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Commons Amendments

Volume 41: debated on Wednesday 11 August 1920

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

[The references are to the Bill as amended in Committee.]

Clause 1, page 1, line 22, leave out ("otherwise") and insert ("for any reason")

Clause 1, page 1, line 26, leave out from ("club") to ("or") in line 1, page 2

Clause 1, page 2, line 9, after ("thereunder") insert ("and the certificate may on the application of the holder thereof be varied from time to time by the chief officer of police of the district in which the holder for the time resides")

Clause 1, page 2, line 11, after ("certificate") insert ("or to vary such a certificate")

Clause 1, page 2, line 14, leave out ("applicant") and insert ("appellant")

Clause 1, page 2, line 39, at end insert ("or to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for a term not exceeding three months, or to both such imprisonment or fine").

Clause 1, page 3, lines 11 and 12, leave out ("at a registered testing ground")

Clause 1, page 3, line 12, after ("by") insert ("purchasing or")

Clause 1, page 3, line 15, leave out from ("aforesaid") to ("or") in line 17

Clause 1, page 3, line 26, after ("kingdom") insert ("or by bringing a firearm ashore for repair provided that he has obtained from an officer of police a permit in the prescribed form for that purpose")

Clause 1, page 3, line 29, after ("by") insert ("having in his possession")

Clause 1, page 3, line 30, after ("in") insert ("or in connection with")

Clause 1, page 3, line 31, at end insert ("or

"(f) in the case of an officer of the Post Office by having in his possession, using, or carrying a firearm or ammunition when acting in the course of his duties or
"(g) in the ease of a person carrying a firearm or ammunition belonging to a person holding a certificate under this Act, by having in his possession such firearm or ammunition under instructions from and for the use of such certificated person only for sporting purposes, or
"(h) in the case of any person carrying on the business of butcher, slaughter-man, knacker, or other person engaged in the business of the humane slaughter of animals for food or other purposes, by purchasing or having in his possession or using any humane killer for the purpose of such business, or
"(i) in the case of any person conducting or carrying on a miniature rifle range (whether for a rifle club or otherwise) or shooting gallery at which no firearms are used other than miniature rifles not exceeding 23 calibre, by purchasing, having in his possession, using, or carrying such miniature rifles or ammunition suitable therefor; or, in the case of any person, by using at such miniature rifle range or shooting gallery any such rifle or ammunition, or
"(j) in the case of a person who has been refused the grant of a firearms certificate by a chief officer of police or whose firearm certificate has been revoked by having in his possession a firearm or ammunition pending disposal thereof by him, provided that he has obtained from the chief officer of police a permit in the prescribed form for that purpose.")

Clause 2, page 3, line 35, leave out ("or sell, or expose") and insert ("sell, repair, test or prove, or expose for sale")

Clause 2, page 3, line 36, leave out the second ("or")

Clause 2, page 3, line 36, after ("repair") insert ("test or proof")

Clause 2, page 3, line 40, leave out from ("person") to the end of line 2, page 4.

Clause 2, page 4, line 5, leave out from ("prohibit") to ("may") in line 6, and insert ("the redemption thereof by a person entitled to redeem the same if he holds a firearm certificate, or is a registered dealer in firearms, and a sale of any such firearm or ammunition to a person holding such a certificate or to such a dealer")

Clause 2, page 4, lines 9 to 12, leave out subsection (3)

Clause 2, page 4, line 16, at end insert ("or proves that he is by virtue of this Act entitled to purchase the firearm or ammunition without having such a certificate:

("Provided that this subsection shall not apply to the sale of firearms and ammunition to purchasers abroad")

Clause 2, page 4, line 17, after ("repair") insert ("test or proof")

Clause 2, page 4, line 18, leave out ("for any other person") and insert ("or ammunition for any person in the United Kingdom other than a registered firearms dealer as such")

Clause 2, page 4, line 18, leave out ("other")

Clause 2, page 4, line 18, after ("producers") insert ("or causes to be produced")

Clause 2, page 4, line 20, after ("firearm") insert ("or ammunition or a permit to bring the firearm ashore for repair")

Clause 2, page 4, line 21, after ("ammunition") insert ("to a person in the United Kingdom other than person in the United a registered firearms dealer")

Clause 2, page 4, line 23, leave out ("by the purchaser")

Clause 2, page 4, line 23, after ("and") insert ("in the case of the sale of a firearm")

Clause 2, page 4, line 31, after ("Act") insert ("and every such entry shall be made within twenty-four hours after the transaction to which it relates took place")

Clause 2, page 4, line 31, after ("sale") insert ("every such person as aforesaid")

Clause 2, page 4, line 31, after ("shall") insert ("at the time of the transaction")

Clause 2, page 4, line 32, leave out from ("identification") to the end of line 35, and insert ("and shall immediately enter the said particulars in the register")

Clause 2, page 4, line 39, after ("request") insert (" (a)")

Clause 2, page 4, line 39, after ("authorised") insert ("in writing")

Clause 2, page 4, line 40, after ("or") insert (" (b)")

Clause 2, page 4, line 41, after ("or") insert (" (c)").

Clause 2, page 5, line 1, after ("authorise") insert ("in writing")

Clause 2, page 5, line 2, after ("aforesaid") insert:

("Provided that in each case where a written authority is required by this subsection such authority shall be produced on demand")

Clause 2, page 5, line 4, leave out from ("section) to ("makes") in line 6, and insert ("or knowingly").

Clause 3, page 5, line 25, after ("pounds") insert ("or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding three months, or to both such imprisonment and fine").

Clause 4, page 5, line 32, after ("to") insert ("or repair, prove, or test a firearm or ammunition for").

Clause 5, page 5, line 41, leave out ("a crime of violence, or for burglary or house breaking") and insert ("any crime")

Clause 5, page 6, line 3, after ("1891") insert ("or the Prevention of Crime Act, 1908")

Clause 5, page 6, line 9, after ("to") insert ("or repair, test, or prove a firearm or ammunition for").

Clause 6, page 6, line 19, after ("purchase") insert ("carry")

Clause 6, page 6, line 21, after ("thing") insert ("or any ammunition containing or designed or adapted to contain any such noxious thing").

After clause 6, insert the following new clause:

A. Any person who has in his possession or under his control any firearm or ammunition with intent by means thereof to endanger life or cause serious injury to property, or to enable any other person by means thereof to endanger life or cause serious injury to property, shall whether any injury to person or property has been paused or not, be deemed to have been guilty of an offence under section three of the Explosive Substances Act, 1883, and the provisions of that Act shall apply accordingly.

Clause 7, page 6, line 33, leave out ("or selling or repairing") and insert ("selling, repairing, testing or proving")

Clause 7, page 7, line 12, after ("safety") insert ("or the peace")

Clause 7, page 7, line 28, leave out from ("nor") to ("any") in line 29

Clause 7, page 7, line 31, leave out from ("offence") to ("shall") in line 33

Clause 7, page 7, line 33, at end insert:

(" (c) that any person who, after the date of the order, knowingly employs in the management of his business the dealer convicted of the offence, or any person who was knowingly a party to the offence, shall not be registered as a firearms dealer or, if so registered, shall be liable to be removed from the register; and

" (d) that any stock in hand of the business shall be disposed of by sale or otherwise in accordance with such directions as may be contained in the order;

"Provided that where an order has been made under this section any person aggrieved by the order may appeal against the order in manner provided the Summary Jurisdiction Acts to a Court of Quarter Sessions.")

Clause 8, page 8, line 26, after ("committed") insert ("or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding three months or to both such imprisonment and fine").

Clause 9, page 8, line 31, leave out ("has reason to believe") and insert ("believes")

Clause 9, page 8, line 33, leave out ("the possession") and insert ("possessing").

Clause 10, page 9, line 9, leave out from the first ("of") to ("for") in line 10 and insert ("any crime").

Clause 11, page 10, line 9, after ("missiles") insert ("whether such missiles are capable of use with a firearm or not")

Clause 11, page 10, line 11, at end insert ("or air-rifle (other than air-guns and air-rifles of a type declared by rules made by a Secretary of State under this Act to be specially dangerous)").

After clause 12, insert the following new clause:

"14. Nothing in this Act contained shall apply to the proof houses of the Master, Wardens, and Society of the Mystery of Gunmakers of the City of London (in this Act called "the Gunmakers Company") and the guardians of the Birmingham proof house or the rifle range at Small Heath, near Birmingham, where firearms are sighted and tested, so as to interfere in any way with the operations of those two companies in proving firearms under the provisions of the Gun Barrel Proof Act, 1868, or any other Acts for the time being in force, or to any person carrying firearms to or from any such proof house when being taken to such proof house for the purposes of proof or being removed therefrom after proof.

Clause 13, page 11, line 18, after ("firearms") insert ("or ammunition").

Clause 15, page 12, line 3, leave out ("(5)") and insert ("(4)")

Clause 15, page 12, line 7, leave out from ("references") to the end of line 8 and insert ("to an appeal to Quarter Sessions will not apply").

Clause 16, page 12, line 34, at end insert ("and the decision of a court of summary jurisdiction on a prosecution for an offence under this Act shall be final")

Clause 16, page 12, line 38, at end insert:

("(5) In the provisions as to penalties 'two years' shall be substituted for 'three months' as the maximum time of imprisonment:")

Clause 16, page 12, page 13, line 3, at end insert:

("(8) Section eighteen of the Criminal Justice Administration Act, 1914, so far as it limits the aggregate term of imprisonment where two or more sentences of imprisonment passed by a court of summary jurisdiction are ordered to run consecutively, shall not apply in any case where any of the sentences is passed for an offence under this Act")

Clause 16, page 13, line 4, at end insert:

("(10) The exemption in favour of any person conducting or carrying on a miniature rifle range or shooting gallery or using a miniature rifle or ammunition at any such range or gallery shall not apply")

Clause 16, page 13, after line 8 insert the following new subsection:

("(11) In addition to any other powers conferred on him under this Act, or otherwise, any constable may arrest without warrant any person whom he believes to be in possession of, or to be using or carrying, a firearm or ammunition in contravention of any of the provisions of this Act, and may search any such person, and whether arresting him or not may seize and detain any firearm or ammunition in his possession or used or carried by him:

(12) For the purposes of the Explosives Substances Act, 1883, any firearm within the meaning of this Act shall be deemed to be an explosive substance").

Clause 17, page 13, after line 12 insert:

("Provided that a Secretary of State may as respects any of the provisions of this Act, by order, substitute some subsequent date or dates, not being later than the first day of December, nineteen hundred and twenty, as the date or dates on which those provisions are to come into operation").

In the Second Schedule, page 14, line 26, at end insert ("at the date of the last stocktaking or such other date in each year as may be specified in the book")

The Amendments made by the House of Commons do not make any serious alterations in the Bill as it left your Lordships' House. Many of them are merely drafting Amendments or Amendments on points of detail, and most of them have been proposed by the Government at the instance of the Gunmakers' Association in order to ensure the smooth working of the Act and to avoid as much as possible interference with legitimate trade in firearms.

The only Amendment to which I think I need call your Lordships' special attention is the new Clause 7, which applies a heavy penalty in respect to the possesion of firearms with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to property. It is obvious, of course, that there is a very grave difference between offences which endanger life or injure properly and the mere possession of firearms without a firearms certificate. In Clause 16, at the instance of the Irish Government, several Amendments have been made in applying the Act to that country. Thus, a penalty of two years has been substituted for that of three months which obtains in the rest of the United Kingdom as the maximum term of imprisonment for offences under this Act. Then the provisions in the Act as to appeals do not apply to Ireland, and additional powers of arrest and search are conferred upon police constables in dealing with persons suspected of being in possession of firearms. If your Lordships agree, I would venture to move the Amendment en bloc. But, of course, if noble Lords prefer that they should be taken seriatim, I will endeavour to the best of my ability to explain each one by itself.

Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendments.

Unless any noble Lord desires to raise a specific Amendment, I will put the Question in the form in which it has been moved by the noble Earl.

On Question, Motion agreed to.