Home Office plans `legal definition` for antique weapons

A consultation has been launched to “bring clarity to the law” around antique firearms after the number of historic weapons seized in criminal circumstances doubled between 2012 and 2016.

Oct 19, 2017

A consultation has been launched to “bring clarity to the law” around antique firearms after the number of historic weapons seized in criminal circumstances doubled between 2012 and 2016. The Home Office plans include a legal definition of antique firearms to ensure older guns which still pose a danger to the public are licensed. Launched on Thursday (October 19) following advice from the Law Commission to update the laws around antique weapons, the consultation will consider whether guns manufactured after 1900 must be licensed. Currently, weapons made after 1939 must be licensed. It will also consider which obsolete cartridges and propulsion systems should lead to a firearm being considered antique. Policing and Fire Minister Nick Hurd said: “This country has some of the most robust gun laws anywhere in the world. “But we must not be complacent, which is why these laws are kept under review, and a rise in antique guns being used in crime requires action. “This consultation will bring clarity to the law so that older firearms that still pose a danger to the public are properly licensed to stop them falling into the hands of criminals.” In November 2015, 18 members of the notorious Birmingham-based ‘Burger Bar Boys’ gang were sentenced after sourcing antique firearms and arranging for ammunition to be specially made to fit the weapons. And in June, Sultan Meer, who claimed to be an antique firearms collector, was sentenced to seven years in prison after an investigation revealed he was attempted to acquire ammunition for them.

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