Deadline approaches for antique firearms law change

Deadline approaches for antique firearms law change

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From September 22, owners of certain firearms previously regarded as antique will require a licence.

Owners of certain firearms previously regarded as antique will be required to obtain a licence following a change in the law, which comes fully into effect on September 22.

The changes are aimed at protecting the public by making it harder for criminals to get their hands on these types of weapons.

Minister for Policing and Crime, Kit Malthouse, said, “Criminals have been exploiting a grey area in the law to get their hands on these firearms, so this change will make our streets safer and ensure these potentially deadly weapons do not end up in the wrong hands.

“There are of course legitimate reasons for owning a firearm that is an antique or was previously regarded as an antique, and their owners are not involved in any wrongdoing. They may be owned by a collector or as a family heirloom, for example.

“I would urge anyone who owns one of these weapons to check what is required and either licence them or legally dispose of them to ensure they do not fall foul of the law,” he added on September 7.

Earlier this year, the government changed the law to introduce for the first time a legal definition of antique firearms.

From Wednesday September 22, 2021, owners will require a licence to own any firearm not meeting the criteria. Due to their use in crime, seven cartridges which previously appeared in the Home Office’s guidance were not included in the new legal definition. This means all firearms chambered for use with these cartridges will require a licence from September 22.

The UK has some of the strictest gun control legislation in the world and comparatively low levels of gun crime. These changes will help to further restrict access of criminals to firearms and better protect the public.

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Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.