Written by Alan Westlake. Director of the Association.
Olympic .380 BBM Blank Firers Banned
Following an independent test carried out by the Forensic Science Service (FSS) in February 2010 the revolver has been identified as being ‘readily convertible’ under the provisions of the Firearms Act 1982. The Firearms Act 1982 classifies weapons as ‘readily convertible’ thus making them subject to Section 1 of the Firearms Act 1982, Section 1 of the Firearms Act 1968 and Section 5 of the 1968 Act. This makes them illegal to possess, supply or transfer within the UK.
The gun now falls under the classification of a prohibited weapon within the provisions of Section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968, for which there is a five year mandatory prison sentence.
It was announced on the 16th April that the Police will hold a targeted amnesty for anyone in possession of an Olympic .380 BBM revolver until 4 June 2010.
This means that anyone who does not hand in their Olympic .380 BBM revolver before 4 June 2010 could be liable to prosecution, for which there is a five year mandatory prison sentence. The period of targeted amnesty began on 16 April and will end on 4 June 2010. It will be for the sole purpose of handing in Olympic .380 BBM revolvers in either their converted or unconverted form.
Assistant Chief Constable Sue Fish OBE, ACPO lead on criminal use of firearms said in an ACPO Press release:
“We are acting today to deal with the threat posed by criminal use of this firearm to communities in the UK. Our action means that any individual in possession of an unconverted or converted Olympic .380 BBM should hand it in now or at their earliest opportunity. This targeted amnesty offers a route to dispose of these firearms before 4 June 2010, without facing prosecution for possession.
“A significant number of converted Olympic .380 BBM’s have been recovered by the police having been used in criminal activity. It is essential that the police work together with the public to tackle this threat.”
“The Olympic .380 BBM revolver is commonly known as a ‘blank firer’. It has been identified as being ‘readily convertible,’ which means it can be converted to be a lethally barrelled weapon. These revolvers are commonly used for the purposes of race starting (starting pistols) or dog training. The BBM could be purchased through Registered Firearms Dealers (RFD’s) and other outlets such as hobbyist stores and model shops and previously required no licence. The Olympic .380 BBM was previously sold as an ‘imitation firearm”.
I find it alarming that the Government can take an object that on one day is legal to purchase and own, then make its possession liable to a five year mandatory prison sentence the next day, without offering any form of compensation for its loss. I am sure that this cannot be legal. What happened to The Bill of rights? Where there is a paragraph that says:
Grants of Forfeitures.
That all Grants and Promises of Fines and Forfeitures of particular persons before Conviction are illegall and void.
Surely forfeiting your possessions (an Olympic .380 BBM revolver) before being convicted of a crime is what this paragraph is about. Why did they pay out millions of pounds in compensation when they placed short firearms (pistols) into section 5 of the Firearms act in 1997 if this is not so? I doubt it was because they were sorry for us, judging by what some poleticitions said about pistol shooters at the time.
Oh and by the way there is another paragraph which says:
Freedom of Speech.
That the Freedom of Speech and Debates or Proceedings in Parlyament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any Court or Place out of Parlyament.
Now that is a paragraph that is being used by some of the more upstanding members of the House in their defence in court. I wonder why that paragraph applies and the first does not?
I suppose that the Government think that there are not enough people affected for them to be able to mount an effective legal challenge to the lack of compensation.
I don’t think that anyone will seriously feel that these easily convertible revolvers should not be removed from general circulation, to prevent criminals from obtaining a supply of lethal weapons. However, to confiscate what was legally owned property, from law abiding people who have done nothing wrong at all, without any form of compensation, is a dangerous precedent to be set without any form of Legal Challenge. What may happen if they decide that Rifles over .22 calibre, or Shotguns, are too dangerous for us to possess? Or High powered sports cars? Or anything else that they don’t like?
Surely they should have allowed people who own one of these Blank firing Revolvers to put them on to an FAC, so that there is a record of them and then they can still be used for their intended legal use. While their being placed on section 5 of the Firearms act would prevent the sale of any more, thus preventing the criminals from obtaining them. It’s not as if they haven’t already done it once, they did it with the Brocock pre-charged air cartridge firearms. Not that many Brococks were placed on to an FAC or handed in. Less than a fifth of those sold I believe.
Gun Control is in the interest of Public Safety !
This is a self evident truth we are told by our Government our Police our Media and anyone else that feels they have a view on it. In fact, it is so obviously true that anyone that questions this “Truth” is pilloried and considered to be a “suspect” person, or an out and out Nutter.
Well in that case I am proud to be considered to be a “Gun Nut”. Let’s think about this a little. If a Law is passed in the interest of “public safety”, then with the passage of time this new law should bring about some increase in “public safety”. For instance, if you were to ban the private possession of say Pistols, then you would expect armed crime using firearms as the weapon should show a marked decrease over time.
Our Police will from time to time stop and search people for a variety of reasons. In the year 1997-98 in England and Wales, they arrested 726 people for illegal possession of a firearm during these ‘stop and searches’. You must bear in mind that they took away our pistols in that year so if Gun control works you must expect these numbers to decrease as time goes by.
In the year 2007-08 In England and Wales, they arrested 1496 people for illegal possession of firearms during their ‘stop and searches’
Now let me get this straight, a doubling of the number of people arrested for carrying an illegal firearm over a ten year period. Is a successful increase in ‘Public Safety’ ??????
Could it be, that as a friend of mine Mr Derek Bernard puts it:
Every hour devoted by the police and justice systems to controlling those who apply to government for permission to possess a firearm; to recording gun and ownership data; and to enforcing the laws without reference to harm to others, or to criminal intent; is an hour destructively wasted. In other words, these processes produce no net social benefits – on the contrary, they convert honest people into criminals. They consume expensive resources while reducing, or stopping completely, benign social activities. They also generate socially negative effects by demonstrating to honest citizens that their legal/police/justice system is seriously deficient.
Perhaps the most serious social effect is to demonize inanimate objects and thus divert attention from the crucial fact that only humans are “good” or “bad”.
What I find scary about these statistics taken from Hansard of the 11th March 2010 is that in the year 2007-08 the police in England and Wales caught 1496 people who probably felt that they needed to carry a firearm to be safe, and were prepared to take the risk of being caught carrying that firearm. How many were not caught?
What does this say about England and Wales and the world we now live in?
Here are some points about Gun Control from the past.
In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians were rounded up and exterminated.
Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others were rounded up and exterminated.
China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents were rounded up and exterminated
Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians were rounded up and exterminated.
Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians were rounded up and exterminated.
Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people were rounded up and exterminated.
People rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century, defenceless because of gun control: 56 million.
We must always bear in mind that Gun control started in this country in the 1920s when the Government were in fear of an Armed uprising by disgruntled ex Soldiers who had returned from the First World War to a ‘Land Fit for Heroes’. And was said to be in the interests of ‘Public Safety’. Since then, each further restriction has been said to be ‘in the interest of Public Safety’ and each has failed to reduce crime or make the public more safe in any way whatever. But never ever, has anyone in a position of power asked, if the new laws are working, or if they are cost effective? Surely an answer to these questions is long overdue.
As an ex Soldier it worries me when my Government do not trust me or other Law abiding subjects of Her Majesty with a Firearm. It makes me worry about what they intend to do with this Country that they should be so concerned. Could it be that they have been committing Treason by handing our Sovereignty over to a foreign power?
I cannot think of any instance anywhere in the World, that ‘Gun Control’ has had a beneficial effect on Public Safety. If anyone knows of an instance where Gun Control has had a beneficial effect, except from the Governments viewpoint that is, I would be interested to hear of it.