UK Bans Samurai Swords
Move follows a wave of high-profile attacks in recent years
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2007 3:35 PM CST

(Newser) – British authorities are cracking down on a deadly, if unconventional, weapon—the samurai sword. The government banned the sale of the Japanese blades this week following at least 80 serious attacks, including five deaths, in the last few years, the Guardian reports. Collectors and martial arts practitioners will not be affected, just those who pick up cheaper imitations.

"In the wrong hands, samurai swords are dangerous weapons," said a Home Office official. "We recognize it is the cheap, easily available samurai swords which are being used in crime and not the genuine more expensive samurai swords." Those who import, sell, or rent the swords face 6 months in jail and a hefty fine.