Part 5 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 added airguns that use a self-contained air cartridge system to Section 5 of the Firearms Act, alongside real handguns, thus made practically totally illegal. Only around 1500 were surrendered and 6000 put on a firearm license. BASC estimates that around 68000 are still in circulation, the owners of which will face prosecution should they be found in possession or decide to hand them in to the police. Essentially, somewhere near 70000 new criminals were created overnight. Another 'feel-good' law that achieved nothing but the destruction of people's hobbies and property.

Why is this idea important?

This was a tabloid paper fueled, short term solution for politicians to pander to growing public disgust at an increasing number of drug-gang related shootings in city areas. The use of these airguns in crime was blown way out of proportion and simply provided a convenient scapegoat.

The majority of ‘converted’ replica guns of Brocock type seized and used in crime consisted of merely the zinc frame, all other major componants having been replaced and engineered from steel to hold the pressures involved in firing a real cartridge. In the case of the largest bust on an illegal gun factory, entirely new cylinders for these improvised weapons were machined from steel using a lathe set up and a new steel 9mm barrel was manufactured. No doubt this operation would have produced firearms despite this particular replica gun’s legal availability.
Another ‘feel-good’ law that only effected the law abiding and simply provided a means for politicians to look ‘tough on gun crime’ .


(A typical Brocock ‘conversion’ – note: entirely new cylinder manufactured from steel)

13 Replies to “Repeal the ban on TAC airguns (ie: Brocock)”

  1. i think the law on TAC airguns is pathetic- we owners got shafted, because, unlike owners of live ammo guns, we weren’t even compensated if we handed the guns in! i have 2 of these guns- one’s worth £200, & the other £150. i got mine licenced, as there was no way i was gonna hand in weapons of that value for nothing!

  2. just wish the government would sort out the Brocock ban…it was unfair at the time…and is not fair now……just signed the petition….the will not repeal it…but we can live in hope…..

  3. CO2 air rifles used to be FAC but now aren’t. I’d think that this far along time has proved that the air cartridge “conversions” haven’t caused the mass shoot-em-ups that were envisaged. By all means leave them on FAC – but for ##### sake remove the ban on selling them.

  4. These ill thought out, knee jerk reactionist laws which seek to take away our liberty and freedom are ALWAYS a one way street. There is no prospect of repeal to bring back TAC guns or cartridge pistols. The only way we can once again take control of our own destinies is a complete overhaul of our political, banking and commerce sytems. This will only happen once a full blown revolution gets underway. The uprising began a couple of years ago but Middle England didn’t join in and we missed our chance. The reason we have our freedoms taken away is simply apathy. Its time for us to take back control.

  5. The point about Brocock revolvers being altered was that the alterations were done in a machine shop and only utilised the frame of the gun. Since not everyone has a nachine shop in their garden shed, it follows that the number of such alterations was miniscule and the police, as usual, fabricated a few stats to achieve their ends.

    The obvious changes are seen here:

    – together with a remanufactured 9mm barrel. Oh, and the ammo is, of course, available over the counter at any Tesco store.

    The manner in which this entire ban was conducted was disgraceful, as was the attitude of the press which fueled the ban – but it sold copy so that\’s OK.

    There are still around 50,000 Brocock guns floating around out there owned by law abiding people loathe to lose considerable sums of money in the face of the refusal of the government of the day to pay compensation. So that worked, didn\’t it ?

  6. I have three pistols brocock/pieta in Scotland we are moving to a register for all air guns this year this would have been more than adequate instead of the sledge hammer law they put in place my father had three rifles and two pistols which were destroyed when he past away over two thousand pounds lost

  7. I nearly got five yrs for having a brocock tac pistol ,I’m not a gangster and I’m no drug dealer ,I had no idea that the air pistol was illegal, the police or CPS pushed and pushed for a conviction taking a year of my life with it ,I’m not prison material I was petrified for a year ,everyday I woke up the first thing I thought of was I’m going to prison worried me sick and my family , I’ve a 4 yr old son that needs me and to be honest I’m a law abiding citizen with 1 conviction of driving with no insurance when I was a lot younger that’s it , they treated me like I was a nutter , a danger to society, I’ve no violence record what so ever I was totally unknown to the police,they pushed and pushed for conviction and got it .i had to plead guilty although I never wanted to but I owned it and the charge was possession of ,it comes with a mandatory five yrs no ifs no buts , I had a top barrister from the city of London who on day of sentencing told me he thought I would get 3 yrs my legs buckled and felt instantly sick 3 minutes in jail would be to long , I was a nervous wreck if I’m honest
    What I didn’t understand was that the pellet gun had not been modified or converted the police seized my laptop and was checked there was nothing on its history logging “how do I turn my pellet gun into Dirty Harrys equivalent nothing ,so in my eyes it was still a air pistol the only way to kill someone with it would have been to hit them over the head with it
    My opinion of the police has changed , I’m all for no firearms allowed in uk without stringent tests and checks and checked again , and anyone caught with a real gun should be locked up,i agree with zero tolerance on firearms, but you could go into any fishing shop or gun shop as long as you were over 18 you could buy one ,no name and address logged so they could notify you that it’s now a serious offense to own such a thing so how the hell are you meant to no it’s been banned because believe me if I had any idea that it could put me in prison for five years i would of got rid I’m not a idiot
    I got a thousand pounds fine
    180 hr community service
    And a 18 month suspended sentence
    Cost the tax payers thousands of pounds thousands
    But hey the police got there guilty plea and nearly ruined my life for that I’ll never forgive or I will never help the police for what they done to me , you don’t do that to decent people but they did

    1. I saw all this coming and got out of the UK and moved to Canada. I own high powered rifles and shotguns here, but air cartridge guns need a licence too. I don’t know what new gun laws are coming out of the Trudeau Government soon, but he will have a heck of a fight on his hands by the 3 million or so hunters and target shooters here if he tries to lean on us. I’m considering an option for residency in the USA, as the left leaning western nations seem determined to disarm everyone.

  8. Is air rifle and pistol are be licensed in Scotland dose this mean they will bring back the brocock seeming they have a license to own any air gun now

  9. My Husband owned a Brocock target trophy it came into his possession via a deceased relative who bequeathed a number of personal effects including this gun. he never had much interest in it to use in a sporting capacity but packed it away and over a number of years we totally forgot about it. in November 2015 the police had reason to search our home in a non gun related matter and discovered this gun we where arrested and informed that we was to be charged with having a section 5 firearm illegally, we maintained that we had nothing in our home like that and was informed that it was the brocock pistol, we explained that it must be a misunderstanding as it was a pellet gun, we explained how we came by it and said we had had it since 1999-2000 the police told us that the law changed in 2004 and these guns became illegal to purchase and if already owned to apply for permit. we had no recollection of hearing anything in the media about this and if we had would of surrendered the gun. In March this year 2019 my husband was called to court to answer to this charge and informed by his legal representation that it would be highly likely he would recieve a custodial sentence possibly 5 years. Being a 61 year old father of 5 and granddad of 4 the whole family have been sick with worry and so upset about the unfairness of this, my daughter contacted tony from brocock to get every bit of information she could about these guns and the statistics of how many had been adapted to fire live ammunition, tony was an absolute star he supplied everything we needed to know as well as being sympathetic and supportive of our situation something we will all be forever grateful for everything he told us all lead us to believe that these guns where being made out to be more sinister than they where,in june he attended court redy to be sentenced but it had to be adjourned the judge was off sick and the judge given the case stated she would prefer to have time to read all the evidence before sentencing…What a stroke of luck as over that following week i came across an amendment on the cps website regarding charging guidelines in cases regarding these guns
    anyone who owned such a gun like my husband LEGALLY before the change of law in 2004 but had not acquired the permit should be charged with section 1 £200 fine 6 months custodial depending on circumstances. Thankfully after bringing this to the attention of his barrister he put this forward to the cps , his statement did state he inherited it nearly 20 years ago, he had been wrongly charged the charge was changed to section 1 and this week the matter was concluded, the stress of all this section 5 charge has impacted on the whole family it has been a traumatic few months. I am posting this because i believe that there may be people out there who have been charged wrongly for owning a brocock people who have owned them legally before the change of law and have not had the permit needed , they may have suffered a custodial sentence and really need to challenge it if they have , it is also to make others aware for future reference

  10. Now I know why the American rebels decided it was time to start killing British soldiers.
    Can you imagine the seething hatred for your own country if you kill one of your own soldiers?
    You might end up like England where the smart rule the stupid sheep.
    Better than communism but not by much

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