Firearms legislation in England and Wales is known as being among the most restrictive and complicated in the world. Gun control is on the top priorities of law enforcement agencies. Offences involving guns or other firearms includes:
- Illegal possession of a firearm
- Possession of a firearm with intent to commit
- Possession of an imitation Firearm
- Importation of Firearms
Possession of almost all firearms requires a licence and the penalties for unlawful possession can be severe. In many cases mandatory minimum sentences apply.
Possession of Firearms and Imitations
Some firearms may be lawfully possessed with a Firearm and Shotgun Certificate. These are issued by the police and may permit lawful possession of a firearm or shotgun, as well as ammunition.
A person must apply to their local police force demonstrating that they meet the conditions for possession (demonstrating a sporting, collecting or work-based reason) and that they’re not a risk to the public. These certificates may be revoked, and the firearm seized if the police consider a person no longer fit to own a firearm or without a legitimate reason.
This area of law also covers possession of imitation firearms in a public place, and possession of items such as stun guns and incapacitant sprays, which many people may have not expected to be covered by firearms legislation.
Why choose Hodge Jones & Allen?
Our specialist team of solicitors can advise and represent a broad range of client in this area of law, ranging from:
- The firearms enthusiast who wishes to challenge the revocation of their certificate and seizure of their firearms by the police.
- The novice who did not appreciate the legalities of possession of air weapons or imitation firearms such as blank-firing pistols and now finds themselves in trouble with police.
- The unwitting person who purchased a stun-gun abroad and now finds themselves facing a mandatory minimum sentence for possession of a disguised firearm.
Seeking early advice in all cases can be key and will often be the difference between losing a certificate or, in the more serious cases, receiving a mandatory minimum sentence.
Serious firearm offences, having a gun of whilst committing other offences or supplying others with guns and ammunition are complex matters that require careful consideration from an experienced legal team.
Often these arrests arise in the context of other investigations such as murder or drugs offences. Our expert team make sure that the police or other bodies have conducted their investigations within the rules and that any police operation has been properly authorised.
We’re used to dealing with high profile and complex matters at trial, where guns and firearms play a prominent part. By scrutinising the police evidence carefully and standing up for your rights, we make sure that you receive a fair trial and the best result possible.
We instruct barristers with a specific expertise in firearms legislation and have strong professional relationships with renowned expert witnesses.
We have decades of expertise in this area of law and a high success rate in avoiding immediate prison sentences on behalf of our clients in such cases. We can provide advice and representation nationwide and quickly to make sure you get the best possible outcome for your situation.
Possession of a firearm – R v W
Our team successfully argued that exceptional circumstances applied to a conviction of possession of a firearm where the mandatory minimum sentence is five years custody. Defendant received two and half year’s custody.
Possession of a BB Gun
We represented and supported a youth who had possessed a BB gun and was pretending to fire it at members of the public. Our careful representation at the police station meant that the youth was diverted away from the Criminal Justice system without a criminal record.
Possession of a firearm – R v D
We successfully argued that an alleged ‘disguised’ firearm was a dual-purpose torch with a stun-gun feature. Mandatory minimum sentence therefore avoided, and a non-custodial sentence ultimately achieved.