New plans could force anyone selling hunting knives in Scotland to obtain licences setting conditions for sale. The scheme was introduced by Kenny McAskill, the justice secretary, on 29 July. However, his controversial plans have been criticised by conservation groups and opposition politicians.

BASC Scotland’s James Scott said: “This will do nothing to tackle the issue of knife crime but it will create a lot of problems for small shopkeepers and we could have a requirement for CCTV coverage being kept of people buying knives for legitimate use. If someone is hellbent on stabbing someone, they will buy a kitchen knife which will not be covered by these rules.”

Proposals include a ban on knife displays that can be viewed from the street and a requirement for shop owners to keep full details of the type of knife sold and of the purchaser. The consultation will run until 22 October and the proposals could become law in September 2009.

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