This rushed in, tabloid fueled addition to The Criminal Justice Act 2003 requires courts to impose a mandatory minimum jail sentence of five years for anyone convicted of possession of an illegal firearm, no matter if any element of intent to harm was present. This has produced many notable injustices including the lengthy imprisonment of many otherwise law-abiding people who have come into possession or simply retained firearms after the various recent amendments restricting them. Although in some cases judges have been able to use the 'exceptional circumstances' exemption, this only applies in very rare cases and still usually reflects the otherwise mandatory sentence, remaing highly disproportionate (eg, three years instead of five).
71 year old licensed gun owner jailed for five years for owning a few technically illegal guns.
Grandmother jailed for five years for having father's 80 year old pistol
Man jailed for three years for having forgotten pistol in storage:
Collector jailed for five years for having a WWII Luger and antique revolver among many deactivated pieces of weaponry.
Five years for simply owning a pistol:
Man faced five years and dragged through court for handing in abandoned shotgun:
Music teacher jailed for giving his terminally ill father his WWII pistol to end his life