Guns and replicas

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Here's a very condensed version of the current gun law in the UK:

  • In the UK you require a licence to possess firearms and shot guns.
  • Each weapon must be certificated and registered by the owner with their local police department.
  • Hand guns are currently illegal in the UK, however muzzle-loading hand guns are permitted.
  • Ownership of some air guns must be also be licensed according to their muzzle energy. see Air Rifles
  • Any air gun that uses a self-contained gas cartridge system is prohibited. It is an offence to manufacture, sell, purchase, transfer or acquire such a weapon.
  • It is the responsibility of the owner of a firearm to ensure that any firearm is passed onto the holder of a current firearms/shotgun licence and that the relevant police forces are informed of any change of ownership.
  • The transportation of weapons is also of primary concern for police forces.
  • The manufacture, import or sale of 'realistic' replica guns is illegal in the UK.

This is a the relevant act:

The Metropolitan Police have a pretty comprehensive web page on this:

This web page offers advice about air rifles -

Many Moderators feel understandably very uneasy about allowing guns to be offered or requested on their groups and therefore choose not to allow firearms posts of any kind. Although it is the responsibility of the owner of the gun to ensure it is being passed on to a licenced owner it is the responsibility of us as moderators to ensure that nothing posted is illegal.

If, in the unlikely event that you do get a weapon of this nature posted on your group and having read the above you still want to allow it, you must be confident that the weapon isn't illegal before you approve it - it is a basic requirement of Freegle groups that all offers and requests are legal. The local moderator should feel empowered, if in doubt, to reject the post in order to be sure the law isn't being broken.

Your home page should have our Safety and Disclaimer statement visible on it.

Sample Disclaimer

We also advise that a disclaimer should be added to the footer of the post along the following lines.


Freegle provides a list server service for the use of its members and cannot be held responsible for any transactions that take place between Members. It is the responsibility of the individual member to ensure that items posted on the list are done so within current UK legislation. Items such as firearms or shotguns require a license and it is the member's responsibility to ensure that relevant licences are held by the party that is replying to the post. Further information can be found at

Alternative ways of disposing of guns:

You may surrender unwanted guns either to a gunsmith (registered firearms dealer) or to your local police station. However, we strongly advise that you contact them first to make arrangements - carrying an unlicensed gun is an offence in itself.

There are also a large number of Internet fora and shooting clubs that facilitate the selling and passing on of guns.

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