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Illegal Firearms/ Gun Crime

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What are Illegal Firearms/ Gun Crime?

The level of gun crime in the UK is one of the lowest in the world. However, the National Crime Agency (NCA) actively works to stop illegal firearms from entering the country and campaigns to raise awareness of the UK’s firearms legislation. The NCA’s key message is to ‘Know the law: It’s illegal to possess most firearms without a licence in the UK’. Read more National Crime Agency.

Find out how firearms enter the criminal market by following the Infographic.

Sir Peter Fahy, former Greater Manchester Police chief constable, spoke out on firearms legislation in the wake of the Plymouth shootings (Manchester News).

“I think you would have to stand back and say this was an awful tragedy with a huge impact obviously on the families and on the community, but in general these sorts of events are incredibly rare. The last one was about 10 years ago, whereas they get hundreds every year in the United States, so our licensing laws on firearms are some of the most strict in the world.”

“Things like handguns, pistols, are completely banned after the Dunblane tragedy and, on the whole, you would have to say the system appears to work and these sorts of tragedies are incredibly rare, and for instance there’s only about 30 murders a year which involve firearms, and they are ones which are illegally held largely and you would never get a certificate for.”

Illegal firearms: Know the gun, know the law, know the consequences

  • NPCC 

Stay Safe: Firearms and Weapons Attack – key steps for keeping safe. For more information Stay Safe ( and short instructional film Run, Hide, Tell: Firearms and Weapons Attack – YouTube

Useful Links

The National Ballistics Intelligence Service works with law enforcement agencies to reduce firearms criminality.

Visit the Website

UK Government – Guidance on Firearms licensing

Firearms safety leaflet from the British Association for Shooting and Conservation for further information.

View the Leaflet

Visit the Website

The Home Office firearms security handbook provides guidance on storing and transporting firearms.

Read the Handbook

Plymouth shooting: Who can own a firearm or shotgun in the UK? – BBC News

Read the Article

Help and Support

For victims, families and concerned people

If you have any information about illegal firearms or any concerns about people having access to firearms, please report it to the police or anonymously to Crimestoppers.