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Antique Firearms Consultation

posted 31 Oct 2017, 04:48 by Tony Cattermole
As members may be aware we are now entering the second phase of consultation regarding the definition of an antique firearm.

The Government introduced measures in the Policing and Crime Act 2017 which provide for a definition of ‘antique firearm’ to be set out in Regulations by reference to the type of cartridge it was designed to use, or by reference to its ‘propulsion system’. This consultation will help shape those Regulations. Essentially this will make statutory the list of obsolete cartridges and propulsion (previously ignition) systems stated in the Guide on Firearms Licensing Law.

HBSA have been at the forefront of discussions with the Home Office (and the Law Commission when they were preparing their report prior to the P & C Bill) and we continue to work with them now together with BSSC, MLAGB, Arms & Armour Society and other interested parties.

We had already lodged with the Home Office an extensive list of additions to the Obsolete Cartridge list. The existing system and dates work well, and together with the additional cartridges should provide a sound and comprehensive basis for the statutory instrument. There is provision for this to be reviewed and, if necessary, amended from year to year without recourse to Primary Legislation, as was previously the case. We do not believe that a cartridge should be taken off the list once it has been established that ammunition is not readily available. We believe that an advisory body will be formed and expect to be part of that.

We will be formally responding as HBSA taking into account the above. HBSA Council will issue further guidance to members who may wish to respond as individuals, and we ask that you do not respond to the consultation until you have seen that further guidance but meanwhile the link is as follows so that you may study the Government public consultation. There is sufficient time, as the consultation runs for eight weeks, ending on 14 December 2017.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions. Needless to say any individual response needs to be carefully framed so as not to cut across the HBSA response and should be polite and logical. Please do not suggest any ’break date’ for antique status other than the existing one of 1939. The existing system and date has worked well so far, as has tacitly been accepted by the Home Office and stated in the consultation document. Thus seeking change at this point may work against us. Further guidance will follow as soon as possible.

The consultation paper and details for how to respond can be found on the Government website at:

Derek Stimpson