William Powell Country

Firearms ‘The Legal Series’
Part 13


Article written by 22 November 2012

Young Persons

In relation to firearms and their ammunition, it is an offence for a person under the age of 14 to possess them (with very limited exceptions, one of which is gun bearers).

A person under the age of 15 shall not have an assembled shotgun with them unless supervised by a person aged 21 or over or when the shotgun is in a securely fastened gun cover so that it cannot be fired. It is not a requirement that the supervisor be a certificate holder, although this is clearly desirable

The provision in section 16 of the 1988 Act regarding borrowed rifles on private premises specifies that the borrower must be aged 17 or over.

The Firearms (Amendment) Regulations 2010 have raised the age at which shotguns, firearms and ammunition may be purchased or hired to 18 years, bringing this into line with the position in relation to air rifles and pistols.  They have also introduced amendments the effect of which is that where a borrowed rifle or shotgun is used by a person under 18 years, the other person must be 18 or older.

In relation to air weapons, the Crime and Security Act 2010, has introduced an offence of failing to take reasonable precautions to prevent a person under 18 from gaining unauthorised access to an air weapon. This was a response to several deaths as a result of children getting hold of them. Compliance will best be achieved by treating air weapons as you would your other firearms and storing them in an existing gun cabinet (or at least a lockable cupboard).

Matthew Knight is the Senior Partner of Knights Solicitors. Knights are retained by a number of national organisations in relation to firearms licencing including The National Small-Bore Rifle Association. Knight are also retained by se.. Read more.

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