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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Gun crime

If you're worried about gun crime in your area, there's a lot you can do to stay safe. If you want to know more about the laws on guns and general gun crime information, find out the facts here.

What is gun crime?

Gun crime includes any offence that involves the use of a gun or other firearm.

This includes:

  • a murder where the victim was shot
  • any situation where a gun was fired, even if nobody was injured
  • any robbery or burglary where the thieves carried a gun
  • any case in which people were intimidated with a weapon
  • anybody found carrying a banned gun, such as a handgun
  • anyone found carrying or using an imitation gun

Gun laws

To tackle the problem of gun-related crime, sentences for people convicted of crimes involving firearms have been made a lot tougher in recent years.

Under the current law:

  • anyone found guilty of possessing an illegal firearm faces a minimum sentence of five years in prison
  • it is illegal to possess an air weapon or imitation firearm in public without a reasonable excuse
  • the age limit to buy or own an air rifle is 17
  • some air rifles that can be converted to fire live ammunition are now illegal

To find out if a gun you're planning to buy is legal, or about the rules on owning one, contact your local force.

What can you do?

Reporting gun crime

If you have information about gun crime, contact your local police force.

If you're nervous about going to the police, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They will never ask for your name or try to trace the number that you're calling from.

Get involved in preventing gun crime

Police and councils around the country run anti-gun campaigns, and if you’re upset or scared by gun crime, you could get involved. These campaigns usually involve events designed to raise awareness about problems in your area. They provide opportunities for you to talk with other concerned people about how the issues should be tackled.

If you're interested, contact your neighbourhood policing team. You can also just stop by your nearest police station to find out about groups in your area.

Additional links

Victims of crime - find help

If you're a victim of crime, you can now search for services in your area that can give you help and support

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