The following article was taken from a UK news source. It has finally happen swords are banned. What will be next? Maybe your pile of rocks that may be used as slingshot ammo? I wonder if Japan will follow this and ban Samurai swords. How long before one of our Washington clowns decide it will further his/her political career to introduce such a bill here in US
Samurai swords to be banned
By Emma Henry and agencies
Last Updated: 12:56pm GMT 05/03/2007
The sale of imitation samurai swords could be banned by the end of the year, the Home Office announced today.
Importing or hiring the weapons could also be made illegal following a string of samurai sword attacks in recent years.
Breaching the ban, which is targeted at cheap imitation samurai swords rather than the more expensive genuine collectors' items made by licensed swordsmiths in Japan, would result in up to six months in jail and a £5,000 fine.
Collectors and martial arts enthusiasts owning or using genuine samurai swords would be exepmt from the ban
According to Home Office estimates, there have been at least 80 serious crimes involving the swords in England and Wales over the last four years.
One MP recently warned that they were being used by criminal gangs as the preferred weapon of choice after guns.
Last month, amphetamine addict Hugh Penrose was jailed for at least 19 years for hacking a 21-year-old woman with a samurai sword and then deliberately running her over.
In October, Bradley Moran was jailed for 17 years for murdering another man with a samurai sword following an argument in a nightclub.
It is currently legal to buy samurai swords - which are freely available at martial arts shops and on the internet - provided they are not brandished in a public place.
The Home Office now wants to ban their sale as part of a wider crackdown on knives and bladed weapons.
Carrying a samurai sword in a public place already attracts a maximum jail sentence of four years.
Vernon Coaker, the Home Office minister, said today: "Samurai sword crime is low in volume but high in profile and I recognise it can have a devastating impact.
"Banning the sale, import and hire will take more dangerous weapons out of circulation, making our streets safer.
"We recognise it is the cheap, easily-available samurai swords which are being used in crime and not the genuine, more expensive samurai swords which are of interest to collectors and martial arts enthusiasts."
"It is already illegal to have a samurai sword in a public place but I want to restrict the number of dangerous weapons in circulation to enhance community safety."
The plans are outlined in a consultation paper, Banning Offensive Weapons, published by the Home Office today.
At present there are 17 weapons, including knuckle-dusters and batons, on the Offensive Weapons Order.
The exemptions would be for groups such as the To-ken Society of Great Britain and the British Kendo Association.
Last year, Tory MP James Brokenshire (Hornchurch) said cheap samurai swords were as easy to buy "as purchasing a Lotto ticket".