Section 54 of the Firearms act

There seems to be plenty of people on here who know their way around this piece of legislation. Can anyone interpret for me what Section 54 means to me, as a Crown Servant, should I 'come into possession of' as opposed to 'acquire' a weapon privately?

My understanding of what is written is that I do not need a FAC to be in possession of a weapon (which is handy, as it is an occasional requirement of my job), but is this intended to cover only weapons issued to me in the course of my duties, or would it also cover weapons in the estate of a deceased friend? (I would have no wish to hang onto them myself, merely to ensure that they were dealt with appropriately.)
Section 54 only applies to the acquisition of firearms for official use. It exempts Crown Servants from the need to have a certificate when they are buying Small Arms for the Crown; for example the Light Weapons team at DE&S, or Police Service purchasing staff.

Section 54 has nothing to do with the posession of firearms by Crown Servants. In that sense, the Act as a whole does not apply to the Crown, which is why soldiers and Police Firearms Officers who are issued firearms as part of their official duties do not need to have FACs.

So no, it would not cover you for the posession of firearms in a private capacity, e.g. from the estate of a deceased friend. For that, you would need a certificate, just like everyone else.
Best option for weapons from a deceased estate is to swiftly transfer them to an appropriate RFD (ie depending whether they are fine shotguns, military & historic, air rifles or other) to either hold for you to get a certificate, or to optimise the price in a sale.

If you need help, PM. A few of us here are RFDs ourselves, or can point you towards the right person.


Book Reviewer
If you find yourself in the legitimate possession of any firearms whatsoever, you first port of call would be to your regional/local police force. They will, if it's doable, issue you with a temporary (very) permit to give you time to dispose of/store said firearms with either an RFD or auction house.

If you are in a position to acquire them (in a licensable manner, ie: they aren't Section 5 pistols), and have good reason to possess them on a certificate, then the best route is to store them with your local RFD while you put in for a Firearms Certificate. Storage is needed as these applications can take weeks or months depending on the force - for example: Thames Valley = 3 weeks, Sussex, up to 12 weeks.

I would not recommend that you allow the Police to hold them as their storage facilities can be a bit suspect/damp etc.

Edited to add: Yes, I'm an RFD.
If you find yourself in the legitimate possession of any firearms whatsoever, you first port of call would be to your regional/local police force.
I would never recommend that course of action due to my not have any confidence that the police will deal with it in a fair manner. There have been far too many instances in the past of people being prosecuted or their property being seized - sometimes both.

I would always recommend that they be taken straight to an RFD with no delay. The police can be informed once they are safely in his/her hands.

Similar threads

Latest Threads