Retailers fear grey areas in new Scottish knife law

With less than four months to go before Scotland’s new non-domestic knife sales law comes into force retailers are still trying to find out what constitutes a non-domestic knife.

Retailers fear grey areas in new Scottish knife law

On and after June 1 anyone in Scotland with a business dealing in certain knives and other knife-like objects and who does not have a Knife Dealer’s Licence will be committing a criminal offence.

The law states that the articles covered by the licensing scheme are: knives (other than those designed for domestic use); knife blades (other than those designed for domestic use); swords; and any other article which has a blade or is sharply pointed and which is made or adapted for use for causing injury to the person.

However, the legislation does not define what is meant by “domestic”, and the BHF-BSSA Group says retailers need clarification on several grey areas before knowing whether they need to apply for a licence or not.

The association says the questions include: What exactly is a non-domestic knife? Are domestic kitchen knives out of the scope of the regulations, or do they still sometimes qualify if bought for business purposes, such as commercial food preparation? What exactly is a knife? And are trade-to-trade sales really exempt?

The association has raised the questions with the Criminal Law and Licensing Division of the Criminal Justice Directorate and is now pressing for an answer.

BHF-BSSA Group recently got government to firm up its definitions on knives in relation to the law on selling knives to people under 18, which applies in the rest of the UK. The Cookshop & Housewares Association, which is a part of BHF-BSSA Group, has just produced a Knife Sales Information Support Pack outlining the definitions.

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