Relevant extracts from the Firearms Act 1968 ‘Section 21’
- A person who has been sentenced (to custody for life or) to preventive detention, or to imprisonment or to corrective training for a term of three years or more (or to youth custody (or detention in a young offender institution) for such a term), or who has been sentenced to be detained for such a term in a young offenders’ institution in Scotland, shall not at any time have a firearm or ammunition in his possession.
- A person who has been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of three months or more but less than three years (or to youth custody (or detention in a young offender institution) for such a term), or who has been sentenced to be detained for such a term in a detention centre or in a young offenders’ institution in Scotland, shall not at any time before the expiration of the period of five years from the date of his release have a firearm or ammunition in his possession.
What this means:
Section 21 prohibits the possession of a firearm and ammunition (under any circumstances), by any person who has been convicted of a crime and sentenced to a term of imprisonment (or its equivalent for young persons) of 3 months or more. The prohibition applies in all circumstances, including handling and firing at an approved shooting club or at a clay pigeon shoot where a certificate is not ordinarily required. It also applies to the possession or use of other categories of firearms and ammunition such as AIRGUNS or shot cartridges for which a certificate is not needed.
A sentence of 3 months to 3 years attracts a 5-year prohibition, shorter ones no prohibition but a longer one means a life ban.