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Tony Peterson




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 25 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Tue 12 Aug, 2008 11:54 am    Post subject: UK Sword Ban         Reply with quote

hey guys,

I want to get a russian 9/10c sabre made for me. But before I do I want to check with you about this sword ban business. The sword im ordering will have a curve to the blade but be blunt for re enactment use. Do you think I will run into any problems?

Many thanks for your time and efforts

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Glennan Carnie




Location: UK
Joined: 23 Aug 2006

Posts: 289

PostPosted: Tue 12 Aug, 2008 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As it's blunt, and for re-enactment use, you should be fine.

Unfortunately, the situation still appears to be very poorly understood by the legal authorities. Probably the least helpful thing you could do is go around announcing the fact to the (largely ignorant) institutions.

You have legitimate use for a blunted replica (in fact, designed for safety!); therefore you have broken no law. Don't give people the opportunity to take that away from you.

Be practical, be pragmatic, be safe. There should be no issue with that.
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Daniel Michaelsson




Location: Dena Lagu
Joined: 29 May 2007

Posts: 54

PostPosted: Tue 12 Aug, 2008 2:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd just ignore it altogether. It's an asinine reactionary law made by an asinine reactionary government. Unless you're waving it around in the street I don't see how they'd get to know anyway.
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Colin F.




Location: Bradford, UK
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PostPosted: Tue 12 Aug, 2008 2:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As far as I am aware, as long as you have a copy of your 3rd party insurance that your re-enactment group has, that's the only thing the manufacturer and seller need to see if they are not satisfied that you won't use it for nefarious purposes. But if they are confident you won't anyways, they may not even ask to see that. The govt/police etc don't need to see anything pretty much unless they are wanting to check with the manufacturer that they are doing things properly.

Unless you are planning to import it, in which case have a look at this thread:

http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=8522

cheers

Colin

Who are you planning to make it? (Could you PM me, I've been looking for a sabre maker for ages.)

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 12 Aug, 2008 7:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Michaelsson-

Please keep the insulting name calling off this site. You're welcome to express your opinion on the matter, but are expected to do so in a professional manner. Any further questions or comments on the issue can be directed to me via Private Message or Email.

Thank you.

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Lee O'Hagan




Location: Northamptonshire,England
Joined: 30 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Wed 13 Aug, 2008 12:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As of this month a new amendment added to the law which says if it is hand made after the mid 50's it is legal,
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2008/draft/ukdsi_9780110817774_en_1

Big thumbs up to Simon at Raven Armoury for the link above,





having it made in and around the UK helps with alot of issues,
i have two fantastic sabre blades from Rob Miller of Castlekeep,
I've seen some great sabres,sharp and reenactment from Mark Vickers of St George Armoury,
and Armour Class have had some nice sabres in the past i've seen first hand at shows,
or,picking up an antique from a military fair or site is a great way to get a fine blade,
i've seen bare blades for sale ticketed up in bin lots at the fair in Coventry,some more than the makers mentioned above,but a few needing some TLC going for less,
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Nathan Keysor




Location: WV
Joined: 15 Apr 2007
Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 255

PostPosted: Wed 13 Aug, 2008 3:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lee O'Hagan wrote:
As of this month a new amendment added to the law which says if it is hand made after the mid 50's it is legal,
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2008/draft/ukdsi_9780110817774_en_1,


My reading of it suggests that the sword had to be made prior to the mid 50's...

"to show that the weapon in question was made before 1954'


Just shows you that once they are done banning guns they will came after kitchen knives....

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"
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Geoff Wood




Location: UK
Joined: 31 Aug 2003

Posts: 634

PostPosted: Wed 13 Aug, 2008 3:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Keysor wrote:
Lee O'Hagan wrote:
As of this month a new amendment added to the law which says if it is hand made after the mid 50's it is legal,
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2008/draft/ukdsi_9780110817774_en_1,


My reading of it suggests that the sword had to be made prior to the mid 50's...

"to show that the weapon in question was made before 1954'


Just shows you that once they are done banning guns they will came after kitchen knives....


Hi Mr Keysor
I think you are mistaken here and that Mr O'Hagan is correct. When I contacted Neil Burridge back in early June about the legaility or otherwise of a Kopesh, he told me the wording they (he and other UK makers of decent swords) were discussing with the government and it was very (very) similar to that which is now in place. The UK position now allows both made before 1954 and made at any time (thus including now) if by hand. The government was trying to exclude cheap imported 'Japanese style' swords and initially the legal instrument to do so was rather blunt. It is now being made more precise.
Regards
Geoff
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Nathan Keysor




Location: WV
Joined: 15 Apr 2007
Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 255

PostPosted: Wed 13 Aug, 2008 5:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Geoff,

I could be mistaken. That was just an observance based on the posted link. I would think they would allow swords made prior to 1954 (although the choice of year seems quite arbitrary) so as to allow the purchase of actual antiques. The ban would then be on mass produced (cheap swords) vs custom made (expensive swords). This is reminscent of the post US civil war Jim Crowe laws such as the "Saturday Night Special" law which banned cheap revolvers that people of low income (ie freed slaves) could own. Anyway, I'm sure the law makes someone feel safer.

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"
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Marcos Cantu





Joined: 28 May 2004
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Posts: 116

PostPosted: Wed 13 Aug, 2008 8:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

notice that it states that being hand-made is a defense once charged. it does not keep you from being arrested and charged in the first place...


Lee O'Hagan wrote:
As of this month a new amendment added to the law which says if it is hand made after the mid 50's it is legal,
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2008/draft/ukdsi_9780110817774_en_1

Big thumbs up to Simon at Raven Armoury for the link above,





having it made in and around the UK helps with alot of issues,
i have two fantastic sabre blades from Rob Miller of Castlekeep,
I've seen some great sabres,sharp and reenactment from Mark Vickers of St George Armoury,
and Armour Class have had some nice sabres in the past i've seen first hand at shows,
or,picking up an antique from a military fair or site is a great way to get a fine blade,
i've seen bare blades for sale ticketed up in bin lots at the fair in Coventry,some more than the makers mentioned above,but a few needing some TLC going for less,
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Wed 13 Aug, 2008 10:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As Glennan said be prudent in your use of it and you will be fine. Most of the police I have spoken with regarding the ban are not familiar with it and assume it will be another tool used for people out causing trouble. Do not go out making issues and I am pretty sure you are fine. I remember something about exclusions for reenactors in it as well if I am not mistaken.

RPM
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Geoff Wood




Location: UK
Joined: 31 Aug 2003

Posts: 634

PostPosted: Thu 14 Aug, 2008 3:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
As Glennan said be prudent in your use of it and you will be fine. Most of the police I have spoken with regarding the ban are not familiar with it and assume it will be another tool used for people out causing trouble. Do not go out making issues and I am pretty sure you are fine. I remember something about exclusions for reenactors in it as well if I am not mistaken.

RPM



Yes, the 'defences' also include re-enacting, religious ceremonial, collecting, traditional dancing etc. etc.
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Michael Edelson




Location: New York
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Thu 14 Aug, 2008 7:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
In relation to such swords, this Order widens an existing defence to offences under section 141(1) and section 50(2) or (3) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979. This amended defence applies to swords made anywhere in the world either before 1954 or at any other time according to traditional methods of making swords by hand. The Order also creates a new defence where the conduct which gave rise to the offence was undertaken for the purposes of making the weapon available for use in religious ceremonies."


What this means is that any sword made before 1954 OR any sword made in a traditional manner by hand is okay.

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Mike Lee




Location: South West
Joined: 06 Mar 2008

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Mon 18 Aug, 2008 3:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Edelson wrote:

What this means is that any sword made before 1954 OR any sword made in a traditional manner by hand is okay.


Thats right - any sword made "according to traditional methods of making swords by hand.” can be bought, sold, gifted etc. as before the initial 'ban' in April.

As has been mentioned here - the original intention of the ban was to restrict the sale of cheap imitation 'samurai' swords but as handmade samurai words can be imported wholesale for as little as £15 it kind of makes a mockery of the whole sorry process.

Also, there are till no guideline or structure in place regarding sale / import so no-one know what kind of 'proof' (certificate / paperwork etc) you need to ensure your legal item is not confiscated - quite how you prove an item has had a necessary level of hand crafting to make it exempt is also a mystery.

I refuse to have a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Aug, 2008 6:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mike Lee wrote:
Michael Edelson wrote:

What this means is that any sword made before 1954 OR any sword made in a traditional manner by hand is okay.


Thats right - any sword made "according to traditional methods of making swords by hand.” can be bought, sold, gifted etc. as before the initial 'ban' in April.

As has been mentioned here - the original intention of the ban was to restrict the sale of cheap imitation 'samurai' swords but as handmade samurai words can be imported wholesale for as little as £15 it kind of makes a mockery of the whole sorry process.

Also, there are till no guideline or structure in place regarding sale / import so no-one know what kind of 'proof' (certificate / paperwork etc) you need to ensure your legal item is not confiscated - quite how you prove an item has had a necessary level of hand crafting to make it exempt is also a mystery.


Vagueness of a law can make it a hazard but also a defence and if the law has little or no effect it may be better to wait and see if actual problems occur rather than asking for " specific " rulings about all the details: If you get politicians thinking too hard about the details you might not like the details they and bureaucrats will think up on their own !

Oh, some quiet lobbying to find out about any negative interpretations of the rules may be a good idea and to influence decisions before they are made if done in a polite and professional manner may be useful ......... BUT: Never wake up a sleeping politician. Wink Laughing Out Loud

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Doug Lester




Location: Decatur, IL
Joined: 12 Dec 2007

Posts: 167

PostPosted: Wed 20 Aug, 2008 6:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I second the advise of keeping a low profile with your swords in the UK until the confusion clears up a little. Last year we had a story in the newpaper about a highschool senior be apprehended with a cased and unloaded rifle locked in the trunk of his car on school grounds. The next day we had another story of how the police had to return his rifle to him because the law that he had supposidly broken had been changed to allow such action. One of the ladies down at the hospital was stopped for driving with a loaded pistol on the dash of her car (open carry without a permit is allowed in Virginia...allowed but not recommended). This was several months after the General Assembly voided all city and county gun laws giving to itself the sole authority to regulate firearms in the state. Sometimes the police are the last ones to get the word and there are also those few who just don't care.
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Ed Toton




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PostPosted: Thu 21 Aug, 2008 6:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Doug Lester wrote:
One of the ladies down at the hospital was stopped for driving with a loaded pistol on the dash of her car (open carry without a permit is allowed in Virginia...allowed but not recommended). This was several months after the General Assembly voided all city and county gun laws giving to itself the sole authority to regulate firearms in the state. Sometimes the police are the last ones to get the word and there are also those few who just don't care.


Yes, the open/concealed carry laws here in Virginia are a good example of how the intent of the law can have some unintended consequences. For the most part, it's pretty reasonable here in VA, but as a gun owner who wished to keep a loaded firearm for self defense, she was doing what the law requires. If she didn't have a concealed-carry permit, it would be illegal to conceal the weapon, meaning she couldn't keep it under the seat or in the glovebox. Keeping it on the passenger seat, back seat, or console is ambiguous (as is carrying it openly on a holster since it's below the window level and up against the door or console), and it would largely be up to the police officer to decide if it was "open" or not. The dash board is the only place where there is no denying that it's open carry, which is legal. However, it's likely to get you stopped, as in this example.

It's quite possible that the ambiguities in the UK ban may result in similar unintentional counter-intuitive requirements.

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ed.toton.org | ModernChivalry.org
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Sun 08 Feb, 2009 9:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey guys I know this is an old topic but I have a question about the ban. I heard that the ban does not apply to swords made in Japan before 1954 or any time after that as long as they are made in the traditional manner by a regestered Japanese swordsmith. So what about sword made in the traditional way outside Japan, are these OK or not?
Éirinn go Brách
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Colin F.




Location: Bradford, UK
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Posts: 134

PostPosted: Sun 08 Feb, 2009 2:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephen Curtin wrote:
Hey guys I know this is an old topic but I have a question about the ban. I heard that the ban does not apply to swords made in Japan before 1954 or any time after that as long as they are made in the traditional manner by a regestered Japanese swordsmith. So what about sword made in the traditional way outside Japan, are these OK or not?


Yup, these are fine to own and import. Please refer to the thread I linked to at the start of the conversation. Once of the members of Schola Gladiatoria has imported a curved sharp sabre from the US to the UK. I will post his advice here in full.


Quote:
As promised here is a little how to guide for anyone wanting to import weapons that fall under the new law. Hopefully customs can now process packages more quickly and we can order things with all the right info.

1) Order your nice new shiny sword, make sure to email the supplier with your HEMA credentials or any other affiliation you may have with whatever swordy martial arts you practice. Include in this mail that they(the supplier) are actually allowed to import weapons of this type to the UK.

I had my order cancelled twice with no explanation before I let the supplier know what the new law meant.

Its up to us to educate the people providing our weapons with regard to the new law, clearly our Government isn't and shops are confused so they just dont ship by default.

2)Make sure the supplier puts all of your club details, personal contact numbers, email etc on the shipping docket. The more info customs have, the less likely they will seize it.

3)When the supplier mails your package you will get a tracking number like this CJ208823153US . They will usually give you details how to track it Stateside or in Europe. European and States tracking numbers are easily converted to the UK recognised Parcelforce/Post office tracking numbers by cutting and pasting it into the parcel force website tracking search bar. www.parcelforce.com

It should spit out a new number like this EC643059384GB

make a note of this, it is really important as Customs and our postal services both use these to communicate.

4)Wait approx a working week then ring this number. 02476212800

That is the number for Customs. Ask them if they have your parcel. give them the supplier tracking number and your parcel force number along with all your personal details, your club details, your personal insurance details(if you have it) and/or your instructors liability insurance details.

They will give you a reference number like this: 1248113

DONT LOSE IT! - I kept a log of all my dealings with the supplier/customs/parcelforce on a word document. Be anal, you're dealing with govt penpushers here.

5)There may be a cooling off period by Customs as they process your package. Ring them daily to find out whats going on. From now on you will be using this number.

02476212860 customs seizures number Coventry.

If they require any more info by mail use the address below. I had to explain what I was going to use my sword for. I just said martial arts training/instruction, supervised demos for other martial arts groups etc.

Additionally to this I had to get Matt to provide a cover letter to say he knew me reiterating the sword was going to be used responsibly for private HEMA events etc. He also had to give his address and insurance details.

Hm revenue and customs
Coventry international hub
Siskin parkway west
Coventry
Cv3 4hx

6)Keep badgering customs in a polite manner daily.

7)You will receive a letter asking to pay VAT etc. Ring Parcelforce 08700844502

Pay them and you should have your sword in a couple of days time.

If they ask for 17 digit number just give the one that starts EC.

8)Cut stuff up in your garden, try not to cut your sofa in half in your front room.

Hope this helps anyone wanting a curvy sharp thing.

Melchett - "In short, a German spy is giving away every one of our battle plans."
Cpt. Darling - "You look surprised, Blackadder."
Edmund - "I cerainly am, sir. I didn't realise we had any battle plans."
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Nat Lamb




Location: Melbourne, Australia
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PostPosted: Sun 08 Feb, 2009 3:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Geoff Wood wrote:


Yes, the 'defences' also include re-enacting, religious ceremonial, collecting, traditional dancing etc. etc.


Thank God that Scottish dancers will still be able to practice
Wink
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