Sussex is top county for UK pistol owners, new stats reveal

7 July 2016 – More people own licensed pistols in Sussex than anywhere else in the UK, according to new government figures.

Released at the end of last month, the 2015/16 firearm and shotgun certificate statistics include a breakdown of firearm types and certificate holder demographics for the first time.

The statistics cover England and Wales only and were counted between March 2015 and March 2016.

A quick analysis of the data by UK Shooting News reveals:

  • Sussex has the largest number of legally owned pistols in the UK (1,177) while Merseyside has the fewest (58)*
  • London’s Met Police tops the black powder pistol league
  • Devon and Cornwall is by far the police area with the largest number of certificate holders and licensed firearms/shotguns
  • Aside from D&C, North Yorkshire holds the largest number of section 1 shotguns
  • Cleveland has the fewest FAC and SGC holders*
  • There is just one man in the City of London Police area who owns a section 1 shotgun
  • Sussex also has the largest number of ‘not specified’ items held on FACs

UKSN will be publishing other stories based on these statistics as time permits. Because these are new statistics, it is not possible to do a year-on-year comparison for anything other than raw FAC/SGC numbers – and plenty of others have already done that.

The City of London Police has so few FAC and SGC holders – 3 FAC and 25 SGC – that UKSN’s author has excluded it from these comparisons as every other police force has hundreds or thousands.

4 thoughts on “Sussex is top county for UK pistol owners, new stats reveal

  1. Nick B

    What’s interesting to me is that there are 16,367 handguns on certificate (not muzzle loaders as that’s 9135).

    I’m surprised thatthere are more handguns than muzzle loading handguns (does this include LBP & LBR?)

    I wonder how many handguns are section 7.1 vs 7.3 vs 5 in these figures?

    And all these handguns on issue and no problems caused by them …….

    I’m curious to know what the EFP’s are for authority to possess outside the UK? I’m guessing pistol shooters who store guns abroad, and then need authority to possess when travelling from where stored to wherever match is?

    I wonder if we’ll ever get a breakdown of Section 5 firearms per force area.

    Do any of these stats include museums I wonder?


    1. Nick B

      Nope – in point of fact they were never “banned” they were reclassified as Section 5 firearms (“ab” IIRC) what this did in effect meant that those holders of Section 1 FAC’s could no longer possess handguns. Those persons with authority from the Secretary of State to possess could indeed possess Section 5 handguns (or other such items as full auto, grenades, rpg’s etc etc).

      As part of the none banning of handguns – Sections 7.1 and 7.3 came about which permitted the retention of erstwhile section 5 handguns on a section 1 certificate provided that in the case of 7.1 the handgun was kept at an approved heritage site, or in the case of 7.3 could be kept at home but not shot.

      Muzzle loading handguns were never banned, and LBP’s and LBR’s aren’t actually defined in law – so as the comply with length requirements (30cm/60cm) and action types (semi auto only in 22RF) they’re actually section 1 firearms. Although, in the case of LBR’s and LBP’s – they didn’t exist when the “Home Office Approved Clubs” thing came in – ergo members of clubs don’t benefit for the exemption of holding a certificate to possess one (due to the wording being Rifles / Muzzle loaders – as apposed to “Firearm” which would have been better all round as it would have included LBR’s and LBP’s and S1 shotguns).

      Isn’t the law great 😦


  2. graemetoogood

    Many thanks indeed for your posts. They are really interesting and I am positive that like me all of your readers are very grateful and thankful for the work you put into them. RegardsGraene

    Sent from my Samsung device



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