Samurai sword ban comes into effect

 

Samurai swords will be outlawed from tomorrow under tough new laws combating knife crime.

Those caught manufacturing, importing, selling or hiring the potentially deadly weapons could face up to seven years in prison.

Minister Justice Dermot Ahern said the Government was taking a tough stance on knives, with flick-knives, machetes and knuckle-dusters already banned.

“Legislation on the use of knives and similar weapons is extremely robust and heavy penalties are in place,” the minister said.

Mr Ahern recently increased the maximum penalty for possessing a knife in a public place from one to five years.

Gardaí have also been given stronger powers to carry out searches.

The Government said the new laws will target cheap, easily-obtained swords most likely used by criminals.

In a bid to cater for collectors, those made before 1954 or at another time by traditional hand-made methods will be exempt.

Official figures have shown 100 people were killed in knife attacks in the five years up to 2007.