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Britain's new law closes loophole in use of unlicensed antique guns

(Xinhua)    08:37, November 10, 2020

LONDON, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- A loophole that has allowed criminals in Britain to use antique firearms in robberies and other crimes was closed by a new law that came into force Monday.

According to the National Ballistics Intelligence Service, there has been a sharp rise in the number of antique guns being seized from crime scenes in Britain in recent years.

Criminals have been exploiting the loopholes in the law to use antique firearms in violent crimes.

The Home Office, Britain's interior ministry, said in 2007 there were four recoveries of antique guns used in crimes. This grew to 97 in 2016 and remain at high levels with 69 guns recovered in 2019.

Exemptions to Britain's tough gun laws allowed gun collectors and dealers to possess, as well as trade in old firearms which no longer presented a danger to the public. But evidence showed this exemption was being exploited for criminal use.

Britain's Home Office estimated around 26,000 antique guns currently exempted from gun permit laws will now require an official firearms license.

A Home Office spokesperson said: "The UK has some of the toughest gun laws in the world. We will do everything in our power to make sure it stays that way."

"Existing owners of the firearms that will be affected by these regulations can apply for a firearm certificate. They can also sell, deactivate or surrender the firearms ahead of the change in the law."

The maximum sentence for the unlawful possession of a firearm in Britain is five years' imprisonment.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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