If you are being questioned or charged regarding the uncertified possession of firearms and ammunition in the UK then it is highly advisable to look into the different factors that could affect the severity of the potential punishments as listed in the Section 1 Firearms Act 1969.
Aggravating and Mitigating Factors
There are certain factors that will be taken into consideration by the sentencing court when your case is being looked over. It may be worth asking yourself these same questions and contacting us for free, expect legal advice regarding your defence.
What are the details surrounding the firearm in question? Imitation or replica firearms are less dangerous than genuine firearms, just as loaded firearms are more dangerous than unloaded firearms, so consider the specifications of the weapon and the state it was in when discovered. Other factors such as unloaded firearms with available ammunition are more dangerous than an unloaded firearm with no available ammunition; it may show intent to use and the possibility of putting others in danger. Weapons that could not be considered for lawful use (like a sawn-off shotgun) would be considered more dangerous than a firearm which is capable of lawful use.
Intention of Use
Was there any use made of the firearm? All circumstances surrounding the possession and use of the firearm must be considered; the more premeditated and violent the use, the more serious the offence would be.
What were the intentions with regards to the possession and any use of the firearm? The more serious offences under the Section 1 of the Firearms Act are those in which a person has been proved to have specific intent to use the firearm; the more violent and severe the use, the more serious the punishment.
Are any previous convictions relevant? If you have a history of firearms offences then it is likely the punishment will be more severe.
Possession of Firearms by Adults
Possessing an uncertified firearm is a serious offence, and can carry a considerable punishment. A maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment/maximum fine can be given when tried in the Magistrates Court. Most cases, due to the serious nature of firearms offences end up in the Crown Court where the maximum sentence is 7 years imprisonment. Many of the factors mentioned in the above section can determine which court the case is tried in, such as intent of use and any criminal record.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a firearm offence and require expert legal representation, we strongly advise you to contact us for legal support. At Gray & Co we specialise in legal defence and have extensive experience in cases such as this, so give us a call on 01244 344 299 today or click here to go straight to our online contact form. If you have been charged with a different firearms offence, visit our dedicated page here for a summary of all firearms-related offences.