News In Focus
Bill will control online sales of offensive weapons to under-18s
Scottish ministers are to seek Holyrood's consent to a bill intended to prevent people under 18 years old from buying knives online.
Under the Offensive Weapons Bill, online retailers will not be able to sell knives online without rigorous age verification, or to deliver knives bought remotely to residential addresses or drop-off points.
The proposed new laws, which combine both devolved and reserved issues around offensive weapons, will also ban the sale of the most dangerous corrosive products to under-18s, and make it an offence to be in possession of a corrosive substance in public.
Certain firearms and firearms accessories, including bump stocks, will be banned.
The bill is a UK Government measure, but has been developed closely with the Scottish Government for those areas that extend to Scotland.
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson commented:“I wrote to the UK Government in January 2017 raising concerns about the online sale of knives and the need for a joint approach – I’m glad to see this bill will address these issues and ensure more barriers are put in place to stop young people accessing knives and other offensive weapons online.
“We are resolute in our determination to tackle violent crime, and this bill, on which we have engaged closely with the UK Government, ensures we are going further to prevent incidents with offensive weapons from happening in the first place, as well as future-proofing the law.”