SECTION 21 FIREARMS ACT 1968 - FULLY AMENDED

Section 21. Possession of firearms by persons previously convicted of crime

A person who has been sentenced [F1 to custody for life or] to preventive detention, or to imprisonment or to corrective training for a term of three years or more [F1 or to youth custody [F2 or detention in a young offender institution] for such a term], or who has been sentenced be detained for such a term in a young offenders institution in Scotland, shall not at any time have a firearm or ammunition in his possession.

A person who has been sentenced . . . F3 to imprisonment for a term of three months or more but less than three years [F4 or to youth custody [F5 or detention in a young offender institution] for such a term], or who has been sentenced to be detained for such a term in a detention centre or in a young offenders institution in Scotland [F6 or who has been subject to a secure training order [F7 or a detention and training order]], shall not at any time before the expiration of the period of five years from the date of his release have a firearm or ammunition in his possession.

[F8 (2A) For the purposes of subsection (2) above, “the date of his release” means—

(a)in the case of a person sentenced to imprisonment with an order under section 47(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 (prison sentence partly served and partly suspended), the date on which he completes service of so much of the sentence as was by that order required to be served in prison;

(b )in the case of a person who has been subject to a secure training order—
(i) the date on which he is released from detention under the order;
(ii )the date on which he is released from detention ordered under section 4 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994; or
(iii )the date halfway through the total period specified by the court in making the order,
whichever is the later.]

[F9(c) in the case of a person who has been subject to a detention and training order—
(i)the date on which he is released from detention under the order;
(ii)the date on which he is released from detention ordered under [F10section 104 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000]; or
(iii)the date of the half-way point of the term of the order,
whichever is the later.]

[F11 (d) in the case of a person who has been subject to a sentence of imprisonment to which an intermittent custody order under section 183(1)(b) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 relates, the date of his final release.]

[F12 (2B) A person who is serving a sentence of imprisonment to which an intermittent custody order under section 183 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 relates shall not during anylicence period specified for the purposes of subsection (1)(b)(i) of that section have a firearm or ammunition in his possession.]

A person who—
(a) is the holder of a licence issued under section 53 of the M1 Children and Young Persons Act 1933 or section 57 of the M2 Children and Young Persons (Scotland) Act 1937 (which sections provide for the detention of children and young persons convicted of serious crime, but enable them to be discharged on licence by the Secretary of State); or

(b) is subject to a recognizance to keep the peace or to be of good behaviour, a condition of which is that he shall not possess, use or carry a firearm, or is subject to a [F13 community order] containing a requirement that he shall not possess, use or carry a firearm; or

(c) has, in Scotland, been ordained to find caution a condition of which is that he shall not possess, use or carry a firearm;
shall not, at any time during which he holds the licence or is so subject or has been so ordained, have a firearm or ammunition in his possession.

[ F14 (3ZA) In subsection (3)(b) above, “community order” means—
(a)a community order within the meaning of Part 12 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 made in England and Wales, or

(b)a probation order made in Scotland.]
[F15 (3A) Where by section 19 of the Firearms Act (Northern Ireland) 1969, or by any other enactment for the time being in force in Northern Ireland and corresponding to this section, a person is prohibited in Northern Ireland from having a firearm or ammunition in his possession, he shall also be so prohibited in Great Britain at any time when to have it in his possession in Northern Ireland would be a contravention of the said section 19 or corresponding enactment];

It is an offence for a person to contravene any of the foregoing provisions of this section.

It is an offence for a person to sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition to, or to repair, test or prove a firearm or ammunition for, a person whom he knows or has reasonable ground for believing to be prohibited by this section from having a firearm or ammunition in his possession.

A person prohibited under subsection (1), (2) [F16, (2B)] [F17 (3) or (3A)] of this section from having in his possession a firearm or ammunition may apply to [F18 the Crown Court] or, in Scotland, in accordance with Act of Sederunt to the sheriff for a removal of the prohibition; and if the application is granted that prohibition shall not then apply to him.

Schedule 3 to this Act shall have effect with respect to the courts with jurisdiction to entertain an application under this section and to the procedure appertaining thereto.

Annotations:
Amendments (Textual)
F1 Words inserted by Criminal Justice Act 1982 (c. 48, SIF 39:1), s. 77, Sch. 14 para. 24(a)
F2 Words inserted (E.W.) by Criminal Justice Act 1988 (c. 33, SIF 39:1), ss. 123(6), Sch. 8 paras. 6, 16
F3 Words repealed by Criminal Justice Act 1988 (c. 33, SIF 39:1), ss. 123(6), 170(2), Sch. 8 para. 16, Sch. 16
F4 Words inserted by Criminal Justice Act 1982 (c. 48, SIF 39:1), s. 77, Sch. 14 para. 24(b)
F5 Words inserted (E.W.) by Criminal Justice Act 1988 (c. 33, SIF 39:1), s. 123(6), Sch. 8 paras. 6, 16
F6 Words in s. 21(2) inserted (1.3.1998) by 1994 c. 33, s. 168(2), Sch. 10 para. 24(2)(a); S.I. 1998/277, art. 3(2)
F7 Words in s. 21(2) inserted (1.4.2000) by 1998 c. 37, s. 119, Sch. 8 para. 14(1); S.I. 1999/3426, art. 3(b)
F8 S. 21(2A) substituted (1.3.1998) by 1994 c. 33, s. 168(2), Sch. 10 para. 24(2)(b); S.I. 1998/277, art. 3(2)
F9 S. 21(2A)(c) inserted (1.4.2000) by 1998 c. 37, s. 119, Sch. 8 para. 14(2); S.I. 1999/3426, art. 3(b)
F10 Words in s. 21(2A)(c)(ii) substituted (25.8.2000) by 2000 c. 6, ss. 165, 168, Sch. 9 para. 31
F11 S. 21(2A)(d) inserted (26.1.2004 for certain purposes and 4.4.2005 in so far as not already in force) by Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44), ss. 304, 336(3). Sch. 32 para. 12(2); S.I. 2003/3282, art. 2, Sch.; S.I. 2005/950, art. 2(1), Sch. 1 para. 42(7) (subject to art. 2(2), Sch. 2)
F12 S. 21(2B) inserted (26.1.2004 for certain purposes and 4.4.2005 in so far as not already in force) by Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44), ss. 304, 336(3), Sch. 32 para. 12(3); S.I. 2003/3282, art. 2, Sch.; S.I. 2005/950, art. 2(1), Sch. 1 para. 42(7) (subject to art. 2(2), Sch. 2)
F13 Words in S. 21(3)(b) substituted (4.4.2005) by Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44), ss. 304, 336, Sch. 32 para. 12(4); S.I. 2005/950, art. 2(1) (subject to art. 2(2), Sch. 2)
F14 S. 21(3ZA) inserted (4.4.2005) by Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44), ss. 304, 336, Sch. 32 para. 12(5); S.I. 2005/950, art. 2(1) (subject to art. 2(2), Sch. 2)
F15 S. 21(3A) inserted by Criminal Justice Act 1972 (c. 71), ss. 29, 66(7)(a)
F16 Words in s. 21(6) substituted (26.1.2004 for certain purposes and 4.4.2005 in so far as not already in force) by Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44), ss. 304, 336(3). Sch. 32 para. 12(6); S.I. 2003/3282, art. 2, Sch.; S.I. 2005/950, art. 2(1), Sch. 1 para. 42(7) (subject to art. 2(2), Sch. 2)
F17 Words substituted by Criminal Justice Act 1972 (c. 71), ss. 29, 66(7)(a)
F18 Words substituted by Courts Act 1971 (c. 23), s. 56(2), Sch. 9 Pt. II
Marginal Citations
M1 1933 c. 12.
M2 1937 c. 37.

DETAILS OF OFFENCES

Offence - Drunk in charge of a loaded firearm
Max penalty imprisonment - One month
Max penalty fine - £200

Offence - Murder
Max penalty imprisonment - Life

Offence - Wounding/Grievous bodily harm
Max penalty imprisonment - Life
Max penalty fine - £ unlimited

Offence - Threats to kill
Max penalty imprisonment - Ten years
Max penalty fine - £ unlimited

Offence - Offensive weapon in a public place
Max penalty imprisonment - Four years
Max penalty fine - £ unlimited

Offence - Manslaughter
Max penalty imprisonment - Life
Max penalty fine - £ unlimited

Offence - Actual bodily harm
Max penalty imprisonment - Two years
Max penalty fine - £ unlimited

Offence - Common assault
Max penalty imprisonment - Ten years
Max penalty fine - £ unlimited

Offence - Criminal damage
Max penalty imprisonment - Ten years
Max penalty fine - £5,000

Offence - Having anything in his custody or control intending to use it to cause criminal damage
Max penalty imprisonment - Ten years
Max penalty fine - £5,000

Offence - Possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life or injure property
Max penalty imprisonment - Ten years
Max penalty fine - £ unlimited

Offence - Possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear or unlawful violence
Max penalty imprisonment - Ten years
Max penalty fine - £ unlimited

Offence - Using firearms to resist arrest
Max penalty imprisonment - Life
Max penalty fine - £ unlimited

Offence - Prohibited person possessing firearm or ammunition
Max penalty imprisonment - Five years
Max penalty fine - £ unlimited

Offence - Possession of firearm with intent to commit an offence
Max penalty imprisonment - Life
Max penalty fine - £ unlimited

Offence - Carrying loaded firearm in public place
Max penalty imprisonment - Seven years
Max penalty fine - £ unlimited

Offence - Trespassing with firearm in building/on land
Max penalty imprisonment - Seven years
Max penalty fine - £ unlimited

Offence - Person under seventeen acquiring firearm
Max penalty imprisonment - Six months
Max penalty fine - £5,000

Offence - Person under 14 possessing airgun or ammunition
Max penalty fine - £1,000

Offence - Person under 17 having air weapon in a public place
Max penalty fine - £1,000

Offence - Person under 14 making improper use of airgun when under supervision
Max penalty fine - £1,000

Offence - Adult supervisor of person under 14 making improper use of an airgun
Max penalty fine - £1,000

Offence - Selling a firearm (includes airgun) to a person under 17
Max penalty imprisonment - Six months
Max penalty fine - £5,000

Offence - Supplying air weapon to person under 14
Max penalty fine - £1,000

Offence - Failure to hand over firearm or ammunition to constable for examination
Max penalty fine - £1,000

Offence - Discharging a firearm within fifty feet of the centre of a highway causing injury, interruption or danger
Max penalty fine - £1,000

Offence - Discharging a firearm within fifty feet of the centre of a highway causing damage
Max penalty fine - £1,000

Offence - Wantonly discharging firearm in street
Max penalty imprisonment - 14 days
Max penalty fine - £1,000

Offence - At the time of arrest for scheduled offence has in his possession a firearm or imitation without lawful object
Max penalty imprisonment - Life
Max penalty fine - £ unlimited

Offence - Ill-treat or cause unnecessary suffering to any animal
Max penalty imprisonment - 6 months
Max penalty fine - £5,000

Offence - Aggravated burglary
Max penalty imprisonment - Life

Offence - Kill, injure any wild animal under Schedule 5 Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
Max penalty fine - £1,000

Offence - Supply firearms to a person drunk or insane
Max penalty imprisonment - 3 months
Max penalty fine - £1,000