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Changes to legislation

Policing and Crime Act 2017

Commencement dates for the firearms amendments will be set by Statutory Commencement Orders during 2017. The first tranche will likely be in Spring. It is envisaged that only the antiques and extension of certificate life provisions will commence later in 2017 due to the need to formulate working practices with the police and other secondary legislation. All firearms provisions extend to England Wales and Scotland. Updates will be made to this page in due course.

For full details click here

Northern Ireland Firearms Fees increase 2016

For full details of the new fees click here

Click here for further details about new laws brought about by the Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 including new young persons laws and the banded variation scheme.

Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Sections 108-112 changes firearms law including the new offence of ‘possession of illegal firearms with intent to supply’, and increases the penalty for illegal firearms importation to 10 years imprisonment.

More importantly: section 110 extends the statutory prohibition on owning firearms and ammunition to certain suspended sentences. The possession of antique firearms now also becomes prohibited for prohibited persons. The Home Office circular below provides further details:

 

NEW – Explosives Licensing Documentation Simplified – June 2012

Click here to see full details

Storage of Shooters Powders – HSE change regulations

Click here to see full details

The Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2011

For some time a system has been in place to allow “one off – one on” exchanges of shotguns in Northern Ireland. From 1st December 2011 the system was extended to other firearms. The exchange of rifles and pistols may only take place with registered firearms dealers (not between certificate holders) and firearms may only be exchanged for another of the “same calibre and type”. Prohibited weapons are excluded from the provision. Transfers must be notified to PSNI within 72 hours by both the firearm certificate holder and Registered Firearms Dealer. Click here to see the provision

The Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 (Amendment) Regulations 2011

From October 2011 The Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 (Amendment) Regulations 2011 has simplified legislation to reduce burden on visitors to the UK when they and their UK based sponsor apply for a British Visitors Permit. For full details see the document below.

 

The Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 (Specification for Imitation Firearms) Regulations 2011

The regulations came into force in August 2011 and the trade are now bound to comply with them. For further details about these regulations and the wider VCR Act requirements please click here. *****

The Firearms (Electronic Communications) Order 2011

The Firearms (Electronic Communications) Order 2011 was passed by Parliament in April 2011. The Order legalises the use of electronic communication methods for the statutory notifications required by the Firearms Acts. In essence email and fax may now be used to communicate notifications of transfer to police licensing authorities. For further details an initial Home Office circular is available here.

Crime & Security Act 2010 – Airgun Security

From February 2011, The Crime and Security Act 2010 makes it an offence for a person in possession of an air gun to fail to take “reasonable precautions” to prevent someone under the age of 18 from gaining unauthorised access to it. For full details see our airgunning pages.

The Firearms (Amendment) Regulations 2010

The Firearms (Amendment) Regulations 2010 came into effect in July 2010. The regulations are required by the 2008 variation of the EU Weapons Directive.

The regulations raise the age at which people in England, Wales and Scotland may purchase or hire firearms or ammunition (including shotguns) from the current 17 years of age to 18. There are also changes to the exemptions for lending and borrowing firearms regarding under 18’s. There are also changes to Northern Ireland legislation.

The following BASC fact sheets have been revised to account for the changes;

  • Young People and Shotgun Certificates
  • Young People and Shotguns
  • Young People and Firearms
  • Borrowing Rifles
  • Borrowing Shotguns (previously called Non-certificate holders and shotguns

These fact sheets can found on our ‘advice and guidance’ page – click here

The Olympic .380 blank firing revolver update 2012

A new improved (non-prohibited) version of the Olympic .380 revolver is now on sale. To identify the new models they are engraved as follows.

UK 2012

Note: The following text is kept for historical reasons.

The Olympic .380 blank firing revolver ban

The police have highlighted that the Olympic BBM .380 calibre blank firing revolver (all variants) is now a prohibited weapon due to recent forensic tests and their prevalence in crime. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) organised an amnesty which ran until 4th June 2010. The object was to allow as many of these imitations to be handed in as possible without fear of prosecution, regardless of whether they have been converted by criminals or remain unconverted for legitimate use.

The amnesty now being over means that these items are still prohibited but there is a risk of prosecution for possession, however Home Office guidance recommends to police that there should be an emphasis on creating an environment in which people hand in illegally held firearms. It is perfectly understandable that the information about the ban will not have filtered to everybody during the amnesty and as people become aware, they will be keen to hand the guns into police in a responsible manner.

The decision to ban this firearm coupled with an amnesty was initiated by ACPO with full support from BASC, The Gun Trade Association (GTA) and the British Shooting Sports Council (BSSC) and it is evidence led. These imitations have not just been used as a means to intimidate others they have been used in crime in a converted state. We have to act to protect public safety.

Does this ban cover all blank firing imitations?

Naturally BASC members may be concerned that other imitations might be caught by this amnesty; however this amnesty has been based on scientific analysis of the .380 calibre Olympic BBM imitation revolver and their prevalence in crime.

Will other types of blank firing imitation be banned in the future?

There are no current plans to deal with other types of blank firing imitations in this manner, but this does not mean that other blank firing imitations currently held by people remain legal. Any imitation firearm capable of being readily converted, as defined by the 1982 Firearms Act, is illegal whether it has actually been converted or not. Imitations have been sold over many years in various different specifications and each case has to be looked at on its merits.

What about the Olympic 6 .22 calibre revolver?

This amnesty is complicated by the fact that the .380 calibre Olympic BBM revolver has a cousin in the format of the ‘Olympic 6’ .22 calibre revolver, which is very similar in looks to the .380 calibre version and is used by the vast majority of dog trainers in the UK. The .22 BBM revolver variant is not subject to the Amnesty. To tell the difference the .380 calibre blank is a centre fire cartridge and the revolver holds 5 shots. The .22 is rim-fire ignition and holds 6 shots.

What does the Olympic .380 revolver look like?

Please note that these photographs are for illustrative purposes only. Since the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006, these guns are sold in Orange and possibly other colours prescribed by VCR Act regulations. The Amnesty applies to all variants regardless of colouring.

Website Resources

NaBIS – http://www.nabis.police.uk/ ACPO CUF – http://www.nabis.police.uk/acpo-intro.asp

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