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11(1)Section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (c. 33) (offensive weapons) is amended as follows.N.I.
(2)In subsections (5), (8) and (9) of section 141(defences relating to museums and galleries to offence of manufacture, sale etc. of prescribed weapons), for “prove” substitute “ show ”.
(3)After subsection (11) of that section insert—
“(11A)It shall be a defence for a person charged in respect of conduct of his relating to a weapon to which this section applies—
(a)with an offence under subsection (1) above, or
(b)with an offence under section 50(2) or (3) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979,
to show that his conduct was for the purpose only of making the weapon in question available for one or more of the purposes specified in subsection (11B).
(11B)Those purposes are—
(a)the purposes of theatrical performances and of rehearsals for such performances;
(b)the production of films (within the meaning of Part 1 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 – see section 5B of that Act);
(c)the production of television programmes (within the meaning of the Communications Act 2003 – see section 405(1) of that Act).
(11C)For the purposes of this section a person shall be taken to have shown a matter specified in subsection (5), (8), (9) or (11A) above if—
(a)sufficient evidence of that matter is adduced to raise an issue with respect to it; and
(b)the contrary is not proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
(11D)The Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument—
(a)provide for exceptions and exemptions from the offence under subsection (1) above or from the prohibition in subsection (4) above; and
(b)provide for it to be a defence in proceedings for such an offence, or for an offence under section 50(2) or (3) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979, to show the matters specified or described in the order.
(11E)A statutory instrument containing an order under this section shall not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House.”
(4)The defence in section 141(11A) is not available in relation to so much of any charge as relates to conduct taking place before the commencement of this paragraph.
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