This page will list the news or changes to any laws that we feel you should be aware of.

It is very important that you keep an eye on your permits expiry dates. If you are unsure of the date, or if it has already expired, please don't hesitate to get in touch so we can assist.

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The HomeOffice has made changes to section 21 of the Firearms Act 1968 which relates to the possession of firearms* by persons previously convicted of crime

Section 110 extends the definition of a prohibited person.

11. Subsection (1) amends section 21 of the Firearms Act 1968 Act. Section 2 prohibits persons who have previously been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of between three months and three years from possessing firearms or ammunition for a period of five years. Persons who have previously been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of more than three years are permanently prohibited.

12. Section 110 inserts section 21 (2C) which extends the definition of a prohibited person to include persons with suspended sentences of three months or more. The period of five years will begin on the second day after the date on which sentence has been passed**.

13. This timescale has been set so that a person who is in possession of a firearm or ammunition is not in immediate breach of the law when the sentence is passed and has an opportunity to make arrangements to transfer or dispose of their firearm or ammunition. This includes an antique firearm (see para 20).

14. Police firearms licensing departments should be monitoring the behaviour of their firearms certificate holders. In line with best practice it would therefore be advisable to review the outcome of any court appearances to ensure that those receiving suspended sentences on or after 14 July are aware that they would need to transfer or dispose of their firearm and/or ammunition.

15. Subsection (3) makes a transitional provision that enables a person with a suspended sentence to continue to possess firearms and ammunition for the remainder of a firearm certificate that was valid immediately before subsection (1) comes into force.

* All reference to firearms in this section also includes shotguns and air weapons
** This does not exclude public holidays.
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Protecting Our Communities

Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006

The Home Office has announced a comprehensive package of measures to combat violent crime. The Violent Crime Reduction Act will ensure that police and local communities have the necessary powers to reduce violent crimes involving imitation guns, knives and alcohol in their neighbourhood.

The Act includes new powers to ban the manufacture and sale of imitation firearms and toughen sentences for carrying imitation firearms, increase the age limit for purchasing a knife to 18 and ban those individuals responsible for alcohol-related violence from specific areas for up to two years.

The Act:

  • Make it illegal to manufacture or sell imitation firearms that could be mistaken for real firearms;
  • Bring in higher sentences for carrying imitation firearms;
  • Create tougher manufacturing standards to ensure that imitation firearms can't be converted to fire real ammunition;
  • Increase the age limit for buying or firing an air weapon without supervision from 17 to 18;
  • Make it an offence to use other people to hide or carry guns or knives;
  • Increase the age limit for purchasing a knife from 16 to 18;
  • Introduce powers for head-teachers and other members of staff to search pupils for knives;
  • Introduce Alcohol Disorder Zones (ADZs) which will require licensed premises to contribute to the cost of alcohol-related disorder in specific areas where it has been identified as a problem.
  • Exclude individuals responsible for alcohol-related disorder from certain areas and licensed premises by imposing 'Drinking Banning Orders' which could run for up to 2 years;
  • Create powers for police to ban the sale of alcohol at licensed premises for up to 48-hours for selling alcohol to under 18's; and
  • Provide police with the power to exclude individuals at risk of carrying out alcohol-related disorder from a specific area for up to 48 hours.

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