What are firearms offences?

Unless you have an exemption it is an offence for a person

  • to have in their possession, or to purchase a firearm without holding a firearm certificate
  • to have in their possession, or to purchase any ammunition without holding a firearm certificate

These are strict liability offences which means the prosecution doesn’t need to prove intention, negligence, or state of mind regarding this act. So, if you are asked to hold a bag with a gun in it you will be found guilty, even if you didn’t know what was in the bag.

Photo by Tom Def

What are the different types of Firearms offences?

Possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life

Possessing any firearm or ammunition with the intention of endangering life or causing serious property damage, or facilitating another person to do so, is a criminal offence, regardless of whether any harm has occurred.

Carrying a firearm in a public place

An individual violates the law if they carry a loaded gun, loaded air weapon, or any other firearm (whether loaded or not) with suitable ammunition in a public place without lawful authority or a valid reason.

Possession of firearms by persons previously convicted of crime

An individual who has been sentenced to preventive detention, imprisonment for three years or more is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition at any time.

Carrying firearm with criminal intent

Possessing a firearm or imitation firearm with the intent to commit an indictable offence, resist arrest, or prevent the arrest of another person constitutes a criminal offence.

What can I get sentenced if found guilty of possession of firearms offences?

As there are a number of different charges within the Firearms Act the sentencing varies dependent on a number of factors. The biggest contributing factor is whether it falls in to a statutory minimum charge. This will depend on the type of firearm used and intent. Sentences for statutory minimum firearms charges range from a minimum of 5 years up to 8 years whilst non-statutory ranges from a non-custodial up to 3 years.

Sentences will be lower if charged with lesser charges such as carrying a firearm in a public place (max 2 years) or can be increased for charges like possession with intent to endanger life (max 18 years).

What should I do if I’ve been arrested for Firearms offences?

Due to the seriousness of the charge it’s essential that you get advice from a solicitor who has experience with firearms cases. Our team of dedicated criminal law specialists have a vast amount of experience in firearms cases. Ranging from possession of firearms through to possession with intent to endanger life, one of our lawyers will be able to help. Give one of our solicitors a call on 0208 692 2694 or use the contact us form below.