UK Firearms Regulations changes from December 2019.

I have been meaning to mention this for a while and this is my first quiet moment…

10/12/2019 our Firearms regulations were amended and as well as adding information on the recording of deactivated firearms they also include some changes to the information we as RFDs (Registered Firearms Dealers) need to hold. There are lots of interesting things, however from a dealers perspective the following are of interest to myself.

10. Rule 2(5) of the Firearms (Amendment) (No.2) Rules 2019 amends the particulars to be entered by firearms dealers into the register of transactions under Part 4 of Schedule 5 to the Firearms Rules 1998 (firearms dealer’s register of transactions) to reflect the changes to the requirements for marking firearms under the EU Directive.

11. The information to be recorded in dealers’ registers is set out below:

(a) in the case of firearms (other than air weapons) manufactured before 14 September 2018 and firearms of historical importance:
(i) the class of firearms (eg shotgun, rifle, revolver or pistol)
(ii) the calibre
(iii) the name of the manufacturer or brand
(iv) the country or place of manufacture, if known
(v) the identification number (which may be the serial number) or other distinguishing mark, if present; and,
(aa) in the case of firearms (other than air weapons and firearms of historical importance) manufactured in the United Kingdom or anywhere in the European Union or imported from outside the European Union on or after 14 September 2018:
(i) the class of firearms (eg shotgun, rifle, revolver or pistol);
(ii) the calibre;
(iii) the unique marking affixed to each relevant component part, to include:
(aa) the name of the manufacturer or brand
(bb) the country or place of manufacture
(cc) the serial number and the year of manufacture (if not part of the serial number)
(dd) the model (where feasible)
(iv) where a relevant component part, other than the frame and the receiver, is too small to have a unique marking including all of the information set out in paragraph (iii)(aa) to (dd) above, the serial number or alphanumeric or digital code instead of that information should be recorded

In the case of ammunition, dealers must now also record the batch number.

12. The effect of the changes being introduced by Rule 2(5) is the requirement for all essential component parts (as defined in section 57 of the Firearms Act 1968) to be marked either with the information at (aa) to (dd) or, where an essential component part is too small, it should be marked with a code. In determining whether a component is too small, regard should be had to Commission Implementing Directive (EU) 2019/68 which establishes a minimum font size of at least 1.6mm but a smaller font size may be used for the marking of essential components that are too small to be marked as specified in the EU Directive. This provision is due to be brought into force by 17 January 2020 and will be the subject of a separate Home Office Circular.

13. Any firearm manufactured before September 1939 will be regarded as being of historical importance.

I use a spreadsheet to record all of my firearm and ammunition transactions so adding additional columns is easy enough and for me is going to be:

Firearms:
Place of manufacture (Country)
Historical Interest? (Pre ’39) Y/N
Year of manufacture (This would be for my interest only)

Ammunition:
Batch number

As an addition for any RFD reading this, you are going to have to record the individual serialisation of component parts of firearms manufactured in the United Kingdom or anywhere in the European Union or imported from outside the European Union on or after 14 September 2018. OK, so what is a component part?

The CPO (Crime Prosecution Service) notes the following:

“component parts”. R v Clarke (F), 82 Cr App R 308, CA states that the component part of a prohibited weapon is itself a prohibited weapon. Although there is no statutory definition, the Home Office Guidance to the Police at paragraph 13.70 states the following:

The term “component part” may be held to include (i) the barrel, chamber, cylinder, (ii) frame, body or receiver, (iii) breech, block, bolt or other mechanism for containing the charge at the rear of the chamber (iv), any other part of the firearm upon which the pressure caused by firing the weapon impinges directly. Magazines, sights and furniture are not considered component parts.

R v Ashton, CA, 1 February 2007 seems to suggest that any part that stops the weapon functioning as it was designed would be a component part:

“Whether in fact this particular gas plug is a component part of a prohibited weapon, is a matter of fact for the court to decide the words have their ordinary natural meaning. as a matter of reasonable interpretation it means a part that is manufactured to the purpose screw or washer, would not be a component part for present purposes. Similarly, a component part must be a part that if it were removed, the Gun could not function without it.”

My view of what is a component part? I was always under the impression it was anything that was pressure bearing within a firearm, so barrel, receiver, cylinder plus anything that a projectile passes through when attached to the barrel etc. I did ask the Home Office about this and the young lady I spoke to advised me they did not specifically use the term ‘Component part’.

So you could decide to mentally swap ‘Component part’ for ‘Pressure bearing’ items which would be a more sensible approach for us Brits.

This could be suggesting a trigger is a component part as are firing pins, strikers, springs and other parts of the ignition system as, if removed, they will prevent the operation of the firearm. Personally, I partly disagree and will not be logging triggers in my register, nor the fiddly little bits. However, as I use a spreadsheet I can easily add columns and have allowed for barrel serial numbers as I serialise those I fit, as do manufacturers such as Accuracy International. I am yet to see a revolver (From memory) with a serialised cylinder however bolts and receivers are fair game and may share only part of the same serial. As an example the receiver could be 1000.001 and the bolt 001

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/circular-0102019-firearms-regulations-2019-and-the-firearms-amendment-no2-rules-2019/0102019-firearms-regulations-2019-and-the-firearms-amendment-no2-rules-2019

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