Fox I think your mates are being all Ninja mysterious!
I've dabbled in a few martial arts (including Ninjutsu) until I settled on one that suited me. Although I don't train any more I still knock around with a few guys who do, including my uncle who is a 4th or 5th dan Aikido instructor who trains with his master in Japan every year. He takes his swords with him every time and has brought back a few new ones. We've discussed the changes in legislation and I've done quite a bit of digging (including chatting with a few of the guys on here). Despite the media bull and misinformation all martial arts weapons can be owned and imported if the person can prove they are for a legitimate reason. In this case the "sporting activity" of training in martial arts.
No, you do not need a license for a katana. Yes, you can carry it back and fore to the dojo without fear of conviction. You would be in trouble if you wandered into the pub for a coke on the way back from the dojo with a sword bag over your shoulder! If you show some caution and common sense you should be OK. Don't draw attention to yourself and take the weapons directly too and from training (lock them in the car if you do pop into the shops) and you should be OK. You may still get stopped by an Officer but if you can justify having the weapons and explain where you are going then you should be OK. Just bare in mind that you may still be arrested or have the weapons confiscated if the Officer isn't satisfied with your explination!
PS: thanks for the credit but I didnt edit the PDF it just came that way
PPS: just to be clear I'm a MoP, not an Officer or in the legal trade, so I may not be 100% right in my answers but I don't think I'm far off the mark (and I'm sure someone will pop up and correct me if I'm wrong!)
PPPS: (I'm running out of "P"s here!) A firearms or shotgun license only covers you for the firearm/shotgun. While it may show you have some good character it has no impact on the ownership of a weapon. Get caught with a shuriken in the boozer on a Friday night and you're scr*wed!Edited for speeling!
Edited by nigeltm, 11 July 2011 - 05:00 PM.