Guns 'n ' confusion!

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SuperRed
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Guns 'n ' confusion!

Post by SuperRed » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:54 pm

I have been keeping up with the current thread on ammunition finds, and it is very informative if not a little confusing - especially as my field throws up casings like confetti. Just to add a little more confusion:

I have an English (British) Bulldog five chamber revolver (circa 1880), which although not a detector find, was a 'find' of sorts.

I'm not a collector, but I've had it for years, and in 2010 my next door neighbour (a policeman) told me that he thought it was illegal to own. He contacted the firearms people at the local station and they told me it was illegal and took it for 'safekeeping'. They took the gun to someone who was registered to deactivate weapons and I duly received my certificate and the gun after paying £120.

I dug the pistol out of the loft at the weekend and decided to sell it. Guess what: I have just been told that the gun (which they said was worth £600-800) is now worthless. It would be illegal for me to either sell or gift the weapon as a new EU guideline has been adopted regarding deactivation. Add to this, the 'experts' I rang now tell me that this gun did not need to be deactivated in the first place (in 2010) and that I was misinformed by the police, who (to quote them) know nothing about guns!

The moral? Always try to get a definitive legal position when you find anything that once went BOOM!


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Re: Guns 'n ' confusion!

Post by Mud Max » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:20 pm

An interesting story, and a good moral !
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Re: Guns 'n ' confusion!

Post by Ten pence! » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:42 pm

I was curious about this as several years ago I found a very rusty WW2 era Webley pistol in some woods I used to have permission in, by this time (1997) it was illegal to own any handgun so it was duly handed in. In relation to the OP there seems to have been some errors, unless the revolver is a muzzle loading black powder weapon, and it doesn't seem to be after a quick Google, it would have been illegal under any circumstances since 1996, additionally de activating a pistol will render it virtually as worthless as an illegal weapon, it also does not appear to be anything to do with the EU either as UK firearm laws with the exception of Northern Ireland are far stricter than any other EU nation.I notice in many EU nations handguns are still legal.Incidentally the illegal possession of a firearm in the UK is punishable by up to five years in prison!

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Re: Guns 'n ' confusion!

Post by SuperRed » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:53 pm

Ten pence! wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:42 pm
it also does not appear to be anything to do with the EU either as UK firearm laws with the exception of Northern Ireland are far stricter than any other EU nation.
Thanks for this Ten, but I did check after the dealers pointed me in the direction of the EU guidelines. It would have been possible for me to sell the gun with the original deactivation a few years ago, but the EU directive requires a different method of deactivation. The guy did say that the UK is pretty much the only country that takes any notice of it, whereas others do not.
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Re: Guns 'n ' confusion!

Post by Wigeon » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:52 pm

Whether you could have kept the revolver lawfully would have depended on which cartridge it was chambered for.

In the 'Home Office Guidance To The Police' document is a list of obsolete calibres. If the cartridge for which the revolver was chambered was included in the list, you could have kept it without it being deactivated.

If it was not on the list and a cartridge firing small firearm, then it was classed as a prohibited firearm, commonly known as Section 5.

Unauthorised possession of a Section 5 firearm, carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years imprisonment, which is rather scary for an unwitting acquisition.

Sadly, many vintage firearms have been mangled as collateral damage caused by legislation aimed at the criminal users. There have also been several high profile convictions of criminals who have re-activated pistols, that had been previously de-activated, then sold them to criminals and used in murders. Hence ever tightening of the law.

As ever, it is the criminals who spoil everything for decent law-abiding people. ;;z

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Re: Guns 'n ' confusion!

Post by SuperRed » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:29 pm

Wigeon wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:52 pm
Whether you could have kept the revolver lawfully would have depended on which cartridge it was chambered for.
Thanks Wigeon.

The calibre accepted by my Bulldog is .455, which places it in the 'Old firearms which should not benefit from the exemption as antiques' section. Therefore, the initial deactivation certificate was required.

However, the advice received from the several 'experts' I contacted is still muddled (at least in my mind). They do agree that the 2016 EU introduction is not retrospective, which would allow me to own the gun (not to sell or gift), but my interpretation is that it is not retrospective and therefore does not prevent the selling of it. They were split on this point.

I does seem from historical posts on the forum that there is a degree of confusion/legal interpretation when it comes to weapons/ammunition, so I guess that 'better safe than sorry' is best. As has been said elsewhere, detectorists are more likely than most to come across them. Incidentally, the old chap that gifted me this many years ago is long since deceased. He said that he found it well preserved whilst on active service. That was without a detector, but it does go to show...
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Re: Guns 'n ' confusion!

Post by Ten pence! » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:40 pm

SuperRed wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:53 pm
Ten pence! wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:42 pm
it also does not appear to be anything to do with the EU either as UK firearm laws with the exception of Northern Ireland are far stricter than any other EU nation.
Thanks for this Ten, but I did check after the dealers pointed me in the direction of the EU guidelines. It would have been possible for me to sell the gun with the original deactivation a few years ago, but the EU directive requires a different method of deactivation. The guy did say that the UK is pretty much the only country that takes any notice of it, whereas others do not.
That's a shame after you went to the trouble and expense of getting it properly deactivated, having had a bit of a search for these sort of antique guns it seems the only ones you can legally own now are single shot muzzle loaders, think Dick Turpin or Pirates of the Caribbean! Anything potentially rapid fire seems verboten, possibly because certain people like to go around in large cities waving un deactivated guns.

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Re: Guns 'n ' confusion!

Post by oldartefact » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:00 pm

Knowing nothing about guns I would naturally assume that any gun that is capable of firing live rounds, requires either a licence, or deactivating. But as said I know nothing about guns.
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Re: Guns 'n ' confusion!

Post by MilitaryMetalMagnut » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:02 pm

As long as the gun is really rusted solid, it is fine to keep what ever type it is, and it doesn’t need to be deactivated. But, that really all depends on how badly the corrosion is on the particular firearm in question, which the ‘pressure bearing’ parts mustn’t be able to function.

Part 8 of the 1988 firearms amendment says;
“Section 8 of the 1988 Act is an evidential provision and does not preclude the possibility that a firearm which has been de-activated in some other manner may also have ceased to be a firearm within the meaning of the 1968 Act. For example, guns held by museums that were recovered from wrecked ships and aircraft may be corroded to the point that they cannot be fired. This should not be confused with wear or missing parts that can be replaced. The final arbiter of whether the article fulfils the definition of a firearm at section 57(1) is a court.”

Taken from section 2.20 from this site. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... 16_v20.pdf

There is a UK based website that sells dug rifles from the WW1 trenches, all as found condition (not deactivated), all legal ::g

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Re: Guns 'n ' confusion!

Post by oldartefact » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:53 pm

MilitaryMetalMagnut wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:02 pm
As long as the gun is really rusted solid, it is fine to keep what ever type it is, and it doesn’t need to be deactivated. But, that really all depends on how badly the corrosion is on the particular firearm in question, which the ‘pressure bearing’ parts mustn’t be able to function.

Part 8 of the 1988 firearms amendment says;
“Section 8 of the 1988 Act is an evidential provision and does not preclude the possibility that a firearm which has been de-activated in some other manner may also have ceased to be a firearm within the meaning of the 1968 Act. For example, guns held by museums that were recovered from wrecked ships and aircraft may be corroded to the point that they cannot be fired. This should not be confused with wear or missing parts that can be replaced. The final arbiter of whether the article fulfils the definition of a firearm at section 57(1) is a court.”

Taken from section 2.20 from this site. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... 16_v20.pdf

There is a UK based website that sells dug rifles from the WW1 trenches, all as found condition (not deactivated), all legal ::g

Best regards,

Simon
There is some great clarification there Simon.. so a gun has to either corroded to the point of not being able to be activated, or failing this the gun has to be deactivated... and if neither of these conditions apply, then I assume that the owner has to hold the appropriate licence. Would that be a fair summing up???
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Re: Guns 'n ' confusion!

Post by MilitaryMetalMagnut » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:40 pm

oldartefact wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:53 pm
There is some great clarification there Simon.. so a gun has to either corroded to the point of not being able to be activated, or failing this the gun has to be deactivated... and if neither of these conditions apply, then I assume that the owner has to hold the appropriate licence. Would that be a fair summing up???
More or less, indeed. But as been mentioned earlier, it does vary between county and individual officers. I know of some chaps who have their relics checked over by a Firearms leason officer, who issues a certificate to say it’s been ‘deactivated by nature’. ::g

Regards,

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Re: Guns 'n ' confusion!

Post by DanTheMan » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:28 pm

As soon as we leave the EU you will be free to sell it, read subsection 1a of the Policing & Crime act 2017. At the moment loads of people are hanging onto older spec deactivated firearms until 29 Mar 2019.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/201 ... 28/enacted

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Re: Guns 'n ' confusion!

Post by Chilgrove » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:40 pm

During a firearms amnesty a few years ago I was persuaded by my "boss" to hand in any of my collection that could be illegal. I duly went to our local police station and was interviewed by a very nice police woman. She illustrated just how much knowledge the police can have in this area by pointing one of the guns (a rifle or shotgun, cannot recall which) at her face and peering down the barrel. I gently mentioned that doing that was not really very wise (she had not checked to see if it was loaded). I knew none of the guns I was handing in were loaded but she could not have known that. I kind of wish now that I had managed to hold on to one of the guns, a Martini Henry rifle.

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Re: Guns 'n ' confusion!

Post by SuperRed » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:26 pm

DanTheMan wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:28 pm
As soon as we leave the EU you will be free to sell it, read subsection 1a of the Policing & Crime act 2017. At the moment loads of people are hanging onto older spec deactivated firearms until 29 Mar 2019.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/201 ... 28/enacted
Thanks Dan. I did wonder about that and joked with a dealer about post-Brexit. I guess it will take its place back in the loft again.
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Re: Guns 'n ' confusion!

Post by tigtog » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:18 pm

SuperRed wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:53 pm
Ten pence! wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:42 pm
it also does not appear to be anything to do with the EU either as UK firearm laws with the exception of Northern Ireland are far stricter than any other EU nation.
Thanks for this Ten, but I did check after the dealers pointed me in the direction of the EU guidelines. It would have been possible for me to sell the gun with the original deactivation a few years ago, but the EU directive requires a different method of deactivation. The guy did say that the UK is pretty much the only country that takes any notice of it, whereas others do not.
Just wait till the UK leave the EU, then sell it possibly
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Re: Guns 'n ' confusion!

Post by Johnnn » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:37 am

IMG_3779.JPG
Now this gun is dangerous all the bad guys should have one,they would only shoot it ONCE !! ...HH....Johnnn
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Re: Guns 'n ' confusion!

Post by f8met » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:38 am

I wouldn't hold your breath post brexit. Chances are all the EU laws will just be commuted to UK law and I doubt that they would loosen them, especially around guns.
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Re: Guns 'n ' confusion!

Post by SuperRed » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:34 pm

f8met wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:38 am
I wouldn't hold your breath post brexit. Chances are all the EU laws will just be commuted to UK law and I doubt that they would loosen them, especially around guns.
Well, without being political one way or the other Dave, I certainly hope that they change this one. I am now stuck with this beasty and a £120 piece of paper which now only allows me to own it. Still, I now know more about the law regarding firearms finds thanks to forum members, just in case my 'tector finds another one.
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