The U.K. deactivation saga
Article about: First, I hope this is the right place! I realise this topic has been covered before, but I thought I'd post what I hope is an update on the current situation. As you may know, there is a cer
The proof houses have been around a long time and do an awful lot more then just de-acts.........this is one franchise that is'nt going out to privatisation and I for one think that that is a good thing...........I speak as a firearms certificate holder, shooter for 20 years and a 54yrs of age old fart.
The dealer in question is selling German deacs which is a grey area. Under the terms of the CIP, there is a reciprocal agreement that each member country will recognise each others proof marks. Therefor the UK must recognise German proof marks as legal, this is the reason for 'or some other person approved by the Secretary of State'. The SOS has not personally approved this but he is bound by the CIP agreement. The 2 proof houses are commercial companies, not owned or run by Government (Unlike the French Proof House, which is also a CIP member) and they exist to make money.
Also, don't forget the term 'deactivated by other means', this relates to relics or firearms which are so badly damaged that deactivation is either impossible or pointless. They do not need to be deactivated, however only a court would be able to decide if a relic or damaged firearm falls under this phrase. There are large numbers of non proofed deacs which fall into this category, a number of Ex Argentine Falklands war FALs exist and these were deactivated by the REME and have not been through the proof system. Pre 1988 deacs are not technically deacs, they are marked as being unsafe to proof, the certificates of which have numerous crossings out of the proof statements. I have maybe a dozen of these and the Police have no issue with them.
A Deac must be issued with a certificate when proofed by the proofhouse however once the firearm has left the proof house the cert becomes worthless. It is perfectly legal to own, transport and sell a deac with out the cert if the firearm bares a deac proof mark. The Police will not be interested in the certs at all if they want to inspect your gun, they are not worth the paper they are printed on.
Finally, the reason that the dealer openly sells these deacs and gets away with it is simple. The Police, CPS and Government are fully aware of the foreign deacs being sold in this country but are unwilling to take anyone to court because if they lost (Due to the CIP agreement and also European free trade laws) then it would open the flood gates for other CIP signatories to export there wares in the UK. There are people who bring German deacs into the UK and have them confiscated by Customs. Customs then send a letter to state that the gun is illegal and if you surrender it, no further action will be taken (Why would they do this if it was illegal) If cutoms are challenged to take it to court, they will back down and release the gun. So the easiest thing for the Government to do is to leave the laws an ambiguous mess and hope that the majority are too scared to take them on. Its only a matter of time before someone who has the money does take them to court.
So all I'm saying is, its not clear cut, its a massive grey area and we can't slander a dealer (I know It wasn't meant that way). The UK government needs to rejig its Deac regulations and bring them inline with the EU, why do we have such ambiguity on something as important as Firearms. I'm not all out for importing foreign deacs as I would prefer British, but when you look at the prices abroad and the variations they have available, we are the mugs. If someone wants to buy a deac with the purpose of trying to reactivate it then I hope the Law drops on you with all its might.
I hope everyone can see another side to the story, its never clear cut, there's always something else.
I am the owner of Tenbury Guns Limited and I thought I might contribute to this discussion as I am the subject of it and there is a lot of nonsense in it. I apologise for the length of this post - but I am angry that ill-informed people might affect my business.
We HAVE set a precedent. That is what we have tried to do because we are sick of the big 4/5 companies dominating the market in the UK and causing the prices to be higher than in Europe for inferior kit. We have stuck ... Wait , I have stuck my neck out and refused to accept the draining away of my liberties by recent governments. In fact it is because the laws they write are so logically inconsistent that I am able to do what I do and provide good cock, strip and dry-fire kit where no-one else will.
We have been investigated by the Home Office and they confirm that what we are doing is 100% UK-legal. If it wasn't - does anybody really think that we would not be locked up by now as oradour thinks we should? In fact the letter from the Home Office says: "As you know I took copies of the dealer issued deactivation certificates for each of the guns stocked in your Birmingham Armoury shop. These certificates, which outlined the nature of the deactivation work undertaken on each of the guns, have now been sighted by one of the UK Proof Masters and he has concurred that the deactivation work is of a suitably high standard so as to meet UK deactivation standards." and it concludes: "In short it is acceptable for you to continue trading as you currently are in these deactivated guns ...".
Oradour also makes himself look like one of the foolish official-line swallowing masses when he asserts "mere possession will get you 5 years at her majesty's pleasure ! no proof marks, no certificate = section 1 firearm w/o a licence" What utter nonsense. Just read the 68 Act. It says certificates provide only a presumption of deactivation. The real test is a practical one. I am a gunsmith and could buy a deac today with a UK PH certificate and make it live tomorrow. Does Oradour think it would be legal, because it has a cert? I don't do that because that would be illegal and I have no need to do so.
Ruddersrangers44 has augmented the fear, uncertainty and doubt by inventing some nonsense about not being able to transport it without a cert. He also spreads the oh, so wise advice to avoid people like me. Hmmmm.
Ben Evans nearly gets our name right (sorry to mention it Ben). If you want an M1C - I have one just for you at a discounted price because you haven't joined the kow-towing masses.
I assume Nitram is referring to me as "one asshat" dealer. Well mate - I wore a blue beret and a sand beret is my time. What asshat did you wear? However - you are right about people being ignorant of the law but that applies to the police as well. I am not ignorant of the law as I use it to my competitive advantage for my living.
For all those folks who read but do not understand - Lugerlout has copied out the words they need to think a bit more about. It describes the defining characteristic of a deactivated firearm in the first sentence of clause 2.16. That's it! There is no other definition. There is nothing about certs, transportation, marks in that defintion. Further it points out that a PH cert is only a presumption of deactivation and if "it can be shown otherwise" you will get nicked. The marks refer to the presumption of deactivation.
Lugerlout asks the question whether we have been approved by the SOS to issue certificates on behalf of the UK PHs. The answer is "No, but then I am not a member of the monopoly that is the Proof House and never would be. I don't like monopolies". But I am not doing that. I am issuing my own certification, which lists the work done to the deac (which isn't available on the PH cert) and which confirms the work done by another C.I.P. (look it up) member state. If UK certs were a legal requirement - I would not be able to do what I do - but they are not.
PmGrW wonders if we mark the deacs. We do if there is no mark from a C.I.P.-recognised country. Again - this is not a legal requirement. As to other dealers, I am certain that now I have pushed the door open - they will pour through it and I will be squashed in the rush. But remember - I am the one selling old-spec micro Galils and Zastava 21s today and I did it first.
We set out to do what we are doing from a genuine desire to provide old-spec guns that cannot be got from anywhere else. We have 100s of deacs sold in the 12 months that we have been doing this and I have spent zero time at Her Majesty's Pleasure.
Thanks for spending your time to read this.
m2bobby, I wish that I had noticed the small number 2 in the bottom right hand corner indicating that there was another page to the thread before I went off on my rant, posted earlier. I applaud your even-handed post. You make several vaild points but can I pick you up on "gets away with it"? That kinda suggests I am doing something inherently wrong, but finding a loophole to do it. I would assert that I am doing something very right.
I share your assessment of the reason however. In fact however, I do not support the C.I.P. argument btw. I know Oleg from FSU Connections uses this as the basis of what he does but I and my QC do not agree that the law allows for this as the European regulation allows for individual member states to augment the definition of what a deac is at their whim. Irrespective of that - I think that your reasoning is sound.
I too would prefer to buy UK deacs and would be happy to get my section 5 kit deactivated that route and sell them on as old-spec. But I will not subject my collection of historical pieces of kit to butchery that it does not need to have done to it. Once the bolt has been sawn in half and welded to the receiver it cannot be recovered. Large blobs of weld into a trigger group do the same thing.
I also agree that the simplest route to resolving the nonsense that is the UK law is to adopt the E.U. standard as the plethora of laws we have are inconsistent, piecemeal and potentially unjustly destructive of people's lives and liberties.
Thanks for your post.
Please accept my apologies Tenbury, bad choice of words on my part, that's not how it was meant to sound.
I've tried to re edit my initial post but the edit button isn't available.
Hi Tenbury, First of all, My post/thread wasn't intended to knock your business- I'm VERY pleased someone is in a position to stand up and change the system, it needs it as you know. What I intended to do was to get some kind of discussion going as to what the situation was. First we see factory deac'ed AK's (Can't remember what the site is called), and now this! It looks like things may be starting to get a little more sympathetic in the Don't-Trash-That-Rare-mp40/k98 etc scene once again. I can only hope!
I find this quite interesting as last week I had my shot cert renewed and had a chat and a cup of tea with the firearms officer and he actually said the same!
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