This summer a new three-month consultation will begin, with the aim of clarifying firearms law and stripping away some of the complexity surrounding it.
The government’s Law Commission will begin a process that it says will make laws easier to understand. It feels frequent amendments have made the law confusing surrounding concepts like “antique,” “lethal” and “weapon.” For example, you do not currently need a firearms certificate to possess an antique firearm but the law doesn’t define what “antique” means, making complying with the law a confusing proposition for collectors.
Professor David Ormerod QA, Law Commissioner for Criminal Law, said: “Our reforms will strengthen the protection offered by the law by ensuring illegal firearms are dealt with by clear and robust legislation, and that criminals no longer have the opportunity to exploit loopholes in the law.”
The British Association of Shooting and Conservation said it supported the review and would be involved at all stages of the process. Communications director Christopher Graffius said: “Existing legislation is piecemeal and often fails to deliver the outcomes legislators intended. While Professor Ormerod promises reform that will strengthen the protection offered by the law, the Law Commission reforms will still have to go through parliament before becoming enshrined in legislation. It is during this process that the reforms are vulnerable to amendment and misinterpretation or misapplication to other areas of firearms law not within the original remit of the review.”