A woman whose relative was attacked with a machete is asking discount retailers to take all swords and large knives off their shelves.

Cora Gajari says her relative, a 19-year-old man, was walking home July 5th in Regina when he was accosted by a group of men. He jumped a fence to escape, but one of his legs was sliced open with a machete during the incident.

"He required about three hours in the OR and dozens of stitches," Gajari said. "And he's still recovering. It was quite traumatizing and I'm just kind of reorienting myself what to do next."

Putting pressure on stores

That's why she is writing letters to retailers, asking them to remove the large knives and swords from their shelves.

"You can buy a machete from a camping store for ten bucks and that's true, but I think the difference is the context in which it's sold," Gajari said. "And that puts them in the context of being weapons and not tools that are used to clear brush."

Regina police say there has been an increase in crimes where a machete was present — there have been 38 incidents this year compared with 14 in 2007 — but since the knives are also largely used as a tool, they are difficult to regulate.

"The fact is that almost anything, unfortunately, can be used as a weapon against someone else," police spokeswoman Elizabeth Popowich said.