Government proposes compulsory ‘collect in person’ for knives bought online

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The UK Government is proposing and consulting on a proposed law that will make it compulsory for people buying knives online to collect the blade in person and provide ID, it has been reported. Currently is illegal to sell a blade of more than three inches (7.62cm) to anyone under 18.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd says of the move: “We are going to be consulting on new legislation so that people can’t buy knives online without having their identity checked. At the moment you have to do it by the click of a button. What we are proposing is that if you want to buy a knife online it has to be collected from a place where you have to show your ID. We have evidence that young people have been able to buy knives without verifying their ID and I want to stop that.”

From an @eBay perspective, this is unlikely to affect many. The rules are pretty strict, to the extent they already ban the sale of many knives including sharp kitchen knives. knives in dining sets are permitted. Amazon’s rules are significantly more loose as a cursory search for various knives shows.

Amazon came under scrutiny last year when a 16 year old who killed teenager Bailey Gwynne from Aberdeen was cleared of murder but convicted of culpable homicide. He’d bought a folding knife with an 8.5cm blade knife on Amazon for £40. The attacker avoided having his ID checked on delivery by pinning a note to his front door rather than taking the delivery in person.

To many, if this law comes into force, it will mean that the sale of blades of any kind online will become an area too regulated to be viable. Indeed, without branches for collection, it could become impossible for online traders to fulfil. What do you think of the proposed law?

5 Responses

  1. I’m pretty sure 99% of kids could work out how to get hold of a sharp knife without going to Argos.

  2. My father runs a website selling knives.

    Before any order is dispatched he requests a photocopy of photo ID, and checks the electoral register to confirm identity. He also sends out knives on a courier service that performs and age check on delivery. If the customer is unable to provide this information, the transaction is cancelled.

    He has been prevented from selling on eBay or Amazon but there continues to be other sellers who seem to be exempt from this exclusion – particularly sellers in other European countries who deliver into the UK.

    Requiring customers to collect from store would hurt his business. Buyers would be even less likely to buy from him rather than the big business which can offer in store collection.

    Knives and sharp objects are readily available in most buildings so these steps won’t stop the knife crime that we currently see in the UK.

  3. The only way we can truly rid ourselves of this blight to the UK populous is to either swallow all knives in circulation, which you can find out more about here:

    Alternatively, we might all want to consider the ancient Japanese disembowelment ritual of Seppuku, and completely sidestep the invasive reach of the government.
    It was originally reserved for the most decorated of samurai warriors, but now even the lowliest marketplace seller can get involved:

  4. You might think that eBay’s rules sound tough but not really so . . . they do permit “antiques” to be sold – even PayPal to be used for purchasing – and postage is often quoted. Whilst as a genuine category for genuine collectors with eBay certainly conducting no policing of this category what’s to stop somebody snapping up a real katana and going out and creating havoc? Only the price.

    Then there is, of course, those who “piggy back” such categories . . an example here is of a “letter opener” styled as a large dagger/small sword . . would it take much filing to sharpen it? Unlikely.

    We all know knife crime needs to be seriously tackled but these Government plans are typical of them going for a quick and cheap easy option . . damn good PR though, don’t you think?

    . . . and where will it end? Will you one day have to throw your Stanley Blade away as you can’t buy refills for it? Make the penalties match the crime instead!!!

  5. Yes, something does need to be done, but this is not it.
    It is like the UK gun laws. Handguns were banned, but has it stopped gun crime? No.
    All it did was punish the responsible owners of guns. A pistol is relatively easy to obtain from the black market at a modest cost. And the fairy tale that comes out from the media and the police that deactivated guns can be re-activated in less than an hour is utter rubbish. It would be easier to make a gun from scratch.
    Its the same with knives, some people like to collect them. Not my cup of tea but its their choice and all what this ban will do is hurt responsible collectors. Knives are found everywhere because they are such a useful tool, and if someone wants to do some harm, all they have to do is look in granny’s kitchen drawer. You can make a sharp knife from a bit of flat mild steel, a roll of insulating tape, and a hacksaw in less than an hour.
    How far would this ban go? would they ban the sale of roasting meat to stop us having a carving knife, and make it so you could only eat beef in a restaurant? Would they make it so that craftsmen need a permit to have a Stanley knife?
    If they can’t stop people obtaining a gun, they won’t have a hope in hell’s chance of stopping knife crime with a simple ban on internet sales.


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