Report online or call us on 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

Download the Ask The Police app from the following app stores:

Get it on iTunes Get it on Google Play

A deactivated weapon is a firearm that has been rendered incapable of discharging any shot, bullet or other missile and has consequently ceased to be a firearm if:

  • the weapon bears a mark which has been approved by the Secretary of State for denoting the fact that it has been deactivated;

AND

  • that company or person certifies in writing that work has been carried out on the firearm in a manner approved by the Secretary of State for rendering it incapable of discharging any shot, bullet or missile.

The marks referred to above are:

  • Crossed swords with DA and the year round them for the Birmingham, Proof House; and
  • DA over a sword and the year for the London Proof House (there are only these two proof houses).

Every deactivated weapon must also have with it a certificate stating that deactivation work has been carried out on it.

Deactivation differs from conversion in that a converted weapon may still fire but a deactivated one may not.

If a weapon is defectively deactivated, it is an offence to make it available for sale or as a gift to another person, or to sell or give it (as a gift) to another person. A weapon is a defectively deactivated weapon if:

  • it was at any time a firearm,
  • it has been rendered incapable of discharging any shot, bullet or other missile, but
  • it has not been rendered so incapable in a way that meets the technical specifications for the deactivation of the weapon that apply at the time when the weapon is made available for sale or as a gift or (as the case may be) when it is sold or given as a gift.

This offence does not apply if the weapon is sold or given as a gift by a museum, to another museum, both of which have a museum firearms licence.

Current rating

1 2 3 4 5

Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.