BHETA to lobby minister on proposed new knife laws

The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) has canvassed opinion from its members involved in selling and marketing knives, following the Government’s recently announced proposed legislative changes in this area.

BHETA has approached Home Secretary Amber Rudd for a meeting to discuss the possible implications for housewares suppliers and retailers.

The association is also working with bira (British Independent Retailers Association) and LACORS (Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services) on this issue.

Under the new proposals, anyone who buys a knife online must collect it in person – either at a store or other physical premises – to prove their identity and age. Retailers would be responsible for checking the age of buyers by asking them to show their ID such as a passport or driving licence.

Currently, it’s illegal to sell a blade of more than three inches (7.62cm) to anyone under 18. But reports have suggested that safety checks that can be circumvented.

BHETA housewares director Wil Jones said: “Clearly this is an important issue from many points of view, so it is vital that we represent the feelings of suppliers in the market in order that the best conclusions can be reached.”

The association asked members:

  1. What percentage of your knife sales are to online customers?
  2. What effect in percentage terms would you anticipate in lost sales?
  3. What do you believe will be the direct impact on you and your customers’ business if this new legislation is passed?
  4. Do you think there are ways of improving the identification process by online retailers by other means – for example, the purchaser needing to produce photo identification and signature?


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