As of yesterday (14 July), it is now illegal to possess certain dangerous weapons- even in your own home.

The aim of the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 is to bring in tough new measures that strengthen law enforcement’s response to violent crime.

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

Some weapons covered in the ban include knuckledusters, zombie knives and death star knives.

Anyone unlawfully possessing a firearm covered by the ban will face up to 10 years in prison, and anyone who owns another weapon covered could face up to six months behind bars and a fine.

Soon, further parts of the act will come into play and you have to verify you are over 18 to buy bladed items from the internet.

You won’t be able to have bladed items delivered to a locker or other automated pick up point.

Items will be clearly labelled as bladed articles, and those delivering the items may ask you for proof of age.

National Police Chiefs' Council lead on knife crime, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty, said: “The harm caused to families and communities through the tragic loss of life relating to knife crime is devastating and that is why focusing on this issue remains a top priority for policing.

“We welcome the changes to legislation being introduced by the Offensive Weapons Act.

"These measures will help officers to take dangerous weapons off the streets, 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.

“Knife crime is not something that can be solved by policing alone. We are working with businesses, schools, charities and community schemes to educate young people and explain why carrying a knife is never the right choice.

"This early intervention plays a vitally important role in stopping young people from turning to a life of crime.”

Which weapons can you no longer possess?

Section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 provides that it is an offence to manufacture, sell or hire, offer for sale or hire, expose or have in his possession for the purpose of sale or hire of or lending or giving to any other person certain specified weapons.

Here is a full list:

  • A knuckleduster, that is, a band of metal or other hard material worn on one or more fingers, and designed to cause injury, and any weapon incorporating a knuckleduster.
  • A swordstick, that is, a hollow walking-stick or cane containing a blade which may be used as a sword.
  • ‘Handclaw’- being a band of metal or other hard material from which a number of sharp spikes protrude, and worn around the hand.
  • ‘Belt buckle knife’- being a buckle, which incorporates or conceals a knife.
  • ‘Push dagger’, being a knife, the handle of which fits within a clenched fist and the blade of which protrudes from between two fingers.
  • ‘Hollow kubotan’, being a cylindrical container containing a number of sharp spikes.
  • ‘Footclaw’, being a bar of metal or other hard material from which a number of sharp spikes protrude, and worn strapped to the foot.
  • ‘Shuriken’, ‘shaken’ or ‘death star’, being a hard, non-flexible plate having three or more sharp radiating points and designed to be thrown.
  • ‘Balisong’ or ‘butterfly knife’, being a blade enclosed by its handle, which is designed to split down the middle, without the operation of a spring or other mechanical means, to reveal the blade.
  • ‘Telescopic truncheon’, being a truncheon which extends automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in or attached to its handle.
  • ‘Blowpipe’ or ‘blow gun’, being a hollow tube out of which hard pellets or darts are shot by the use of breath.
  • ‘Kusari gama’, being a length of rope, cord, wire or chain fastened at one end to a sickle.
  • ‘Kyoketsu shoge’, being a length of rope, cord, wire or chain fastened at one end to a hooked knife.
  • ‘Manrikigusari’ or ‘kusari’, being a length of rope, cord, wire or chain fastened at each end to a hard weight or hand grip.
  • A disguised knife, that is any knife which has a concealed blade or concealed sharp point and is designed to appear to be an everyday object of a kind commonly carried on the person or in a handbag, briefcase, or other hand luggage.
  • A straight, side-handled or friction-lock truncheon (sometimes known as a baton).
  • A sword with a curved blade of 50 centimetres or over in length; and for the purposes of this sub-paragraph, the length of the blade shall be the straight line distance from the top of the handle to the tip of the blade.
  • “Zombie knife”, “zombie killer knife” or “zombie slayer knife”, being a blade with — (i) a cutting edge; (ii) a serrated edge; and (iii) images or words (whether on the blade or handle) that suggest that it is to be used for the purpose of violence.
  • “Cyclone knife” or “spiral knife”, being a weapon with — (i) a handle; (ii) a blade with two or more cutting edges, each of which forms a helix; and (ii) a sharp point at the end of the blade