Thinking of buying a deactivated gun or already own one? Read these important law changes.
If you currently own a deactivated gun or are thinking of buying one then you should be aware of the following changes which came in to effect on 12 December 2019.
In summary, if you decide to buy a deactivated firearm then the Home Office will be informed of your purchase.
If you purchased a deactivated firearm after 14 September 2018 then you need to inform the Home Office of that purchase.
For full details read the information below supplied by BASC.
Notification of transfer or possession of deactivated firearms
What is required?
The Firearms Regulations 2019 introduce new requirements regarding the possession and transfer of permanently deactivated firearms in accordance with the requirements of Directive (EU) 2017/853.
What is a deactivated firearm and do all types have to be notified?
“Deactivated firearm” means a firearm that has been deactivated in accordance with the technical specifications set out in the document published by the Secretary of State under section 8A(5) of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 (controls on defectively deactivated weapons) which apply to that firearm.
The specification is published here
In practice this means only the following items are caught by the regulations:
- Pistols (single shot, semi-automatic)
- Revolvers (including cylinder loading revolvers)
- Single-shot long firearms (not break action)
- Break action firearms (e.g. smoothbore, rifled, combination, falling/rolling block action, short and long firearms)
- Repeating long firearms (smoothbore, rifled)
- Semi-automatic long firearms (smoothbore, rifled)
- (Full) automatic firearms (e.g. selected assault rifles, (sub) machine guns, (full) automatic pistols)
- Muzzle-loading firearms
Items not listed here fall outside the notification requirements e.g. flare guns, rocket launchers & mortars.
The regulations state that only those firearms deactivated on or after 14 September 2018 need to be notified. Firearms which were deactivated prior to 8 April 2016 are not covered by these provisions.
In practice this means that details of deactivated firearms acquired between 8 April 2016 (the date the EU technical specifications came into effect) and 14 September 2018, and which have remained unaltered ever since do not need to be notified to the appropriate national authority until 14 March 2021.
When is a notification of transfer required?
When someone transfers a deactivated firearm they are required to give notice of the transfer either before the transfer takes place or, as soon as reasonably practicable after the transfer – but only when the transfer is for a period of more than 14 days.
The notification of the transfer of a deactivated firearm only applies at present to those items acquired since 14 September 2018.
The person transferring the deactivated firearm should send the following information to the Home Office:
- a description of the deactivated firearm which must include, if known, the make, calibre and serial number of the firearm
- details of the name and address of the person giving notice
- the person to whom the deactivated firearm has been, or will be, transferred.
When is a notification of possession required?
Notice must be given on or before the day on which the person first possesses the deactivated firearm or, as soon as reasonably practicable after that date. The notice must give a description of the deactivated firearm including, the make, calibre and serial number of the firearm and state the person’s name and address. There is no need to notify if the person is in possession of the deactivated firearm for a period of 14 days or less.
The notification of the possession of a deactivated firearm only applies at present to those items acquired since 14 September 2018.
How do I notify possession or transfer of a deactivated firearm?
Forms are provided for this purpose on GOV.UK.
The required information should then be submitted to Deactivatedfirearmsnotifications@homeoffice.gov.uk
or by post to:
Deactivated Firearms Notifications
Serious Violence Unit
5th Floor, Fry Building
2 Marsham Street
It is an offence for a person to transfer a deactivated firearm and to have not given notice of the transfer.
A person commits an offence if they fail to notify the appropriate national authority of their possession of a relevant deactivated firearm. Unless the person who transferred it to them has already submitted a notification of the transfer to the current holder.
A person guilty of an offence under these Regulations is liable to a level 1 fine (£200).
Any questions or concerns you have regarding these changes to firearms laws please contact the dedicated BASC firearms team on 01244 573010.
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