Ownership of WWII Sidearms

In WWII my father was in the RA and then REME and after being in Egypt and Malta he ended up assigned to Washington, D.C. He took his discharge in Canada. He kept his Enfield revolver (which I am about to get back from a Canadian cousin). Can anyone explain why he was permitted to keep his pistol? Was it usual in the British Army to permit officers to keep their sidearms upon discharge? In the US the military is normally very strict (at least for the past 30-40 years) about keeping all its firearms regardless of how otherwise innocous (even a standard .38 cal revolver) they may be. Is it (or was it) usual or traditional for those being discharged to be able to keep their sidearms?


Book Reviewer
post-war it was pretty common. A lot of Officers had even bought their own! When firearms amnesties started (late '60s?) then loads were handed in.

They are a bit tighter now. B*stards.
It used to be legal in the UK for WWI & WWII ex-soldiers to keep personal (captured?) side arms without having a firearms certificate, as long as they didn't keep any ammunition for it. I believe this still applied even after the handgun ban.
Thank you both. For what it's worth, the pistol is in Canada and there's a bunch of red tape in getting it to me in the US. I am using a firearms importer to bring it down to South Carolina and I expect to have it later in the Spring. Given that Ontario is now talking about a total ban of firearms, it makes sense to get it out of Ontario and to me where it can be kept. Frank

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