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Firearms: Sentencing

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people have received the minimum jail sentence of five years for possession of a firearm in each year since 2004. (269259)

The available information is shown in the following table.

Figures for 2008 will be available later this year.

Persons sentenced for firearms offences liable for five years minimum custodial sentence as prescribed by the Criminal Justice Act 20031, 2003-07










1 Offences under Firearms Act 1968 of possessing or distributing prohibited weapons or ammunition, or possessing or distributing firearms disguised as other object.

2 The mandatory is only applicable for offences that occurred on or after 26-01-2004

Many of the persons dealt with in 2004 will have committed their offences prior to the mandatory being introduced. Five years is the Mandatory minimum for persons aged over 18 at time of offence and for offences taking place after 26-01-2004


1. The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with, when a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

2. These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system


OMS Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice