Tag Archives: firearms

Brexit and the European Firearms Pass

As the government prepares to bring us out of the European Union on 31st October 2019, details have begun to emerge as to the legal and regulatory position if we leave without a deal.

Some of the first information released relates to firearms, although it regrettably raises more questions than it answers.

Given the importance of complying to the letter with firearms laws both here and abroad, those affected must take steps to keep up to date, and this may involve quite close monitoring over the next few weeks. The same is true in relation to other areas of regulatory and criminal law compliance.

What is the current situation?

A UK resident who wants to travel to the EU with their shotgun or a firearm can apply for a European Firearms Pass. This is a licence, or passport, that allows travel between member states, you must also have a licence from the UK to hold the firearm. Depending on the country you are travelling to, there may be other documents required. All weapons have to be declared to customs and also to the travel company you are using for transport.

Will the European Firearms Pass change?

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, you will no longer be able to apply for a European Firearms Pass.

What will happen instead?

You will need to check the firearms licensing requirements of the country, before travelling.

This will also apply if you are in an EU country with the firearm with a European Firearms Pass at the time the UK leaves the EU.

european firearms pass
Example application form for the European Firearms Pass

What about visitors to the UK?

If you are sponsoring a visitor from the EU, who wants to bring a firearm to the UK, you need to apply to the local UK police force for a visitor’s permit. A permit that is issued before the UK leaves the EU remains valid until it has expired.

Once the UK leaves the EU, the European Firearms Pass will no longer be recognised for EU visitors to the UK. Sponsors of visitors will not need to show a valid Pass.

What should I do?

It is not yet known whether the UK will leave the EU without a deal in October. If you intend to travel with your firearm, it is advisable to check the licensing requirements of the country that you are visiting as countries have varying lead times for applying for licences. Without a proper licence, you may not be allowed to travel with your firearm.

Contact a firearms law specialist

If you are concerned with any aspect of regulatory criminal law and Brexit as it relates to firearms then get in touch for advice on the latest position.

Contact regulatory and firearms law specialist Andrew Broome at our Ilkeston office on 0115 9441233 or by email here.

Regulatory and firearms law solicitor Andrew Broome



Expert Firearms Team at Wolverhampton Court

expert firearms team
Wolverhampton Crown Court

Senior Crown Court litigator Laura Clarson was responsible for the preparation of a case before Wolverhampton Crown Court recently.  She assembled an expert firearms team of barrister and witness. Her client was acquitted by a unanimous jury verdict following a trial lasting eight days.

Expert Firearms Team

Counsel Nick Doherty from Brudenell Chambers instructed to represent our client. He has a particular specialism in firearms law so was a perfect choice.  Laura also instructed firearms expert David Dyson to comment on the evidence as to whether live or blank ammunition was used.

Laura’s client had a licence to hold firearms.  He was charged with possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of unlawful violence.  It was said that he fired live rounds of ammunition in the middle of the street in which he lived.

Bullet casings recovered from the scene together with evidence of an independent witness which supported this. Laura’s client maintained that no live rounds were discharged from the rifle and that he fired a single blank round in order to scare away two males. They were armed with a machete and a samurai sword.  They were threatening him and his sons with those weapons.

As a result, our client claimed that no unlawful violence was threatened.  He was acting in defence of himself and his family.

Mr Dyson, as a leading expert witness in the field of firearms, was called to give evidence as to the type of ammunition recovered. and was able to give independent opinion supportive of our client’s case.

Undisclosed Evidence

Laura had to actively pursue the prosecution for undisclosed evidence.  A witness had given information to the police that was helpful to her client.  This information had not been disclosed by the police because she wanted to remain anonymous.

Counsel was successful in arguing that her statement should be read to the jury in support of our client’s case.

Judge Dismissive of Defence

Despite direction from the judge that was very dismissive of our client’s case, the jury found him not guilty, presumably on the basis that his actions may have been reasonable in all of the circumstances of the case.

After trial, counsel commented that Laura was ‘a credit to the firm really fights for her clients’.

Contact Us

This case came to us through our consultant solicitor Andrew Broome who has a specialist knowledge of firearms law.  If you are charged with a firearms offence then you will need an expert firearms team to give you advice and representation then we will be able to help.

Please contact Laura on 0115 9599550 or Andrew on 0115 9441233.  Alternatively, they can be emailed here.