View Full Version : Shooting in Britain

December 24, 2008, 03:30 AM
Hi, I'm new to this forum and would like to tell all you lucky Americans about the rules for gun ownership in Britain. Firstly ALL centre-fire handguns with a barrel length of less than 24 inches are banned, to be able to own a pistol over .22 calibre you have to join a club for 12 weeks as a probationary member, you will only be able to touch a pistol on the firing point. You then get to be full member after which you can apply for a Firearms certificate (FAC). This takes about 8 weeks to be processed and involves a visit from the firearms liason officer to inspect your security arrangements. Once your FAC is granted you then have to apply to another department for an explosives licence to possess black-powder,now it gets really silly, in order to take the powder from the shop where you bought it you need another certificate to be able to transport it to your home, gun club etc. Of course you could use Pyrodex, which is not classed as an explosive and doesn't need the two certificates, but we all know the disadvantages of Pyrodex.
Nice and easy eh? but if you want to shoot pistols you have to put up with it.

Cheers, gunner.

December 24, 2008, 07:48 AM
That is a grim report.
Sad to see a once-great country descend to such a mess.

I hope that is not the blueprint for the future for America.
I am sure that Hillary, Charles Schumer, and Obama would be delighted to implement the same exact rules here.

4V50 Gary
December 24, 2008, 08:42 AM
Welcome to the forum. It's always good to hear from our English cousins about what is happening on their side of the pond. Please tell us more about the blackpowder gun laws. Do you need a permit if you don't intend to shoot (say historical recreation)?

December 24, 2008, 09:46 AM
In Britain the re-enactment activity tends to concentrate on the Civil War period, that is to say our Civil War, i.e. Roundheads and Royalists, so the weapons of the era were flintlocks. The same rules apply to these re-enactors, who are mostly from a society called The Sealed Knot, regarding the posession and transportation of Black Powder. You can collect, without any form or licence, antique firearms, but these must not be fired. There are also a large number of de-activated modern firearms in collections without permits but these must have the barrels blocked, usually by being welded solid, and the action being welded or removed, however there are moves to also ban these as well.
I used to be able to shoot fullbore pistol (9mm, .357, .44, .45acp etc.) until a lunatic called Thomas Hamilton ran amok in a school in Dunblane, Scotland.This caused the total banning of any cartridge pistol unless it has a barrel over 24 inches, we can use .22lr pistols but they must be kept at a gun club. This doesn't allow our international pistol shooters (remember we are hosting the 2012 olympic games) to train adequately so a lot of them go over to France for training. All this in the country that prides itself in having a free population, what a joke!

December 24, 2008, 06:39 PM
Gunner said: the weapons of the era were flintlocks. Just to be picky, I think you'll find they were mostly matchlocks.
Gunner, I see your location is shown as Wakefield, is that the one in Yorkshire? If so, I was born a little ways south of you in Lincolnshire (near Grimsby).

Odd Job
December 24, 2008, 06:45 PM
we can use .22lr pistols but they must be kept at a gun club.

Is that for Northern Ireland?
I don't believe we can use any pistol in England, other than a black powder version.

December 26, 2008, 02:00 AM
Gunner, I see your location is shown as Wakefield, is that the one in Yorkshire? If so, I was born a little ways south of you in Lincolnshire (near Grimsby).

Arquebus, the actual place that I live is a small village called Robin Hood, which is very near to Wakefield, West Yorkshire. Incidentally, the name has nothing to do with the historical character but took its name from the coal mine that used to be here. You are correct in pointing out that the most common weapon used during the civil war was the match lock but there were also a lot of flinters about as well.

Cheers, gunner

December 26, 2008, 06:50 PM
Guns laws like that make me want to scream.

Come on over here and live. Seriously, emigrate and enjoy life. Ex-pat Brits tend to do well in the States. You could own any firearm you want in any quantitiy, even full autos with the proper tax being paid etc. Hunt, have elbow room, enjoy wilderness areas, and so on. American girls like Limey accents too, a bonus.

Earlier this year I was in Phoenix, Arizona for a week long training and went down to the bar one evening for a beer with friends. There was a very nice Englishman there with his wife who stated he vacations in Arizona every spring and has done so for decades. We ended up talking guns for hours. A knowledgable fellow. Turns out he had to turn in his real guns like evreybody else over there and now when he visits the US he schedules a couple of range trips and burns a rather large quantity of ammo out of rented guns. Tries to mix it up and shoot stuff he has not had experience with before.