EU Firearms Directives Put In Place

The government has recently incorporated new requirements into the Firearms Rules based on 2017 EU Directives.

The directives cover civilian ownership of firearms, registration with licensing authorities, the ownership of deactivated firearms, security issues for the ownership of firearms by under 18s and the requirements for RFDs to record more details of firearms in their registers.

The transfer of deactivated firearms now requires notification to licensing authorities, while ownership of deactivated firearms will also need to be declared. The move has been initiated as a result of a delayed Brexit and will come into force on 12 December. 

BASC is advising members and trade, as it will be a legal requirement to register the possession and the transfer of deactivated weapons with the Home Office. 

Notification of the possession of deactivated weapons will be staggered. Those acquired after 14 September 2018 will require immediate notification, with all other decativated weapons needing notification by 14 March 2021. Failure to comply could result in a criminal record and a fine of up to £200. 

The new legislation has been transposed directly from the EU’s Firearms Directive, which was initiated following the Paris attacks in in 2015. The original proposals for full certification of deactivated firearms were successfully fended off by BASC and its Euopean partners. 

The organisation has now questioned how the Home Office will successfully store and manage such large quantities of data. 

Matthew Perring, BASC’s senior firearms officer, said: “The UK government has tried to hold off applying the Firearms Directive requirements, however Brexit delays meant implementation was mandatory.

Specific details about the deactivated weapons notification scheme and what information is required has yet to be published by the Home Office. Communication is ongoing between BASC and the government agency to gain a full understanding of what is required from our members and staff.” 

Registers should now include details such as model, calibre, manufacturer, brand, country of origin and serial number. Component parts are also subject to new marking requirements. See more information at www.legislation.gov.uk 

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