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Iagoba Ferreira





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PostPosted: Fri 03 May, 2013 7:02 am    Post subject: Police seize hundreds of swords in raid in Edingurgh         Reply with quote

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-ne...id-1862046

I know that this subject (katana ban, etc) is polemic, but I was surprised I to discover that the seized weapons must be destroyed. Luckily they don't seem to be anything special, with an average amount of 100 per weapon. So hard is to get the permission to sell them?
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Fri 03 May, 2013 7:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Don't know what the requirements are for obtaining a sales license but clearly the business operator did not. It does appear that she was displaying them openly so my guess is that ignorance of the law played a part. However, that, as we know, is no excuse.
Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982


Last edited by Lin Robinson on Sat 04 May, 2013 11:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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Matthew P. Adams




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PostPosted: Fri 03 May, 2013 7:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So bladed implements sold without a license have a devastating effect on communities but bladed implements sold by a properly licensed establishment do not?
"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Fri 03 May, 2013 8:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's sad. From a purely practical point of view, swords seem mostly irrelevant to edged-weapon violence unless folks in Scotland have started carrying 2-3ft blades routinely. If the dynamics there resemble those here in the United States, people who pack edge weapons - whether for self-defense, to make trouble, or for image - choose knives and occasionally daggers because they're convenient and concealable. Swords stay at home. They're not used in assaults any more than tools like axes and hammers or sporting equipment like baseball bats. While knives are indeed frequently employed to cause harm and fear - I was threatened with a knife on the street in broad daylight not so long ago - I don't see any way to reduce the supply without making food preparation more difficult.
Read my historically inspired fantasy fiction in here. I walk along a winding path set by Ludovico Ariosto, William Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Ursula Le Guin.

Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!


Last edited by Benjamin H. Abbott on Fri 03 May, 2013 8:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mark Griffin




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PostPosted: Fri 03 May, 2013 8:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Its all tourist rubbish of course and it looks like its on display in a shop.

problem is there are various restrictions in place in Scotland on 'curved' swords, mainly as there have been some instances of various gangs using them against others. So if she had any of those, even one, the chances are the police will seize the lot. I have no idea what licensing laws there are re the sale of this kind of thing in Scotland, I live down south in Wales (same laws as England) where as long as you are over 18 you can be sold one. Just don't go carrying it in the street, wave it about where it will worry the public of show it in a pic on facebook saying you are going to use it for the wrong purpose.
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Phil Crawley




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PostPosted: Fri 03 May, 2013 9:08 am    Post subject: Re: Police seize hundreds of swords in raid in Edingurgh         Reply with quote

Iagoba Ferreira wrote:
[ So hard is to get the permission to sell them?

Apply to the local Licensing Board of the relevant council, be a registered business, pay the charge (several hundred pounds) and promise to only sell to over 18s and keep a record of their name and address for future reference.

Dead easy to do, just a lot of people don't realise it needs done, especially touristy shops like those where they buy in a couple of, other wise legal, wallhangers from Barnett or Hanwei to make a bit of extra money and then fall foul of the law through ignorance. Though it has been in place for five or six years now so no real excuse.

It's mainly in place to limit the sale of katanas to neds and schemies who have a penchant for using them in assaults, gang fights and robberies due to their, alleged, intimidation factor.

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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Fri 03 May, 2013 4:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scotland and England have laws that differ in some ways. In England you do not need a licence to sell knives and swords, in Scotland you do, but as stated it is not very onerous to get.

Curved blades over 50cm if not made by 'traditional' methods cannot be sold unless the buyer fulfils certain criteria. Both katana and falchions for example fall under this net. The law was made to get 30 'samurai' swords off the streets after a member of parliament and his aide were attacked in his office with a katana. They have also been surprisingly popular with street gangs.

I suspect the law was left very vague to act as a catch all as required. After all, many machetes fall under this, as do a few of Albions swords and indeed my own. Only a discerning gang member opts for a sword at 1000 plus. This of course leaves two questions yet to be answered by testing in a court of law; what is traditional manufacture and what is curved. I have a nice type XII and that edge is curved and seeing as Sheffield was grinding blades 200 years ago, is that traditional?

The intended target of this law was the macho and totemic nature of samurai swords and the ability of inappropriate youngsters to get hold of them and the ease with which you can get them. Needless to say the market adapts and 30 'ninja' swords (straight) are now freely and legally available.

Personal freedom is a great thing, but I think that on balance this law is for the good.

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Iagoba Ferreira





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PostPosted: Sat 04 May, 2013 12:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for making clearer the legal aspects...any kind of weapon law is always hard to understand by the foreigners, and most times even by the locals.
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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Sat 04 May, 2013 8:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The article stated that 'Scottish police are dedicated to keeping these dangerous weapons off the streets'. Well, sales permits and other legalities aside, the most dangerous thing I see is that they are all just wallhanger cheapos. Any kid buying one would, imo, be more a danger to himself than anyone else playing 'backyard BraveHeart '. I don't see the point of destroying them though. I'm pretty sure a Scot can go to any hardware supplier and buy a machete or hatchet. Here in the states, we say 'guns don't kill people, people do'. Well, the same holds true for swords....to a degree. Improper use of poorly constructed swords can/could kill people. Just my two coppers.......mcm
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Bruce Tordoff
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PostPosted: Tue 07 May, 2013 12:27 pm    Post subject: swords seized         Reply with quote

To Echo what Leo said, to some degree.
In England (and in fact all of the UK) particularly, the problem seems to have been that the Katana, has become the 'Weapon of choice' for those socially underprivaleged teens that are involved in street gang culture.
The proliferation of these type of 'cheapo wallhangers' has been brought about by the many tourist shops, as mentioned by others. Along with these Katanas, are all those fantasy, swords and daggers with blades shaped like a tribal tattoo. Ones that are not based on any, comic book hero, film or even video game. Along with these come the 'knuckle duster' type thrusting knives. held in the fist with the lethal 2 -3 inch blade protruding forwards. Not to mention the cheap, bad replicas of SS honour daggers. Etc.
In my opinion, whilst (Technically) these shops should have the right to sell swords. It raises the question, who is their demographic?
Serious collectors? Really any collector of even, re created or replica weapons would not be buying from these type of shops anyway. Some of the weapons in these type of shops, given their price, construction and complete lack of authenticity and Not intended as replica weapons, they are intended for use as ACTUAL weapons.
Therefore it is the responsibility of such sellers to analyse their target market, to sell responsibly etc.
Every time a sword or knife is sold to a teen or anyone for that matter, with the obvious intention of violence and/ or intimidation, it hurts OUR hobby. In fact, to some out there on the myArmoury forum, it is not just a hobby it is their livelihood.
When arbitrary and vague laws can then be brought into play, this has the potential to prevent any of us, buying swords, owning them and even making them.
It is also then incumbent on all of us, as people interested in the study and appreciation of arms and armour in all aspects, to avoid these type of shops and products, to warn people (privately) of such, and to seek to distance serious weapon making and selling from this 'wallhanger' market, Particularly in the public consciousness and the eyes of the law.
I am, in no way advocating a 'witch hunt' of course. But a little education can't hurt.

Bruce
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Tue 07 May, 2013 12:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I worry about continued laws banning weapons and how vague the laws regarding them are. I have heard horror stories of reenactors who had issues with these laws as well while living there and they for sure could hurt our hobbies. Like Bruce said such issues can impact us so we need to be careful. Our hobby will be less awesome by far without weapons, blunt or otherwise. I'd hate to try and use blunt knives for cooking prep and such as well.

I never did myself have any issues. Even when walking from my home to the Uni with a spear and armful of arms and armour the police walked up to me asked what I was up to then told me to have a lovely day and walked off. I'd see him in the commons and he'd ask what project I was working on now. But I never gave anyone reason to worry about me or my actions.


RPM
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Tue 07 May, 2013 6:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This such a tricky area because it is in my case my livelihood, but I do think that some restriction as Bruce discusses in fact can create more liberty.

Back in the bad old days of the 1980's, football hooliganism reached appalling levels here in the UK and one of the gangs favourite weapons was 2 or three craft knife blades taped together with a space in between, used for slashing people's faces. This creates wounds very hard to sew up effectively and creates appalling scars.

Around 1990 a law was passed that banned a few weapons in one hit, amongst these were throwing stars/shuriken, butterfly knives/balisong and some other 'ninja' type stuff like bear claws and so on. Possibly as a response to the growing football related violence.

A few years ago I came across a large UK based company selling very thin folding knives that clipped together to create stacks of blades. What possible legitimate use can these have? They also sold folding knives with three sets of scales set at 120degrees from each other and locking blades; what possible use do these have? The first was designed solely for creating disfiguring wounds, the second designed to (successfully) circumvent a law.

These pieces did in fact not breach any laws, but they did breach the spirit of the law to the detriment of every single person in society except the nutter who used it. This stuff has no valid place in our society (at least in the context of the street violence taking place at the time).

However can it be banned as such? What makes a three blade knife like the one I described different to a three bladed knife like a Swiss Army knife? This question is no different to what makes a falchion different to a machete etc. the answer can only ever be "intent", unless you want to ban whole swathes of items. The 'traditional manufacture' catch all is actually rather good. What it means in practice is that the law can come down on basically any katana that is not folded etc I.e. expensive ones. The practical result is that off the record, the law can ask the question what is the intention of these swords in dispute? If they feel they are destined for bad they can claim 'not traditional', if they feel the destiny is valid they can do nothing. Until the meaning of traditional is tested in law, the law will stay open to interpretation and that allows for the next part of this ramble....

In the UK we have possibly the best legal definition ever invented by mankind it is "what would the man on the Clapham omnibus think?" (Clapham being a suburb of London where ordinary people with ordinary middle of the road opinions live; omnibus being a bus). Basically it means what would an ordinary person think? I.e. common sense. Sometimes this is used for the good. Randall was clearly fine with his spear, I also once was wondering around a town at 3am on a Saturday morning with a baseball bat ( I had been playing baseball earlier in the day, went on to a party then got a little tipsy and lost). The police clearly saw a drunk posh student was not a problem and off I went. Had I been wearing football colours it may have been a different story.

Sometimes the "Clapham omnibus" definition is not used where it could be, so these stackable knives are not against the law and yet are horrible and can be used for no legal purpose, so common sense says ban them. But every time a law is passed it catches other things too.

What is the conclusion of this ramble? There are many things that (I think) should be banned, but by banning them you catch other things too that should not be banned. Yes knives don't kill people, people do, but when a item gets caught up in some totemic status violence perhaps the screws should come down. Much as we all grumble about, government I think on balance,the UK has pretty good laws about all this stuff.

The next thing I see on the horizon though are crossbows and this almost certainly will effect me. You can buy a bow for 300 that delivers the same energy as a .22LR round and requires no license, but a .22LR has onerous requirements for the licence to be granted. Some nutter will rampage and then the clamps will come down on these too, and in honesty I believe these sorts of bows should be licensed in line with UK firearms policy, I just hope that there is some 'traditional manufacture' hole for me to squirm through.

Tod

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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Wed 08 May, 2013 5:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo,

I was under the impression crossbows were already under UK gun laws. I was building one and asked a local police officer and he said he had no issue but that he thought it would have the same regulations applied to it. Let me see if I cannot find the exact law I know I found it a few years ago.


RPM
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Wed 08 May, 2013 6:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Randall,

No cross bows have no restrictions on them other than you have to be over 18 to buy, and I am not even sure about this age, it may just be a recommendation..

Police are great about knowing about general police stuff, but the finer details of obscure stuff they are not so good on.

Last year I made some cannons. My local firearms chap said they were illegal and actually as I understand UK law only explosive and guided (finned) projectiles are actually illegal. Everything else really interesting is restricted ie machine guns and assault rifles and requires a direct permission from the Home Office, but given the right reasons is acquirable. Other stuff is section 5 like pistols and the rest is section 1 or shotgun. No idea what section 2,3 and 4 are.

Anyway the upshot is Oxford firearms said I was making an illegal weapon, In the end Brighton firearms licensed it as shotgun. If you go off the beaten track they don't necessarily know what the law is.

Tod

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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Wed 08 May, 2013 7:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo Todeschini wrote:
Around 1990 a law was passed that banned a few weapons in one hit, amongst these were throwing stars/shuriken, butterfly knives/balisong and some other 'ninja' type stuff like bear claws and so on. Possibly as a response to the growing football related violence.


Huh. The throwing star ban never made any sense to me. Basic kitchen knives seem far more dangerous. In California you can buy throwing stars all over the place, but possession constitutes a felony. I didn't realize this until I gave my father a few ornamental Asian stars to give to friends back in North Carolina. These star were light and had thick, blunt edges; they resembled Christmas-tree stars. At they airport, security confiscated the stars, threatened my dad with a felony charge, and ended up putting him a suspicious-persons list. This ridiculous incident no doubt partially explains my distaste for weapons laws in general.

Read my historically inspired fantasy fiction in here. I walk along a winding path set by Ludovico Ariosto, William Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Ursula Le Guin.

Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Wed 08 May, 2013 8:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo,

I think this is what I was thinking about. So come are under the same restrictions if they have a barrel but they all do have restrictions seemingly.

"Crossbows are not "firearms" for legal purposes. Setting aside those rare types of crossbow that possess a barrel, they are not therefore subject to the Firearms Acts 1968-97 but are controlled under separate legislation. "

"LEGISLATION

The main legislation in this area is the Crossbows Act 1987. This applies to those crossbows with a draw weight of 1.4 kilograms or greater. It makes it an offence to sell or hire such a crossbow to any young person under the age of 17, both for buyer and seller, and prohibits any young person under 17 from possessing a crossbow or its components unless supervised by someone aged 21 or over.

Crossbows may also be considered potentially "offensive weapons" for the purposes of section 1 of the Prevention of Crime Act 1953. This makes it an offence to possess any offensive weapon in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, proof whereof lies on the individual. An offensive weapon is defined as any article made or adapted for causing injury to the person. While a target crossbow may not be an offensive weapon as such, people found in possession of a crossbow in a public place might be charged on the same basis as if they had a knife, club or other similar weapon with them. "

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm19...uc9509.htm

This is one of the things that worries me in many respects, 'reasonable excuse, proof whereof lies on the individual.' The problem as you point out above is that many police are not familiar with the laws and ultimately can do as they please even if no threat is present. I may have been lucky to have such decent police about me who realized I was a decent sort of gent and let mw on my way but I have heard of others who were pulled over with crossbows in the trunk and had them taken away even though they had a car full of reenactment gear.

RPM
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Mark Griffin




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PostPosted: Wed 08 May, 2013 8:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
If you go off the beaten track they don't necessarily know what the law is.


hear, hear. Oh the stories i could tell.... the policeman that sniffed a gun to see if it had been fired? The one that dropped a dummy .303 round down a remington cap and ball bf , obviously making it a rifle.....

Our police get little or no training in much of this legislation. The strategy is now hold the person and the thing in question and call in a specialist team to deal with it.

On the other hand, regarding locking stuff up I have been told 'well you are hardly going to rob a bank with it, keep it on the front lawn for all I care'.

But I now live in Wales, not England. The law is the same but attitudes are different. Its a rural area so I'm actually pretty much expected to have a shotty behind the kitchen door. As a reenactor/collector they do expect it to be a fishtailed musket or similar which they cannot see me using for nefarious purposes. Back down in Sussex, not entirely the same.....

the worst things are my many non-functioning props. Technically inert weapons by UK law. They look like guns, feel like guns (smell like guns even) but have never worked and will never work. But where is your de-activation certificate sonny? Well officer, its like this.....

But I can still go and buy a bear dropping crossbow aged 16 or 18 and over as Tod says. The 1984 Crossbow act says you cannot hire or lend a crossbow to anyone under the age of 14 anything that draws more than 1.5kg's either, think thats roughly what it says Which is great if you run fairground stalls etc....
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William M




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PostPosted: Wed 08 May, 2013 8:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmm I find it strange that the definition of a traditional katana boils down to whether it is folded or not, when ww2 gunto were made using standard monosteel.
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Matthew P. Adams




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PostPosted: Wed 08 May, 2013 8:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Is a WWII Gunto traditionally made?
"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Wed 08 May, 2013 5:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The vagueness is both infuriating and the saviour of this law and similar ones.

What does traditional mean? Is WWII manufacture traditional, well if you are 18, your great grandfather may have made swords like this and that sounds pretty traditional to me. If you come from Sheffield they have being doing this for a couple of hundred years. Otherwise why stop at bloomery steel or pattern welded, maybe a sword has to be cast bronze to be traditional?

It allows the police to interpret a situation and act accordingly within (usually) sensible limits, so that trouble is removed from society and the rest is left. Unfortunately it also depends on the mood of the policeman that day and how keen he is to do the paperwork, or what particular bugbear he has.

I am supposed to move my knives around in a 'secure' manner and do carry them in closed cases in the back of my van. Is that enough? Well actually I don't know. It is not pratical for me to lock the cases and send the key ahead in a separate vehicle. I could lock the cases, but what is the point if I have the key anyway?

Under UK law I could get 2years consecutively for each offensive weapon I carry and so tomorrow that could be the last of me you hear for around 400 years.... However I hope and pray that when the day comes that I get pulled over and I get the dreaded question of "and what do you have in the back sir?" That I have an understanding policeman. This has happened at customs and they couldn't care less, but they are much more up to speed on contraband and so they know what I have is fine. The policeman may not know this.

I suspect I would be fine. Boy do I hope so. However if for example I was involved in a road rage incident and got into a fight at the side of the road and after the police arrive they ask what is in the back, even if nothing of my load was involved, they will view me as trouble and I suspect they would view my load very differently. By the way I am not that kind of guy.

Again what is an offensive weapon? If I take my glasses off and stab somebody in the eye with the arm, I will get get charged with 'assault with an offensive weapon'. It all comes back to intent. Some items are clearly more offensive than others but under UK law it is open to interpretation.

Tod

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