New Firearms Regulations
Members should be aware that new Regulations come in to force on 12th December 2019 which make it a requirement that those under the age of 18 who hold firearm or shotgun certificates must have arrangements in place for a person over the age of 18 to have responsibility for the secure storage of the firearms, or shotguns, or firearms ammunition which are held on the young persons certificate.
Police licensing departments will be contacting certificates holders under 18 to advise them of the change in the law and offer advice as to how they can comply. The person over 18 who takes responsibility for the secure storage can either be a parent or guardian of the certificate holder or someone who holds a firearm certificate for the firearms and ammunition in question, or a shotgun certificate. The new regulations are not clear as to whether the parent or guardian will be expected to be an appropriate certificate holder. It seems not as the guidance that has been issued suggests that keys to a two key cabinet could be retained, one by the young person, one by the adult, so as to avoid an unlicensed adult coming into unlawful possession of the firearm or shotgun.
The police have not yet issued more detailed guidance as to how they expect this change to operate in practice. We will provide a further update as soon as the position is further clarified.