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Possible Brown Bess? Any help appreciated

Article about: by tom simkins its ok you are allowed to own it as a wall hanger.. Even as a wall hanger it needs to be deactivated and have a certificate to say so. You can't hang a weapon which could pote

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Possible Brown Bess? Any help appreciated

    Quote by tom simkins View Post
    its ok you are allowed to own it as a wall hanger..
    Even as a wall hanger it needs to be deactivated and have a certificate to say so. You can't hang a weapon which could potentially be a live firing piece on the wall. It will need a cabinet.

  2. #12

    Default Re: Possible Brown Bess? Any help appreciated

    I too am under the impression that it is perfectly legal to own obsolete calibre firearms as ornaments without any form of certificate or licence. A quick scan of the net shows that this is covered by Section 58 (2) of the 1968 Firearms Act. For reference:

    Antiques

    Section 58(2) of the 1968 Act exempts from the provisions of the Act - including certificate controls under sections 1 and 2 and prohibition under section 5 - all antique firearms which are sold, transferred, purchased, acquired or possessed as curiosities or ornaments. The word "antique" is not defined in the Act but Home Office guidance on the subject can be summarised briefly as follows:

    If modern ready made ammunition can be bought and fired using the weapon it cannot be classed as an antique;

    A muzzle loading firearm is antique;

    A breech loading firearm using a rim-fire cartridge exceeding .23 (but not 9mm) is antique;

    A breech loading firearm using an ignition system other than rim-fire or centre is antique;

    A breech loading centre fire firearm originally chambered for cartridges which are now obsolete and retains that original chambering is antique.

    However, each case should be dealt with on its merits and advice on individual weapons should be sought from the FSP. The case of R v Burke 67 Cr App R 220 dictates that it is for the Prosecution to prove that the firearm does not come within the ambit of section 58(2) and it is a matter for the jury to decide upon.

    Source: Firearms: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service


    Besides, my arguement is that there are plenty of them at the fairs anyway

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Possible Brown Bess? Any help appreciated

    That is true, but has anyone bought one from a fair who can clarify? Do they come with deactivation certificates? Do you need to have a firearms licence to buy one?

    Antique weapons can be fired. Muzzle loading weapons that don't take a cartridge can be fired. I would err on the side of caution before possessing any such weapon.

    Home loading is a popular activity nowadays and cartridges can be resized to fit obsolete chambers and made into obsolete calibres.

    I will contact my local firearms bureau in the morning for advice.

  4. #14

    Default Re: Possible Brown Bess? Any help appreciated

    I found this quite informative : LEGAL - Classic Gun Company UK

    - - Updated - -

    And from a police point of view: http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/h...ing/faqs-1.asp

  5. #15

    Default Re: Possible Brown Bess? Any help appreciated

    Quote by edelweiss123 View Post
    I found this quite informative : LEGAL - Classic Gun Company UK

    - - Updated - -

    And from a police point of view: http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/h...ing/faqs-1.asp
    This suggests to me, that if an antique rifle is owned, and no ammunition is owned, then it is legal. The moment you have ammunition along with the rifle, it stops being "ornamental" and would be illegal without a licence.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Possible Brown Bess? Any help appreciated

    I think the definition lies within the fact this is obviously an antique but it could be made to fire.

    'It will be seen above that no ammunition can be classified as antique and the possession of suitable ammunition, for use with an otherwise antique firearm, may indicate that the firearm is not possessed as a curio or ornament.'

    Like I said previously, some gunpowder, a ball bearing and some wadding might be enough to fire the weapon. I wouldn't want to try on an old and unproofed barrel but the potential is there.

    With any firearm that doesn't have a deactivation certificate, extreme caution should be used before taking possession of such a piece.

    Make sure you are absolutely clear on the facts of ownership prior to obtaining such a weapon.

  7. #17

    Default Re: Possible Brown Bess? Any help appreciated

    Indeed, it could be made to fire. That would be an illegal act and a decision that the owner of the musket would have to make on his own. As it stands however, without the ammunition, the musket is perfectly legal to own. As the thread starter has not stated any intention to try and fire the weapon (and like you I wouldnt want to risk it in an old barrel) it is perfectly legal. I have purchased a Chassepot rifle (1866) dated from a reputable dealer and no deact cert came with it as it is an obsolete calibre firearm.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Possible Brown Bess? Any help appreciated

    I thought you did 'nt need a license for an antique weapon that has obsolete ammuniton

  9. #19

    Default Re: Possible Brown Bess? Any help appreciated

    Thanks for the discussion on this topic guys, at least it's cleared some things up, hopefully not just for myself either. It appears that if I did intend to either use it in a reenacting role or if for some reason I lost all sense and wanted to risk firing an untested 150 year old barrel (which my common sense alone will prevent me from doing!) then the fact that I possessed ammunition or propellant for the musket would be an offence because it would go from being a curio or ornament into something that 'Could' be fired.

    Because however I don't own anything of the sort and all I really intend to do is try and restore its condition slightly (cosmetically of course, not in terms of its functionality) and at the end have an attractive wall hanger (which according to Spitace may have plenty of great history I hadn't counted on having ), Section 58 (2) means I am legally allowed to without any kind of documentation.

    Thanks once again for the replies guys, anything new I learn is greatly appreciated! and Adrian even though I should be fine, I appreciate the concern to uphold safety and legality etc because it's not always safe to assume these things, especially with our somewhat restrictive UK Gun laws.

    Cheers
    Tom

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Possible Brown Bess? Any help appreciated

    I would not do any "renovation" on it. Depending on what the exact type of weapon it is, it should be treated more as an antique than an Militaria collectible and the less you do to "enhance" it or refurb it, the better.

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