Weapons and Firearms in UK Law

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Leading Cases
  • R v Wilkinson and Others
    • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
    • 06 October 2009

    Guns kill and maim, terrorise and intimidate. That is why criminals want them: that is why they use them: and that is why they organise their importation and manufacture, supply and distribution. Sentencing courts must address the fact that too many lethal weapons are too readily available: too many are carried: too many are used, always with devastating effect on individual victims and with insidious corrosive impact on the wellbeing of the local community.

  • R v Bradish
    • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
    • 28 July 1989

    To achieve effective control and to prevent the potentially disastrous consequences of their misuse, strict liability is necessary, just as it is in the equally dangerous field of drugs. To achieve effective control and to prevent the potentially disastrous consequences of their misuse, strict liability is necessary, just as it is in the equally dangerous field of drugs. To achieve effective control and to prevent the potentially disastrous consequences of their misuse, strict liability is necessary, just as it is in the equally dangerous field of drugs.

    It would be easy for an accused to maintain, lyingly but with conviction, that he did not recognise the object in his possession as part of a firearm or prohibited weapon. It would be easy for an accused to maintain, lyingly but with conviction, that he did not recognise the object in his possession as part of a firearm or prohibited weapon. It would be easy for an accused to maintain, lyingly but with conviction, that he did not recognise the object in his possession as part of a firearm or prohibited weapon.

  • R v Rehman; R v Wood
    • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
    • 18 July 2005

    However, it is to be noted that if an offender has no idea that he is doing anything wrong, a deterrent sentence will have no deterrent effect upon him. The section makes clear that it is the opinion of the court that is critical as to what exceptional circumstances are. Unless the judge is clearly wrong in identifying exceptional circumstances when they do not exist, or clearly wrong in not identifying exceptional circumstances when they do exist, this court will not readily interfere.

  • R v Avis and Others
    • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
    • 16 December 1997

    Where imitation firearms are involved, the risk to life and limb is absent, but such weapons can be and often are used to frighten and intimidate victims in order to reinforce unlawful demands. Such imitation weapons are often very hard to distinguish from the real thing—for practical purposes, impossible in the circumstances in which they are used—and the victim is usually as much frightened and intimidated as if a genuine firearm had been used. Such victims are often isolated and vulnerable.

    Save for minor infringements which may be and are properly dealt with summarily, offences against these provisions will almost invariably merit terms of custody, even on a plea of guilty and in the case of an offender with no previous record.

  • R v Reid (Barry)
    • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
    • 18 November 1975

    If such injury was not intended by the others they must be acquitted of murder; but having started out on an enterprise which envisaged some degree of violence, albeit nothing more than causing fright, they will be guilty of manslaughter.

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Legislation
  • The Firearms (Air Weapons) (England and Wales) Rules 2023
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2023
  • Offensive Weapons Act 2019
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2019
    ... ... Annotations: Commencement Information # I56 S. 53 in force at 6.4.2022 by S.I. 2022/418, regs. 1(2)(5), 2(b) (with reg. 3) ... PART 6: Firearms ... 54: Prohibition of certain firearms etc: England and Wales and Scotland ... (1) The Firearms Act 1968 is amended as follows ... (2) In ... ...
  • Sentencing Act 2020
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2020
    ... ... to forfeit items on conviction of certain offences under that Act (weapons training and possessing things and collecting information for the purposes ... provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002section 52 of the Firearms Act 1968forfeiture and disposal of firearm in certain cases ... ...
  • Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015
    • Scotland
    • January 01, 2015
    ... ... Firearms Act 1968 (“the 1968 Act”) ... (3) In addition, the expression includes—(a) the component parts of an air weapon (within the meaning of ... ...
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Books & Journal Articles
  • Police Force! An Examination of the Use of Force, Firearms and Less-Lethal Weapons by British Police
    • No. 76-3, September 2003
    • Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles
    • 0000
    Since the turn of the century the police use of firearms has become increasingly scrutinised by the press and public. To answer the increasing demands for better policing of firearms situations, th...
  • A historical examination of police firearms
    • No. 94-2, June 2021
    • Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles
    • 0000
    This study provides a historical examination of firearms in policing to understand how weapons have evolved within the American field. A search was conducted of historical newspaper databases and a...
    ... ... This is often sufficient to overcome resistance.In the past 5 years, there has been an increased discussion of the weapons possessedby US police officers, often because of the equipment used by officers during large-scalepublic disorders. For example, the police response ... ...
  • Testing the police model for the handling and use of firearms against non-police subjects
    • No. 17-1, March 2015
    • International Journal of Police Science and Management
    • 0000
    The use of firearms is an integral part of the police profession. The use of a gun, for example a standard firearm, imposes upon the user the need to know the relevant legal regulations (police aut...
    ... ... , gives results, conclusions and recommendationsregarding the model for training police officers in the use of firearms (semi-automatic weapons). Students from three yeargroups at the Faculty of Security in Skopje (Former Police Academy) participated in the research. The results ... ...
  • Arming the police in Britain
    • No. 90-2, June 2017
    • Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles
    • 0000
    In 2010 Derrick Bird shot and killed 12 people, as well as injuring a further 11, in Cumbria. A legitimate question that arose after the tragedy was whether the outcome would have been different if...
    ... ... of public protection? Derrick Bird was licensed topossess his firearms. Is a more proportionate response amendments to the existingweapons ... of thepublic from either a random shooting by owners of licensed weapons such as DerrickBird, or a terrorist attack by groups such as Islamic State ... ...
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Law Firm Commentaries
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