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Controversial New Weapons Law Introduced

by | May 20, 2019 | Criminal Law, General News, In The Media, Wounding, Youth Crime | 0 comments

Controversial New Weapons Law Introduced

Although controversial, on 16th May 2019 the Offensive Weapons bill received Royal Assent, bringing into law the Offensive Weapons Act 2019.

Why was this law passed?

The aim of the legislation is to address and help to reduce the current problems in relation to knife crime and other serious weapons. It remains to be seen as to whether the new measures will be effective and we will be monitoring all new measures being brought in very closely.

Is it in force now?

As with most Acts of Parliament different provisions come in to force at different times, so do consult us to ascertain the latest position.

What are the main changes?

New offences:

Sale of corrosive products to persons under 18 – With a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment, this may present a significant challenge for some smaller retailers who will need to ensure that all staff are properly trained to avoid potential prosecution and punishment.

The offence of having a corrosive substance in a public place – If you are found guilty of this you will face a maximum sentence of 4 years’ imprisonment.

The offence of breaching knife crime prevention order – This offence carries a maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment.

Sale etc. of bladed articles to persons under 18 – This provision extends existing law but introduces several complex challenges for retailers.

These provisions will also effect online retailers.

Knife Crime Prevention Orders:

This could pretty much be called a ‘knife crime ASBO’ and is one of the boldest preventative orders ever to have been put on the statute book.

These new laws have received widespread condemnation, and the implementation (likely to be piloted first in London) will most certainly be controversial. We are awaiting further details of the pilot along with statutory guidance on their use.

Other changes of note:

  • Amendments to the definition of “flick knife” to cover knives fully opened from a partially open condition and by ‘manual pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in or attached to the knife’. This change is designed to remove existing ‘loopholes’ in the current legislation
  • Prohibition on the possession of certain dangerous knives
  • Prohibition on the possession of offensive weapons on further education premises
  • Prohibition on the possession of offensive weapons (numerous statutory amendments)

Numerous changes to offences concerning:

  • The offence of threatening with an offensive weapon etc. in a public place etc
  • The offence of threatening with an offensive weapon etc. on further education premises
  • The offence of threatening with an offensive weapon etc. in a private place
  • Search for corrosive substance on school or further education premises
  • Various firearms offences

We will ensure that we can always provide comprehensive, up to date advice as we will be closely following the implementation of new laws and measures to provide the best possible service.

How we can assist

If you need specialist advice, then get in touch with Morton’s Solicitors on 0161 477 1121 or email us and let us help, we deal with all manner criminal offences on a daily basis and have the expertise to get you the best result possible.

 

 

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