Skip to comments.Widow faces jail for possession of late husband's illegal pistol after it was stolen during burglary
Posted on 02/19/2012 11:02:15 PM PST by smokingfrog
Kathleen Woodward, 64, reported the loss of the vintage pistol after her home was ransacked by a thief who escaped with the gun along with other stolen property.
But while he ended up being jailed for just six months, Mrs Woodward could be sentenced to five years for possession of the firearm.
Mrs Woodward, whose late husband was a gun collector, returned to the house to find it ransacked and when she reported the theft immediately told police that among the property stolen was a handgun which sparked a major operation to find the weapon.
The thief who stole the gun which was inside a cash box, Guy Whitelaw, was later jailed for five years after admitting illegal possession of the prohibited weapon, although his sentence was quashed on appeal.
Parliament has laid down that a minimum of five years imprisonment be imposed for such an offence, unless exceptional circumstances can be shown. Whitelaw (29) later had his jail term cut to six months resulting in his immediate release.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Apparently an exceptional circumstance is if you steal the gun. She should claim she stole it from her husband and get six months like the other thief.
California in 20 years. Bet me.
The Sassenachs have lost their minds.
Good thing I don't live there.
I did just return from London not too long ago. Seems that they like cutting each other's guts out with crappy little camping knives. Some kid got chased through a holiday shoppers crowd and was knifed to death in front of thousands of people in this sort of ritzy shopping area on Oxford St. I'd just been in that same store just a few weeks before.
England, I think your draconian laws really aren't having the intended effect.
There really is nothing left Great about Britain.
Give The Anointed One a second term and we are well on our way to the sissyfication of this nation.
True self respect is a quality only of free men, not possible for any other.
If you own a gun in the UK, you need a firearms licence. I have a firearms licence and several firearms. She had a firearm with no licence. It’s not rocket science is it?
She’ll get let off with a caution.
As for all the predictable nonsense about the end of the UK, please can it - it’s boring, it’s wrong, we’ve got 3% muslims and 92% white British, we don’t have an American-hating muslim president and if any freepers fancy moving from their officially secular state to our officially christian country, you’ll be more than welcome! :)
If you need money, just ask. Don't try to con people.
Not all that convincing, old chap.
The cash box was named 'Guy Whitelaw'?
You don’t name your cash boxes in the States?
What would this woman have had to do to get a license to own her dead husband’s revolver legally?
Apply to the police.
What about those “evil” hollow point bullets? I bet they wouldn’t let her keep those.
A gun without ammunition is just a paperweight.
The judge, Lady Stacey, deferred sentence for the preparation of a background report and told her: “Mrs Woodward I don’t think you need me to tell you this is a very serious matter.”
“The terms of the legislation, at first blush, are uncompromising. This is a very serious matter and there is an aggravation of there being two charges,” she said.
“To find a gun is quite bad enough, but to find ammunition is a serious aggravation,” she said.
It's that easy for the average UK citizen to own a handgun legally? There are many sources that say that handguns are banned entirely in the UK.
Ok, so how many, what model, and what caliber handguns do you own. Legal guns only of course. Here, I’ll even go first:
Ruger Mark II stainless semi-automatic, .22 long rifle.
Walther PPK-S semi-automatic, .380 ACP
Smith & Wesson 686 stainless revolver, .357 Magnum
Glock G22 semi-automatic, .40 S&W
Glock G23 semi-automatic, .40 S&W
Oh, and I carry the G23 concealed daily. So what is your EDC carry pistol?
Well, I did make it sound a bit easier than it is.
‘Licensing and legislation Classifications of firearms RiflesUK law defines a “rifle” as a rifled firearm with a barrel longer than 30 cm, and a total length longer than 60 cm. Single-shot, bolt-action, Martini-action, lever-action (also called under-lever action) or revolver rifles and carbines are permitted in any calibre. Semi-automatic (self-loading in English parlance) or pump-action rifles are only permitted in .22 rimfire calibre.
 PistolsUK law defines a “pistol” as a firearm with a barrel shorter than 30 cm or a total length of less than 60 cm. Only muzzle-loading pistolsincluding muzzle-loading revolversare permitted; in practice all such firearms use black powdera Class 1 explosiveas the propellant. All other pistols are prohibited on the UK mainland, with some exceptions such as pistols used for the humane dispatch of injured animals (such as deer) and some historical firearms.
Starting pistols that are “readily convertible” to fire live ammunition can also be banned. The Bruni Olympic .380 BBM blank-firing revolver was banned in late March 2010 after evidence emerged that it was being illegally converted for criminal use.
 Long-barrelled revolvers and pistols”Long-barrelled revolvers” and “long-barrelled pistols” meeting specified criteria are not classified as prohibited pistols; it is legal, with a Class I Firearms Certificate, to own them. The barrel must be at least 30 cm long, and the firearm at least 60 cm long, which can be achieved by having a permanently attached extension to the grip or butt of the firearm. Single-shot firearms of any calibre, and semi-automatic pistols of .22 rimfire calibres, are permitted.
 Target pistolsAside from special temporary exemptions for major events such as the 2012 Olympics, pistol shooting for sporting purposes has been effectively banned since 1997. As a result, the GB pistol squad has to practice abroad.
A few models of single-shot .22 calibre free pistol, as used in the 50m Olympic ‘Free Pistol’ match, have been produced to meet the “long-barrelled pistol” conditions. Some free pistols have removable stabiliser bars extending backwards to improve stability; the UK-legal models have been made with non-removable stabilisers to extend the dimensions, instead of contrived and non-functional grip extensions. An example is the Pardini K22 Longarm.
 ShotgunsSingle-barrelled, double-barrelled shotguns, or those with a lever-action or, pump-action, or semi-automatic and fixed magazine capacity of no more than two cartridges are permitted on a Shotgun Certificate. Shotguns with a detachable magazine or larger fixed magazine are permitted on a Section 1 Firearms Certificate. Certain types of shotgun ammunition, such as rifled slugs and larger shot sizes can only be bought following the grant of an FAC (firearms certificate). There is no limit on the amount of ammunition that a SGC (shotgun certificate) holder can acquire or possess at one time.
 AirgunsSee also: Air gun laws#United Kingdom
Air pistols with a muzzle energy of not more than 6 ft·lbf (8.1 J) and air rifles of energy up to 12 ft·lbf (16.2 J) do not require a licence and may be owned by anyone over the age of 18. Weapons of higher energy are considered firearms and must be licensed as such. The UK Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 prohibits online or mail-order sales of new air guns; transactions must be finalised face-to-face, either where purchased or through a Registered Firearms Dealer to which an item may be posted and the transfer completed. The sale and transfer of second-hand airguns is not restricted.
From 10 February 2011 The Crime & Security Act 2010 (S.46) made it an offence “...for a person in possession of an air weapon to fail to take reasonable precautions to prevent any person under the age of eighteen from having the weapon with him...”.
Any person on private property without permission is trespassing; possession when doing so of even a low-power air weapon with no ammunition makes this the serious crime of armed trespass, subject to heavy penalties.
 Ammunition This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2012)
Explosive, incendiary, noxious (biological, chemical) and armour piercing ammunition types are prohibited for civilians, although this ban created a problem for the authorities as expanding ammunition is needed for hunting and vermin control. Expanding ammunition is not only permitted but a legal requirement for deer stalking. Holders of a FAC for the purpose of (game) shooting or deer-stalking are required to have authorisation to acquire and possess expanding ammunition noted on it. There is a limit to the amount of ammunition a FAC holder may acquire and possess at any one time.
 Prohibited firearmsThe following are prohibited for civilian use:
Fully automatic or burst-fire weapons, including air guns.
Firearms disguised as another item (e.g. walking sticks, mobile telephones, etc.)
Rockets and mortars.
Air guns chambered for self-contained gas cartridges.
 LicensingWith a few specialised exceptions, all firearms in the United Kingdom must be licensed on either a 5-year firearm certificate (FAC) or a shotgun certificate from the police. This was said to be under review in the early part of 2011.
Shotguns (Section 2 Firearms under the 1968 Act as amended) are defined in UK law as smoothbore firearms with barrels not shorter than 24 inches (60 cm) and a bore not larger than 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, no revolving cylinder, and either no magazine or a non-detachable magazine that is not capable of holding more than two cartridges, plus one in the chamber; shotguns with higher capacity require a firearm certificate. Shotguns thus defined are subject to a less rigorous certification process than for the full FAC; an applicant is not required by law to make a good case for being granted a certificate, but the police may withhold a certificate if they consider that the applicant does not have satisfactory security in place, or granting it would constitute a danger to public safety or to the peace. A certificate holder may own as many shotguns as can be securely stored.
When applying for a firearm certificate, justification must be provided to the police for each firearm, and they are individually listed on the certificate by type, calibre, and serial number. A shotgun certificate similarly lists type, calibre and serial number, but permits ownership of as many shotguns as can be safely accommodated. To gain permission for a new firearm, a “variation” must be sought, for which a fee is payable, unless the variation is made at the time of renewal, or unless it constitutes a one-for-one replacement of an existing firearm which is to be disposed of. The certificate also sets out, by calibre, the maximum quantities of ammunition which may be bought or possessed at any one time, and is used to record the purchasing of ammunition (except where ammunition is both bought and used immediately on a range under s11 or s15 of the Firearms Acts).
To obtain a firearm certificate, the police must be convinced that a person has “good reason” to own each firearm, and that they can be trusted with it “without danger to the public safety or to the peace”. Under Home Office guidelines, firearms licences are only issued if a person has legitimate sporting, collecting, or work-related reasons for ownership. Since 1946, self-defence has not been considered a valid reason to own a firearm. The current licensing procedure involves: positive verification of identity, two referees of verifiable good character who have known the applicant for at least two years (and who may themselves be interviewed and/or investigated as part of the certification), approval of the application by the applicant’s own family doctor, an inspection of the premises and cabinet where firearms will be kept and a face-to-face interview by a Firearms Enquiry Officer (FEO) also known as a Firearms Liaison Officer (FLO). A thorough background check of the applicant is then made by Special Branch on behalf of the firearms licensing department. Only when all these stages have been satisfactorily completed will a license be issued, which has to be renewed every 5 years.
Any person who has been sentenced to three years or more in prison is automatically banned for life from obtaining a firearms licence. Similarly, persons applying for licences with recent, serious mental health issues will also be refused a certificate.
Any person holding a Firearm or Shotgun Certificate must comply with strict conditions regarding such things as safe storage. These storage arrangements are checked by the police before a licence is first granted, and on every renewal of the licence. A local police force may impose additional conditions on ownership, over and above those set out by law. Failure to comply with any of these conditions can mean forfeiture of the licence and surrender of any firearms to the police, though due to the complicated laws, different forces in the UK interpret the regulations in different ways, and many conditions have been overthrown following legal proceedings against issuing Police forces.
Following the Cumbria shootings by Derrick Bird, the UK ‘gun laws’ came under review, with many calling for the laws to be simplified due to what has been called a ‘piecemeal’ set of laws introduced following previous massacres in Hungerford and Dunblane, which led to the ban on semi-automatic rifles over .22 rimfire calibre and handguns, respectively.
The penalty for possession of a prohibited firearm without a certificate is a maximum of ten years in prison and an unlimited fine. The penalty for unauthorised possession of most kinds of firearm is subject to a mandatory minimum of five years.
The Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 increased restrictions on the use, ownership, sale and manufacture of both airguns and imitation firearms.’
Based on the Wikipedia article, it would seem the stolen pistol in the OP is “Prohibited” in the UK and the owner could not have obtained a license to own it legally. Would you disagree?
It would seem so, yes.
Given her age and the circumstance, the woman will get some sort of non-custodial sentence. The five year term is used for people whose firearm possession is much more serious.