The Offensive Weapons Act 2019 (‘the Act’), which came into force on 14 July 2021, represents a significant tightening up of Government policy in response to the ever -increasing rise in violent criminal attacks involving the use of knives and corrosive substances.

The Act addresses a number of issues including the sale and possession of corrosive substances, the despatch to a residential address of a bladed product purchased online and introduces Knife Crime Prevention Orders.

Additionally, possession of offensive weapons is now banned in private as well as public places and Holder of Kangs Solicitors outlines some of the measures taken.

Kangs Solicitors has defended clients facing criminal prosecution for every conceivable offence for well over twenty years. We are rated as one of the best criminal law firms in the country and we are top ranked in both the leading legal directories, the Legal 500 and Chambers UK.

Kangs Solicitors has won the Legal 500 award for Criminal & Fraud Law Firm of the Yearand

the firm’s founding solicitor Hamraj Kang, has won the Legal 500 award for Individual Criminal & Fraud Solicitor of the Year.

We understand that facing any criminal investigation or prosecution can be a distressing experience and our defence team offers a discrete, sensitive and professional service to all of our clients.

Our Rapid Response Police Station Team provides our clients with a 24 hours service, 365 days of the year. The team consists of ten lawyers who are available to represent clients at any police station in the country.

Offensive Weapons Act 2019 | Kangs Violent Offences Defence Solicitors

Prohibited Possession

Weapons, possession of which was already prohibited in public places under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 but which are now also banned in private, i.e. they cannot be kept at any home include:

  • Cyclone knives;
  • Spiral knives;
  • Zombie knives;
  • Shuriken / death stars and
  • Knuckledusters.

Flick and Gravity Knives

There is a new definition for flick knives and gravity knives which reflects changing weapon designs, and will result in more knives falling foul of the law, which is:    

‘(a) any knife which has a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in or attached to the handle of the knife, sometimes known as a “flick knife” or “flick gun”; or

(b) any knife which has a blade which is released from the handle or sheath thereof by the force of gravity or the application of centrifugal force and which, when released, is locked in place by means of a button, spring, lever, or other device, sometimes known as a “gravity knife.’

Rapid Fire Rifles

The Act imposed a ban ‘on the possession, manufacture and sale of rapid firing rifles and bump stocks, which increase a rifle’s rate of fire’.

Rapid fire rifles are described as:

‘any rifle with a chamber from which empty cartridge cases are extracted using—

  • energy from propellant gas, or
  • energy imparted to a spring or other energy storage device by propellant gas,

other than a rifle which is chambered for .22 rim-fire cartridges;

The Act has also changed the legal definition for threatening someone with an offensive weapon to make Prosecutions easier and includes threatening on educational premises and in a private place.

Penalties For Breach | Kangs Weapons Offences Defence Solicitors

  • A person convicted of unlawfully possessing a firearm which is covered by the prohibition faces a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years. 
  • Possession of the other weapons carries a sentence of up to six months imprisonment and / or a fine.

Government Comment

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

‘There is no place in our society for violent crime and harm caused by such knives and firearms. Lives have been lost through serious violence, and this ban will help save lives by getting more knives and other weapons off the streets and out of the hands of violent criminals.

The human suffering and hurt caused by the tragic loss of life through violent crime is unacceptable, which is why the government will stop at nothing to give the police the powers needed to stop violent crime and protect the public.

From today, anyone possessing one of these deadly weapons unlawfully will face the full force of the law.’

Who Can I Contact For Help? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors

The defence Team at Kangs Solicitors is accustomed to defending clients accused of all types of criminal offences, including those involving weapons of every nature.

Our expert criminal defence team is here to assist you and is available 24/7 on telephone number 07989 521 210.

We welcome enquiries by telephone or email.

We provide an initial no obligation consultation from our offices in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

Alternatively, we provide initial consultations by telephone or video conferencing.


Helen Holder
020 7936 6396  | 0121 449 9888

Sukhdip Randhawa
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396 

Aman Murria
0161 817 5020 | 0121 449 9888