UK laws

Discussion in 'Laws and Regulations' started by Crazylagger, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. Crazylagger

    Crazylagger New Member

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    Hi guys,

    I live for about 7 years in UK in England but don't know much about the laws in regards to slingshot, slingbows, knives, etc.

    Can anyone be kind enough to post some information here?

    Thanks very much indeed and I hope it would help a lot of folks in UK too.

    Crazylagger. :)
     
  2. i am not 100% but slingshot are fine and so are wrist braced ones.
    you can carry a knife if the blade is under 3 inches in length.
    that is all i know, hope that it helps! :)
     

  3. JJP

    JJP New Member

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    For daily carry with a knife the cutting edge of the blade has to be 3" (7.62cm) or less and must not lock (slipjoint/friction folder). For example if you work in an industry that requires a sturdier blade like a locker or a fixed blade you can carry, but only to/from your place of work.
    Not too sure on the specifics of slingshot carry; I think you can only shoot on private land, but one of the gurus can probably advise.
     
  4. CEZ

    CEZ New Member

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    If I were in the UK, I would buy a crossbow while they are still legal:)
    I think slingshots are very much legal there.
    Something I also like about UK laws is that you can hunt rabbits all you want as they are classified as vermin.
     
  5. lazyweapons

    lazyweapons New Member

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    knives with a blade less than 3 inches are legal (as long as it's not a fixed blade) pull out a knife in public, no matter how small than you're commiting an offence.
     
  6. JJP

    JJP New Member

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    Don't say that dude; 'cause its wrong and we don't want to be confusing people now.
    To carry without Valid Reason (such as a butcher requiring a cleaver or a camper requiring a fixed blade) the blade's Cutting Edge (not the entire blade length) has to be under 3" and the blade can not have any type of locking mechanism.
     
  7. Crazylagger

    Crazylagger New Member

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    Wow, thanks to everyone for sharing some information! It gives me a lot more confidence now.

    So can I carry my victorinox provided that its blade is less than 3" long in my backpack?

    To JJP:

    So does it mean that I can carry a blade that is less than 3" long in my backpack but I cannot take it out in public?

    Also, what do you mean by locking mechanism?

    Many thanks people!
     
  8. I don't have any direct experience with the UK apart from a brief visit when i was really young, but I have done quite a bit of research on the weapon laws of various countries.

    From what i understand:

    - Non-locking knives with cutting edges of 3 inches or less, kubotans and "marker sprays" (such as X-marker and EveAid) can be carried without "valid justification".

    - "Knives which have a blade opening automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in or attached to the handle of the knife" and "knives which have a blade released from the handle or sheath thereof by the force of gravity or the application of centrifugal force and which, when released, is locked in place by means of a button, spring, lever, or other device" are legal to possess for private use in one's home but illegal to manufacture, sell, hire, offer for sale or hire, expose for the purpose of sale or hire, have in one's possession for the purpose of sale or hire, lend or give to any other person.

    - All other knives are legal to purchase, manufacture and possess for private use in one's home but may not be carried without "valid justification".

    - Swords (with the exception of imitation katanas), machetes, axes and spears are legal to purchase, manufacture and possess for private use in one's home but may not be transported without "valid justification".

    - Imitation katanas (defined as katanas manufactured in a non-traditional manner) are legal to possess for private use in one's home but illegal to sell, hire, offer for sale or hire, expose for the purpose of sale or hire, have in one's possession for the purpose of sale or hire, lend or give to any other person.

    - Batons and clubs of all kinds are legal to possess for private use in one's home but illegal to carry, manufacture, sell, hire, offer for sale or hire, expose for the purpose of sale or hire, have in one's possession for the purpose of sale or hire, lend or give to any other person.

    - Slingshots are not considered weapons under UK law, but carrying a slingshot may be punished under the "Prevention of Crime Act 1953".

    - Bows and crossbows are legal to purchase, manufacture and possess for private use in one's home but their transport is subject to the same regulations as that of live firearms.

    - Air pistols generating less than 8.1 joules and air rifles generating less than 16.2 joules (of muzzle energy) are legal to purchase and possess for private use in one's home and on land where one has "lawful authority to shoot over", their transport is subject to the same regulations as that of live firearms.

    - "Imitation firearms" (defined as realistically coloured imitations of firearms whose model entered production from the year 1870 onwards) are legal to possess for private use in one's home and on land where one has "lawful authority to shoot over" but illegal to sell, hire, lend or give to any person who is not a registered member of an official airsoft team.

    - The possession of "section 2 firearms" requires a "shotgun certificate" or "SGC". Shotguns with a barrel longer than 24 inches and a capacity of 2+1 or less rounds are classed as "section 2 firearms".
    Owning "section 2 firearms" is a right under UK law.

    - The possession of "section 1 firearms" and any ammunition other than shot shells requires a "firearm certificate" or "FAC". Manually-loaded rifles, self-loading rifles of a caliber of .22 or lower, pump-action rifles of a caliber of .22 or lower, air rifles generating 16.2 or more joules of muzzle energy and shotguns with a barrel shorter than 24 inches or a round capacity higher than 2+1 are classed as "section 1 firearms".

    - The possession of "section 5 firearms", including but not limited to: handguns, air pistols generating 8.1 or more joules of muzzle energy, automatic firearms, self-loading rifles of a caliber higher than .22, pump-action rifles of a caliber higher than .22, front-firing blank guns, "devices designed to emit noxious gasses or other things", "launchers and mortars designed to propel a stabilized projectile with exception of pyrotechnical devices", "any kind of grenade or bomb with the exception of pyrotechnical devices", "cane-swords and other disguised weapons", brass knuckles (and similar devices such as SAP gloves) and nunchaku are illegal to possess and carry unless one has a "section 5 authority", in addition, it is illegal to manufacture, sell, hire, offer for sale or hire, expose for the purpose of sale or hire, have in one's possession for the purpose of sale or hire, lend or give away such weapons unless one has "lawful authority" to do so.

    - Shot shells (defined as rounds of ammunition containing 3 or more projectiles) are legal to possess without a "shotgun certificate" but illegal to sell, hire, lend or give to any person who is not in possession of a "shotgun certificate".
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
  9. KnuckieG

    KnuckieG New Member

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    DEEP BREATH FOLKS!!!

    The Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) Order 1988



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    © Crown Copyright 1988

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    The text of this Internet version of the Statutory Instrument has been prepared to reflect the text as it was Made. The authoritative version is the Queen's Printer copy published by The Stationery Office Limited as the The Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) Order 1988, ISBN 0110880196. Purchase this item. For details of how to obtain an official copy see How to obtain The Stationery Office Limited titles.
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    STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS
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    1988 No. 2019
    CRIMINAL LAW, ENGLAND AND WALES CRIMINAL LAW, NORTHERN IRELAND CRIMINAL LAW, SCOTLAND
    The Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) Order 1988
    Made 17th November 1988
    Coming into force 18th January 1989

    In exercise of the powers conferred upon me by section 141(2) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988[1] , a draft of this instrument having been laid before Parliament and having been approved by each House of Parliament, I hereby make the following Order:
    1. This Order may be cited as the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) Order 1988 and shall come into force two months after the day on which it is made.
    2. The Schedule to this Order shall have effect.

    Douglas Hurd
    One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State
    Home Office

    17th November 1988

    SCHEDULE
    Article 2

    1. Section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (offensive weapons) shall apply to the following descriptions of weapons, other than weapons of those descriptions which are antiques for the purposes of this Schedule:
    (a) a knuckleduster, that is, a band of metal or other hard material worn on one or more fingers, and designed to cause injury, and any weapon incorporating a knuckleduster;
    (b) a swordstick, that is, a hollow walking-stick or cane containing a blade which may be used as a sword;
    (c) the weapon sometimes known as a "handclaw" , being a band of metal or other hard material from which a number of sharp spikes protrude, and worn around the hand;
    (d) the weapon sometimes known as a "belt buckle knife" , being a buckle which incorporates or conceals a knife;
    (e) the weapon sometimes known as a "push dagger" , being a knife the handle of which fits within a clenched fist and the blade of which protrudes from between two fingers;

    (f) the weapon sometimes known as a "hollow kubotan" , being a cylindrical container containing a number of sharp spikes;

    (g) the weapon sometimes known as a "footclaw" , being a bar of metal or other hard material from which a number of sharp spikes protrude, and worn strapped to the foot;
    (h) the weapon sometimes known as a "shuriken" , "shaken" or "death star" , being a hard non-flexible plate having three or more sharp radiating points and designed to be thrown;
    (i) the weapon sometimes known as a "balisong" or "butterfly knife" , being a blade enclosed by its handle, which is designed to split down the middle, without the operation of a spring or other mechanical means, to reveal the blade;
    (j) the weapon sometimes known as a "telescopic truncheon" , being a truncheon which extends automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in or attached to its handle;
    (k) the weapon sometimes known as a "blowpipe" or "blow gun" , being a hollow tube out of which hard pellets or darts are shot by the use of breath;
    (l) the weapon sometimes known as a "kusari gama" , being a length of rope, cord, wire or chain fastened at one end to a sickle;
    (m) the weapon sometimes known as a "kyoketsu shoge" , being a length of rope, cord, wire or chain fastened at one end to a hooked knife;
    (n) the weapon sometimes known as a "manrikigusari" or "kusari" , being a length of rope, cord, wire or chain fastened at each end to a hard weight or hand grip;
    2. For the purposes of this Schedule, a weapon is an antique if it was manufactured more than 100 years before the date of any offence alleged to have been committed in respect of that weapon under subsection (1) of the said section 141 or section 50(2) or (3) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979[2] (improper importation).

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    Notes:



    [2] 1979 c.

    2002 Update

    2. This Order extends to England, Wales and Northern Ireland only.

    3. The Schedule to the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) Order 1988[2], which specifies offensive weapons for the purposes of section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, shall be amended by the insertion into paragraph 1 of that Schedule after sub-paragraph (n) the words -
    " (o) a disguised knife, that is any knife which has a concealed blade or concealed sharp point and is designed to appear to be an everyday object of a kind commonly carried on the person or in a handbag, briefcase, or other hand luggage (such as a comb, brush, writing instrument, cigarette lighter, key, lipstick or telephone).".

    John Denham
    Minister of State

    Home Office
    22nd June 2002

    Intent is what (sensible) coppers are worried about so you get weird hypothetical situations like imagine if you wake in your bedroom at night as a psychopathic axe wielding murderer is coming up the stairs if you grab the old faithful burglar deterrent cricket bat you keep next to your bed and clobber the bugger then YOU can get done as the cricket bat was next to your bed in with the intent to clobber axe wielding psychopaths.

    HOWEVER if you get to the landing and your absent minded son has absent mindedly left a razor sharp Katana Samurai Sword on the middle of the carpet and you pick it up and swipe the bugger you will be most likely be ok as the sword was the nearest thing to hand to defend yourself with. Now I'm not suggesting you leave swords on your landing just pointing out how intent influences how you can be dealt with. Interesting isn't it?


    This is from the cps website as a further bit of explanation.


    Offensive Weapons, Knives, Bladed and Pointed Articles

    Principles
    Youths
    Guidance - Selecting the Charge
    Either Way Offences
    Summary Offences
    Possession of an Offensive Weapon
    Defence
    Possession of Blades/Points
    Powers to search for blades/points
    Defence
    Court Security
    Procedure
    Mode of Trial
    Sentencing
    Offence seriousness (culpability and harm) A.
    Offence Seriousness (culpability and harm) B
    Sentencing Caselaw
    Youth Courts
    Blades/Points
    Offensive Weapons
    Ancillary Orders

    Principles

    Prosecutors should recognise that carrying an offensive weapon, or a knife, or a bladed/pointed article is a serious offence. The unlawful provision and possession of all weapons encourages violence and can cause serious injury and death in addition to facilitating other criminal offences.

    There is a strong public interest in deterring the carrying and use of knives and other offensive weapons. Accordingly, where there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction, the public interest will normally require a prosecution.

    Where the evidence discloses that the defendant has used a knife to cause injury/threaten violence/cause fear, or has carried a knife in a way which contravenes a possession offence, there will be a number of compelling public interest factors in favour of prosecution which should be accorded proper weight. These include the following:

    a conviction is likely to result in a significant sentence;
    a weapon was used or violence threatened during the commission of another offence;
    the offence is widespread in the area where it was committed;
    the offender was a ringleader;
    evidence that the offence was premeditated;
    there are grounds for believing the offence is likely to be repeated;
    prosecution would have a significant positive impact on maintaining community confidence; or
    a culture of carrying weapons encourages violence and may lead to more serious criminal behaviour.

    Depending on the facts, there may also be other important public interest factors supporting prosecution, for example, that the offence was committed in a hospital or public house, or that the defendant was motivated by hostility to another individual or group.

    The Code for Crown Prosecutors makes clear [paragraph 4.12] that a prosecution will usually take place unless there are public interest factors tending against prosecution which outweigh those tending in favour.

    Top of page
    Youths

    It has been agreed between ACPO and the CPS that a more serious response is required for youths aged 16 and 17. The starting point is for the police to charge youths aged 16 and 17 unless there are exceptional circumstances.

    A warning remains the normal response for a first offence committed by a youth aged 10 to 15 inclusive. A youth of 15 and under who admits an offence of possession of a bladed article or offensive weapon and has no previous convictions should be considered for diversion in accordance with the criteria set out in:

    Section 65 and 66 Crime and Disorder Act 1998;
    Home Office/Youth Justice Board Guidance on the Final Warning Scheme (November 2002);
    Home Office Circular 14/2006;
    ACPO Guidance on the Investigation, Cautioning and Charging of Knife Crime Offences 2012.

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    Guidance - selecting the charge

    Paragraph 6.1 of the Code for Crown Prosecutors states that charges should be selected which:

    reflect the seriousness of the offending;
    give the court adequate sentencing powers; and
    enable the case to be presented in a clear and simple way.

    This means that Crown Prosecutors may not always continue with the most serious charge where there is a choice nor continue with more charges than are necessary.

    However, where there is sufficient evidence to prove an offence of carrying an offensive weapon or bladed or pointed article in a public place or school in addition to another offence it is good practice to charge both offences, even where the knife or weapon has been used during the commission of the other offence.

    This will ensure that the prosecution case and the basis of any pleas are clear. It will also allow an offender to be brought to justice for an offence of possession, and allow the court to order the forfeiture and destruction of the weapon if the defendant is acquitted of the other offence.

    When a defendant is in possession of an offensive weapon / knife / bladed article while committing a public order offence, the level of charging should be determined with reference to Public Order Offences incorporating the Charging Standard, elsewhere in the Legal Guidance.

    The most appropriate charges are likely to be drawn from the following:

    Top of page
    Either Way Offences

    Section 1 Prevention of Crime Act 1953 (Offensive Weapons) (Archbold 24-106 to 24-124)
    Section 139 Criminal Justice Act 1988 ( Bladed and Pointed Articles) (Archbold 24-125 to 24-128)
    Section 139A Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons, Bladed and Pointed Articles on school premises) (Archbold 24-129 to 24-131a)
    Section 28 Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 (Using another person to mind a dangerous weapon) (Archbold 24-143 to 24-146)
    Section 1 Knives Act 1997 (Unlawful marketing of knives etc.) (Archbold 24-133 to 24-142) (Stones 8-22728 to 8-22738)

    Summary Offences

    Section 1 Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959 (manufacture, sale etc. of flick knives and gravity knives) (Stones 8-22649)
    Section 1 Crossbows Act 1987 ( sale/let crossbows to a person under 18) (Stones 8-22660)
    Section 2 Crossbows Act 1987(purchase/hire of crossbow by a person under 18) (Stones 8-2261)
    Section 3 Crossbows Act 1987 Unsupervised possession of a crossbow by a person under 18) (Stones 8-22662)
    Section 141 Criminal Justice Act 1988 (manufacture, sale etc. of offensive weapons) ( Stones 8-22684)
    Section 141A Criminal Justice Act 1988 (sale of knives, axes, swords etc. to a person under 18) (Stones 8-22685)

    Top of page
    Possession of an Offensive Weapon

    Section 1 of the Prevention of Crime Act 1953 prohibits the possession in any public place of an offensive weapon without lawful authority or excuse. (Archbold 24-106a.)

    The term 'offensive weapon' is defined as: "any article made or adapted for use to causing injury to the person, or intended by the person having it with him for such use".

    The courts have been reluctant to find many weapons as falling within the first limb of the definition and reliance should usually be placed upon the second. On that basis, it must be shown that the defendant intended to use the article for causing injury (Archbold 24-115).

    Lord Lane, CJ. in R v Simpson (C) (78 Cr. App. R. 115), identified three categories of offensive weapons:

    those made for causing injury to the person i.e. offensive per se. For examples of weapons that are offensive per se, see Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) Order 1988, (Stones 8-22745) and case law decisions. (Archbold 24-116). The Criminal Justice Act (1988) (Offensive Weapons) (Amendment) Order 2008 came into force on 6th April 2008 with the effect that a sword with a curved blade of 50cm or more (samurai sword), has been added to the schedule to the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) Order 1988;
    those adapted for such a purpose;
    those not so made or adapted, but carried with the intention of causing injury to the person.

    In the first two categories, the prosecution does not have to prove that the defendant had the weapon with him for the purpose of inflicting injury: if the jury are sure that the weapon is offensive per se, the defendant will only be acquitted if he establishes lawful authority or reasonable excuse.
    Defence

    The defendant is entitled to be acquitted if he shows on the balance of probabilities that he had "lawful authority or reasonable excuse" for having the weapon (Archbold 24-121-122). Where details of a defence are given in interview or in a defence statement, the CPS should consider whether evidence is available to rebut the defence and should liaise with the police if additional enquiries or evidence are necessary.

    Top of page
    Possession of Blades/Points

    Section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 prohibits having with you, in a public place of any article which has a blade or is sharply pointed, (including a folding pocket knife if the cutting edge of its blade exceeds 7.62cm/3 inches) (Archbold 24-125).

    Section 139A of the 1988 Act extends the geographical scope of both of the above offences to school premises.

    For the purposes of sections 139 and 139A of the Act:

    a butterknife, with no cutting edge and no point is a bladed article; (Booker v DPP 169J.P. 368, DC);
    a screwdriver is not a bladed article; (R v Davis [1998] Crim L.R. 564 CA);
    a "lock knife" does not come into the category of "folding pocket knife" because it is not immediately foldable at all times; (R v Deegan [1998] 2 Cr. App. R. 121 CA).

    Powers to search for blades/points

    The police power to search school premises for bladed and pointed article and offensive weapons was amended by section 48 Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 with effect from 31 May 2007 and allows the police to exercise this power if there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that an offence under section 139A (having a bladed or pointed article or offensive weapon on school premises) is being committed.

    Section 550AA Education Act 1996 gives members of staff power to search school pupils for bladed and pointed articles and offensive weapons.

    Section 85B Further and Higher Education Act 1992 gives members of staff power to search students at an institute for further education for bladed and pointed articles and offensive weapons. Section 47 Violent Crime Reduction Act 2007 extends this power to search to staff at attendance centres with effect from 1 October 2007.
    Defence

    The defendant is entitled to be acquitted if he shows on the balance of probabilities that:

    he had "good reason or lawful authority" for having the bladed or pointed article; or
    he had the article for use at work; or
    he had the article for religious reasons; or
    he had the article as part of a national costume; (Archbold 24-125).

    The defendant does not discharge the burden of showing "good reason" just by providing an explanation that is not contradicted by the prosecution evidence: (Archbold 24-128). Where details of a defence are given in interview or in a defence statement, the CPS should consider whether evidence is available to rebut the defence and should liaise with police if additional enquiries or evidence are necessary. Any defence should be tested by robust cross examination.

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    Court Security

    Section 52 of the Courts Act 2003 provides court security officers acting in the execution of their duty with the power to search

    any person who is in, or seeking to enter, a court building, and
    any article in the possession of such a person

    Section 54 of the Courts Act 2003 provides court security officers with the power to request the surrender or seize an article that may:

    jeopardise the maintenance of order in the court building (or a part of it)
    put the safety of any person in the court building at risk, or
    be evidence of, or in relation to, an offence

    Section 146 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 amends the Courts Act 2003 by inserting section 55A thereby allowing court security officers to retain a knife seized for so long as necessary to enable them to draw it to the attention of a constable.

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    Procedure
    Mode of Trial

    There are no mode of trial guidelines for the either way offences involving knives and weapons, but trial on indictment should be recommended where the magistrates sentencing powers are inadequate because of the presence of one or more aggravating features including:

    the defendant was in possession of more than one weapon;
    the weapon was used or produced whilst committing another offence;
    serious injury was intended or caused;
    the offence was a "hate crime";
    the location of the offence;
    the weapon was recovered in connection with drug dealing, gang association or any other organised criminal activity.

    Prosecutors are reminded that where a weapon is used in dangerous circumstance to threaten, or cause fear, the Sentencing Guidelines Council recommends that the starting point for a first time adult offender would be a custodial sentence of 6 months if he pleads not guilty, but was subsequently found guilty by the courts. (Please see the guidance below.)

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    Sentencing

    Prosecutors should assist the court by drawing the Sentencing Council's guidance to its attention and reminding the court of the power to commit for sentence where the seriousness of the offence requires a custodial sentence in excess of 6 months.

    The Sentencing Guidelines Council issued guidance to magistrates' courts sentencing offenders on or after 4 August 2008, following the Court of Appeal's judgment in R v Povey and others [2008] EWCA Crim 1261 Note: The recommendation in R v Povey [2008] EWCA Crim 1262 and others that the guidance should normally be applied at the most severe end of the appropriate range of sentences. (See below in this guidance.)

    The guideline provides three categories of seriousness:

    Level One applies where a person has a weapon or bladed article, is not in a "dangerous circumstance" and the weapon or bladed article is not used to threaten or cause fear.

    Level Two applies where a weapon is in the possession of the offender in "dangerous circumstances" but is not used to threaten or cause fear.

    Level Three applies where a weapon is used in "dangerous circumstances" to threaten or cause fear.

    "Dangerous circumstance" has not been judicially defined but was used in the previous Court of Appeal guideline judgment in Celaire and Poulton. In relation to a knife, a circumstance is likely to be dangerous if there is a real possibility that it could be used.

    In making its decision on sentence, the magistrates' court is required to consider offence seriousness, (culpability and harm) and aggravating features and then go on to consider offender mitigating features.
    Offence seriousness (culpability and harm) A.

    Identify the appropriate starting point.

    Starting points based on first time offender pleading not guilty.

    Example of nature of activity: Weapon no used to threaten or cause fear
    Starting Point: High level community order where the offensive weapon is not a knife. Close to 12 weeks custody where the weapon is a knife
    Range: Band C fine to 12 weeks custody

    Example of nature of activity: Weapon not used to threaten or cause fear but offence committed in dangerous circumstances
    Starting Point: 6 weeks custody where the weapon is not a knife. A custodial sentence in excess of 6 months where the weapon is a knife
    Range: High level community order to Crown Court

    Example of nature of activity: Weapon used to threaten or cause fear; and offence committed in dangerous circumstances
    Starting Point: A custodial sentence in excess of 6 months (Crown Court)
    Range: Crown Court
    Offence Seriousness (culpability and harm) B

    Consider the effect of aggravating and mitigating factors (other than those within examples above).

    Common aggravating and mitigating factors - the following may be particularly relevant but these lists are not exhaustive.

    Factors indicating higher culpability:

    Particularly dangerous weapon
    Specifically planned use of weapon to commit violence, threaten violence or intimidate
    Offence motivated by hostility towards minority individual or group
    Offender under influence of drink or drugs
    Offender operating in group or gang.

    Factors indicating greater degree of harm:

    Offence committed at school, hospital or other place where vulnerable persons may be present
    Offence committed on premises where people carrying our public services
    Offence committed on or outside licensed premises
    Offence committed on public transport
    Offence committed at large public gathering, especially where there may be risk of disorder.

    Factors indicating lower culpability:

    Weapon carried only on temporary basis
    Original possession legitimate e.g. in the course of trade or business.

    In making its decision on sentence, the magistrates' court is required to consider offence seriousness, (culpability and harm) and aggravating features and then go on to consider offender mitigating features.

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    Sentencing Caselaw

    It may be helpful for the court to consider the questions posed by the Court of Appeal in the case of R v Avis [1998] 1 Cr. App. R. 420 CA:

    What sort of weapon is involved? Genuine firearms are more dangerous than imitation firearms. Loaded firearms are more dangerous than firearms for which no ammunition is available. Possession of a firearm which has no lawful use (such as a sawn off shotgun) will be viewed more seriously than possession of a firearm which is capable of lawful use.
    What (if any) use has been made of the firearm? It is necessary for the court, as with any other offence, to take account of all circumstances surrounding any use made of the firearm - the more prolonged and premeditated and violent the use, the more serious the offence is likely to be.
    With what intention (if any) did the defendant possess or use the firearm? Generally speaking, the most serious offences under the Act are those which require proof of a specific criminal intent (to endanger life, to cause fear of violence, to resist arrest, to commit an indictable offence). The more serious the act intended, the more serious the offence.
    What is the defendant's record? The seriousness of any firearms offence is inevitably increased if the offender has an established record of committing firearms offences or crimes of violence.

    The Court of Appeal issued the following sentencing guidance for offences of having an offensive weapon in R v Poulton; R v Celaire [2003] 1 Cr. App. R. (S)

    Where the offence is committed in conjunction with another offence, the usual considerations in relation to totality apply, that is:

    a concurrent sentence will usually be appropriate if the weapons offence is ancillary to another more serious offence;
    a consecutive sentence will usually be required where the weapons offence is distinct and independent of another offence.

    A balance must be struck between the offence not in itself involving injury and the public's legitimate concern that a culture of carrying weapons encourages violence and may lead to more serious criminal behaviour.

    In assessing the seriousness of the offence, it is necessary to consider:

    the offender's intention;
    the circumstances of the offence; and
    the nature of the weapon(s) involved.

    In R v Povey, R v McGeary, R v Pownall and R v Bleazard [2008] EWCA Crim 1261, Sir Igor Judge, delivering the decision of the Court of Appeal in 4 appeals against sentence for offences of offensive weapon and bladed article, made the following general observations:

    "Every weapon carried about the streets, even if concealed from sight, even if not likely to be or intended to be used, and even if not used represents a threat to public safety and public order." (paragraph 3.)

    "In our view, it is important for confidence in the criminal justice system that the man or woman caught in possession of a knife or offensive weapon without reasonable excuse should normally be brought before the courts and prosecuted.

    "For the time being, whatever other considerations may arise in the individual case, sentencing courts must have in the forefront of their thinking that the sentences for this type of offence should focus on the reduction of crime, including its reduction by deterrence, and the protection of the public.

    "Even if the offender does no more than carry the weapon, even when the weapon is not used to threaten or cause fear, when considering the seriousness of the offence courts should bear in mind the harm which the weapon might foreseeably have caused. So the message is stark. This is a serious offence and it should be treated with the seriousness that it deserves." (paragraph 4.)

    Sir Igor Judge then reflected on the previous decisions of the Court of Appeal including R V Poulton and Celaire [2003] 1 Cr. App. R (S) and made two further observations specific to sentencing.

    "First the guideline decision of this court in Poulton and Celaire was decided in October 2002, following advice from the Sentencing Advisory Panel given in 2000. All the subsequent decisions have followed that guidance. Conditions now are much more grave than they were five and a half years ago and the guidance given in Poulton and Celaire should be applied with the current grave situation as we have endeavoured to explain it, and the sentencing considerations we have just identified clearly in mind. This is what we have done in these cases.

    "Second, we recommend that any relevant guidance from the Sentencing Guidelines Council to magistrates should normally be applied at the most severe end of the appropriate range of sentences." (paragraph 5.)

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    Youth Courts

    It will almost always be appropriate, in the case of young offenders, to obtain a pre-sentence report before proceeding to sentence (Archbold 24-109).
    Blades/Points

    There are no sentencing guidelines but some of the observations for offensive weapons (below) may be helpful.

    In R v Williams [2007] 1 Cr.App.R. (S) 207 CA, a custodial sentence imposed on a 19 year old for carrying a bladed article was quashed. The Court of Appeal held that although the carrying of knives by young men is a serious problem and that there would be occasions where such offences cross the custody threshold, that was not this case, which had no aggravating factors (such as possession of a weapon with no legitimate purpose) and much mitigation. (Archbold 24-127.)

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    Offensive Weapons

    In relation to an adult offender of previous good character, the custody threshold will almost invariably be passed where he is convicted of having an offensive weapon and there is a combination of dangerous circumstances and actual use of the weapon to threaten or cause fear. (Archbold 24-109.)

    A sentence at or near the statutory maximum of 4 years is appropriate where the offender:

    has previous convictions for violence or carrying weapons;
    is convicted of carrying a particularly dangerous weapon;
    has a clear intention to cause fear or injury; and
    in circumstances involving any of the aggravating factors set out below. (Archbold 24-109.)

    Aggravating factors are:

    specifically planned use of the weapon to commit violence or threaten violence or intimidate others;
    hostility towards a minority group or individual or group, which may give rise to an aggravating feature, such as racial motivation within the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, sec 28; and
    acting under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

    A community sentence toward the top end of the range may be appropriate where there are no aggravating features, no threat has been made and the weapon is not particularly dangerous.

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    Ancillary Orders

    Prosecutors should seek forfeiture of any knives and weapons. An Anti-Social Behaviour Order should be applied for where the offender's behaviour has caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to person(s) outside his household and the Order is necessary to protect relevant persons from further anti-social acts by him. Reference should be made to the Ancillary Orders Toolkit elsewhere in the Legal Guidance.

    The way the system works is if you were carrying something for another (legitimate) purpose and were forced to use it to defend yourself (or your family), then thats just about acceptable, but if you were carrying it for use as a weapon in case you got attacked, then that isn't.

    just one more thing, if say, you were attacked, and you by chance happened to spot a aerosol can AND HAD NO IDEA AS TO THE CONTENTS and then pleaded, utter shock and ignorance that it contained pepper spray of all things! (also pepper spray is illegal full stop its a section 7 (i think!) firearm, and u can be prosecuted just for possessing it!)
    and there wasn't too many of your finger prints on it and your acting skills arent to shabby then the police could conceivably buy your version of events but I really think it's a stupid idea and not worth the risk.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
  10. KnuckieG

    KnuckieG New Member

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    Gun laws in the uk.

    General Information

    To possess any kind of firearm in the UK, any person, including foreign nationals resident within the UK, must normally hold either a Shotgun Certificate (SGC) or a Firearm Certificate (FAC). Air rifles which produce less than 12 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle, and air pistols which produce less than 6 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle, are not classed as "firearms" for certification purposes, but they are still subject to various laws restricting their ownership and use.

    It is an offence under Section 21 Firearms Act 1968 as amended, for anyone convicted of a criminal offence, to handle, possess, or shoot a firearm and ammunition (this includes Air Guns). If the sentence was for more than three years the prohibition is for life; if less than three years the prohibition is for five years (note: it is the sentence, not the time served, which is the determining factor).
    Firearm Certificates (FAC)

    A firearm is, broadly speaking for certification purposes, any lethal, barrelled weapon which isn't a shotgun or an airgun or a "prohibited weapon". The term "prohibited weapon" covers a multitude of devices including, but not limited to, machine guns, rocket launchers, pepper sprays, semi-automatic and pump-action centrefire rifles, disguised firearms, grenades, torpedoes and "any firearm which either has a barrel less than 30cm in length or is less than 60cm in length overall" (the most common member of this last group is a cartridge loading pistol).

    For the purposes of legal possession of a firearm, effectively the above leaves black powder weapons (both rifles and pistols), manually loaded centre-fire cartridge rifles (and all types of .22 rimfire rifles), and manually loaded cartridge pistols with dimensions larger than those defined above. All these weapons are what are termed "Section 1" firearms and are held on a Section 1 Firearms Certificate (there are other Sections for different categories of firearms, for example machine guns are in Section 5 and historic breech-loading firearms are in Section 7). It is difficult for private citizens to obtain an FAC for other than one covering Section 1 firearms.

    An application for an FAC can be obtained from any police station. For an application to be successful applicants must demonstrate to the police that they have satisfactory security in place. They must also demonstrate that they have "good reason to possess" firearms and must produce such "good reason" for each individual firearm applied for. Unlike the SGC an FAC only gives authority for specific individual rifles or pistols, and the applicant must justify possession of each one separately. Applicants must nominate two referees to support their application and must declare all criminal convictions, no matter how old or trivial. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not apply in respect of firearms legislation. Once granted an FAC is valid for five years. A person over the age of 18 may be granted an FAC and may then buy firearms and ammunition as authorised by the certificate. An FAC may also be granted to a person between 14 and 18, but this will only authorise the possession of the firearms specified thereon - it will not authorise the purchase of firearms or ammunition. FACs are not granted to anyone under the age of 14.
    Firearms storage and safe keeping in the home.

    The precise requirements for storage of firearms are not actually specified in law. The legislation merely says that they "must be stored securely at all times so as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, access to the guns by unauthorized persons". In practice, a steel cabinet constructed and certified to comply with BS 7558 and Rawlbolted to a solid wall is the norm. The vast majority of commercially available gun and rifle cabinets meet the necessary standards. If your premises have shared access, for example if you live in a block of flats, the requirements may be more stringent. In all cases the requirement to prevent access to the firearms by "unauthorised persons", means anyone who doesn't personally hold a FAC. This means that even members of your family must not have keys to the cabinet or even know where you keep them.


    For further information on FAC procedures see the How to obtain a Firearm Certificate page.
    Shotgun Certificates (SGC)

    A shotgun is, broadly speaking for certification purposes, a smooth-barrelled gun which discharges a number of pellets, rather than a single projectile, when it is fired. Shotguns held on a SGC must not be capable of holding more than three cartridges in total. They may be single barrel, double barrel, pump action or semi-automatic, but the three cartridge limit still applies and the barrel(s) must be longer than 24 inches. Pumps and semi-autos must be longer than 40 inches overall.

    An application for an SGC can be obtained from any police station. For an application to be successful applicants must demonstrate to the police that they have satisfactory security in place and that the possession of a shotgun would not constitute a danger to public safety or to the peace. Applicants must nominate a counter-signatory to approve their application and must declare all criminal convictions, no matter how old or trivial. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not apply in respect of firearms legislation. Once granted, an SGC is valid for five years and authorises the possession of any number of shotguns and most types of shotgun ammunition. There is no minimum age for the grant of an SGC.

    Shotguns which have barrels shorter than 24 inches, or which are capable of firing more than three shots without reloading, may NOT be held on an SGC. They are dealt with under the FAC provisions. Similarly some types of shotgun ammunition, such as solid slug cartridges, may only be held on an FAC.
    Shotgun storage and safe keeping in the home.

    The precise requirements for storage of shotguns are not actually specified in law. The legislation merely says that they "must be stored securely at all times so as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, access to the guns by unauthorized persons". In practice, a steel cabinet constructed and certified to comply with BS 7558 and Rawlbolted to a solid wall is the norm. The vast majority of commercially available gun and rifle cabinets meet the necessary standards. If your premises have shared access, for example if you live in a block of flats, the requirements may be more stringent. In all cases the requirement to prevent access to the shotgun by "unauthorised persons", means anyone who doesn't personally hold a SGC. This means that even members of your family must not have keys to the cabinet or even know where you keep them.

    For further information on SGC procedures see the How to obtain a Shotgun Certificate page.
    Air Gun Information

    Air rifles which produce muzzle energy higher than 12 foot pounds and air pistols higher than 6 foot pounds at the muzzle, are classed as firearms and an FAC is necessary to possess them legally. If the gun is below the stated figures then no certification of any kind is required to either, buy, possess or use them. The onus is on the owner of the gun to ensure that it does not exceed those power levels. If the gun does exceed those levels, even if the owner is completely unaware of the fact, then the owner is guilty of illegal possession of a firearm.

    People over the age of 18 may purchase and own low-powered air rifles and air pistols, and the ammunition for them, and use them, but only where they have specific permission to shoot.

    People between 14 and 17 may borrow (but not own or purchase) low-powered air rifles and air pistols, and the ammunition for them, and may use them without supervision, on private premises where they have specific permission to shoot. People in this age group may NOT buy or hire an air rifle, air pistol or ammunition, or receive them as a gift. People in this age group may NOT have an air rifle or air pistol in a public place unless supervised by somebody aged 21 or over, AND have a reasonable excuse to do so.

    People under 14 years of age may only use low-powered air rifles and air pistols on private property where they have specific permission to shoot, AND whilst they are under the direct supervision of someone 21 years of age or older. People in this age group may NOT buy, hire or receive an air rifle, air pistol or ammunition as a gift, or shoot, anywhere at any time, unless supervised by somebody aged 21 or over.

    Any person on private property without permission is trespassing, and if that person has an air rifle or an air pistol, even a low-powered one in their possession, then they are committing the offence of armed trespass. It is irrelevant whether the gun is loaded or not, or even whether the person has any pellets in their possession. The mere possession of the airgun is sufficient for conviction. Armed trespass is a serious criminal offence carrying heavy penalties.

    Air guns which make use of self-contained air or gas cartridges, where the gas or air propellant and the pellet or bullet are contained within a single self-contained cartridge are now prohibited. (The most common example was the Brocock revolver). People who owned such airguns prior to the ban in 2004 were permitted to retain them, but only if they were entered on an FAC. Even the ones held on an FAC may not now be sold, or even given away. The only permitted method of disposal is to hand them to the police for destruction. Possession of such airguns without an FAC carries exactly the same penalties as those for possession of other unauthorised firearms.
    Airgun storage and safe keeping in the home.

    Since air rifles producing less than 12 foot pounds muzzle energy, and air pistols producing less than 6 foot pounds of energy are not included in the firearms licensing procedures, the Firearms Acts are silent on storage requirements for such guns. However, since 10th February 2011, there is a requirement under the Crime and Security Act 2010 that airgun owners must "take reasonable precautions to stop unauthorised access to their airguns by people under the age of 18." The law does not specify what constitutes "reasonable precautions" and guidance to the police says that each individual case will be dealt with on its merits and that, "it is not possible to be prescriptive" about exact security provisions.

    MRPC advice of course, is that all shooters should ensure that their airguns are stored securely, so that they cannot be misused by anyone, but there is no legal requirement to store airguns to the same security levels as firearms or shotguns.

    It's always worth looking at the laws before arguing about what they might be [​IMG] pretty sensible on the whole.


    Interesting articles http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10220974

    http://http://www.guardian.co.uk/com...-thomas-sowell

    Yeah its a complex issue but there are guns there for people willing to jump through hoops whether there are more than the illegal guns (and more crucially ammo) in the hands of criminals in the uk? Who knows?
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
  11. KnuckieG

    KnuckieG New Member

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    Btw I just found the video of your avatars catty it was incredibly inspirational to me you're borderline genius in my eyes just brilliant! :)
     
  12. Crazylagger

    Crazylagger New Member

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    Wow... that's a lot of information to process hehe :D

    I think just a link would good enough mate :D

    But hey, thanks very much for the effort! I learned things that did know at all! Like pepper spray.... interesting indeed...

    Well, back to reading again :)