U.K. Sword Ban

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Gyakuto

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Now there’s a hot debate as to whether all British police should be armed with firearms to deal with bladed-weapon carrying nutters.

There is a lot of resistance to this, however as the feeling is that if the police are armed, criminals will feel they need to be ‘tooled up’ and there’ll be an escalation in the arms race as has occurred in other parts of the world.
 

MetalBoar

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Yes, that’s a good point. My guess is that a 3 inch blade, stabbed into an average American/British man, with their deep, built in, burger/fries/large portion-derived squidgy armour would superficially pierce abdominal organs leading a slower haemorrhage compared to major vessel damage.
But the major abdominal blood vessels (abdominal aorta/vena cava) are toward the posterior of the abdominal cavity, running along the vertebral column and I think it’s unlikely a 3 inch blade would quite reach them, and so causing catastrophic, difficult-to-deal-with haemorrhage. But never say never!
This was what shocked me about my BIL's stabbing. It was a tiny blade but he was hit with a lot of force and the tissue apparently compressed a lot because the wound channel was much deeper than the knife was long. Something around 4 inches inches deep as I recall, from a blade just over an inch in length.

Now, my BIL is a fit guy and at that time was probably running something like 8% body fat, so he didn't have much padding. On the other hand, the padding he did have probably wasn't super squishy and it still compressed that much. I don't know that depth of penetration is necessarily proportional, but if it had been a 3 inch blade I really don't think he'd have survived it. If nothing else, the longer blade would have also been wider and thus done more damage in terms of the width of the wound as well.

I know we've got people who've worked in the emergency room on this forum so maybe they can weigh in on what's typical from what they've seen.

None of this is me supporting a knife or sword ban. I don't want to get political, but I think that pocket knives especially represent a lot of utility with very little associated increased risk to the public. I just think that it's useful to know that if you get attacked with one it could be a lot more serious than it might first appear.
 
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I found a rather nice sword for sale in Japan that I wanted to purchase so I contacted the seller to see if it could still be delivered to the U.K. after all the recent bad press. They replied today saying -

Due to the recent incident in London, delivery of Japanese swords to the UK by the postal service seems to have been banned, but Nittsu Express can deliver. If you give me your specific address, I can give you a shipping quote.

Whilst waiting for their response someone else had bought the sword I wanted 🙄
 

gyoja

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I found a rather nice sword for sale in Japan that I wanted to purchase so I contacted the seller to see if it could still be delivered to the U.K. after all the recent bad press. They replied today saying -

Due to the recent incident in London, delivery of Japanese swords to the UK by the postal service seems to have been banned, but Nittsu Express can deliver. If you give me your specific address, I can give you a shipping quote.

Whilst waiting for their response someone else had bought the sword I wanted 🙄
Crap!
 
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It seems there will be an exemption to the U.K. sword ban for reasons of sport or antique ownership. No real change in that.

To buy a blunt sword for Iaido in the U.K. , one has to be a member of a dojo and the British Kendo Association and thus be insured by them. You need to present a letter from your dojo leader and insurance documents from the BKA to the retailer. Should you stop practising and let your BKA membership lapse, you are supposed to dispose of your blunt sword or hand it in to the police. A pretty flawed system, in my opinion.

Perhaps a centralised registration of owners of bladed weapons somewhat like car ownership, would be better. The police could access a database to see who owns what and, those who are legally registered, by way of special dispensation, would be allowed to wear their swords in public in full samurai clothing (sans shaved pate). It seems reasonable, no?
 
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gyoja

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It seems there will be an exemption to the U.K. sword ban for reasons of sport or antique ownership. No real change in that.

To buy a blunt sword for Iaido in the U.K. , one has to be a member of a dojo and the British Kendo Association and thus be insured by them. You need to present a letter from your dojo leader and insurance documents from the BKA to the retailer. Should you stop practising and let your BKA membership lapse, you are supposed to dispose of your blunt sword or hand it in to the police. A pretty flawed system, in my opinion.

Perhaps a centralised registration of owners of bladed weapons somewhat like car ownership, would be better. The police could access a database to see who owns what and, those who are legally registered, by way of special dispensation, would be allowed to wear their swords in public in full samurai clothing (sans shaved pate). It seems reasonable, no?
That should work.
 

MetalBoar

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It seems there will be an exemption to the U.K. sword ban for reasons of sport or antique ownership. No real change in that.

To buy a blunt sword for Iaido in the U.K. , one has to be a member of a dojo and the British Kendo Association and thus be insured by them. You need to present a letter from your dojo leader and insurance documents from the BKA to the retailer. Should you stop practising and let your BKA membership lapse, you are supposed to dispose of your blunt sword or hand it in to the police. A pretty flawed system, in my opinion.

Perhaps a centralised registration of owners of bladed weapons somewhat like car ownership, would be better. The police could access a database to see who owns what and, those who are legally registered, by way of special dispensation, would be allowed to wear their swords in public in full samurai clothing (sans shaved pate). It seems reasonable, no?
Hey, out of curiosity, just trying to understand UK blade laws because there's a lot that seems weird or non-sensical to me, maybe you could expand on the regulations a little.

This is going to sound kind of facetious, but the core question is serious. How does the UK regulate chef's knives? I'm a pretty enthusiastic amateur home cook and I've got a chef's knife that's not too far off a short sword, made out of very high quality steel, that has a really sharp edge. If I went nuts and decided to go on a rampage I could definitely do some real damage with it and it would scare me more than a blunt Iaido sword if I were on the receiving end. And let's be honest, I'm a big guy, I think most people would be in danger if I went after them with a small chef's knife of any quality. Can I own cookware like this in the UK? Do I have to be specially insured or licensed? If I can't own such things, how do you guys prepare your dinner?

Do they regulate who can have metal working equipment and buy high quality metal stock? I know a large number of hobbyists and a couple of well known professional sword and knife makers in the US. I also know a number of people who do non-weapon related metal working, but you could use their equipment to make knives or swords too, even if it might not be optimal. If you just want to make a low grade shiv it doesn't even take much in regards to equipment or metal (people do it in the controlled conditions of prison all the time). I don't recall the details very clearly, but Seattle has had a couple of incidents with a mentally ill person attacking people pretty effectively with cheap, decorative, katanas. It wouldn't take much equipment, nor knowledge, to make a sword more effective than those "katanas". With a little knowledge and some real tools you could make a relatively more effective sword or knife easily. Do the UK regulations address this in an effective way or is this more along the lines of security theater? Or are they just hoping for a cooling off period while the weapon is created/obtained?
 

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Hey, out of curiosity, just trying to understand UK blade laws because there's a lot that seems weird or non-sensical to me, maybe you could expand on the regulations a little.

This is going to sound kind of facetious, but the core question is serious. How does the UK regulate chef's knives? I'm a pretty enthusiastic amateur home cook and I've got a chef's knife that's not too far off a short sword, made out of very high quality steel, that has a really sharp edge. If I went nuts and decided to go on a rampage I could definitely do some real damage with it and it would scare me more than a blunt Iaido sword if I were on the receiving end. And let's be honest, I'm a big guy, I think most people would be in danger if I went after them with a small chef's knife of any quality. Can I own cookware like this in the UK? Do I have to be specially insured or licensed? If I can't own such things, how do you guys prepare your dinner?

Do they regulate who can have metal working equipment and buy high quality metal stock? I know a large number of hobbyists and a couple of well known professional sword and knife makers in the US. I also know a number of people who do non-weapon related metal working, but you could use their equipment to make knives or swords too, even if it might not be optimal. If you just want to make a low grade shiv it doesn't even take much in regards to equipment or metal (people do it in the controlled conditions of prison all the time). I don't recall the details very clearly, but Seattle has had a couple of incidents with a mentally ill person attacking people pretty effectively with cheap, decorative, katanas. It wouldn't take much equipment, nor knowledge, to make a sword more effective than those "katanas". With a little knowledge and some real tools you could make a relatively more effective sword or knife easily. Do the UK regulations address this in an effective way or is this more along the lines of security theater? Or are they just hoping for a cooling off period while the weapon is created/obtained?
I have thoughts to, and many of the same questions. I have two chefs knives I use pretty much every day. They are extremely sharp. One is an 8” western style knife and the other is a 10” gyuto.
 
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This is going to sound kind of facetious, but the core question is serious. How does the UK regulate chef's knives?
It’s a very good question. When you buy a chef’s knife, you will be asked for proof of age. The shop will carefully wrap it to make it relatively inaccessible. It must then be transported straight to one’s abode/place of work where it may be legitimately used 😐
I'm a pretty enthusiastic amateur home cook and I've got a chef's knife that's not too far off a short sword, made out of very high quality steel, that has a really sharp edge. If I went nuts and decided to go on a rampage I could definitely do some real damage with it and it would scare me more than a blunt Iaido sword if I were on the receiving end. And let's be honest, I'm a big guy, I think most people would be in danger if I went after them with a small chef's knife of any quality. Can I own cookware like this in the UK? Do I have to be specially insured or licensed? If I can't own such things, how do you guys prepare your dinner?
It must be pretty clear by now, that the U.K. blade ownership laws are completely stupid! Most stabbing are performed with chef’s knives but the media, and hence the public, focus on those few incidents where machetes, ‘zombie knives’ and swords are used.
Do they regulate who can have metal working equipment and buy high quality metal stock?
Exactly as with buying knives. Chisels, saws etc only require proof of age and aren't even wrapped up.
I know a large number of hobbyists and a couple of well known professional sword and knife makers in the US. I also know a number of people who do non-weapon related metal working, but you could use their equipment to make knives or swords too, even if it might not be optimal. If you just want to make a low grade shiv it doesn't even take much in regards to equipment or metal (people do it in the controlled conditions of prison all the time). I don't recall the details very clearly, but Seattle has had a couple of incidents with a mentally ill person attacking people pretty effectively with cheap, decorative, katanas. It wouldn't take much equipment, nor knowledge, to make a sword more effective than those "katanas". With a little knowledge and some real tools you could make a relatively more effective sword or knife easily. Do the UK regulations address this in an effective way or is this more along the lines of security theater? Or are they just hoping for a cooling off period while the weapon is created/obtained?
The laws here are simply knee jerk reactions to various newspaper reports. When I was a student at a Scottish university, the weapon of choice was the screwdriver. The victim was held down and their buttocks stabbed multiple times. The wounds were very painful, difficult to suture and the victim was unable to sit normally for many months! There was no restriction on the sale of screwdrivers!

Unlike firearms, edged instruments have many multiple uses and that’s why it’s hard to control their availability.

I have a beautiful pattern welded santok…it’s so pretty, I never use it, instead using a cheapo £10 santoku!
 

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It’s a very good question. When you buy a chef’s knife, you will be asked for proof of age. The shop will carefully wrap it to make it relatively inaccessible. It must then be transported straight to one’s abode/place of work where it may be legitimately used 😐

It must be pretty clear by now, that the U.K. blade ownership laws are completely stupid! Most stabbing are performed with chef’s knives but the media, and hence the public, focus on those few incidents where machetes, ‘zombie knives’ and swords are used.

Exactly as with buying knives. Chisels, saws etc only require proof of age and aren't even wrapped up.

The laws here are simply knee jerk reactions to various newspaper reports. When I was a student at a Scottish university, the weapon of choice was the screwdriver. The victim was held down and their buttocks stabbed multiple times. The wounds were very painful, difficult to suture and the victim was unable to sit normally for many months! There was no restriction on the sale of screwdrivers!

Unlike firearms, edged instruments have many multiple uses and that’s why it’s hard to control their availability.

I have a beautiful pattern welded santok…it’s so pretty, I never use it, instead using a cheapo £10 santoku!
Strange indeed. 🤔
 
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It’s not so much strange as the only visible way of appearing to do something about the issue of carrying/using knives.
 

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It’s a very good question. When you buy a chef’s knife, you will be asked for proof of age. The shop will carefully wrap it to make it relatively inaccessible. It must then be transported straight to one’s abode/place of work where it may be legitimately used 😐

It must be pretty clear by now, that the U.K. blade ownership laws are completely stupid! Most stabbing are performed with chef’s knives but the media, and hence the public, focus on those few incidents where machetes, ‘zombie knives’ and swords are used.

Exactly as with buying knives. Chisels, saws etc only require proof of age and aren't even wrapped up.

The laws here are simply knee jerk reactions to various newspaper reports. When I was a student at a Scottish university, the weapon of choice was the screwdriver. The victim was held down and their buttocks stabbed multiple times. The wounds were very painful, difficult to suture and the victim was unable to sit normally for many months! There was no restriction on the sale of screwdrivers!

Unlike firearms, edged instruments have many multiple uses and that’s why it’s hard to control their availability.

I have a beautiful pattern welded santok…it’s so pretty, I never use it, instead using a cheapo £10 santoku!
Jesus Christ. Stabbing someone in the *** with a screwdriver is pretty damned sadistic.
 

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Most stabbing are performed with chef’s knives but the media, and hence the public, focus on those few incidents where machetes, ‘zombie knives’ and swords are used.
Bit of a chicken and egg thing, there? The media focuses on it because humans focus on (or orient their attention to) conflict, drama and novelty. Gotta get them eyeballs!
 
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Bit of a chicken and egg thing, there?
Yes. Bladed implements are probably amongst the oldest pieces of technology starting with flaked flint ‘knives’. How can the government legislate against such a ubiquitous tool?
The media focuses on it because humans focus on (or orient their attention to) conflict, drama and novelty. Gotta get them eyeballs!
The media like a sensational story…it makes for good copy.
 
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For taking heads, right? 😂
Yes…this type of thing -
1ED653AE-7D70-488D-8DAB-B3CA4892D669.jpeg
 

isshinryuronin

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It seems there will be an exemption to the U.K. sword ban for reasons of sport or antique ownership. No real change in that.

To buy a blunt sword for Iaido in the U.K. , one has to be a member of a dojo and the British Kendo Association and thus be insured by them. You need to present a letter from your dojo leader and insurance documents from the BKA to the retailer. Should you stop practising and let your BKA membership lapse, you are supposed to dispose of your blunt sword or hand it in to the police. A pretty flawed system, in my opinion.

Perhaps a centralised registration of owners of bladed weapons somewhat like car ownership, would be better. The police could access a database to see who owns what and, those who are legally registered, by way of special dispensation, would be allowed to wear their swords in public in full samurai clothing (sans shaved pate). It seems reasonable, no?
Are murders by sword common in the U.K.? Who is behind the ban and why? The only one I can recall here in the US was a karate feud that got out of hand in the 1970's. It was a great story, but 50 years is too long ago to remember the details. It was an interesting time. IMO a sword ban is crazy. Will they come for chefs next?
 

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