Firearms and explosives in the wrong and/or unauthorised hands can be very dangerous to the general public and the person or group of people in whose possession they are. Unlawful possession of these weapons is therefore a crime under the law. The Firearms Act 1968 regulates the possession of firearms in the United Kingdom. According to the Firearms Act, for a person to be authorised by law to possess firearms and explosives, intent must first and foremost be established, following which a vetting process is undergone for the verification of the applicant’s suitability to possess firearms, shotguns and explosives. Possession is prohibited under the Act, where an applicant has a historic conviction serious enough to warrant a custodial sentence. Such prohibition may be for a limited period of time where the custodial sentence was less than three years.
In general however, the Act criminalises uncertified possession of firearms and the severity of the punishment attached to such possession depends on a number of other related factors. Once it has been established that possession is uncertified, it will prove necessary for the Police to further establish or seek to establish the purpose of the possession, i.e. what did you intend to do with the weapons? What state were the weapons found in? This refers to whether or not the firearms were loaded or unloaded, if the explosives are in working condition and may potentially be set off at any time. Other salient factors also include your background history; any previous convictions of uncertified possession and/or use of firearms. These are known as aggravating factors which may add to the seriousness of the crime.
Illegal firearms can incur serious charges
It is also very important to determine whether or not the weapons found in your possession are designed for legal or illegal use. For example, whereas a firearm which has not been altered in shape, function or in any other manner may be deemed a legal weapon designed for lawful use by certified persons, a sawn off shotgun cannot possibly be regarded as a weapon for lawful use. These factors go to evidence that even when you have been found to be in possession of potentially dangerous weapons, the matter may not be taken fully at face value; there are surrounding circumstances which must be taken into consideration.
Whilst the criminal offence of possession may remain regardless, the gravity of the offence is substantially reduced where it can be exhibited that the weapons were not intended for use; such as where there are no ammunitions available for the firearms.
Firearms & Explosives Solicitors in London and UK
The best and most important step to take once you have been found to be in possession of firearms and explosives is to seek immediate legal advice. London’s most prominent criminal defence law networks are available to provide you with specialist legal assistance at this time and to critically examine the factors and circumstances surrounding such possession. In our experience, we have come across clients who inadvertently came to be in possession as a result of inheritance from relatives, clients who were unaware of the severity of uncertified possession or the fact that it is indeed prohibited, and avid collectors who had no intention to use the weapons, to mention a few. Our criminal lawyers are not only vastly experienced in defending cases of this nature, but are also aware of the impact these allegations might have on your life and of those around you. Our services are provided in the strictest confidence possible. Although we are based in London, we represent clients all over the country. There is therefore no conceivable reason that you should not get our solicitors who are particularly knowledgeable and renowned for defending clients in possession of firearms working on your case with immediate effect.
A day can make all the difference, contact us today and let us take over all the legal worries. We will ensure that any available mitigating circumstance is focussed on and robustly prepare and present your case. Criminal defence is what we do best and with several years of experience and a proven track record of success, you can rest easy knowing that your case could not be in a safer pair of hands.