The deactivated firearm UK Law as of 12 December 2019 – Current

Note, this blog will be updated as and when the deactivated firearm UK law changes.

If you wish to view our range of Deactivated Firearms that we have for sale, click here.

What is a deactivated firearm?

A deactivated gun is a firearm that has been rendered inoperable in such a way that it cannot be readily converted back into a working firearm.

The Deactivated Firearm UK Law in Brief

  • For UK sales of deactivated firearms, no licence is required.
  • A deactivation certificate is supplied with all deactivated firearms.
  • You must be over the age of 18 to purchase.
  • All deactivated firearms sold, gifted or otherwise transferred must conform to EU Regulation 2018/337, 5thMarch 2018.
  • The Home Office must be notified when a deactivated firearm transfer takes place.
Firearm Deactivation Certificate

Thinking of buying a deactivated firearm or already own one? Make sure you know the law.

‘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 the following items are affected 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

The regulations state that the Home Office only need to be notified for firearms deactivated on or after 14 September 2018. Firearms which were deactivated prior to 8 April 2016 are not covered by these provisions, but any transfer would require previously deactivated firearms to be re-deactivated to the current standard, with the Home Office notified on transfer.

Home Office Notification of transfer or possession of deactivated firearms

What is required?

The Home Office must now be notified of any deactivated firearm transfer taking place. 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.

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 the Home Office of possession or transfer of a deactivated firearm?

Forms are provided for this purpose on GOV.UK.

The required information should then be submitted via email

or by post to:

Deactivated Firearms Notifications
Home Office
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).

Deactivated Military Rifles

How are firearms deactivated to the new specification?

Military Rifles
For military rifles, and with bolt action rifles in general, the barrel is blocked, pinned and cut. The bolt face is ground away at an angle along with the firing pin. The bolt can move within the gun, but cannot be removed. The trigger may move, but there will be no connection between it and the bolt, so the gun will not cock or dry fire.

For shotguns, the barrel is blocked, pinned and cut. The action will break, but the barrels and fore end will not remove from it. The triggers may move, but they will not cock the action, and it cannot be dry fired. On hammer guns, the hammers may move under spring pressure but will not cock or dry fire.

Revolvers must have the cylinder filled with weld, and cut on the inside, with the barrel being pinned, welded and slotted underneath. The cylinder may rotate, and the hammer move, but there can be no connection between the hammer and the trigger, the revolver will not cock or dry fire.

Deactivated Hammer Mechanism

Our deactivation service

We offer a comprehensive deactivation service, and most kinds of firearm can be deactivated. We most commonly deal with military bolt action rifles, and shotguns, but can deactivate the majority of firearms.

If you have a firearm that you would like deactivating, we can arrange this for you at a cost from £130.

Deactivation fee for Pistols or Revolvers - £130
Deactivation fee for Rifles or Shotguns - £145

This service takes between 12-16 weeks. Please fill in the contact form below and a member of our team will be in touch with you to discuss your enquiry further.

What deactivated guns are available from stock?

Click here to view all deactivated guns which are available from stock. We specialise in deactivated military rifles, but will list other deactivated guns if we have them available

I have an older style deactivated gun, does this need bringing up to current specification?

Yes, the new EU regulation is retroactive, so in order to sell or trade a deactivated firearm, it must be deactivated to current specification and have the appropriate certificate.

I have a firearm that I would like deactivating, how is best to get in touch with you?

You can either call us on 0113 256 9163, or email us at [email protected]. We are open Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm.