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COVID-19 Update – 31/12/2020

 Cumbria Firearms Licensing Unit continues working hard to process all firearms and explosives applications amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Due to Cumbria being placed under Tier 4 restrictions and the presence of the highly infectious strain of Coronavirus, we have been advised to stop conducting home visits in order to protect our staff and the public.

We will use other methods to contact you such as video-messaging or telephone while we anticipate that, due to the restrictions placed on us, the processing of renewal applications or variations may take longer than usual.

With immediate effect and until further notice, we will not be accepting grant applications as home visits are considered to be a vital part of the process to maintain public safety.  However;

  • If you have already applied for a grant but have not yet been visited, we will hold your application until such time as we are able to visit. 
  • If you have been visited, processing of your grant application will continue.

 To assist us, we would be grateful if you could avoid telephoning the office or enquiry officers unless the matter is urgent.  Please use the email address firearmslicensing@cumbria.police.uk for any enquiries.

Please keep checking our webpage for further updates.


 

Offensive Weapons Act 2019 – Compensation Scheme - 10/12/2020

Under the above act and with effect 16 May 2020, the possession of a range of offensive weapons, rapid firing rifles and bump stocks was prohibited.  With regard to firearms, those which extract empty cartridge cases using either energy from propellant gas or energy imparted to a spring or other storage device by propellant gas have been prohibited with the exception of firearms chambered for .22 rim-fire cartridges.

In effect, the following have been prohibited by this act;

  • Lever Release 9mm
  • Lever Release .45 ACP
  • Lever Release .223
  • Lever Release .308; and
  • VZ58 MARS rifle (calibre 5.56 x 45 and calibre 7.62 x 39)

 Since the prohibition, possessors have been able to retain these firearms until a compensation scheme was put in place.  Compensation arrangements under The Surrender of Offensive Weapons (Compensation) Regulations 2020 have now been made and, in order to qualify for compensation, such firearms must be surrendered between 10 December 2020 and 9 March 2021.  In addition, you must have acquired, or must have contracted to acquire, the firearm on or before 20 June 2018.

 You should not surrender these firearms at a police station.  Known possessors are being contacted directly; however, If you have such a gun and have not been notified by the Firearms Licensing Unit, you should either contact us by email at firearmslicensing@cumbria.police.uk or by telephone on 0330 124 0941.

Full details of the scheme, which also includes the range of prohibited edged weapons, can be found by clicking here.


 

COVID-19 Update – 08/12/2020

We will begin processing grant applications with effect 08/12/2020.  Please note that this process will entail a home visit by one of our enquiry officers.

As before, other enquiries such as renewal applications will be conducted by video calling wherever possible.  In the event that a physical visit is required, as much of the conversation as possible between you and the enquiry officer will take place either outdoors or in a suitably large, well-ventilated indoor space eg a barn.  The enquiry officer will only enter your home to check guns and security and will wear personal protective equipment.

Before any potential visit, as usual you will be contacted by the enquiry officer; however, you will now be asked questions regarding your health and that of other people in the house.  If anyone in the house has symptoms of a COVID-19 infection or are isolating, the visit will not take place.  You will be contacted again once everyone in the house has completed isolation to rearrange the appointment.


 

COVID-19 Update - 05/10/2020

Cumbria Firearms Licensing Unit are working hard to process all firearms and explosives applications amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  While Cumbria is not as badly affected as some other areas, we have been advised to stop conducting home visits in order to protect our staff and the public. 

We will use other methods to contact you such as telephone or video-messaging while we anticipate that, due to the restrictions placed on us, the processing of renewal applications or variations may take longer than usual.

Until further notice, we will not be accepting grant applications as home visits are considered to be a vital part of the process to maintain public safety. 

  • If you have already applied for a grant but have not yet been visited, we will return your application to you and refund the fee. 
  • If you have been visited and your application is approved, you will receive your certificate(s).

To assist us, we would be grateful if you could avoid telephoning the office or enquiry officers unless the matter is urgent.  Please use the email address firearmslicensing@cumbria.police.uk for any enquiries.

Please keep checking our webpage for further updates.


 

Deactivated Firearms - 17/12/2019

Legislation is changing to introduce a requirement to notify the Home Office of the transfer of deactivated firearms with effect 12/12/2019.  After this date, it will be an offence to transfer a deactivated firearm without notification.

If you have taken possession of a deactivated firearm on or since 14 September 2018, you will also be required to inform the Home Office.  If you took possession before that date, you will not be required to inform the Home Office until 14 March 2021.  Please see links below for forms and other information;

Notification of transfers of a deactivated firearm to the appropriate national authority

Notification of possession of a deactivated firearm to the appropriate national authority

View the Home Office circular 010/2019


 

 Firearms Security - 17/12/2019

With effect 12/12/2019, where a certificate holder is under 18, arrangements must be in place so that either the holder’s parent or guardian, or a person aged 18 years or over, with the correct certificate/authorisations, assumes responsibility for the secure storage of firearms/ammunition and shotguns.  Please see the link to the legislation below;

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2019/1419/made


 

Registered Firearms Dealers – Registers - 17/12/2019

An amendment has been made to the Firearms Rules requiring a change in the information to be recorded in registers regarding guns held by a Registered Firearms Dealer. Please see the requirements on the link to the legislation below;

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2019/1419/made


 

Firearms and Travelling to the Republic of Ireland following a No-Deal Brexit - 15/10/2019

In the event that the United Kingdom leaves the European Union on 31st October without a ratified withdrawal agreement, there will be some implications in relation to the Republic of Ireland and licenced firearms. Further information and links to application forms are available on the website of the Republic of Ireland Department of Justice and Equality here.


 

General Licences for Wild Birds - 12/09/2019

The Department for Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has recently launched a user survey aimed at gathering views and evidence from people affected by the use of general licences for control of certain species of wild birds, in specific circumstances.

Further information on the use of general licences can be found here.

The survey can be found here.


 

Offensive Weapons Act 2019 - 20/05/2019

 We have been notified by the Home Office that the above act was passed on 16 May 2019 and is applicable to firearms with actions know as "Manually-Actuated Release System (MARS)" and "Lever Release".

The prohibitions, with effect 16 May 2019, prohibit the manufacture, sale, transfer or acquisition of such weapons. The prohibition on possession will come into force at a later date, following the completion of the surrender and compensation arrangements (see below).

The 2019 act adds two new subsections to section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968. For certain rapid-firing rifles there is a new subesction 5(1)(ag) which prohibits:

  • Any rifle with a chamber from which empty cartridge cases are extracted using -
  • Energy from a propellant gas, or
  • Energy imparted to a spring or other energy storage device by propellant gas,
  • Other than a rifle which is chambered for .22 rim-fire cartridges

For "Bump Stocks" there is a new subsection 5(1)(ba) which prohibits:

  • Any device (commonly known as a bump stock) which is designed or adapted so that -
  • It is capable of forming part of or being added to a self-loading lethal barrelled weapon (as defined in section 57(1b) and (2a)
  • If it forms part of or is added to such weapon, it increases the rate of fire of the weapon by using the recoil from the weapon to generate repeated pressure on the trigger

Compensation and Surrender Arrangements

Section 56 to 59 of the 2019 Act sets out the surrender and compensation arrangements which must be followed before the prohibition on the possession of the above weapons can come into force. The arrangements are subject to secondary legislation before they can come into force.

Details on the arrangements for applying for compensation will be published in due course. These details will include who can apply for compensation, how they can apply, timescales for applications, what information owners need to supply to evidence ownership and surrender arrangements.

We will update our webpage accordingly when we have further information.


 

Licences for the Killing of Wild Birds - Update - 17/05/2019

As you may be aware, Natural England has now re-issued general licences for the killing of certain bird species for specific purposes. These include Carrion Crow to prevent serious damage to livestock, Wood Pigeon to prevent serious damage to crops and Canada Geese for public health and safety.

You are encouraged to read these licences to ensure that you are covered by them. The killing of other species and for other purposes may require you to apply for an individual licence.

Please refer to the Natural England Website for the latest information. The website can be found here.