Tag Archives: firearm

The police gun amnesty – two weeks to surrender firearms and ammunition

The Police Gun Amnesty

A two-week police gun amnesty begins on 13 November 2017 across the UK.  During this period people will have an opportunity to dispose of firearms and ammunition safely.  It is advertised as there being ‘no questions asked’ upon surrender.

Who is the campaign aiming to reach?

police gun amnestyThe police gun amnesty is aimed at two distinct groups of people.  The first contains those who know they are in possession of illegal weapons or ammunition.  The second group are those who are perhaps innocent custodians of a weapon and are maybe even unsure as to its legal status.  Members of this group might be too frightened to do anything about it.

If I have a weapon what should I do?

You should ring 101 to make the necessary arrangements with the police. They will either direct you to take it to a nominated police station or arrange for its collection from you.

You do not have to give the police any information about yourself or the weapon if you do not wish to do so.

Will, I face prosecution?

police gun amnestyAs this is an amnesty you will not be prosecuted for possessing the weapon or ammunition at the point it is handed over to the police.

The police have made it clear, however, that the firearm may be inspected further to see whether it can be connected to any past criminal offences.

If the police discover that the weapon has been used in criminal activity then this will give rise to a further investigation.  The amnesty does not prevent the police arresting, interviewing and prosecuting people for those other offence

Are we able to help?

You might be in one of the groups who wish to take advantage of the amnesty.  You may, however, be worried about the issue of whether any criminal liability will arise.

If you have these worries then you will want to take advice before you take any action.  Please contact one of our specialist criminal lawyers at the nearest office to you.

two week police gun amnesty
VHS Fletchers offices across the East Midlands

Alternatively, please use the contact form below.




Firearm Minimum Sentence Avoided

Nottingham based senior Crown Court litigator Laura Clarson worked with counsel Dean Kershaw of No 5 Chambers to avoid a firearm minimum sentence of five years.

The Allegation

Laura’s client was stopped in customs at Birmingham airport.  He had arrived from Turkey where he had been working for a period of a few months.   His luggage was searched and he was found to be in possession of 3 tasers or stun guns.  These were disguised as torches.

As a result he was charged with possession of three disguised firearm under Section 5(1A)(a) of the Firearms Act 1968.   This meant that he was liable for a minimum sentence of five years custody.  This sentence could only be avoided if ‘exceptional circumstances’ applied.

Our client maintained throughout that he bought them from a market in Istanbul believing them to be torches.  He intended to keep one and give the others as gifts. He did not appreciate they also operated as stun guns.  Click here to see the items:

Disguised Stun Gun

Laura gave the difficult advice to the client, that as he knew that he had the items he was guilty of the offence.  His lack of knowledge as to how the items operated did not provide a defence.  He sought a second opinion from another firm of solicitors – in their rush to be optimistic, and perhaps tell him what he wanted to hear, the advice was legally incorrect.

Exceptional Circumstances

firearm minimum sentence
Birmingham Crown COurt

At the first Crown Court hearing our client pleaded guilty but on the basis set out to the police in interview.  The case was adjourned for a hearing as to whether he could be sentenced on that basis.  Counsel provided continuity of representation, despite being involved in a trial at the time.

Evidence was given by the client and submissions were made by Counsel.  Having heard from our client, the Judge was able to sentence him on a basis favourable to him.  Exceptional circumstances were said to apply, and in combination with extensive mitigation the Judge was able to impose a free-standing suspended sentence rather than the firearm minimum sentence of five years.

Laura’s client was relieved, being able to keep his employment and a roof over his head!

Contact Laura

Sometimes we have to give you difficult advice.  Even when we do that, you can be confident that we will continue to fight for the best outcome possible in your case.  If you wish to discuss a case involving a firearm minimum sentence or any other case with Laura please telephone 0115 9599550 or email her here.

She will provide you with advice on every aspect of your case, from funding, through to evidence, and likely outcome so that you can make the best choices.