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Offensive Weapons Act 2019

posted 18 May 2019, 05:17 by Tony Cattermole
The Offensive Weapons Act 2019 introduces new prohibitions under the Firearms Act 1968 on certain rapid-firing rifles and “bump stocks”, which increase the rate of fire of self-loading rifles. Later today you will be able to view the 2019 Act via the following link: https://services.parliament.uk/Bills/2017-19/offensiveweapons/documents.html.

The prohibitions come into force with effect from today, 16 May, to the extent that they prohibit the manufacture, sale, transfer or acquisition of such weapons. The prohibition on possession will come into force at a later date, following the completion of the surrender and compensation arrangements (see below).

The 2019 Act adds two new subsections to section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968. For certain rapid-firing rifles there is a new subsection 5(1)(ag) which prohibits:

any rifle with a chamber from which empty cartridge cases are extracted using—

(i) energy from propellant gas, or

(ii) energy imparted to a spring or other energy storage device by propellant gas,

other than a rifle which is chambered for .22 rim-fire cartridges.

For “bump stocks” there is a new subsection 5(1)(ba) which prohibits:

any device (commonly known as a bump stock) which is designed or adapted so that—

(i) it is capable of forming part of or being added to a self-loading lethal barrelled weapon (as defined in section 57(1B) and (2A)), and

(ii) if it forms part of or is added to such a weapon, it increases the rate of fire of the weapon by using the recoil from the weapon to generate repeated pressure on the trigger.

Compensation and surrender arrangements

Sections 56 to 59 of the 2019 Act set out the surrender and compensation arrangements which must be followed before the prohibition on the possession of the above weapons can come into force. The arrangements are subject to secondary legislation before they can come into force.

Details on the arrangements for applying for compensation will be published in due course. These details will include who can apply for compensation, how they can apply, timescales for applications, what information owners need to supply to evidence ownership, and surrender arrangements.
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