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The bill, which is currently proceeding through parliament, prohibits the delivery of bladed items to residential addresses. This could include the posting of antique objects bought at auction or online.

The relevant section said: “The seller commits an offence if, for the purposes of supplying the bladed product to the buyer, the seller delivers the bladed product, or arranges for its delivery, to residential premises.”

Offensive weapons bill

Antiques have largely been exempted from offensive weapons legislation in the UK since 1988 but this bill includes no such provision. A change.org petition has been launched to have an antiques exemption included which has more than 6600 signatories so far.

The offensive weapons bill, currently being debated by committee, is expected to report to the House of Commons by September 13.

A separate government law, also being proposed, could impact the sale of antique firearms. The Home Office has consulted on proposals for the Policing and Crime Act to “enshrine in law a new definition of antique firearms, which will help ensure older firearms which still pose a danger to the public are licensed”.

The consultation ended in December 2017 and the government is reviewing the submissions.

It is expected to publish a response later this year.