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GQ-UK: Dear Yanks, Yes, We Can Buy AR15's in England & 30rd MagPul Pmags, too!

Contrary to popular belief, in England, silencers/suppressors are merely considered a hearing protection; if your firearms license is current, and you are legal to buy a bolt action hunting rifle, you can simply walk to your local gunshop and get a suppressor, without months of waiting...like we have to, here in America.

Oh, and an AR15? Yeah, the Brits can buy them, too, with some paperwork; so, suck it, Piers.

Why British attacks on gun culture miss their target

By Alex Hannaford 11 March 13
PA Photos

Here are a couple of things you may not know:

1. It is perfectly legal to buy the gun you see in the picture above in the United Kingdom (there's a disclaimer to this, which will come in a minute).

2. While President Obama has proposed limiting the size of magazine clips that carry ammunition in the U.S., there is no such limit on magazine sizes in the UK.

3. In fact, the AR-15 assault rifle above routinely uses 20-and-30-round clips.

I'm telling you this not to shock you or make you pick up the phone to your local MP, but to point out the fact that most commentators who have chosen to wade aimlessly into the gun control debate currently raging in the States have done so with very little knowledge of gun laws and gun culture in their own country, let alone in America.

Check this fine UK AR builder: http://www.lannertactical.com/AR15-UK-Straight-Pull-Rifles.html

UK Suppressor/Silencer Laws:

In the United Kingdom, sales of suppressors fall into four categories of use. For replica and air guns, the purchase of a suppressor requires no license and in most cases, no identification requirement. For shotguns, these will probably require the presentation of the buyer's shotgun certificate but will not be recorded. If the shotgun is classified as a firearm (where capacity exceeds 3 cartridges) the firearm certificate (FAC) will need to show permission for the purchase of a suppressor. For a small- or full-bore rifle, the firearm certificate (FAC) will need to show permission for the purchase of a suppressor and also the gun for which it is intended.

All firearms certificates have the firearm and caliber approved by the police and annotated to the document before a suppressor may be purchased. Police forces usually approve applications for a suppressor for hunting and target shooters, as the risks of litigation for personal injury, especially high-tone deafness resulting from shooting-induced hearing loss, are significant; and noise pollution in general is a problem for shooting sports.

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seen too many british gun confiscation video's....

to believe this sh!t.

Also thanks to the commenter's below.


"Take hold of the future or the future will take hold of you." -- Patrick Dixon

Could be considered

Somewhat misleading..
Single shot look-alike's are not AR15's.
Note section 5:

‘Firearms’ generally fit into one of 5 categories;
Airgun, Section 1 (restricted by FAC), Section 2 (restricted by Shotgun certificate) Section 58 (Antiques) and Section 5 (Prohibited weapons)

Not really a firearm but thought I’d include them anyway
Ownership of airguns have age restrictions imposed, but on the whole any adult can buy, own and use them without having to justify their actions, undergo checks, obtain a licence etc.
There are other obvious restrictions, like you can’t wander the streets with an air pistol in your pocket but I doubt I need to go into all of that; if you are that stupid, Google it to find out what sentence you’ll get.
There are no security considerations for the storage of Airguns, but you are advised to use your head and keep them out of reach of children and transport them securely.

Pistol up to 6 ft/lbs pressure and Rifle up to 12 ft/lbs.

Section 1
Typically Rifles, although there are others as shown below. You need an FAC (Firearms Certificate) to own one of these, buy ammunition and certain restricted parts of a gun such as a new/spare barrel.

Examples include:
High power Airguns
Rimfire/.22LR single-shot or Semi-automatic*
Centrefire weapons – single shot only*
Short-barrel Shotguns (very short, as in Sawn-off are Section 5 weapons) or those with a greater capacity than 3 cartridges

*Single shot means one trigger pull, one shot, then you have to manually chamber the next round, either by hand-loading one, or by use of a lever to cycle another in from the magazine, semi-auto loading systems fall under Sec 5 (apart from .22LR and Airguns)

To get your licence, you need to demonstrate just cause to the local Police licensing team, such as having shooting rights over a piece of ground, membership of a registered gun club, your work in vermin control etc
When the FAC application is received by the police (you get the form from them) along with the necessary fee, they will make an appointment with you to come and inspect your home and security arrangements for storing the firearms and ammunition.

There is no limit as to the number of guns or quantity of ammunition you can ask for, but the more you want, the more security the police may insist on before granting the FAC.
In general, they will expect a suitable steel cabinet bolted to the floor and / or wall and secured with 5 lever lock(s). Connection to an alarm would be a bonus and in some locations may be a requirement.
If your premises has shared access, (block of flats) the requirements may be more stringent.

If you are intending to reload centre-fire ammunition, rather surprisingly you do not need an FAC to buy any of the components. An FAC is only needed to keep assembled ammunition. You must specify on your application how many rounds you intend to have at any one time, but it’s not necessary to enter any details of your home reloaded ammunition, or how many times you reload. The only requirement is that you do not exceed your maximum holding in your specified calibres at any one time.

Your first FAC is usually restricted and you will probably only be able to use the rifle on a specified piece of land or location (gun club) approved by the police for that calibre weapon.
An experienced FAC holder may be granted an ‘open licence’ which means they can use the rifle anywhere they judge it to be safe and appropriate, within the law.

Section 2
Essentially Shotguns, The law defines them as a smooth-bored gun with barrels of not less than 24”. If the gun is a semi-automatic or pump-action, the magazine must be restricted to hold no more than two shells, with a third in the chamber.

Security considerations are essentially the same as for Section 1 weapons; however it is the right of every citizen to have a Shotgun Certificate granted unless the Police believe there are grounds to stop you from having one.
So unlike for a Sec 1 where you have to demonstrate just cause, for a Shotty they have to demonstrate a reason NOT to issue.

Section 58
The Home Office has a list of ‘Obsolete Calibre’ rifles, shotguns and pistols. These may be bought, sold and possessed without a licence of any kind, provided that they are owned as curios only.
There are no security considerations and they can be displayed in cases or hung on the wall.
These weapons may not be fired and to possess ammunition for them is likely to invalidate any claim that they are not for use as no ammunition is considered to be obsolete.

Section 5
These are weapons that are prohibited unless special permission is granted by the Home Secretary or local Chief Constable. This section covers automatic weapons, military weapons and modern handguns.
It’s not impossible to get authority for one of these, several licences for pistols have been granted for the humane dispatch of Deer to huntsmen (restricted number of shots though, generally a revolver with all but 2 chambers blanked) and there are plenty of temporary licenses granted to visiting security, USSS detail etc, but on the whole you need to make a very convincing argument and there’s usually an alternative they can offer that allows them to turn down the application.

Examples include full-bore Semi-auto and Assault rifles, handguns, disguised guns (Shotgun umbrella, .22 walking stick etc), Taser, Javelin Anti-Tank missile… :)

"Hell is empty, and all the devils are here" (Shakespeare)
RP 2012~ Intellectual Revolution.

UK regulations

Courtesy MrBlonde. PC.UK.

"Hell is empty, and all the devils are here" (Shakespeare)
RP 2012~ Intellectual Revolution.

yup, plus the writer's a skiddish liberal

thanks for the info. I read their laws awhile back, along with other European countries and Japan's... LOL. 'cause I'm weird like that LOL,

by the way are you from UK, or is that from their Home Office website, or wiki?

I covered a bit of it below:


I remembered from reading their laws that for 'standard' licensees, their semi's would have to be in rimfire, other than for special licenses granted by their Home Office for competition, those who had their lives threatened (always found that hilarious, as if requirement for self-protection is that you have to prove to govt that someone threatened you before...and you almost died. So if you were unfortunate and got murdered, tough shiite. LOL) or merc. company personnel, security, etc.

and the picture in that link, I talk about the bolt-action mod latch attached to the AR bolt carrier group.

they're a British custom AR shop... made mostly with American components. Lol.

still, it still amuses me that it's far easier for someone to buy a suppressor in UK, vs. here. They consider it a "courtesy device" for hearing protection! that, is a laugh, they're right. but still, I find it hilarious.

Predictions in due Time...

"Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy." - Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul

And I thought guns were

And I thought guns were outlawed there? Guess not.

To climb the mountain, you must believe you can.

for semi, I believe it has to be a rimfire though,

aside from competition license or something.

and even the AR in its native 5.56x45mm, if you notice that hex screwed, long metallic latch with a bolt-action-esque handle, I think that de facto rendered that AR into a single shot bolt action; the linkage seems to be screwed directly onto to the bolt-carrier group.


but one thing's for certain, the Brits definitely have it easier than us, when it comes to getting cans. They're not even their equivalent of an NFA item, where gotta pay the Treasury thugs a $200 tax stamp and wait up to 6months or more. And, unless you buy it via a Gun Trust, you have to get yourself finger printed like a criminal, additional background check (officially entering yourself into a linked NFA database), and a sign-off/permission from your local Sheriff or highest LEO in your county.

If NRA had any balls, instead of fighting these Dem aholes, they should up the ante and make the gun grabbers deal with different variables in the negotiation table (as if it's not already pre-decided; anyone here really think Senators and Congressmen change their votes based on citizen pressure, especially in the 11th hour?): repeal NFA, abolish ATF (Fast & Furious, not enough??), 1968 GCA, 1986 FOPA, 1993 Brady Bill & NICS.

Only then, will they be 'serious.'

Don't matter, whatever happens it all heads to SCOTUS, including NY, CO, CT, MD bills. But in the mean time, there will be legal ambiguity, econ impact, and Magpul leaving Colorado... .o(

But check out what F&cky Schmucker has in store for us:


He wants to make felony even if you lent your buddy your gun, AT the range! And, if you happen to go on a trip for 7days and your out of state buddy's housesitting, even if your guns are in a safe with closed doors, but if it's unlocked, and you miss your flight and your trip becomes 7+ days? Technically, you've just committed felony.

This seditious traitorous mofo needs to be arrested!

Predictions in due Time...

"Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy." - Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul

Yeah, same here.

Yeah, same here.

Resist the temptation to feed the trolls.