We are proposing to strengthen this offence to ensure that if anyone threatens another person with a knife the offence is committed when the victim reasonably fears they would be likely to suffer serious physical harm. This test will be based on how a reasonable person would respond to such a threat, and not whether the victim was objectively at risk of immediate serious physical harm.”

This seems like a good idea too:

the Government proposes to create a new offence of possessing a corrosive substance in a public place. The proposed offence is modelled on the current offence in section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 of possessing a bladed article in a public place. It is envisaged that similar defences to the knife possession offence would also apply to the proposed corrosive substance possession offence, such as, if the person could prove they had a good reason or lawful authority for having it in a public place.

All the best,