Page last updated at 11:39 GMT, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 12:39 UK

Knife licence consultation launch

Ministers are examining a licensing system for knife and sword sales

Dealers in non-domestic knives could be required to have a licence under proposals from the Scottish Government.

Launching a consultation, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said the government was "taking action" to tackle knife crime.

Measures could include keeping full descriptions of knives sold, along with detailed records of how a customer's age and identity were verified.

Ministers hope the new licensing regime could be in place by September 2009.

The consultation runs until 22 October.

Mr MacAskill said: "There is no doubt that weapons such as hunting and combat knives can, in the wrong hands, be part of this problem.

"They can injure, maim and kill, and we need to make sure they are only sold to people with a legitimate reason for buying them."

Mr MacAskill said the government was also suggesting that anyone who wanted to buy a sword must be able to prove what they intend to use it for, such as by producing a membership card or letter from a society with a recognised reason for using swords.

And he stressed: "People with a legitimate reason for owning non-domestic knives having nothing to fear from this, we are particularly looking for views from interest groups."

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