The Offensive Weapons Act received Royal Assent in May. Image: A collection of daggers via thesaleroom.com.

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Buyers receiving swords and knives in the mail will have to prove they are over 18 – but sending them by post will be permitted.

The Offensive Weapons Act received Royal Assent in May and is expected to become law later this year once the Home Office consults on the draft statutory guidance on how the law will apply. It is due to publish this guidance “as soon as possible” and said it will “engage with businesses and industry on how the legislation will affect them before it comes into force”.

The age requirement is less problematic for buyers of antique weapons than in a previous draft of the bill which had proposed to make it a criminal offence to “dispatch bladed products sold online to any residential address”.

New law’s age requirement is less problematic for buyers than in a previous draft

The amendment to the law – drafted to tackle knife crime – was tabled in the House of Commons and welcomed in the House of Lords.

A number of laws are waiting to be enacted as parliament deals with Brexit. The controversial ivory bill gained Royal Assent to become the Ivory Act 2018 in December last year but is still awaiting to be enacted. On the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) website it said it is “expected to come into force in late 2019”.

A separate government law, also being proposed, will affect 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 changes are expected to be announced later this year.