Armed trespass and all that jazz

#1
SPECIFICALLY REGARDING <12ft pb air rifles (i.e. non-FAC).

My understanding is:
Carrying a loaded Air-weapon in a public place 6 months imprisonment and / or £5,000 fine.
Trespassing on private land with an air weapon 3 months imprisonment and / or £2,500 fine.

Dumb question: I assume a public train counts as private land or failing that a public place so I would be buggered it I lugged it around. The air rifle would be in a slip bag.
 
#2
If you are entitled to carry it and the train/bus company is prepared to carry you then no problem. It's no different to carrying a HAZMAT tin of paint as a passenger, the driver does not need the qualification.
 
#3
If you are entitled to carry it and the train/bus company is prepared to carry you then no problem.
By entitled you mean I have been granted permission by the landowner (i.e. train company). Else I fail in having permission, no?
 
#4
i used to take mine on the train everytime i used to go shooting, i even carried it home one night after i missed the last train, down the bypass. coppers stopped and even offered me a lift home as long as i didnt shoot them haha was the sweetest 6 mile drive ive ever been on
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
Why would you be carrying a loaded air rifle in a public place anyway? (a train counts as a public place). Why not just ensure that there are no pellets/darts in it before you put it in the bag if you're getting on a train?
 

Legs

ADC
Book Reviewer
#6
i used to take mine on the train everytime i used to go shooting, i even carried it home one night after i missed the last train, down the bypass. coppers stopped and even offered me a lift home as long as i didnt shoot them haha was the sweetest 6 mile drive ive ever been on
Which gave them time to get a good view of you and check your address out at the same time.
 
#7
Which gave them time to get a good view of you and check your address out at the same time.
never asked for my address, just my first name which is odd, it was a PCP anyways so would take 5 minutes or so to get it ready to shoot. i never used to carry it loaded, always empty
 
#8
Why would you be carrying a loaded air rifle in a public place anyway? (a train counts as a public place). Why not just ensure that there are no pellets/darts in it before you put it in the bag if you're getting on a train?
It wouldn't be loaded. Also those regulations are applicable whether it is loaded or not (even if you are not carrying ammo!).
 
#9
By entitled you mean I have been granted permission by the landowner (i.e. train company). Else I fail in having permission, no?
Implied permission certainly, if they permit you to travel with a weapon in a slip then they permit it, if they don't you get off.
 
#10
It wouldn't be loaded. Also those regulations are applicable whether it is loaded or not (even if you are not carrying ammo!).
I have to say that I didn't for a moment consider that a professional user of firearms would even need to discuss this point.
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
Yes?

I only asked in regard to this:

"Carrying a loaded Air-weapon in a public place 6 months imprisonment and / or £5,000 fine. "

I'm a tad busy right now, but I could dig out the various Firearms Acts and see what they actually say. I was not meaning to impugn your weapons handling skills.
 
#13
You have to be committing trespass in the first place (civil offence and none arrestable), being armed is only aggravating into a further/more serious offence (aggravated, still civil but arrestable by a constable only, armed- a criminal offence, arrestable by anyone) so the question is invalid.

If you have permission to be on the train/bus etc.. and the weapon is carried appropriately then there is no offence.

Having a weapon on private land without permission is an offence whether carried appropriately or not (ie you dont even need to have ammo, never mind loaded)
 
#14
I'm still very surprised non-FAC (<12ft lb) air rifles are covered by such stringent legislation given they're essentially powerful BB guns (OK a push I admit). I was hoping someone was to say: "ah, no, that's FAC only...". I had a look through the various Firearms Acts and amendments (1997) but couldn't readily see the underlying text for ARs

My ammo comment was an answer to a percieved question on the first page.

Thank ye.
 
#15
I'm still very surprised non-FAC (<12ft lb) air rifles are covered by such stringent legislation given they're essentially powerful BB guns (OK a push I admit). I was hoping someone was to say: "ah, no, that's FAC only...". I had a look through the various Firearms Acts and amendments (1997) but couldn't readily see the underlying text for ARs

My ammo comment was an answer to a percieved question on the first page.

Thank ye.
You need to know the definition of what a firearm is in law which has nothing to do with requiring a certificate to own or possess.
 
#16
I'm still very surprised non-FAC (<12ft lb) air rifles are covered by such stringent legislation
The has been confusion here about a Public Place and Private Land.

It is only illegal to carry a firearm in a public place "without lawful authority or reasonable excuse" (1968 Firearms Act).

Armed Trespass (as it usually called) can only take place on private land, because you can't trespass (in this case) in a Public Place.
 
#17
Why don't you carry it in the High-Port every where you go, with a WW1 pig sticker taped to the end. No drama
 
#18
The has been confusion here about a Public Place and Private Land.

It is only illegal to carry a firearm in a public place "without lawful authority or reasonable excuse" (1968 Firearms Act).

Armed Trespass (as it usually called) can only take place on private land, because you can't trespass (in this case) in a Public Place.
Agree with your summary. I guess it also makes sense to check that where and how you intend to travel is in law a public place.

Trains, buses, black cabs, pubs etc. might all be owned by private companies/individuals but still sound like public places to me but maybe minicabs, coaches etc. (for instance) aren't. I don't know to be honest but this thread got me wondering.

Even if the trains etc. are public places do you still need to get permission from the operators to carry firearms?

Maybe it is best to stick to using a car, and if it is not your own make sure you get permission from the owner to carry!!!
 
#19
SPECIFICALLY REGARDING <12ft pb air rifles (i.e. non-FAC).

My understanding is:
Carrying a loaded Air-weapon in a public place 6 months imprisonment and / or £5,000 fine.
Trespassing on private land with an air weapon 3 months imprisonment and / or £2,500 fine.

Dumb question: I assume a public train counts as private land or failing that a public place so I would be buggered it I lugged it around. The air rifle would be in a slip bag.
Pebbles 015 and Beerhunter have given the most appropriate answers imo.

It's two different things. Trespass as a civil offence and as a train allows fare paying passengers, it's not appropriate to consider armed trespass under Section 20 Firearms Act 1968: Firearms Act 1968

What is more important for you is Section 19 Firearms Act 1968: Firearms Act 1968

However, you have lawful authority ie not prohibited (are you? Been inside?), over 18 and reasonable excuse. The recommendation by everyone (plod, HO and shooting organisations) is to carry it in a slip and unloaded.

Public place has very wide definition primarily from offensive weapons legislation. It includes your front garden, inside a car etc.

Air rifles are firearms as they're lethal barrelled weapons as defined in Firearms Act 1968 Section 57:Firearms Act 1968
(1)In this Act, the expression “firearm” means a lethal barrelled weapon of any description from which any shot, bullet or other missile can be discharged and includes— .
(a)any prohibited weapon, whether it is such a lethal weapon as aforesaid or not; and .
(b)any component part of such a lethal or prohibited weapon; and .
(c)any accessory to any such weapon designed or adapted to diminish the noise or flash caused by firing the weapon; .
and so much of section 1 of this Act as excludes any description of firearm from the category of firearms to which that section applies shall be construed as also excluding component parts of, and accessories to, firearms of that description.
The Courts have agreed with pretty much most cases in excess of one joule being lethal and that's what the forensic science labs use. There is an argument that it all depends on pellet weight and shape eg a dart being more lethal than a slug and each case should be taken on it's own merits; but that's the generally accepted rule ie over one joule, it's a firearm.

There is also case law regarding prohibitions applying to released prisoners and possessing firearms including air rifles and being convicted on Appeal.
 
#20
So what would the charge be if you were caught knocking off rabbits with a crossbow on Dartmoor (common land ) ?
 

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