The policy, which is being considered as part of the Offensive Weapons Bill, has caused concern among some in the industry including Harriet Hayward-Reeves, managing director of Kin Knives.
Last month she told the East Anglian Daily Times that a ban on online sales to residential properties could “severely threaten the viability of my business, and many others including my father’s tool business”.
Now Wahaca co-founder Thomasina Miers, who uses Kin Knives, has called for people to support a petition calling on the government to remove the policy from the bill as it progresses into law.
Miers wrote on Twitter: “These guys are my favourite knife producers, please sign the petition so they keep supplying Britain with amazing kitchen knives.”
The petition to remove clause 15 of the offensive weapons bill currently has more than 21,800 signatures from across the UK. Once it reaches 100,000 it will be debated in parliament.
Clause 15 of the Bill would, if passed, make it an offence for a seller to deliver, or to arrange for the delivery of, a knife to a home or locker where that sale has been made remotely.
The policy does not effect bespoke knives, which could still be delivered to a home if they are made to the user’s specifications, or residential properties that also operate as a business.
Those found to have broken the law could, under current proposals, face a fine or a maximum prison sentence of 51 weeks.
The bill aims to tackle knife crime, which has increased in some areas of the UK – particularly cities – over the last year. Some of the lowest levels of support for the petition are in city regions including London, Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester, while greater levels of support can be found in more rural areas of Scotland, West England and East Anglia.
In a response to the petition, the government stated that “The Bill prevents knives which cause serious harm from being delivered to residential addresses but does not stop delivery of bladed items and knives to business premises or businesses run from home.”
It added: “Retailers online and offline are prohibited from selling knives to under 18s. Evidence from online test purchase operations conducted over the last decade, where online shopping has become increasingly common, shows that the majority of sampled online retailers failed to have effective age verification procedures in place.
“The failure rate for online test purchases of knives has not significantly improved over this period.
“The government has therefore sought to improve these outcomes by conducting a public consultation and introducing legislation that will place more stringent controls on online sellers of knives.”
Article Credit: The Caterer