Amazon has reportedly become a haven for underage kids to buy weapons


Amazon has been delivering weapons to houses in the UK without insisting on age-verification, a new investigation by the Guardian has revealed.

According to the report, the newspaper ordered two knives, one to be delivered to a home address, the other to the Guardian’s offices. Both were delivered without the need for someone over the age of 18 to sign for them.

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In the UK it is illegal to sell a folding knife with a blade longer than three inches to anyone under age. The investigation comes in light of a teenager who stabbed and killed 16-year-old Bailey Gwynne last October using a knife of a similar length he had bought via Amazon.

The teenager in question managed to buy the knife and obtain it without the need for a signature.

The Guardian repeated the technique and found couriers simply left the knife on the reporters’ doorstep.

In an interview with The Sun newspaper, Conservative MP David Burrowes said, 

“The law against selling knives to children is barely enforced and largely ignored. However online sales to children are taking place with fatal and tragic consequences. It is time to bring the knife sales law up to date so we can catch reckless online retailers. Amazon and other retailers should not be able to hide behind an old law which is not fit for purpose.”

The story comes after Nathan Matthews was convicted of murdering a teenager in Bristol using weapons he had bought from Amazon also.

Last year, Amazon itself was found to be selling pepper spray, stun guns and even a baseball cap with a knuckleduster hidden in the peak. All three of these are illegal to sell in the UK.

In fact, the problem stretches as far back as 2008, when a BBC investigation revealed pepper spray was being illegally sold through Amazon.

Other online retailers in the UK maintain a relationship with trading standards officials in order for them to comply with laws over selling goods and items in the UK. Amazon, according to the Guardian, ended that relationship five years ago.

While that relationship is optional and Amazon says it insists on making sure signatures are obtained by adults, there appears to be little preventing Amazon from becoming a one-stop shop for illegal weaponry in Britain.

We reached out to Amazon – the company declined to comment.

➤ Amazon delivering knives without age checks, Guardian investigation finds [Guardian]

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