Guns/Firearms in the UK

LP

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This is a question to all the UK members of the forum.

Upon watching the caravan holiday episode of top gear, I took a bit more notice to Jeremy having an AK47 in the caravan. The first time I watched it I just laughed and moved on but now I seriously wanted to know about the gun rule in the UK.

I've heard that firearms are illegal in a lot of European countries, and then I hear just the opposite and I see this firearm possession in TG. It's confusing, so I'll put the question out to you guys. What exactly is the "gun rule" in the UK?

Just curious. :p
 

Davetouch

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They are (mostly - see below) illegal.

However we can get gun licenses etc, and would need very tough storage units, otherwise the police will just remove the weapon and license etc etc.

Farmers here have rights to protect their land, but I don't know whether they actually need licenses.

What Clarkson did on the show was illegal. He will have a license, but that won't really apply when it is being kept like it was.
 

jensked

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Farmers here have rights to protect their land, but I don't know whether they actually need licenses.

Hot Fuzz ;-)

Was it a real AK-47? Did he shoot with it? I can't really remember. Maybe it was a fake one?
 

Peter3hg

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You can hold anything with the correct licence apart from these exceptions.

1. Any weapon that will discharge more than one projectile with a single press of the trigger (i.e. semi-automatic). (1968.)

2. Rocket launchers and mortars. (1968.)

3. Smooth bore revolvers. (1968.)

4. Pump action shotguns (more than 2 shells) (1968.)

5. Sawn off shotguns (1988.)

6. Any handgun of less than 12 inches in length (except air etc) (1997.)

There are various exemptions to number 6 such as being allowed muzzle loaded weapons.
You end up with guns like this with a flimsy extension piece to make them over 12 inches.

44magrv2.jpg
 

Cobol74

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Automatic and semi automatic weapons are almost impossible to get licences for. Exceptions are made for film companies to use when making movies and TV and I would imagine that this is how he got the weapon. My friend who used to shoot at county level (quite good) had to have belonged to a licenced gun club and have a safe on his premises (not a cabinet but a real live steel safe) within which to keep his pistols (he was a pistol shot). I beleive he gave it up when the laws became even stricter after the second mass killing, (Hungerford being the first) in Scotland (the name of the town escapes me at the moment).

The penalties for breaching these regulations are severe - 5 years can be had in jail for possession I beleive.

Of course there now appears to be loads of illegal weapons flooding the country on the back of the culture of many of our new immigrants who have contacts in their old countries to enable them to obtain such weapons which they seem to be easily smuggled into the country.

EDIT Peter3hg seems to have the detail I was lacking.
 

Viper007Bond

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6. Any handgun of less than 12 inches in length (except air etc) (1997.)

There are various exemptions to number 6 such as being allowed muzzle loaded weapons.
You end up with guns like this with a flimsy extension piece to make them over 12 inches.

44magrv2.jpg

Haha, that's hilarious!
 

LP

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Hot Fuzz ;-)

Was it a real AK-47? Did he shoot with it? I can't really remember. Maybe it was a fake one?

I love that movie lol. Yeah it didn't look too "real" to me. It kinda looked non-metallic, but then again I've been shown to be an idiot, so that could have something to do with my belief.

You can hold anything with the correct licence apart from these exceptions.

1. Any weapon that will discharge more than one projectile with a single press of the trigger (i.e. semi-automatic). (1968.)

2. Rocket launchers and mortars. (1968.)

3. Smooth bore revolvers. (1968.)

4. Pump action shotguns (more than 2 shells) (1968.)

5. Sawn off shotguns (1988.)

6. Any handgun of less than 12 inches in length (except air etc) (1997.)

There are various exemptions to number 6 such as being allowed muzzle loaded weapons.
You end up with guns like this with a flimsy extension piece to make them over 12 inches.
44magrv2.jpg

This seems to cover most guns I guess. Because this now rules out shotguns and basic handguns (except for the awesome one you exampled in that picture :p), this also rules out the AK and M16 etc etc, any smgs as well. So you're left with just single shot rifles? Mausers and M1 Garands all around! :lol:

Of course there now appears to be loads of illegal weapons flooding the country on the back of the culture of many of our new immigrants who have contacts in their old countries to enable them to obtain such weapons which they seem to be easily smuggled into the country.

So people who come from (the US for example) with a deagle in their suitcase, can fly past customs claiming that since the US allows for the possession of handguns, its ok?

So basically, if I understood this right, regarding the TG caravan episode, the following logic plays out:

1. It is illegal for a civilian to own an AK-47.
2. It is legal for movie and TV shows to use AK-47s providing a license is obtained.
3. Clarkson's AK-47 was fake -> goto X
4. Clarkson's AK-47 was real, and #2 is held -> goto X
6. Clarkson's AK-47 was real, and was his own rifle (violating rule 1) -> goto Y

X. It was legal, it was all good and fun, no problems.
Y. It was illegal.

I personally don't care to flood the BBC with emails going "ZOMG THTA WSA ILLEGALZ0RZ!!!!11!!!" because I'm not anal-retentive. I'm just curious (and bored as viper can tell you :p).

Thanks all, especially peter, for explaining that.
 

hajj

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Disabled gun's are also legal. A guy back in school used to have a disabled Uzi. It scared hell out of me, when I glimpsed into the barrel the first time. Disabled weapons in the UK are filled with lead or something comparable which makes it impossible to make them functional again.
Given the storage and handling of the AK-47, it must have been a disabled one. :p
 

Peter3hg

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This seems to cover most guns I guess. Because this now rules out shotguns and basic handguns (except for the awesome one you exampled in that picture :p), this also rules out the AK and M16 etc etc, any smgs as well. So you're left with just single shot rifles? Mausers and M1 Garands all around! :lol:

Nothing wrong with the majority of shotguns. Your standard side-by-side and over-and-unders are fine as long as you haven't hacked the barrel down.
 

Blind_Io

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You can hold anything with the correct licence apart from these exceptions.

1. Any weapon that will discharge more than one projectile with a single press of the trigger (i.e. semi-automatic). (1968.)

2. Rocket launchers and mortars. (1968.)

3. Smooth bore revolvers. (1968.)

4. Pump action shotguns (more than 2 shells) (1968.)

5. Sawn off shotguns (1988.)

6. Any handgun of less than 12 inches in length (except air etc) (1997.)

There are various exemptions to number 6 such as being allowed muzzle loaded weapons.
You end up with guns like this with a flimsy extension piece to make them over 12 inches.

Well that covers pretty much everything my family owns except the WWII M1 Garand and the AR-15.
 

LP

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Lol. When I get my citizenship for the US I'm gonna go to a gun shop and get a deagle with tiger stripes :p.

I wonder now if Rail guns or laser cannons are illegal in the UK or in the US :p
 

ruuman

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Deact's are fine, I've got an AK47 that we use for a filming prop.

in the old days they used to just remove some key parts and cut the bolt, but now everything is welded up solid and the barrel is drilled. There's no way you could economically reactivate it.

I got mine from here: http://www.helstongunsmiths.com/fr_shop-1.html
 

Peter3hg

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Thirded, minus the Garand and AR-15. :lol: I'd be choked if I had to part with my pump-action.

What is the advantage of a pump action over a over-and-under? Realistically when are you going to need more than two shells loaded? This is a restriction I agree with as I can see no reason why anyone would have an honest reason to need a pump action over an over-and-under/side-by-side.
 

anti-net

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Out of curiosity, any brits here that would like to see a change to the law?
 

Peter3hg

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Out of curiosity, any brits here that would like to see a change to the law?

Yes. I think handguns shouldn't be banned but they can only be used for competition so they have to be stored at the clubhouse. I see no reason for someone to need a gun for protection in the UK.
 

TC

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What is the advantage of a pump action over a over-and-under? Realistically when are you going to need more than two shells loaded? This is a restriction I agree with as I can see no reason why anyone would have an honest reason to need a pump action over an over-and-under/side-by-side.

In the US, you can only hunt with shotguns using less then 4 rounds, I believe. Security style shotguns with capacities up to 8 rounds are not allowed. Sometimes laws dictate it, other times it's personal preference. Side-by-side and over-and-under shotguns are very expensive, more so then pump action and even some autoloader shotguns. Most hardcore hunters prefer the overunder/sidebyside style because of the near impossibility of getting a jammed shell. Same reason why some people prefer revolvers over handguns. They tend to be more reliable.
 

Peter3hg

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In the US, you can only hunt with shotguns using less then 4 rounds, I believe. Security style shotguns with capacities up to 8 rounds are not allowed. Sometimes laws dictate it, other times it's personal preference. Side-by-side and over-and-under shotguns are very expensive, more so then pump action and even some autoloader shotguns. Most hardcore hunters prefer the overunder/sidebyside style because of the near impossibility of getting a jammed shell. Same reason why some people prefer revolvers over handguns. They tend to be more reliable.

Thank you good sir, I hadn't thought about price.
 
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