Offensive Weapons Act - Retailer Checks
Further provisions of the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 meant that from the 1st of October 2021, as a retailer there were statutory expectations placed on you by law to help strengthen the response to violent crime.
The act makes it illegal for individuals to possess dangerous weapons in private, including knuckledusters, zombie knives and death star knives - we have further details of this on our Offensive Weapons Act page.
As a retailer, you are expected to carry out further checks on purchasers, label packages to ensure it is clear they contain a bladed article and ensure they can only be delivered in person to someone 18 years old or over.
Packages containing bladed articles will not be able to be left in a delivery locker or in a 'safe' place by law. Watch our video below to find out more about these changes.
What must I do at point of sale?
The legislation states that at the point of sale of a bladed item, you must have a system in place to check the purchaser is 18 years old or over. Specifically, the buyer confirming their age by simply ticking a box is NOT enough. It will be up to a court of law to decide wether measures taken to conduct age verification were sufficient. There are multiple solutions available in this space including, but not limited to, software that can check photos including identification, background check solutions using credit profiles or trusted identity services.
Secured by Design (SBD) is the official police security initiative that works to provide safe places to live, work, shop and visit. If you have queries in regards to implementing solutions, you can contact them for further details.
How must packages be labelled?
Packages must be labelled to show they contain a bladed article. Many courier companies will offer bespoke packaging solutions or stickers combined with an age verification system if you are regularly delivering bladed items.
What must I do at point of delivery?
If you deliver the item yourself you must ask for a valid proof of ID at the door before handing over the parcel.
If you use a third party to deliver your parcel such as a courier, then they must do it and you will need them to gurantee that they do.