Tuesday, March 10, 2015

English Law Commission Launches Project to Reform Firearms Offences

The Law Commission of England has launched a project to reform firearms offences with a view to clarifying and simplifying the law and making it easier to understand and use.

Current legislation is complex and unclear, with some 30 overlapping and inconsistent provisions:
"For example, no definitions are given for key terms such as 'antique', 'imitation', 'lethal' and even 'weapon'. There is considerable overlap between offences, making it difficult to establish clearly which charges apply in an individual case. The law has also failed to keep abreast with modern technology, and in particular with the availability of equipment that can be used to convert objects into active firearms."

"The implications are serious and wide-ranging. Experts are taking longer to classify weapons, prosecutors are struggling to select appropriate charges and there are many examples of defendants escaping prosecution on a technicality by successfully arguing that the weapon in their possession has been wrongly identified."
The Commission will hold a three-month consultation in summer 2015, supported by a scoping consultation paper and a conference for stakeholders. It expects to publish our final scoping report in spring 2016.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:00 pm


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