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Offensive Weapons: Sales

Home Office written question – answered on 24th April 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Brady Baroness Brady Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to prevent the online sale of machetes in the UK.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department, Minister for Equalities (Department for International Development)

In 2016, the Government agreed a set of commitments with major retailers to prevent the underage sales of knives, including machetes, in their stores and online. This also covered staff training, the display and packaging of knives. A number of major retailers have signed up to this, including Tesco, eBay UK, Lidl UK, Amazon UK, Wilko, Argos, Asda, Poundland, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis, Waitrose, Boots, the Co-op, B&Q, Aldi, TKMaxx and Debenhams. We continue to work with retailers to strengthen the agreement, including in relation to the display of these products in stores.

It is an offence to sell articles with a blade, which includes machetes, to a person under 18, whether that be face to face or online. In addition, the Offensive Weapons Bill will further strengthen the law, with specific new knives offences, including making it an offence to possess certain offensive weapons in private, and stopping bladed products being sent to residential addresses after they are bought online unless the seller has made arrangements with a delivery person or company not to hand that item over to a person under 18 at that address.

This means that businesses will still be able to sell and dispatch bladed products, which could include machetes, to residential addresses, but they will need to have the necessary arrangements in place to ensure that their products are not delivered into the hands of anyone aged under 18.

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