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In 2015 the Law Commission completed an independent review of firearms legislation which had been commissioned by the government. The report Firearms Law – Reforms to Address Pressing Problems identified a number of loopholes being abused by criminals and posing a risk to public safety, including the lack of a definition of the term ‘antique firearm’ in the Firearms Act 1968.
The Policing and Crime Act includes new provisions for the legal definition of an ‘antique firearm’ to close this loophole and strengthen the law through added clarity to aid compliance and law enforcement. The definition will cover firearms which are chambered to discharge obsolete cartridges (no longer readily available), their propulsion system, or both.