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Home Office offensive weapons consultation - Law Society response

15 December 2017

The Law Society has responded to a Home Office consultation on new legislation on offensive and dangerous weapons. A recent increase in the number of serious assaults involving corrosive substances and knives prompted the government to review aspects of the law concerning weapons.

It proposes age verification for on-line purchasers of knives, changes to the definition of flick knives, outlawing the possession of knives on higher educational institutions, restricting the sale of corrosive substances to under-18 year olds, and creating an offence of possession of a corrosive substance in a public place, without good reason. The Society supports many of the proposals, both as practical ways to deal with the supply of knives and corrosive substances, and to bring corrosive substances in line with the law on possession of other weapons. It disagrees that the definition of the offence of threatening with an offensive weapon should be widened, and suggests that any legislation should define, by way of a schedule, the corrosive substances in scope.

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