Sounds simple right? What an absolute minefield.
Sadly, most guns are worth tuppence, that old air rifle your dad bought you for your fourteenth birthday back in 1972 is probably one of 2.5 million produced and needs more spending on it to make it work than it’s worth. However, read on…..
As a real gun enthusiast it pains me that some very rare or antique guns are always handed in during the regular “Gun Amnesty’s” and are then destroyed. Most people don’t realise – especially in the case of vintage air guns – they are perfectly entitled to own the gun (providing they are over eighteen and not prohibited from doing so) and if it is a rare or unusual gun it could quite well be very valuable.
In the case of firearms, rifles, shotguns and the like, if they were not the certificate holder but their late father, brother, uncle ,aunt, whatever – was, in conjunction with a registered gun dealer or suchlike they may be granted permission to keep the guns under section seven of the Firearms Act until they themselves obtain a firearms certificate or until the guns are sold. Quite often some of these guns have been handed down through the family and they are of sentimental value and they wish to keep the gun but not apply for a firearms certificate. In this case it could be that the firearm is deactivated by a Gunsmith – we do this work occasionally – and the gun can then be hung on the living room wall should you desire.
As a gunsmith, having spent all of my life making broken guns work it was a day of very mixed emotions when I did my first deactivation. It was an almost surreal experience but on balance, the other alternative being destruction, it was the lesser of the evils as the family can now talk about the late father and point to his gun in memory of some of his escapades.