Twisting the blade

Scotland’s legislation on knife sales is damaging rural businesses, the Regulatory Review Group has revealed.

The independent watchdog has criticised the policy for being inconsistent and failing to improve public safety. Gun and fishing tackle shops in Scotland must meet rigid criteria and apply for a licence to sell knives, even in rural areas where there is little crime, while the widespread sale of kitchen and domestic knives remains unregulated.

Dr Colin Shedden, director of BASC Scotland, said: “The licensing scheme fails to meet the principles of good regulation on all counts. It has hit legitimate businesses in areas where knife crime is not a problem while doing nothing to reduce the sale of knives mostly commonly used in crime in towns and cities.

“As the Scottish government contemplates another costly compulsory licensing scheme for airguns, we hope it will learn from the mistakes of the knife dealers’ licence.”

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