Updated 26th May 2017
The final text of the new Firearms Directive 2017/853 has been published in the EU Journal. It will come into effect on the 13th June 2017. Implementation should be completed by the 13th September 2018.
Several EC regulations are still to be written, including marking requirements, the regulation for alarm guns (i.e. blank firers) and the new version of the deactivation regulation. We can therefore expect much activity over the next 15 months.
1. Can under 18s still own their own firearm?
2. Will there be more onerous medical requirements?
3. Can the UK move to ten year certificates?
4. Will semi-automatic rim fire rifles be banned?
5. Will semi-automatic shotguns still be permitted for vermin control in the UK?
6. Will practical shooters continue to own higher capacity semi-automatic shotguns?
- ‘long firearms’ which allow the firing of more than 11 rounds without reloading, and;
- ‘short firearms’ of less than 60cm in length overall allowing the firing of more than 21 rounds without reloading whether the magazine is integral or detachable.
UK law already prohibits shotguns (regardless of loading mechanism) that have a barrel less than 24 inches (60.96cm) in length or is less than 40 inches (101.6cm) in length overall. As such, the EU definition of ‘short firearm’ does not apply to the UK. UK law will be amended so ‘long’ semi automatic shotguns as defined in 1 above will become prohibited. Only ‘long’ shotguns falling into category B with an overall maximum capacity of 11 shots may be owned by UK citizens for pest control. (see also 6 below).
Therefore; Section 1 shotguns with a magazine capacity exceeding 10 rounds are permitted under the following conditions;
“(a) a satisfactory assessment of relevant information arising from the application of Article 5(2) (i.e. they are medically fit);
(b) provision of proof that the target shooter concerned is actively practising for or participating in shooting competitions recognised by an officially recognised shooting sports organisation of the Member State concerned or by an internationally established and officially recognised shooting sport federation; and
(c) provision of a certificate from an officially recognised shooting sports organisation confirming that:
(i) the target shooter is a member of a shooting club and has been regularly practising target shooting in it for at least 12 months, and
(ii) the firearm in question fulfils the specifications required for a shooting discipline recognised by an internationally established and officially recognised shooting sport federation.”
7. Will military-looking designs be banned?
8. Are detachable magazines controlled?
9. Are semi-automatic handguns caught by the provisions?
10. Have sound moderators been restricted?
11. Are there any changes to the way we transfer firearms?
12. Do dealers require electronic registers in their premises?
The UK is already compliant where “sales” are involved. The law will most likely have to be changed to require notifications of other types of transfer.
13. Has home loading of ammunition suffered?
14. Will security provisions be tightened?
15. Will shotgun cartridges (Section 2) be affected in any way?
16. Will collectors be affected?
17. Will I still be able to make alterations to my own firearms?
18. What changes affect air weapons?
19. Will deactivated or imitation firearms require registration or licences in the UK?
20. Will new marking requirements apply to firearms and essential components manufactured before the Directive comes into force?
21. When will the directive come into force?