Possession of firearms and ammunition in the UK is subject to some of the strictest control measures in the world and predominantly regulated by the Firearms Acts 1968-97. This legislation defines firearms generally and also creates a number of sub-categories of firearms, namely shotguns, air weapons and prohibited weapons.
The police are the licensing authority for firearm and shotgun certificates and as such, any applications for a licence must be made via the police with justification for possession of each weapon. Certificates will only be granted in limited situations and will conduct thorough checks on each applicant. Anyone who has served a prison sentence of more than three years is banned for life from holding a firearms licence. GPs can also be contacted if the applicant has a relevant medical condition.
Firearms licensing breaches are serious criminal offences, and include possessing a firearm without the correct certificate and giving someone unauthorised access to a firearm. Many people are also unaware that possession of pepper spray and other noxious substances for personal safety is prohibited.
Regulatory lawyers at Nicholls & Nicholls can advise on compliance with licence conditions and provide legal assistance in the event of a prosecution for any alleged breaches.
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