New EU deactivation spec in force from April

EU bureaucrats have decreed that new deactivation standards will come into force from 8th April this year.

The diktat, rubber-stamped into EU law by the EU Commission in December, establishes a set of EU-wide minimum deactivation standards by law.

Classes of firearm covered include pistols, revolvers, rifles, falling block firearms (including lever actions), semi-autos, full autos and muzzle loaders.

The new specifications include rules on permanently fixing magazines in place and deactivating them, a process which need not take place under current UK law but which will become mandatory. If no magazine is present when the firearm is deactivated the magazine housing must be permanently blocked to prevent a new magazine being fitted.

Sound moderators must also be deactivated under the new EU diktat. As well as gutting them and welding them in place, holes must be drilled every 2″ in any empty moderator tube on a deactivated firearm.

Otherwise the specifications (available on the EU website) seem based upon the UK’s current regulations. Despite this, the diktat was signed by Elzbieta Bienkowska, the EU apparatchik who is also behind the bloc’s draconian semi-automatic firearm ban proposal.

An EU approved deactivation certificate will be issued with all new-spec deactivated firearms in place of existing certificates.

The new rules will apply retrospectively to any deactivated firearm which is sold, bartered or given away after the 8th April 2016. Existing de-acs are likely to increase substantially in value before that date – particularly pre-1995 UK deactivated firearms with some remaining moving parts.

UK Shooting News’ author thinks it is entirely likely that pre-1995 UK spec deactivated firearms will command large premiums on the grey and black markets, as there is no realistic way of enforcing these rules on private sales. A cynic may think that the police will now demand owners of old spec deactivated firearms who come to police attention must show proof they owned them before the date of the EU diktat going live, and arrest them for illegal possession of a firearm if proof cannot be produced… but the police are model citizens and would never do such a thing to an honest person.

19 thoughts on “New EU deactivation spec in force from April

  1. Henry

    Post 1995 spec deactivated SMGs and assault rifles are a complete joke as they are now.

    With the old spec examples as well as German & French standards you can at least field strip the weapon and learn about it’s mechanics.

    An AK deactivated to current specs is a completely useless welded up paperweight that can’t even be stripped and has no value to any serious collector.

    Under the new 2016 spec pistols will also have their actions welded and will be unable to field strip. They’ll also have their magazines welded in place. After that the only thing left to do will be cut them in half which they’ll no doubt do as they have specifically given themselves power to update the specs.

    Anyone with an old spec STG or MP40 will have to have there’s welded up, loosing about £1500 worth of inflated value.

    This is probably the final nail in the coffin for deactivated weapons. The future ban will simply be mopping up the left over bits of worthless junk. Meanwhile criminals simply make PA Luty submachine guns from bits of steel tube for £20 each.


  2. Henry

    Here’s a machine pistol being illegally produced in small workshops in Croatia and smuggled into the UK and the rest of the EU:

    Here are simple pipe submachine guns seized by Australian police, made using plans and video guides available online.

    Police test firing a captured homemade Luty MKII expedient submachine gun:

    Tell me again how these laws will stop criminals supplying other criminals guns?


  3. Robinjo

    Just another useless feel good law that will chg nothing about the fact how criminals will get their weapons. Just a lot of people such will lose a lot of money cause their guns will be useless after the government is done with them. Such a blessing the EU is……..


  4. Robert E. Trundley

    HI I have a mobile museum displaying WW1 & WW2 weapons (deactivated ) I want to know how I stand if I want to sell with old spec. if not I lose the lot. Can you advise me what to do?
    does my price of guns increase or do they become U S. please confirm . Many thanks R.E.T.


    1. Gaz Corfield Post author

      I am not a lawyer, so this advice is worth what you paid for it.
      If you want to sell up without paying silly money to cause further damage to your collection, do it in the next 3 days.
      If you want to sell them after the 8th April, you’ll have to get them re-deactivated to the new EU spec. This includes stupid things like welding in the magazine. Magazines are not restricted under UK law so if I was in your position, I’d keep all the mags to myself before letting the gun go to proof.

      It looks like the EU is going to grandfather in current owners of de-acs, so you should be OK to hang onto them and keep doing your good work.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Tina Gayle

    Thanks for this great article, I have shared it on the “Uttoxeter Arms & Militaria Collectors Fairs” page on Facebook, please feel free to visit the page and reply to any comments that it attracts…


  6. P Allen

    Had my old spec AKM and certificate seized by armed police that raided my house this afternoon. They tell me it has to be tested to see if it can be made to fire live rounds again. Even if it cannot I most probably won’t get it back. This occured due to a council surveyor seeing it in my bedroom, taking a picture of it on his mobile and sending it to the police.
    One of the coppers showed me the picture while I was in handcuffs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. tim

      You have broken no Law of the Land. You are permitted to own it. It was in your private dwelling.
      The EU New law only requires a change of spec when being sold, traded or gifted.
      You are entiltled to have it back, regardless of it being old spec. Get your MP onto it. The fact that you had a cert to show them should have been enough or what is the point of having the certs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


      1. TIM

        Lets face it, the council officer I presume was present in the property by you agreed to let him in. The police would have been aware of this as he would have had to give detail of the “discovery”. The police are well aware that had you been a terrorist/crim and stupid enough to leave the tools of the trade in view, the council officer who attended your property would be A)no more, or B) You yourself would not have been present in the dwelling on there arrival as you would have bugged out!
        The council officer is quite frankly an idiot.
        Like I say…what’s the point in certificates being issued if they take no notice of them. I would recommend that you spread the word and ensure that anybody else has got copies of the certificates and a list of what they posses inclusive of Ser No and keep them entirely separate.
        How are you going to prove that you had a certificate as they have confiscated that as well? I hope you have received from them a chit as to what they removed, inclusive of requisite certificates et al.?


  7. P. Sullivan

    I suggest you get in touch with BASC – I’m sure they will give you the correct advice and help. You don’t have to be a member, just go to their website.
    good luck.


  8. David A

    Did you get your AK back? I assume you did.

    And to add to the clarification above, the law of the land is that it is not for you to prove you possessed an old specification deactivated weapon prior to April 2017, but for the police to prove you didn’t.

    Liked by 1 person


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