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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:13 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 12:30 pm
Posts: 5105
Location: Rain-soaked NW England
Group: 2nd Armored in Europe
Okay - thought it best to put this thread up, following on from a comment in another thread from fatkat100, who asked:

"Was wondering if the front venting 9mm blank fire 1911's (flare type) are legal or illegal in the uk if you already owned one? Sorry this question has been raised many times"

Paul (Commando Sniper) answered previously:

"not too up on various blank firers so i wont make any sweeping statements as i maybe wrong and theres alot more knowledgeable people on here. all i know is that front venters (or at least some) arnt illegal per say, but if it has a flare firing attachment on the front then it can be considered to be able to fire a projectile.

i know someone else will be able to shed alot more light on it."

I will add the following wording from the Customs Service guidance document posted on the other thread:

"6.15.3 European Specification Imitation Firearms
Blank firing imitation or replica firearms marketed and sold overseas,
particularly in Europe, and not intended for the UK market are generally not manufactured to comply with the provisions of the UK Firearms Act 1982 for the following reasons:

(a) the barrel is threaded to accept a muzzle attachment designed to launch a mini-flare projectile. Such muzzle attachments resemble a metal cup threaded at the base to attach to the muzzle of the replica and may be
considered to constitute a barrel. In this way these miniflare compatible blank firing pistols would be considered to be “firearms” under the definition provided by Section 57 of the Firearms Act 1968. Such firearms designed as signalling apparatus would be controlled under section 1
of the Firearms Act 1968 and are subject to Firearm Certification.

(b) the mini-flare attachment described above uses hot gases created by the discharge of a blank cartridge in the chamber to launch a flare. Imitations which are designed to be compatible with these flare launchers invariably vent forwards down the axis of the bore. The bore may
have a partial obstruction but this is still designed to allow hot gasses to vent past it. Forward venting imitation firearms may be considered to be “readily convertible” to discharge a shot bullet or missile by either completely removing the partial obstruction in the barrel or by placing
a projectile forward of the blockage. In some instances “dust” shot may even be fired past any obstruction without modification. Subject to examination by an accredited expert, such forward venting imitations may be deemed to satisfy the definition of a “Firearm” under Section 57 of the Firearms Act 1968, and in the case of a firearm with a barrel length less than 30cm or an overall length less than 60cm, this would establish such a firearm within the prohibition under Section 5(1)(aba) of the
Firearms Act 1968 as amended by the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997.

(c) forward venting, blank firing, imitation firearms are designed to be compatible with CS gas cartridges. These cartridges are freely available in some European countries and are particularly common in 8 & 9mm. CS
cartridges will chamber and fire in just about any imitation with that chamber dimension (including UK spec. blank firers). However, certain European manufactured imitations are specifically designed to be compatible (normally forward venting, some with a nozzle or mesh in
the bore). Any weapon of whatever description designed or adapted for the discharge of any noxious liquid, gas or other thing is classified as a prohibited weapon in the UK under section 5(1)(b) of the Firearms Act 1968 - 1997.
Any ammunition containing, designed or adapted to contain, any such noxious thing is classified as prohibited in the UK under Section 5(1)(c) of the Firearms Act.

Some information on this area of the guidance has been withheld because
disclosure would prejudice operational procedures and assist in the avoidance of operational controls."

Again, this is guidance for the Customs to follow and not the exact wording of the law, but the information is correct.

Note that there is allowance for front-venters to be examined by an accredited expert, giving the possiblity for a properly-designed front-venter to be allowed (as have some, as we already know).

EDIT: to prevent this thread going off on a long thread of disinformation about the legality of blank firers, Steve (Westerwald) and myself have agreed to lock this thread as-is.


Glen Mallen
2nd Armored in Europe : http://www.2ndarmoredineurope.co.uk
D-505-PIR/2nd Armd : http://www.d505pir.com
Look Out Below! : http://www.look-out-below.co.uk/

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