The Legal Framework
The law relating to the possession and licensing of firearms, shotguns and ammunition is contained in the Firearms Act 1968 and various Firearms (Amendment) Acts, together with the Firearms Rules 1998. Â In an effort to achieve some consistency in the approach taken by police licensing departments in different parts of the country, the Home Office have produced two publications entitled â€œFirearms Law: Guidance to the Policeâ€ and â€œThe Firearms Security Handbook,â€ which should be referred to where clarification of the law is necessary.
The courts and police take a very serious view of any breaches of the law affecting the possession and use of firearms. Except for minor technicalities, offences usually lead to imprisonment, even for first time offenders, and in some cases mandatory minimum sentences of five-years apply, other than in exceptional circumstances.Â However, no client of ours has ever been imprisoned for such offences SO FAR!
Look out for next weekâ€™s instalment of â€˜Firearms; The Legal Seriesâ€™Â which covers â€˜Licensing of firearms, Shotguns and ammunitionâ€™