Past convictions and cautions can affect whether a person can hold a firearms certificate or even possess an air weapon. Even inheriting an old, ancient looking weapon from a relative could mean inadvertently falling foul of the law. It is easy to see how people can find themselves accused of an offence when they were not aware of the relevant legislation and legitimate gun owners are coming under increasing scrutiny by the authorities, with firearms certification becoming ever more difficult to obtain.
Moreover, the authorities have concentrated their efforts on investigating illegal gun crime, and in some areas of the country have set up specialised task forces for this very purpose. Allegations relating to firearms are therefore likely to increase, and if you find yourself in a position whereby you are under investigation, or facing prosecution for any firearms offence, it is vital to get specialist expert legal advice as soon as possible.
The offence of being in possession of a firearm without a legal permission is regarded seriously by the courts and carries with it a minimum sentence of 5 years imprisonment. Possession of a disguised Taser style device also attracts a minimum sentence of 5 years imprisonment. Firearms legislation is of itself extraordinarily complicated, and at Reeds we have a team of expert barristers and solicitor-advocates able to examine your case and strive for the most favourable resolution for you. Chambers are frequently instructed to deal with these cases in matters such as shotgun and firearm certificate applications and revocation appeals; and offences relating to Tasers, air weapons, possession of ammunition, antique guns and rifles, de-activated weapons, prohibited weapons, illegal conversions, imitation firearms, illegal importation, poaching / hunting offences, and explosives.
The Police themselves will routinely analyse seized weapons and, for example, check for barrel length compliance or that the discharge pressure of air weapons meets current regulations. The Police also regularly examine decommissioned weapons to establish whether such weapons could be converted to working weapons. All of those investigations are highly technical, and can often be the determining factor in whether a case is pursued, or if it is, the likely success of it. At Reeds we have access to some of the UKs top independent firearms and ballistics experts and scientists. These specialists undertake the necessary examinations, and prepare detailed reports and give evidence at court, to best present your defence in conjunction with our carefully selected in-house lawyers.
At Reeds, we also have a designated team of specialist solicitors who can also assist in advising you about issues relating to firearms licensing. For more information, click here.
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