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.”