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Amend the Offensive weapons act

Comment 14th July 2010

We currently have the situation where a law abiding citizen who, on discovering a pistol in a field, retrieves the pistol and takes it to the police, can be charged with possession of an offensive weapon as the concept of mens rea came into effect the moment he retrieved the weapon, regardless of his long term ambitions for the weapon.

We also have a situation where possession of a swiss army knife by an adult in his cubbyhole (or glove compartment) is sufficient to have this man charged with possession of an offensive weapon.

Possession of offensive weapons should not be a stand-alone criminal offence as the term "offensive weapon" is relative and in theory could be applied to any object including the bic pen in my pocket or the laptop that I am using t type this message…

Pens can be used to stab (in the right place a man can bleed to death, and the laptop…well if you smack someone in the right place, you can also kill them…

Why does this matter?

The concept of mens rea needs to be proved, as being a guilty mind

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