England and Wales have had enough of zombie knives.
In a vote earlier this year, the two countries – both part of the United Kingdom – decided to ban the sale, manufacture and importation of blades referred to as zombie knives, zombie killer knives and zombie slayer knives.
The ban went into effect this week.
Knife collectors see the ban as penalizing responsible knife owners for the actions of irresponsible people. The knives have proven very popular among those who collect unique knives. However, officials in England saw it differently.
Alf Hitchcock, who leads the National Police Chief’s Council in the area of knife enabled crime, told The Guardian that zombie knives “are absolutely horrific weapons. Forces are determined to reduce the harm caused by these and all other dangerous weapons.
“There is no place for knife crime within society and this ban is further commitment to keeping communities safe.”
What Is A Zombie Knife?
The typical zombie knife features a curved blade with serrated edges. While they started primarily as collector’s items, police in England and Wales said criminals and gang members increasingly carry the knives.
While the size of the knife can vary, most zombie knives feature long blades and many have inscriptions that glamorize violence. According to the BBC, sellers list the knives with descriptions that promote their use in horror-movie scenarios such as “defending yourself from the undead” or for use in an “apocalypse kit.”
However, for the most part the knives have primarily been interesting collectibles for those who like to purchase unusual knives. Proponents noted that the knives carry no more danger than a common kitchen knife and pointed out that the ban does not mean the knives can be kept away from criminals, only responsible knife owners who follow the letter of the law.
Deadly Assault in London
Hitchcock said the knives have “suddenly become popular as a sign of bravado in gangs.”
The ban came on the heels of an attack in June 2015. In this attack, a 17-year-old used a zombie knife to stab another teenager to death in Islington in north London. In May 2016 a jury found, the attacker, Blaise Lewinson, guilty of manslaughter. He now serves a lifetime imprisonment sentence.
Both Northern Ireland and Scotland are part of the United Kingdom. In Northern Ireland, lawmakers will consider a similar ban. In Scotland, a spokeswomen told the BBC officials will carefully review current law. The we will see if changes are needed to address zombie knives. Scotland already has a ban on possessing knives which are sold with the suggestion they can be used for combat or violent behavior.
Whether the ban will spread to other countries remains to be seen. A search of zombie knifes on the Internet shows that plenty are available for purchase in the United States.