I would like to start this discussion regarding legally held firearms held on certificate in the UK. I would like to hear from others, like me, who have legally held firearms and use them the way they were intended particularly vintage and veteran military rifles and pistols.
I have been a member of this forum for a year now and the depth of knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject is very impressive, it is a friendly place to be part of and the members willingness to share their knowledge is of great benefit to us all.
I must confess to being a little frustrated however by the impression given by some posts that the UK is a place where firearms of any description are forbidden and that acquisition of them is still punishable by incarceration in the Tower of London, posts of de-activated firearms are often accompanied by statements such as ‘this is all we are allowed’ or ‘its that or nothing’
Disclaimer and clarification statement follows
Now whilst I appreciate absolutely that the collecting of de-activated firearms are a legitimate collecting field and a source of enjoyment for many………….
End of statement……..
…it saddens me that we may be giving many outside the UK that it is a country that actively and enthusiastically seeks out historic firearms with the intention of either destroying them forever by melting them down or by butchering them by the de-activation route to make them display pieces, it makes us appear to be a country that has no regard for our contribution to military firearms and places no value on the preservation and study of our heritage.……….nothing could be further from the truth………it is a fact that we have some of the tightest firearms legislation in Europe…….it is also a fact that we have some very enthusiastic and knowledgeable people, clubs and organisations determined to keep shooting sports alive and responsible firearms ownership, if not a right, then at least a very hard won privilege which we are determined to hold on to.
Shooting is not a sport that appeals to everyone but if you are a collector of de-activated firearms and you perhaps have ever wondered what it might be like to handle the ‘real thing’ then give a thought to contacting your local shooting club and find out a bit more, do please post your de-activated examples for all to see but please, please, please if you could in the meantime please try not to give the impression that……….. ‘this is all we are allowed............because it most certainly is not.........then I for one will cease to cry into my beer whenever I see photos of your hacked up Luger posted for the world to see.........
(oops...controversial bit at the end there....and I was trying so hard to be diplomatic too......)