William Powell Country

Firearms ‘The Legal Series’
Part 10


Article written by 01 November 2012

Surrender and Seizure

Once a decision has been taken to revoke or not renew a firearm or shotgun certificate, the police are entitled to require the holder to surrender forthwith his certificate, and any guns or ammunition in his possession by virtue of the certificate. It is not uncommon, however, for the police to turn up without warning to seize the guns and ammunition, and if that happens, the only sensible advice is to co-operate. The police should retain and not destroy any seized guns or ammunition until it is clear whether or not an appeal is to be pursued, and, if so, what the outcome of that appeal is.

If the police subsequently dispose of, i.e. sell, seized guns and ammunition, this is likely to be at significantly below market value. It is therefore worth asking the police to lodge them with a chosen firearms dealer, and if there is some advance warning of non-renewal, it would be sensible for the weapons and ammunition to be taken to the dealer beforehand, so as to avoid them being seized at all. At least if the guns then have to be sold, they might fetch something close to what they are worth.

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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