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Firearms Act 1968 + Amendments

The general feeling is that the Firearms Act 1968 is overdue a review as we currently work to an original act 40 years old and a series of amendments. This fragmented and complex document doesn't make for an easy understanding of the legal framework surrounding our sport.

Much emphasis is placed upon the Provisions made within Section 11(6), Running Hill Clay Pigeon has applied and been issued with the relevant grant within this, it allows us persons (not prohibited under Section 21) that do not hold a Certificate to shoot supervised at our club.

Section 11(6)

"A person may, without holding a shot gun certificate, use a shot gun at a time and place approved for shooting at artificial targets by the chief officer of police for the area in which that place is situated."

Of course this must be read in conjunction with the act and it's amendments as a whole, from the clubs perspective Section 21 carries special significance in that it is closely linked to Section 11(6). Section 21 deals with Prohibited Persons.

Section 21

(1) A person who has been sentenced to custody for life or to preventative detention, or to imprisonment or to corrective training for a term of three years or more 1 or to youth custody or detention in a young offender institution for such a term, or who has been sentenced to be detained for such a term in a young offenders institution in Scotland, shall not at any time have a firearm or ammunition in his possession.

(2) A person who has been sentenced to imprisonment 2 for a term of three months or more but less than three years or to youth custody or detention in a young offender institution for such a term, or who has been sentenced to be detained for such a term in a detention centre or in a young offenders institution in Scotland or who has been subject to a secure training order or a detention and training order, shall not at any time before the expiration of the period of five years from the date of his release have a firearm or ammunition in his possession.

(2A) For the purposes of subsection (2) above, “the date of his release” means:

(a) in the case of a person sentenced to imprisonment with an order under section 47(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 (prison sentence partly served and partly suspended), the date on which he completes service of so much of the sentence as was by that order required to be served in prison;

(b) in the case of a person who has been subject to a secure training order:

     (i) the date on which he is released from detention under the order;

     (ii) the date on which he is released from detention ordered under section 4 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994; or

     (iii) the date halfway through the total period specified by the court in making the order,
whichever is the later;

(c) in the case of a person who has been subject to a detention and training order:

     (i) the date on which he is released from detention under the order;

     (ii) the date on which he is released from detention ordered under section 77 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998; or

     (iii) the date of the halfway point of the term of the order, whichever is the later.

(3) A person who:

(a) is the holder of a licence issued under section 53 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, or section 57 of the Children and Young Persons (Scotland) Act 1937 (which sections provide for the detention of children and young persons convicted of serious crime, but enable them to be discharged on licence by the Secretary of State); or

(b) is subject to a recognisance to keep the peace or to be of good behaviour, a condition of which is that he shall not possess, use or carry a firearm, or is subject to a probation order containing a requirement that he shall not possess, use or carry a firearm; or

(c) has, in Scotland, been ordained to find caution a condition of which is that he shall not possess, use or carry a firearm; shall not, at any time during which he holds the licence or is so subject or has been so ordained, have a firearm or ammunition in his possession.

(3A) Where by section 19 of the Firearms Act (Northern Ireland) 1969, or by any other enactment for the time being in force in Northern Ireland and corresponding to this section, a person is prohibited in Northern Ireland from having a firearm or ammunition in his possession, he shall also be so prohibited in Great Britain at any time when to have it in his possession in Northern Ireland would be a contravention of the said section 19 or corresponding enactment.

(4) It is an offence 3 for a person to contravene any of the foregoing provisions of this section.

(5) It is an offence 3 for a person to sell or transfer 4 a firearm or ammunition to, or to repair, test or prove a firearm or ammunition for, a person whom he knows or has reasonable ground for believing to be prohibited by this section from having a firearm or ammunition in his possession.

(6) A person prohibited under subsection (1),(2),(3) or (3A) of this section from having in his possession a firearm or ammunition may apply to the Crown Court 5 or, in Scotland, in accordance with Act of Sederunt to the sheriff for a removal of the prohibition; and if the application is granted that prohibition shall not then apply to him.

(7) Schedule 3 to this Act shall have effect with respect to the courts with jurisdiction to entertain an application under this section and to the procedure appertaining thereto.

[Firearms Act 1968, s 21, as amended by the Courts Act 1971, Sch 9, the Criminal Law Act 1977, Sch 9, the Criminal Justice Act 1982, Sch 14, the Criminal Justice Act 1988, Schs 8 and 16, the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, Sch 10 and the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, Sch 8.]


1 Where there are several separate shorter sentences it is the total which counts for this purpose (Davies v Tomlinson (1980) 71 Cr App Rep 279—two concurrent and one consecutive sentence totalling 23/4 years imprisonment plus an activated suspended sentence of six months).

2 The prohibition in subsection (2) was held not to apply to a person whose sentence was suspended: R v Fordham [1970] 1 QB 77,[1969] 3 All ER 532, 133 JP 626.

3 For prosecution and punishment, see Sch 6, post.

4 Defined in s 57(4), post.

5 The chief officer of police shall not be ordered to pay the costs of the applicant (Sch 3, para 7).

As you can see we operate within a complex framework, I would encourage you to familiarise yourself with the act and its amendments. You can get a copy of the act by clicking on the link below.

Running Hill CPC - Firearms Act 1968 + Amendments
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