HC Deb 18 May 1989 vol 153 cc256-7W
Mr. Nicholas Winterton

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he plans to implement the remaining provisions of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988.

Mr. Hurd

I signed a commencement order on 17 May 1989 which will bring into effect the remaining provisions of the Act as follows:

Sections coming into force on 1 July 1989
Section 2 (Re-definition of exempted shotguns)
Section 3 (Grant and renewal of shotgun certificates)
Section 4 (Transfers of shotgun)
Section 5 (Restriction on sale of ammunition for smooth-bore guns)
Section 6 (Shortening of barrels)
Sections 7(2) and 7(3) (Conversion of weapon to which section 1 of the 1968 Act applies not to affect classification)
Section 11 (Grant of co-terminous certificates)
Section 13(1) (Firearms dealers)
Section 15 (Rifle and pistol clubs)
Section 19 (Firearms and ammunition in museums)
Section 20 (Removal of arms and ammunition to Northern Ireland)
Section 23(4) (Minor and consequential amendments)
Section 24(2) (Expenses and receipts)
Sections coming into force on 1 October 1989
Section 17 (Visitors' permits)
Section 18 (Firearms acquired for export)
Section 23(8) (Repeal of section 14 of the 1968 Act)

Transitional arrangements have been made to allow owners of smooth-bore guns raised to section I control a period of seven months—from 1 July 1989 to 31 January 1990—in which to comply with the new controls. During this time they will have a number of options open to them. If they wish to retain the weapon in its existing condition they may apply for a firearm certificate, or a variation to an existing one, subject to the criteria laid down in the Firearms Act 1968 being met. They may continue to hold the gun on a shotgun certificate by adapting it so that it has a non-detachable magazine incapable of holding more than two cartridges in the manner approved under section 2(3) of the Act. Or they may arrange to have it de-activated. Alternatively, the weapon may be sold to a registered firearms dealer or to the holder of a section 1 firearm certificate who is authorised to acquire it.

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