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Is this a firearm?

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Re: Is this a firearm?

Postby shootist » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:40 pm

Hairyloon wrote:Turning then to the list in question, how do you suggest the rule applies to the list in question?
"Any noxious liquid, gas or other thing."
It's ambiguous in the first place does it mean any (noxious liquid), gas or other thing; or does it mean any noxious (liquid, gas or other thing)? (I trust the notation is suitably clear).


All I can offer on that is that stun guns fall into this category. OED seems to define noxious as harmful, poisonous, or very unpleasant. That doesn't seem to confine it to fluids or electrickery and it must be certain that an arrow through one's tender parts is likely to be both harmful and unpleasant. By contrast, the ejusdem generis rule of interpretation might exclude arrows. That said, Cupid still has a lot to answer for.
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Re: Is this a firearm?

Postby Rick Ape » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:11 pm

I'm going to refer this weapon to the powers that be for a definitive answer as it's a grey area.

I'll report back as and when, but in the meantime my initial thoughts are:

A firearm requires a barrel, which is defined as a "tube through which" a shot etc is discharged. As the arrow goes over the tube this does not seem to fit.

s.5(1)(b) Firearms Act 1968 has a general prohibition on "any weapon of whatever description designed or adapted for the discharge of any noxious liquid, gas or other thing" This is intended to capture CS, stun guns etc. Whether the arrow is noxious is debatable but unlikely.

s.5(1)(ae) similarly prohibits "any rocket launcher, or any mortar, for projecting a stabilised missile..." Both these weapons infer a barrel so again does not seem to fit.
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Re: Is this a firearm?

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:28 pm

Rick Ape wrote:A firearm requires a barrel, which is defined as a "tube through which" a shot etc is discharged. As the arrow goes over the tube this does not seem to fit...

From where are you taking that definition?
Is the propellant not discharged through the tube? How do you suggest that the propellant is not covered by "etc"?
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Re: Is this a firearm?

Postby shootist » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:18 pm

Rick Ape wrote:A firearm requires a barrel, which is defined as a "tube through which" a shot etc is discharged. As the arrow goes over the tube this does not seem to fit.


Can you give me a reference to this. I haven't been able to find such a definition, in law at least. Yet, anyway.

Using a bit of a semantic bodge, it might be argued that, if your definition exists in law, that the barrel in this device is indeed what the arrow is 'discharged through' as the arrow is discharged by the air that passes through the barrel.

57.-(1) In this Act, the expression " firearm " means a lethal
barrelled weapon of any description from which any shot, bullet
or other missile can be discharged and includes-


The arrow is a missile and is discharged from the barrel.
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Re: Is this a firearm?

Postby Rick Ape » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:13 am

"Barrel" does not seem to be specifically defined in law, as far as I can see, so until there is a definitive answer I've taken the OED definition which says "through"...
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/gun_barrel


Shot etc is my poorly written short hand of s.57(1B) of the Firearms Act 1968:
"lethal barrelled weapon" means a barrelled weapon of any description from which a shot, bullet or other missile, with kinetic energy of more than one joule at the muzzle of the weapon, can be discharged.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1968/27/section/57
Surely the use of "from" and "discharged" in that definition implies the shot, bullet or missle must be within the barrel at some stage. No mention is made of propellant.

1 joule = 0.74 ft lb http://convert-to.com/conversion/energy ... ft-lb.html

I have not read the detail, but is there any part of the arrow within the barrel, or does it sit flush/proud totally outside it? I'm thinking of a lug or peg that might sit it in the muzzle to stabilise it prior to firing. If so, that might change things.

(Note to self: show your workings)
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Re: Is this a firearm?

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:57 am

I agree with shootist. The shot, bullet or other missile must be discharged from the barrelled weapon, not necessarily from within the barrel itself. If the legislator had intended to define a firearm as a weapon which discharged a missile from its barrel, he would have done so.

I think the alternative view above adds unnecessary complexity.
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Re: Is this a firearm?

Postby shootist » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:45 am

Right! This bloody thing has cost me sleep, but I think I have it. Here's how it goes. Consider what this thing is. The first thing to do it to take the arrow, chop it up and throw it away. It is a distraction. Now study what is left. It looks and clearly is, a weapon. It has a stock, a cylinder for high pressure air into which is fitted a valve which when activated directs a quantity of high pressure air along a tube which the manufacturers call a barrel. Does that sound familiar? For those who don't know, it's pretty much a description of a pre charged air rifle.

On it's own, and without a single change to what it is, it is an airgun with a smooth bore barrel. Put a lead ball of appropriate diameter into the barrel and discharge it and I will produce my naked fundament in the market place for public inspection if it doesn't exceed 12 ft/lb muzzle energy. It's a very tactical looking muzzle loading air rifle that will require a firearms certificate.

There is already at least one smooth bored airgun (not, technically, a rifle) sold in the UK. The one there was a big fuss about being semi auto which isn't. But take your bog standard FAC Theoben Rapid air rifle and remove the sound moderator. Then get a tube that fits snugly over the barrel. Perhaps even replace the barrel with a simple steel tube of similar size to that fitted on this 'Airbow'. Hammer one end closed and file it to the shape of an arrow head before sliding it over the barrel. It would be a very fat arrow, but it would work, I'm sure, and if adjusted internally, would be easily capable of exceeding 12 ft.lb. Now, take it to your Firearms Licensing Officer and persuade him that it isn't an air rifle and you don't need a licence.

I think that the importers who are advertising this thing as not being a firearm and not needing a licence could be heading for disaster.
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Re: Is this a firearm?

Postby gid » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:07 am

Technically the airbow has a spigot, like a dummy launcher. Dummy launchers have holes at the side near the end, and no hole at the end so that they cannot be muzzle loaded.
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Re: Is this a firearm?

Postby Hairyloon » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:58 am

Rick Ape wrote:Shot etc is my poorly written short hand of s.57(1B) of the Firearms Act 1968:
"lethal barrelled weapon" means a barrelled weapon of any description from which a shot, bullet or other missile, with kinetic energy of more than one joule at the muzzle of the weapon, can be discharged.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1968/27/section/57
Surely the use of "from" and "discharged" in that definition implies the shot, bullet or missle must be within the barrel at some stage. No mention is made of propellant.

No, it clearly refers to the kinetic energy.
The question may be answered by considering what would happen if the weapon was fired without an arrow. Clearly the kinetic energy at the muzzle without an arrow will be slightly more than that which would be transferred to the arrow if the arrow was there.
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Re: Is this a firearm?

Postby dls » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:38 pm

HL is, I think correct initially. The 'from which' refers back to the noun - the weapon. The 'barrelled' is an adjective describing the weapon. The next issue is whether, to be barrelled, the missile must come from the identified barrel. I think that the defintion of barrel denotes a tube type object with no necessary component of being part of a means of accelerating and directing a missile.
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