Antique firearms law change will bring clarity, says BASC

BASC is advising members that the government will lay regulations in parliament that will define ‘antique firearm’ in law.

This is confirmed in the government’s response to a consultation that BASC fed into on proposals for implementing legislation to define antique firearms.

Key features will be:

  • specifying 1 September 1939 as the cut-off date of manufacture after which a firearm cannot be considered as antique.
  • Seven cartridges will be removed from the definition.
  • 23 cartridges will be added to the definition.

A “reference group” will be established and will include representatives from law enforcement, the antique firearms trade, museums and collectors.

BASC’s director of firearms Bill Harriman said: “The regulations will give firearm owners and dealers legal clarity on the definition of the term “antique firearm” and BASC has been lobbying for many years to secure this.

“However, the restrictions being proposed for some types of ammunition are not supported by the unaudited figures supplied by the police. BASC will be challenging this, as many people will have invested their money into items which public policy over the last 14 years said they could own without restriction.

“The prohibited list of ammunition types will be reviewed every three years and BASC will be seeking membership of the review panel.”

A Home Office press release says the law change will take place “shortly after Parliament approves the legislation”.

More information can be found in the Home Office press release here.

The consultation outcome page can be found here.

BASC previously said it believed proposals to change the laws on antique firearms would provide clarity and certainty that has been missing for more than a century.