According to vice.com, the British youth in the image above was jailed for possessing a fairly classy-looking shotgun and other (unspecified firearms) after the Old Bill spotted the photo and other similar snaps online. And that’s all we know about that. As the article’s called Everything You Need to Know About Guns and Gangs in the UK, you’d expect a bit more intel. Fat chance, mate. What author Tim Noble does tell us all comes from the mouth of “firearms consultant” David Dyson. There’s not a lot new info to hoover from the Noble’s Q&A, save maybe this . . .
What about antique firearms? There was a story recently about how a load of them had been converted for use by gangs.
Yeah, the bulleted cartridge has been around for well over one hundred years, so things that you could call antiques are actually still capable of being used. There’s an exemption to various provisions of the firearms act that allows somebody to posses an antique firearm without any form of certification, as long as it’s possessed as a curiosity ornament. Criminals have picked up on this and started buying guns, then manufacturing ammunition for them. This is why there are more antique guns being recovered in criminal circumstances than there were previously.
So anyone could buy one of these guns?
In order to sell these guns lawfully as antiques, the ammunition has to be obsolete. That’s fine, but there’s a lot of ammunition that can be modified—you can buy modern cases and shorten them with a pipe cutter, then load them in a .44 Russian caliber revolver. Effectively, you’ve modified ammunition so that it can be used in a revolver that was never intended to use that ammunition. But as soon as you have that “antique gun” together with ammunition for it, it becomes unlawful, and you’re looking at a mandatory five-year minimum sentence just for having it.
Seems like an awful lot of bother to me. And the fact that “there are more antique guns being recovered in criminal circumstances than there were previously” doesn’t tell me a thing, really. Except that you can’t stop the signal, criminals-use-of-gun-wise.