EU deactivated gun diktat makes dog’s dinner of sensible British laws

3 June 2016 – Deactivated guns will have to be taken to the Proof Houses twice to be certified thanks to confusing and imprecise EU deactivation laws imposed on us by Brussels, a government announcement revealed today.

The government’s take on the EU regulation, which came into force in the UK on 8th April, was published today on the gov.UK website.

It revealed that pistols (but not revolvers), magazine-fed rifles, semi- and full-auto firearms will all need to be submitted to the Proof Houses twice to be certified as legally deactivated.

The Proof Houses are situated in London and Birmingham. Each house has the sole legal authority to certify that a firearm has been deactivated in accordance with the law. Once certified by a Proof House, a deactivated firearm can legally be owned without a licence.

The previous situation was that all UK-spec deactivated firearms had the deactivation work done by a registered firearms dealer, who then sent it to a Proof House for inspection and certification. All work was done in accordance with the government-issued Specifications for the deactivation of firearms (PDF), last revised in 2010.

British deactivation laws and standards were the gold standard around the world, striking a balance between preserving the firearm and ensuring it could not be reactivated.

Now EU meddling has created a confusing mess that leaves the public at greater risk.

Unbelievably, clueless Brussels bureaucrats actually wrote this line into their diktat: “Prevent disassembly of polymer frame pistols by welding. According to the National laws, this process can be performed after the checking of the National Authority.”

UK Shooting News’ author knows very little about plastic welding (yes, it exists, or so Wikipedia says) but really doesn’t think a using heat-based bonding process on a plastic-framed gun will help deactivate it.

British authorities, whose hands are tied by the EU, nonetheless advise gunsmiths deactivating plastic-framed pistols not to weld them at all. Instead they say: “Prevent disassembly of polymer frame pistols by appropriate means, which can include pinning, use of epoxy resin and molecular bonding.”

4 thoughts on “EU deactivated gun diktat makes dog’s dinner of sensible British laws

  1. commonlycalledcosmin

    I think what is worse is the fact that the new Policing and Crime Bill will classify all current UK deactivated guns as “defectively deactivated”, should you wish to sell one or give it as a gift you would need to implement the new EU stupid deactivation techniques, which are actually less safe, since all the external furniture needs to be welded solid, so there is no chance to check if the internals have been disabled. Terrorists could easily smuggle “deactivated guns” with fully working internals. Moreover british proofhouses have already said they will not proof such guns if they cannot verify the internals, so what is going to happen is either the government will have to go against the EU and stick to old British deactivated spec which is more than good enough, or it will have to ban further gifting or commercialization of existing deacts. I know which one the government is going to go for….


    1. tim

      Indeed, yet in a very honest move the government is about to enshrine in law their acceptance of liability for a defective design.
      Having sold a pup they are now owning up to the fact which is nice of them as all of the owners can now ask for their hard earned back. why should they have to pay again for a change in law. As for the standards being imposed by the EU yes they are crap BUT Nabis and ACPO did ask for retro-spective action on them as is shown in the 2014 report to the EU Commission. I wonder who’s budget it will come out off ? Cannot hide the fact its their in black and white.


  2. David

    The 1995 UK deactivation specifications onward made anything interesting such as assault rifles and submachine guns into welded solid pieces of rubbish with no moving parts and no ability to field strip. Certainly not a gold standard and not much better than what the EU has thrown at everybody.

    A deactivated gun needs to be able to field strip and the action cocked and dry fired. If it doesn’t have the ability to do that it is not a ‘deactivated’ gun, rather it’s a piece of worthless scrap metal in the shape of a gun that has no value to any real collector.

    The rest of Europe have gone from affordable deactivated AK47s you can field strip and study to now being solid lumps of garbage with even the magazines welded in place. The EU standard is basically a de facto ban, making them so undesirable as not to be worth buying.

    In fact, many retailers in Europe are now selling them as ‘parts kits’ instead, IE: you get a fully working gun minus the barrel and firing pin.

    A deactivated gun needs to be clearly defined by collector’s associations across Europe as a weapon that still has it’s action and ability to strip preserved, otherwise ‘deactivated’ can mean whatever the hell politicians feel like it means.



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