Deactivated Firearms purchase from Europe.

A re-enactor mate has bought a rifle grenade launcher & projectile from Belgium, it was 'ground dug' (?) pinged in the post & HM Customs & Police now involved. Projectile inert. Any advice?
Yes, tell your friend to get a very good legal expert. Then to expect a shed load of incoming of the worst kind.
Prohibited Weapons There are many types of firearms, especially those designed for military use, that have no place in the sporting field or hobby of shooting and others, for instance some hand guns, which have been brought into the prohibited category by Acts of Parliament. All of the following weapons and ammunition are prohibited:
Section 5
  1. any firearm which is so designed or adapted that two or more missiles can be successively discharged without repeated pressure on the trigger.
    • (1.1) any self-loading or pump-action rifled gun other than one which is chambered for .22 rim-fire cartridges.
    • (1.2) any firearm which either has a barrel less than 30cm in length or is less than 60cm in length overall, other than an air weapon, a muzzle-loading gun or a firearm designed as signalling apparatus.
    • (1.3) any self-loading or pump-action smooth bore gun which is not an air weapon or chambered for .22 rim-fire cartridges and either has a barrel less than 24 inches in length or is less than 40 inches in length overall.
    • (1.4) any smooth bore revolver gun other than one which is chambered for 9mm rim-fire cartridges or a muzzle-loading gun.
    • (1.5) any rocket launcher, or any mortar, for projecting a stabilised missile, other than a launcher or mortar designed for line throwing or pyrotechnic purposes or as signalling apparatus.
    • (1.6) any air rifle, airgun or air pistol which uses, or is designed or adapted for use with, a self-contained gas cartridge system.
Obviously contact the appropriate organisations (re-enacting, ammo collecting, battlefield archaeology, etc) for a lead on a specialist solicitor who deals with similar cases.

Without further info, its hard to understand the situation -

- is there any part of the original firearm attached?
- are the items in "relic" condition (i.e. rusted solid), or do they appear "usable"?
- are the items from WW1/2, or is the "grenade launcher" something contemporary, such as an Energa adaptor?

Depending upon the detail, this could be harmless - and legal to own - junk, or it could be viewed as key components of a "prohibited weapon". Rifle grenade launchers/projectors are in a bit of a grey area, as that part of our firearms law is poorly drafted and ambiguous. Its thought that these devices are "prohibited" if they assist the launching of the projectile - i.e. by shaping, containing or regulating the gases of the launching cartridge. This logic then maintains, by contrast, that grenade-holding cups and Energa adaptors are legal, as they don't actually contribute to the launching impulse in any way.
In order to benefit from the 1988 Firearms Amendment t Act, any deact MUST follow the rules set out in the Act or take their chance in court. Because this is in the Primary Legislation there is no discretion. So if the devices have de-acted other than according to the rules, your re-enactor mate cannot claim that they are deacts under the Act.

However the part of section Five quoted by HE117 does not refer to grenade throwing attachments to rifles. For example, many collectors have Energa (94 Grenade) Launchers.

If the projectile is inert, then your mate needs to claim that neither of the objects is subject to the 1968 Firearms Act, as amended.

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