Firearms Licensing

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Firearms Licensing

Government guidance in relation to Firearms Licensing was recently updated, following their implementation of the Firearms Act 2023. The guidance includes general information on applying for a licence and further information on the selling and purchasing of deactivated firearms.

Firearms Licensing is being taken very seriously by Police Forces and the government itself are continuously reviewing and updating their guidance. The police have previously advised they are taking a number of steps to support improvements in this area of policing.

Therefore, it is paramount that anyone holding any sort of firearm must be satisfied they hold the requisite certificate or licence to avoid any issues.

What is a firearm?

Section 57 of the Firearms Act 1968 defines a firearm as a lethal barrelled weapon of any description from which any shot, bullet or other missile can be discharged with kinetic energy.

The following components also full under the definition of a firearm

  • Any accessory used to diminish the noise or flash caused by firing the weapon.
  • Any relevant component part of the weapon itself (such as a barrel, chamber, or cylinder) will be defined as a firearm as long as the item is capable of being used as part of a lethal barrelled weapon.

The above demonstrates that the definition of a firearm is relatively wide and so individuals must be careful to ensure whether any items they have in their possession may ultimately be defined as a firearm. This may result in a firearm licence or certificate being applied for.

When a licence may be required

If you wish to purchase or acquire a firearm or shotgun, or purchase ammunition, then an application must be submitted via your local police force for a firearms certificate or licence.

You will need to apply directly to the Home Office if you require any of the following:

  • A museum licence.
  • Shooting club approval.
  • Prohibited weapons and ammunition authority.

Deactivated Firearms

Section 57 of the Firearms Act 1968 describes a deactivated firearm as a firearm that is no longer capable of being used as such i.e. it can no longer discharge a shot, bullet or missile with kinetic energy.

Particular care must be paid attention to the notification requirements required under the law when a deactivated firearm is sold. The Firearms Regulations 2019 state that the Home Office must be notified of any transfer for a period longer than 14 days.

The firearm must meet current deactivation standards when sold and the law has been developed and updated multiple times within the last decade. Therefore, it is important to be sure the deactivated firearm is up to date with regulatory standards before selling.

How can JMW Help?

Our expert firearm licensing solicitors are here to help if you have an application denied, revoked, or are subject to proceedings in relation to a firearm offence, then please call us on 0345 872 6666. Alternatively, request a call back by filling in our online enquiry form.

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