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New law could mean jail for owners of weapons such as zombie knives

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Owners of weapons such as zombie knives and knuckledusters could be jailed under a new law.

Possessing a knife or offensive weapon in a public place was already illegal but the Offensive Weapons Act will make it unlawful to have certain rapid firing rifles, specific types of knives and other offensive weapons in private.

The list includes zombie knives, cyclone knives, knuckledusters, death star knives, flick knives, gravity knives, batons, disguised knives, push daggers and other offensive weapons.

The act became law on Wednesday and will mean offenders with banned firearms could be jailed for up to 10 years, while those found with the other weapons could be jailed for up to six months and fined.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Lives have been lost through serious violence, and this ban will help save lives by getting more knives and other weapons off the streets and out of the hands of violent criminals.

“The human suffering and hurt caused by the tragic loss of life through violent crime is unacceptable, which is why the government will stop at nothing to give the police the powers needed to stop violent crime and protect the public.

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“From today, anyone possessing one of these deadly weapons unlawfully will face the full force of the law.”

The National Police Chiefs’ Council lead on knife crime, deputy assistant commissioner Graham McNulty, said: “These measures will help officers to seize more dangerous weapons, deal with those intent on using them to cause harm and suffering, and crucially, make it more difficult for young people to get hold of knives and other dangerous items in the first place.”

Between December 2020 and March this year, 14,965 knives and offensive weapons were surrendered by owners in exchange for compensation as part of a government scheme.