Purchasing Illegal Weapons 

The National Crime Agency explain that firearms can be bought and sold via the dark web. This is a way that predominantly, people who are not part of an organized criminal group can buy and sell illegal weapons. It follows on to say that the illegal weapons would typically enter the UK as parcel post. In 2018, Border Force recorded a 61% rise in confiscations of offensive weapons. By carrying a weapon, (even imitation one) a person is risking everything including their future. They can end up in Prison or being a victim of crime themselves. Knife crime can have damaging personal effects on your friends, your family and you. Whilst some young people pick up a knife to feel safer, they don’t realise that carrying makes them more likely to get into severe danger. Carrying a weapon (even a fake weapon) will lead to the person who was found in possession to be arrested and prosecuted. The Police will not accept any excuse even if it was to say that the accused was for their own protection or they were carrying it for somebody else.

It is easier for young people to purchase weapons online as they can be sold on illegal sites, without any regulations or ID. The only thing the person/company selling the weapons are interested in is the money from the sale. Young people should also be aware that they can be found guilty of murder if they are part of a group and someone in that group kills someone with a weapon or by some other means (this includes attacks where the victim is punched, kicked etc). If they knew that the person was going to use violence or knew they were carrying a weapon, even though you didn’t agree to the attack or use of the weapon but remained as part of that group.

The UK Police state that It is illegal to:

  • Sell a knife of any kind to anyone under 18 years old, unless it has a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less. (16 to 18 year olds in Scotland can buy cutlery and kitchen knives)
  • Carry a knife in public without good reason – unless it’s a knife with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less, e.g. a Swiss Army knife (a “lock knife” does not come into the category of “folding pocket knife” because it is not immediately foldable at all times)
  • Carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife
  • Use any knife in a threatening way (including a legal knife, such as a Swiss Army knife)
  • If you know or suspect may be carrying a weapon illegally, please report it as you could save a life and it could even be theirs.

What counts as a firearm?

Firearms are lethal barrelled weapons and other weapons including:

  • Rifles
  • Shotguns
  • Handguns
  • Automatic and semi-automatic firearms
  • CS gas canisters, pepper sprays and other self-defence sprays
  • High voltage electric stun guns
  • High-powered air rifles and pistols
  • Items that have the appearance of being a firearm and can be readily converted into a live firearm

List of Banned Knives and Weapons:

It is illegal to bring into the UK, sell, hire, lend or give anyone the following:

  • Butterfly knives (also known as ‘balisongs’) – a blade hidden inside a handle that splits in the middle
  • Disguised knives – a blade or sharp point hidden inside what looks like everyday objects such as a buckle, phone, brush or lipstick
  • Flick knives (also known as ‘switchblades’ or ‘automatic knives’) – a blade hidden inside a handle which shoots out when a button is pressed
  • Gravity knives
  • Stealth knives – a knife or spike not made from metal (except when used at home, for food or a toy)
  • Zombie knives – a knife with a cutting edge, a serrated edge and images or words suggesting it is used for violence
  • Swords, including samurai swords – a curved blade over 50cm (with some exceptions, such as antiques and swords made to traditional methods before 1954)
  • Sword-sticks – a hollow walking stick or cane containing a blade
  • Push daggers
  • Blowpipes (‘blow gun’)
  • Telescopic truncheons – extend automatically by pressing button or spring in the handle
  • Batons – straight, side-handled or friction-lock truncheons
  • Hollow kubotans – a cylinder-shaped keychain holding spikes
  • Shurikens (also known as ‘shaken’, ‘death stars’ or ‘throwing stars’)
  • Kusari-gama – a sickle attached to a rope, cord or wire
  • Kyoketsu-shoge – a hook-knife attached to a rope, cord or wire
  • Kusari (or ‘manrikigusari’) – a weight attached to a rope, cord, wire
  • Hand or foot-claws
  • Knuckledusters

Who can you contact if your child is involved with purchasing illegal weapons?

If you feel like your child is in immediate danger, please dial 999 or the relevant professional body. To find out more information from the following organisations, click on the buttons below.

If you do not want to contact the police you can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111 or using their Online Reporting Form.

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