9 May 2016 – Suffolk Police has destroyed the 400+ illegally held firearms they seized from the village of Wyverstone, following the conviction of former RFD Anthony Buckland.
A BBC news story from April reveals that police planned to “chop up” the 436 assorted firearms, including rifles, shotguns, pistols and other items.
A Freedom of Information request made by a user of the ARRSE forum revealed that the total haul of firearms was broken down as follows:
177 Rifles (Mostly section 1)
88 shotguns (mostly section 2 however a number have large magazines or are shortened and therefore sectionl and section 5 applies)
136 Handguns (all section 5 1 (aba))
38 machine guns (all Section 5 1 (a))
24 Miscellaneous which were distress flare guns, line throwing guns and humane dispatch guns some of which had been tampered with but are Section 1
Buckland was tried and found guilty of a number of firearms offences in December last year, including illegally supplying firearms to one James Arnold, who amassed the huge haul of illegal firearms. Arnold kept them in a walled-off part of his house. He died in prison before he could be put on trial, and police later said there was no evidence any had been used for criminal purposes, beyond the obvious offence of possession.
Much public speculation abounded at the time of Buckland’s trial as to whether police were telling the truth when they described the haul as firearms, or whether – as is common with most police PR about firearms – the term was being used to hoodwink the public into believing that a collection of airguns, children’s BB gun toys and replica firearms was actually a haul of lethal weapons.
It can be seen from the description above that there were more than enough prohibited firearms in Arnold’s cache to warrant the “firearms” description.
Even though police say they are destroying the guns, there is no guarantee that that is what will actually happen to all of them.
Take this Milsurps.com forum thread, where a Freedom of Information response posted by a forum user reveals that Sussex Police maintain all but one of their 1970s Enfield Enforcer precision rifles were destroyed by guillotine.
That same forum user, whose hobby is to research the history and whereabouts of all Enforcer rifles, notes that he has traced at least six of Sussex Police’s 30 Enforcers to private ownership today.