Firearms Offences

There is a wide array of firearms offences ranging from more minor offences, which are dealt with by a fine in the Magistrates’ Court, to very serious offences carrying heavy custodial sentences.

Our firearms offences solicitors are experts in firearms offences. We have over 30 years’ experience of advising and representing clients charged with all types of firearms offences including the most serious firearms offences of importation of firearms and possession of firearms with intent to endanger life.

What are firearms?

A firearm is defined as a “lethal barrelled weapon of any description from which any shot, bullet or other missile can be discharged” (Section 57(1) Firearms Act 1968).

It includes:

  • a range of ‘prohibited weapons’, whether or not they are lethal weapons
  • component parts of lethal weapons and ‘prohibited weapons’
  • accessories to lethal weapons and ‘prohibited weapons’

 

Many different types of weapon are dealt with as firearms offences including more ‘customary’ firearms such as various types of guns (shotguns, machine guns, pump action guns, pistols, and air guns) to other weapons such as grenades, items adapted to discharge noxious gas and liquid (such as CS spray) , tasers, stun guns and most forms of ammunition.

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These are some of the more common firearms offences we come across:

  • illegally importing firearms
  • supplying, buying or transferring firearms
  • possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life
  • possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear or violence
  • possessing a firearm at the time of committing (or being arrested for) another offence such as burglary, robbery or rape
  • carrying a firearm and ammunition in a public place without reasonable excuse
  • any of the above involving the use of an imitation firearm

Sentences for firearms offences

The prosecution and the courts treat firearms offences very seriously. Depending on the offence and any aggravating or mitigating factors, an adult convicted of a firearms offence could receive a sentence ranging from a three month custodial sentence (and/or a fine) up to a ten year custodial sentence. Some firearms offences carry a mandatory minimum custodial sentence of five years, which the court will only depart from in exceptional circumstances, even where the defendant has pleaded guilty.

Many of the firearms offences we deal with are linked to drugs offences. In our experience, the two types offence often go together. We see this especially when we are representing clients in connection with investigations or charges involving large scale drugs conspiracies. In these types of cases, where a defendant pleads guilty (or is found guilty), the court will generally pass a consecutive sentence for the firearms offence to the drugs offence to mark the gravity with which it views offences involving firearms.

The law relating to firearms offences is very complex. It is important that anyone being investigated or prosecuted for a firearms offence obtains expert legal advice from an experienced solicitor the earliest possible opportunity.

If you are being investigated or prosecuted for a firearms offence, our firearms offences lawyers can give you expert legal advice and representation. Call us in confidence now on 0121 6056000 or email us at enquiries@salhan.co.uk.

A selection of our cases involving firearms offences

R v B

[Worcester CC]:

B was charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and possession of firearms. The Judge described B as a self-appointed enforcer who was seeking to get a hold of heavy firearms such as AK47s and Uzis.

R v F

[Liverpool CC]:

F was charged with conspiracy to cause GBH and possession of firearms with intent to endanger life. He was alleged to be a member of an organised crime group which received instructions from overseas to carry out simultaneous assassinations in the Merseyside area.

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