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  #21  
Old 01-12-2009, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by DamageW View Post
When they changed the UK Firearms law in 1996 to ban all pistols from private ownership, he had to hand them - and all the other pistols, including his cherished 1911 - in to the police to be destroyed. They wouldn't even pay compensation.
Really? I remember hearing that the government did pay compensation to former pistol owners, but that they didn't FULLY compensate many of them for the actual value of their guns. On the SIG Forum, we had a guy from the U.K. who said he received 150 for his SIG P228, which he had bought for 600.

Also, I understand that there was also the option of having them deactivated and sent to one of the Proof Houses to be certified as meeting the deactivation standards?
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:34 AM
DamageW DamageW is offline
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I'll ask him next time I see him. All I know (he told me this a long time ago) was that there was an amnesty, and all guns had to be handed into to a designated police station before a deadline. As (most of) his pistols were registered he had little choice but to hand them in, and he made no mention of getting anything back for them, quite the opposite, in fact.

He did comment that the firearms officer collecting the weapons (for destruction, he said) was most impressed by some of the items my mate was returning, I think the copper was as unhappy with having to take the things in as my friend was in parting with them.

In any case, it's a simple fact that it is pretty much impossible to legally fire a standard pistol in this country. Black powder is still allowed, and I know you can get extended pistols with fixed stocks which are long enough to qualify as a carbine, but that's about as close as you can get.
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by DamageW View Post
I'll ask him next time I see him. All I know (he told me this a long time ago) was that there was an amnesty, and all guns had to be handed into to a designated police station before a deadline. As (most of) his pistols were registered he had little choice but to hand them in, and he made no mention of getting anything back for them, quite the opposite, in fact.

He did comment that the firearms officer collecting the weapons (for destruction, he said) was most impressed by some of the items my mate was returning, I think the copper was as unhappy with having to take the things in as my friend was in parting with them.

In any case, it's a simple fact that it is pretty much impossible to legally fire a standard pistol in this country. Black powder is still allowed, and I know you can get extended pistols with fixed stocks which are long enough to qualify as a carbine, but that's about as close as you can get.
Personally, if I were a British gun owner, I would have just had my weapon deactivated if the option existed (and until recently, deactivated guns used to be easy to buy). I mean, it sucks to not be able to fire a gun, but having a non-firing weapon to at least play around with is better than having no gun whatsoever.

BTW, those new anti-"replica" laws are the worst. When I was in the U.K. (in 2007), I was still able to own an airsoft gun. Now I understand you can't have those unless it's not colored black. I don't think I'll ever study there again...and I was actually planning on getting my Master's there at one point.
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  #24  
Old 01-29-2009, 02:19 AM
DamageW DamageW is offline
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OK, bit more information I managed to get out of my mate during a brief chat today. He said that of all the weapons he handed in, his WW1 Colt 1911 in Royal Navy .455 calibre was the one he was the saddest to part with. One of his colleagues who loved big guns had a Smith and Wesson Model 29 ("...well, do ya?") that also went for the chop.

My mate's wife had a steel frame German-made PPK which the collecting officer got all over-excited about and started showing all his mates, ("look, look, it's James Bond's gun, the real one with the steel frame!") which didn't make things any easier for her...!

Yes, you could get them deactivated although I understand the new deactivation standard is nothing short of brutal, and involves doing hideous damage to the gun as they drill holes in it and stuff bits of metal down it. Most collectors would rather part with their prized possession than suffer that indignity.

You're absolutely right, though, and my apologies, he did get some compensation, he had to get his weapons approximately valued at an arms dealer (so there was a fair amount of debate about what some of his custom or rare items were worth), after which the government would pay between 1/2 and 2/3 of the value as they saw fit. Whoopty-do, as they say.

If you had an antique firearm over a certain age, you were allowed to keep it as a collectible, but by keep it that actually means it is stored in a vault at Bisley, and you have to apply in writing in advance if you want to go and visit your own prize possession. The gun can never leave the site, ever.

Incidentally, he told me with some gloomy relish about the UK olympic shooting team, which currently has to travel to Switzerland to practice their art, which probably explains why we've gone from frequent medal winners to hardly anything in the last few games. Apparently they're relaxing the laws in London for the 2012 games, nothing like reinventing the rules when there's money to be made. Ah well.

As for airsofts and replicas, the laws are confusing. Airsofts were deemed exempt from the new anti-replica laws thanks to some bloke from our anti-terrorist agencies giving them the ok, however all such items still have to be registered and you have to be a member of a "skirmish" club (bit like paint-balling) and take part regularly in order to keep your guns or buy new ones. As you say, lesser airsofts can be bought if you're over 18 providing they're painted in hideous dayglo colours. Anything that's RIF - "realistic imitation firearm" is not allowed.

I got rid of most of my really old airsofts when I had to move house at short notice recently, but there's no way in hell I'm parting with my 8mm blank-firing Glock 17 and Beretta 92F. I believe there's a saying involving "...my cold, dead hand."
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