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Mike Lee




Location: South West
Joined: 06 Mar 2008

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Wed 26 Mar, 2008 4:25 am    Post subject: Proposed ban of ALL swords by October 2008         Reply with quote

Without any wish to cause any of the unpleasantness of the last (removed) thread I wanted to let you all know that I have spoken to the Home Office today and discussions are underway to widen the Sword Ban to cover ALL swords by October 2008.

Usual exemptions will apply (martial artists / re-enactors etc) and there may be further exemptions for cavalry style swords which got caught up in the ban but as yet it is all being dealt with 'behind closed doors'

There are no plans for a further consultation.

I will update you all if and when further info becomes available.

I refuse to have a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Wed 26 Mar, 2008 9:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Folks,
Two threads on this subject have been removed in recent weeks, for a variety of reasons. First, they get off-topic by talking about politics: past, present, and future. They also suffer from too much anger being displayed. Lastly, the amount of vitriol that gets spewed on these threads can serve to make legislation like this more likely to pass--it can actually hurt the cause. The media and others can, and do, find these discussions via search engines and some posts can actually harm public opinion about our hobby.

This thread will also probably end up in the trash when all is said and done since people can't seem to remember the other threads and why they were trashed.

Railing here serves no purpose for your cause and may actually harm it. If this proposed ban bothers you, take it up with your representation in your government in a calm, rational manner. Organize with your fellow collectors and all who would be affected and reason with your government officials.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 26 Mar, 2008 8:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

ADMINISTRATIVE NOTICE

This is an important issue. I want people to have the ability to discuss it on this site. I, however, will not allow this discussion to veer off-course into areas that not only harm the goals of this site but venture into bickering and other activities that are never allowed on these forums.

You are advised to read Chad's notice above as well as heed my warning:

Any person wishing to add to this conversation that cannot do it rationally and with respect to this site's stated mission and goals will lose his right to post on the site temporarily or permanently. This will be decided solely at my discretion. I will spend no further time to outline such guidelines past what I've already done in this post and elsewhere so if you do not believe you fully understand them, I advise you not to post here.

If you want to discuss this issue rationally and in a constructive manner, you are welcome. Do not bring off-topic politics into it. Do not argue with others. Do not disrespect others. Do not represent yourself as an aggressive weapon-wielding weirdo. Do not come in here with a defensive stance. Keep the insults, judgments, name-calling out of here. And please, at all costs, take a step back and consider your additions to this topic and how they might serve both sides of the weapon-legislation issue. Respect that this site has a goal to propagate the acceptance of the interest of arms and armour to the everyday-person. If your additions to this topic may serve as ammunition against such a stance, intentionally or not, you are likely stepping out of bounds.

I encourage you all to discuss this issue amongst yourselves in private. Such discussions can be much more free and serve the purpose of allowing you to vent. This is not the place to vent.

I understand that many of you may feel impassioned about this issue. Keep yourselves in check.

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Gavin Kisebach




Location: Lacey, Wa US
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PostPosted: Wed 26 Mar, 2008 9:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mike can you clarify a bit? I have no desire to get into commentary here, but I've no idea what the Home Office is, or what "the Sword Ban" is referring to. Please excuse my ingorance; I don't know where you live. Can you provide more details on the specific piece of legislation that you are referring to?

This forum is probably not the best place to take action on such legislaton, but details will help those concerned about such plans to get involved in a more productive venue.

Thanks
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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Wed 26 Mar, 2008 9:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alrighty then!

Fools rush in and all that so I guess I'll go first!

Chad and Nathan, my deepest thanks for a truly gutsy decision.

Mike, this is a terrible piece of legislation and it should be fought somehow. I truly don't know what those of us in other countries can do to help other than provide moral support.

I live near a small city in New England and there are shootings and stabbings at least weekly if not almost nightly and it is absolute poison for the city. It used to have a pretty active entertainment and restaurant district but that has largely died because the people with money to spend would rather go somewhere where they don't have to worry about being shot or stabbed. I can understand people wanting to live a life unthreatened by thugs or violence. I can't understand blaming an object rather than the person using it.

What I don't understand is that swords are such a huge part of British history and tradition it just doesn't make sense to ban them. I would think that swords are a cultural icon in Britain. King Arthur wouldn't be King Arthur without a sword, would he? Do you think that using the historical and cultural aspect of swords in Britain would help make an argument to soften the ban?

I really hesitate to suggest licensing because at least in this state licensing requirements for guns are deliberately onerous in order to discourage people from owning them.

Mike, please write back and explain the extent of the ban (is it total?) and what, if anything, is being done about the impending legislation.


Ken Speed
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Bennison N




Location: Auckland, New Zealand
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PostPosted: Wed 26 Mar, 2008 10:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I live in New Zealand, which is still an English colony, and saturated with contemporary British culture.

I often "hang out" with a young English gentleman from Manchester who, to my great surprise, once told me that he had to wear a stab-proof uniform jacket to high school, and that his high school was in a very high-income, higher middle class area. He had, in the recent past, shown me how to make an effective, possibly lethal, cutting edge from a single piece of A4 paper.

Another dear West Indian friend of mine from England went as far as to inform me that, in his home suburb in London, a certain immigrant group, which I refuse to name, regularly had to-the-death, invariably lethal sword duels at night, in the middle of the street, or in the local football park. This was said to happen on nearly a bi-weekly basis. At first I thought of this as a strange form of racial discrimination, until another entire group of unrelated Londoners and Scousers told me the same. My very beautiful Irish friend also once told me that she had once been attacked by a man, in England, wielding a large khukri, and had had everything she owned removed from her flat right in front of her.

I believe, however incredibly exaggerated I might personally consider a total ban to be, that it is attempting to negate this type of violence, which seems to be more and more commonplace in the more densely populated areas. I would simply recommend harsher legal punishment, perhaps immediate jail or hospital time, instead of fines and community service.

I might also suggest the licensing system they have in place here in NZ. If you want to own a live blade, a firearm, or any form of possibly lethal weapon, you must obtain a license for that grade from the local Police Station. This involves a short interview about safety-related knowledge, a psychological examination and an inspection of your storage facilities (hence my "sword room"...).

Failure to meet all requirements results in not obtaining a license, and the confiscation of your weapons. This is a very fair, effective system, by all accounts. We still have our crazy axe murderers, but very few and far between. This has resulted in our Law Enforcement representatives not needing to carry firearms. They still have access, if absolutely essential, but rely instead on high-voltage units. The news coverage surrounding a single death can sometimes last for weeks on end...

That is the system I would put in place instead of a ban.

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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Mike Lee




Location: South West
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Mar, 2008 12:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just to clarify - this ban is within the UK only. As of April 6th any sword with a curved blade over 50cm will be banned (under an amendment to the Criminal Justice Act 1988) and there are discussions underway to look at widening the ban to include all swords. There are some exemptions Eg. items over 100 years old / re-enactors / martial artists etc. but unless re-enactors and martial artists belong to a club with adequate public liability insurance they will not be able to obtain swords.

The best way to help prevent further punitive legislation is to join the AKCT or write to your MP (not taking the first response as final!)

I refuse to have a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed.
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George Davidson




Location: Glasgow Scotland
Joined: 01 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Thu 27 Mar, 2008 2:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

just as a quick background from the UK ...
our accident and liability insurance costs 60 ($120). We need it to be allowed to use the council halls that is my clubs home so from one point of view (assuming it holds), it affects us not a jot - as long as we exist as a club.

The following were notes made by Jonathan Miller of the British Federation for Historic Swordplay during the debate in the house of commons a couple of weeks ago when the new law came up for review. Hope its helpful...

Notes from Delegated Legislation Committee on CJA Amendment 2008

Vernon Coaker (Labour minister)
There have been 80 incidents involving 'samurai swords', including 10 murders in the last few years including:
i) 3 youths in an incident in Newport 2006
ii) Cheltenham MP incident
iii)Lincoln incident last month.

The fact that the definition in this legislation will catch swords other than 'samurai swords' is 'proportionate'.
There would be a defence for martial arts practitioners.

James Brokenshire (Conservative, Hornchurch) Had introduced a Private Members Bill to ban samurai swords previously.
Cited 3 more incidents:
i) hand severed
ii) samurai sword brandished in children's play area
iii) violent assault with samurai sword

Samurai swords have a link with gang culture and are seen as a rite of passage.
Samurai swords are the weapon of choice for criminals and are as easy to purchase as a Lotto ticket.

Existing laws cover the use of samurai swords for criminal purposes.
Devon & Cornwall Police had a scheme where a 3 month call to stop selling samurai swords resulted in a reduction in the number of reported incidents.

The current legislation created an offence, with specified defences, in line with his Private Members Bill.

Representations received from the public.
Swords do have legitimate uses: Martial Arts and Historical Re- enactment.
Sikh Tulwars will be covered by this legislation. What consultation had there been on religious/cultural uses of swords?
The regulation refers to 'Sport' though there is no definition of 'Sport c.f. Licensing Act and Gender Recognition Act.
Many Martial Arts are not recognised as sports by the UK Sport Councils.
Historical Re-enactment and Fencing have requested guidelines in the regulation.
The insurance definition is not adequate for the practices of Historical Re-enactment and Martial Arts.
Collectors of swords as valuable items, the exemptions are framed only in terms of swords made in Japan.
There are other artefacts, such as Chinese swords, that are not from Japan.

The territorial nature of the legislation was questioned... England & Wales, Northern Ireland, but not Scotland.
What discussions were had with Scotland.

Jenny Willotts (Lib Dem)
Most of her comments have already been made.
Want to ban 'samurai swords', but this wording has gone from the draft, leaving it with a much wider scope.
Sikh Tulwars are now covered, and also Historical Re-enactment is covered.

Why was the wording changed?
Will the definition be reconsidered if it is found to be too broad?
592 samurai swords on ebay, ~500 are less than 30.

What has dept. done with respect to online retailers?

Curved swords stated, but what about straight blades?
2500 straight blades on ebay.
Liability insurance?
Historical Reenactment involves 18000 people, and the insurance they have does not fit the description in the regulation.
Historial Fencing is not a sport, nor Historical Re-enactment.

David Davis (Con, Monmouth)
I am a special constable.
I have never encountered a samurai sword on the street.
These weapons would be used by committed criminals and their use would be premeditated.
Samurai swords are not the real issue.
How many prosecutions have there been from other Offensive Weapons sales?
What about Naval Cutlasses?
Historical Re-enactors should not be penalised because they are are 'nearly always quite law abiding'
Samurai swords are not the real issue, Stop & Search powers are needed.
Inadequate punishments for guns swords and knife crimes

[heckling from Labour MP who makes no sensible contribution to the debate at all - criticising Conservative voting record]

Where are the sentencing guidelines for magistrates?
Only see a handful of cases in magistrates courts.
He was involved in a case where 2 youths with a gun were given 8 months referral - not a punishment at all.

Vernon Coaker's response
80 incidents makes this a serious problem, though admittedly not in terms of numbers.
people can't believe it is not already illegal to purchase swords..
Will publish guidance on the issues raised.
Would be arrogant & stupid not to review the unintended consequences.

Religious uses of swords - not aware of these Sport, defined as sports using curved swords as per the description.
Martial arts, kendo & others, no intention to ban these.

Jenny Willott
Will the definition be that used by the Sport Councils?

Vernon Coaker
No, definition as specified in Order

James Brokenshire
What is a sport? Will the definition include Martial Arts

Vernon Coaker
Martial Arts & Sports requiring the use of a curved sword as defined in the order will not be captured.
Fencing is a sport, and we have no intention to ban sabres.
Insurance is aimed at preventing unscrupulous dealers.
3rd party insurance does not include member to member insurance.
c.f. legislation on imitation firearms.

Collectors - collectable Japanese items.
Extending the definition outside Japan would include cheap swords We will reflect on the definition.

He has discussed the legislation with Scottish counterparts to ensure consistency.
Samurai swords definition in the regulation is preferable to letting all swords be on sale.

Has met with ebay to prevent swords being sold.
ACPO consulted on enforcement.

Geoffrey Robinson (Labour)
Queried the Hampton prinicple (?)
Ban on import - what about current stocks?
Will there be an amnesty on sword stock?
Believes that a definition of made in Japan after 1954 is adequate.

Vernon Coaker
Amnesty has been considered, and yes the definition is adequate.

Griffin?
Former Light Cavalry officer.
What about 1796 light cavalry sabre? Will it be possible to pass swords and heirlooms on via inheritance? or will that be caught under sell, loan, give, hire etc?

Vernon Coaker
Yes, it will be possible to pass swords on via inheritance, this will not be covered by the regulation.
There have been 40 prosecutions for selling offensive weapons in 8 years, and this won't increase significantly after the passing of this bill.

Robert Key
Moved that the order had been considered.
Passed unanimously.
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Mike Lee




Location: South West
Joined: 06 Mar 2008

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PostPosted: Thu 27 Mar, 2008 6:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I saw the transcript of this discussion in Hansard. The sheer number of inaccuracies, assumptions and misleading statements are staggering.

If you want true entertainment, read the discussion of this bill in the House of Lords, you can;t make this stuff up!

I refuse to have a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed.
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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 27 Mar, 2008 6:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

All,

This is "sound bite" legislation and, elected representatives do this sort of thing so that they can point to it and say they've done something about the problem. The unfortunate fact is that they haven't. Lets assume that the legislation is effective and enforceable what happens? Thugs and mental defectives simply use something else. My take on things is that it is the act that should be punished not the artifact. A samurai sword ban isn't going to do any good if someone is bludgeoned with a piece of rebar picked up from a construction site. The penalty for assault, aggravated assault and the like should be severe enough to act as a deterrent and police and prosecutors should be returned to their original job which was protecting the public.

Things may be different in Britain but where I live our governor publicly identified traffic fines as a source of revenue for the state and advocated raising them to add money to state coffers. Since this state has a budget shortfall of 1.3 billion dollars I'll leave to your imagination what and where the police spend most of their efforts. If the same scenario is at work in Britain perhaps the appropriate authorities should be reminded that the police are supposed to be protecting individuals not attempting to balance the budget.

I guess, in the short term, the thing to do is to form a club. I suppose educating the electorate and legislators is worth a try but I don't hold out a lot of hope.

Ken Speed
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Mar, 2008 7:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The idea that passing laws after the fact, no matter how many existing laws were broken in the commision of a crime being seen by politicians and to at least some extent the public as thier politicians "doing something" is a phenominon not limited to England. By way of example there were something like 12 Federal laws alone broken in the commision of the Columbine massacre, I have no idea how many state and local laws, and the end response was to pass still more laws. Standing as an example that the passage of laws prevents nothing when an individual decides to disregard them ( it hardly requires a college education, to know that it is illegal to got into a school and massacre its students or to kill or maime some one with a cutting instrument when not in self defense), even heavy enforcement will not net every kook but we would be far better served if this were the "call to action" instead, but for the worse it would seem, it has become accepted in society that politicians passing after the fact laws, and seemingly the bigger the better, is now the standard of "taking action". I cannot remember the person to whom the quote should be attributed but some one in days gone by said " people will surrender every freedom willingly under the guise of public safety".
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George Davidson




Location: Glasgow Scotland
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Mar, 2008 7:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

not to get into the political slanging match that will end this thread faster than a longsword blow to the nose but here is an recent example of lack of joined up thinking in government regarding weapons and the law ...

* the PM gordon brown makes speech that people found with guns will face harsh sentencing,
* the police in merseyside blitz criminals suspected of using firearms,
* the judges hand down sentences to the convicted criminals
* but due to government sentencing rules (brought in to keep people out of our full to bursting point jails) most are let off with very minor jail time or even community service.

I hope we are not going down the same path here. Harsh laws that mess up our lives but do sod all to get the nutters with their stainless steel katanas off the street resulting in more restrictive laws and round we go ad nauseam!
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Darrin Hughes




Location: England
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Mar, 2008 8:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just to inject a note of caution. To say that a ban on curved swords will be in place by April 6th is slightly inaccurate. The bill proposes that a ban be introduced by that date, but this is just one piece of legislation amongst many which parliament will be considering during this session. George mentioned that this was actually proposed in 2006 by James Brokenshire. Looking back through the records on the parliament web-site shows that this was recommended for a second reading in October of that year and that was the end of it. The bill was simply pushed aside by the sheer amount of other legislation being discussed and never got past the second reading.
Now I have no desire to tempt fate here, but there are a large number of bills to be considered in the current session, many of which will never get through the whole procedure involved in getting passed. That is simply the way it works. MPs are entitled to ask Parliament to consider a bill, or an amendment to current legislation. It is a long way from there to actually getting something made into law.

Cheers,
Darrin.
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Thu 27 Mar, 2008 8:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Perhaps focussing on possible action and on concreteness would be more useful than discussing aspects as to why sword- banning legislation is not a good plan. Preaching to the choir does nothing.

Leave the arguments for those who need to hear them- namely those involved in the legislation.

Just my 2 cents.
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Mike Lee




Location: South West
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Mar, 2008 8:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Darrin Hughes wrote:
Just to inject a note of caution. To say that a ban on curved swords will be in place by April 6th is slightly inaccurate. The bill proposes that a ban be introduced by that date, but this is just one piece of legislation amongst many which parliament will be considering during this session. George mentioned that this was actually proposed in 2006 by James Brokenshire. Looking back through the records on the parliament web-site shows that this was recommended for a second reading in October of that year and that was the end of it. The bill was simply pushed aside by the sheer amount of other legislation being discussed and never got past the second reading.
Now I have no desire to tempt fate here, but there are a large number of bills to be considered in the current session, many of which will never get through the whole procedure involved in getting passed. That is simply the way it works. MPs are entitled to ask Parliament to consider a bill, or an amendment to current legislation. It is a long way from there to actually getting something made into law.

Cheers,
Darrin.


Unfortunately your info is a little out of date.

This legislation was read in a closed committee debate on the 17th March and went before the House of Lords on the 18th.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm20...317s01.htm

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld20...1866000003

As I previously mentioned, the House of Lords debate need to be read to be believed!

I think it's safe to say that this legislation is silly, ineffective and nothing more than a smoke screen to give the impression something is being done - rather than spend time discussing how silly this governemnt are, would it not be best to discuss how best to oppose it?

I refuse to have a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed.
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Peter Bosman




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PostPosted: Thu 27 Mar, 2008 8:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

George Davidson wrote:
...but do sod all to get the nutters with their stainless steel katanas off the street resulting ....


Ok, so what will? It seems obvious that the perception this group exists and is a risk, is a threat for bona fide practicioners.

I was quite and pleasantly surprised to read the constable considered the above group mentioned a non issue and correctly adressed the fact that a criminal will per definition not be bothered by a ban.

Bottom line is that MY perception is that the home office is aware of the bona fide users and allows/is willing to allow defense for those, is willing to amend the act to accomodate those if needed. My perception is positive: the way I see it, the worst case scenario is that a bona fide user will need to become a member of a group.
The way I see it, this law gives bona fide users RIGHTS opposed to the group mentioned by George.

The quality replica makers supply the bona fide users so no problem there either?
It is quite possible that I misunderstand the thing, but as it is I do not see a problem Surprised

peter
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Mike Lee




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PostPosted: Thu 27 Mar, 2008 9:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Bosman wrote:
Bottom line is that MY perception is that the home office is aware of the bona fide users and allows/is willing to allow defense for those, is willing to amend the act to accomodate those if needed. My perception is positive: the way I see it, the worst case scenario is that a bona fide user will need to become a member of a group.
The way I see it, this law gives bona fide users RIGHTS opposed to the group mentioned by George.

The quality replica makers supply the bona fide users so no problem there either?
It is quite possible that I misunderstand the thing, but as it is I do not see a problem Surprised

peter


All well and good - but there are thousands of enthusiasts and collectors who either do not live within easy reach of a club, cannot / do not wish to incurr the expense of joining a club or simply wish to be able to enjoy their hobby in the privacy of their own home without the need for enforced justification of intent.

There are also many collectors who cannot afford a high quality replica so choose to collect cheaper models. We impose snobbery between ourselves at our peril.

Quite how restricting access to legitimate items gives people rights is at best vague.

And Luka - it's UK legislation we're dealing with, sorry should have mentioned that in my original post.

I refuse to have a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed.
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Michael S. Rivet





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PostPosted: Thu 27 Mar, 2008 10:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Okay, I wouldn't normally put my nose in here, since I do not live in the U.K. or, frankly, understand its legal system in the slightest. Which is why I'd like to ask our U.K. comrades for a little cross-puddle clarification.

Is the proposed ban going to affect makers, retailers, buyers, owners, or all of the above? Will this prevent U.K.-based smiths from actually making swords, or just force buyers and owners to provide assurance that they are a member of a legitimate group or otherwise permitted to buy and own?

There was a passing comment about "expanding the ban" to include "all swords" by October. How solid is that information? Are their clear guidelines describing what's a "sword" and what's a dagger, knife, etc.?

Could this affect the manufacture of reproduction swords for export? Should those of us who'd love to own a Castle Keep or Armour Class sword hurry up and place an order before it's too late, or are International sales completely unaffected?

My heart goes out to those of you in the U.K. who are struggling to find middle ground between public safety and a beloved hobby.
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Peter Bosman




Location: Andalucia
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Mar, 2008 11:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mike Lee wrote:
All well and good - but there are thousands of enthusiasts and collectors who either do not live within easy reach of a club, cannot / do not wish to incurr the expense of joining a club or simply wish to be able to enjoy their hobby in the privacy of their own home without the need for enforced justification of intent.

There are also many collectors who cannot afford a high quality replica so choose to collect cheaper models. We impose snobbery between ourselves at our peril.

Quite how restricting access to legitimate items gives people rights is at best vague.


Unfortunate the only REAL solution: common decent sense for all, is not realistic.

Is it then not more a question of which right carries the most weight? I see at least three different interests:

1. the bona fide users
2. the group described by George
3. public safety

Number 2. throws a negative shadow on numer 1. in the light of numer 3. I suppose it is in the interest of both 3. and 1. to get 2. out of the picture.
Doing nothing is no option, so a compromise is inevitable. As you english say: 'you cannot both have the cake and eat it'.

Maybe it is an option for the people wanting to collect or use their (cheap or not) swords indoors to form their own club and present themselves as a resposible users group applying for excemption.

peter
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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 27 Mar, 2008 4:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Peter,


You said, "The way I see it, this law gives bona fide users RIGHTS..."

Yeah but, you know, you can't even sack a castle or raid a village these days without those government types getting all
huffy! Laughing Out Loud

Seriously, It seems like we're getting to the point where the human population will be split in two, the Minders and the Rest. We will be the Rest and we will just try to get through the day, go to work, eat lunch, have a little fun once in a while and then there will be the Minders and each one of the Rest will have a Minder and the Minder will, tell you that you should eat a proper breakfast and that you're drinking too much coffee and that you shouldn't have another beer and always wear a condom and don't cross the street on a red light, and this is illegal and this is immoral and that is politically incorrect! Its going to make 1984 look like a trip to Disney Land (Snow White and Tinker Bell will be wearing Mother Hubbards)! Gah! Yuck!

Do we have to get permission from some pasty faced, joyless, imagination deprived, civil servant drone for everything! Maybe I'll go live with Sasquatch, maybe I'll BE Sasquatch!


Ken, getting furrier every day !
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