Changes to Legislation regarding the sale and manufacture of Curved Swords.

On the 27th January 2008 a Draft Amendment was laid before Parliament proposing to add any curved sword
with a blade length in excess of 50cm to the list weapons covered by The Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons).

Existing defences included swords over 100 years old and those used in service of the crown,
also a new defence was added to include Japanese blades made after 1954.
This Amendment was passed and came into force on the 6th April 2008.

The Amendment unfairly captured a wide range of swords not of Japanese manufacture.
We had numerous discussions with the Home Office and following a meeting with Vernon Coaker,
the minister who laid the (2008)Amendment, it was agreed that, with regard to 2(3) to amend the wording to:
‘…to show that the weapon in question was made before 1954 or at any other time according to traditional methods of hand-making swords’.

On the 6th June 2008 a Draft Order was laid before Parliament proposing Additional Defences for the Sale and Manufacture of Curved Swords.
The new Amendment Order was cleared by both Houses of Parliament and came into force on the 31st July 2008.

The Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) (Amendment No.2) Order 2008


If you own a Raven Armoury Scimitar we can provide you with a certificate stating that
your sword has been made "according to traditional methods of making swords by hand".
Some of our early Scimitars from the 80's and 90's were not marked on the blade,
we are happy to add our mark to our earlier blades at no charge.
Please for further information.




Our thanks to:
John Batley of the Gun Trade Association and David Penn of the British Shooting Sports Council
for their much appreciated assistance in bringing about this amendment to the law.
We are grateful to the Home Office for their consideration and hard work
in bringing forward the new amendment so swiftly.

Also our thanks to all who signed the petition against the change to the law,
and to those who contacted the Home Office directly.




(This note is not part of the Order)

Section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (“section 141”) provides that any person who manufactures, sells or hires or offers for sale or hire, exposes or has in his possession for the purpose of sale or hire, or lends or gives to any other person, a weapon to which that section applies shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or both. The importation of any such weapon is prohibited.

The Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) Order 1988 (the “1988 Order”) specifies weapons to which section 141 applies. Swords with a curved blade of 50 centimetres or over in length are in the list of specified weapons contained in the 1988 Order. In relation to such swords, this Order widens an existing defence to offences under section 141(1) and section 50(2) or (3) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979. This amended defence applies to swords made anywhere in the world either before 1954 or at any other time according to traditional methods of making swords by hand. The Order also creates a new defence where the conduct which gave rise to the offence was undertaken for the purposes of making the weapon available for use in religious ceremonies.



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