A STRONG ban on a wide range of specific knives, weapons and firearms goes into effect Wednesday, July 14 as part of the government’s action to tackle violent crime and serious violence.
Cyclonic knives, spiral knives and “rapid fire” rifles are among those covered by the ban, all of which have been linked to severe violence in communities across the country.
A new legal definition of knives with knives, banned since 1959, also comes into force, resulting in the banning of more of these bladed weapons.
All weapons banned in public by the Criminal Justice Act 1988, including zombie knives, shurikens or death stars and brass knuckles, will now also be banned in private, meaning people will not be able to plus keep them at home.
Anyone who illegally owns a firearm covered by the ban faces up to 10 years in prison and those who own any of the other weapons can be sentenced to up to six months in prison or a fine. or both.
Deputy Chief of Police Sacha Hatchett said: “The damage to families and communities caused by the tragic loss of life linked to knife crime is devastating and that is why focusing on this problem remains a top priority for the police. police.
“We welcome the legislative changes introduced by the Offensive Weapons Act. These measures will help officers to seize more dangerous weapons, deal with those who intend to use them to cause damage and suffering, and most importantly, it will be more difficult for young people to obtain knives and other dangerous objects in the first place.
“Knife crime is not something that can be solved only by the police. We work closely with partners and with groups such as schools and businesses to educate young people and explain why carrying a knife is never the right choice. This early intervention plays a vitally important role in preventing young people from turning to a life of crime. “
Interior Minister Priti Patel said: “There is no place in our society for violent crime and damage caused by such knives and guns. Lives have been lost due to severe violence, and this ban will help save lives by removing more knives and other weapons from the streets and from the hands of violent criminals.
“The human suffering and injuries caused by the tragic loss of life caused by violent crime is unacceptable, which is why the government will stop at nothing to empower the police to stop violent crime and protect the public. .
“From today, anyone who illegally possesses any of these deadly weapons will face the full force of law.”
The provisions are set out in the Government’s Offensive Weapons Act, which received Royal Assent in May 2019.
From December 2020 to March 2021, the government put in place a program allowing members of the public to turn over any item falling under the new ban to the police and to seek compensation from the Interior Ministry.
During the period, 14,965 knives and offensive weapons, 1,133 “rapid fire” firearms (as defined in the Offensive Weapons Act) and more than 32,000 items of auxiliary equipment were handed over, the ministry said. of the Interior receiving and processing 829 compensation claims.
The government is also reminding the public of upcoming changes to the antique firearms law.
The Antique Firearms Regulations 2021, introduced in March of this year, provide for the first time a legal definition of an “antique firearm” to prevent criminals from exploiting the lack of clarity of the law for s ‘seize such a weapon for criminal purposes.
Firearm owners who ceased to be antiques following the 2021 regulation have until September 22 this year to apply to the police for a firearms certificate, which allows them to possess these weapons legally. Alternatively, they can hand over, sell, or otherwise dispose of the firearm before September 22.
Police continue to urge anyone to contact them if they know someone involved in illegal weapons to contact them through the website or by calling 101. Alternatively, contact can also be made through Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.