Friday, 10 February 2012

Much Safer Than Tackling Real Gun Crime, Eh?

After the hearing Smith said he had refused to accept a ticking off or a caution at the police station because it would have meant handing over the guns.

‘I couldn’t agree to that because of their historical significance,’ he said.
Which is probably why the police were so determined to nail him. But they reckoned without Judge Murphy:
Common sense prevailed when the judge dealing with his case at Sheffield Crown Court recognised he was a genuine enthusiast and intervened to save Smith from punishment and his weapons from destruction.

Judge Michael Murphy told him: ‘I am quite satisfied that you are not a criminal and this is part of your hobby.’

Police requested the forfeiture of his deactivated 1934 Steyr MP34 German machine gun, valued at around £3,000, as well as two replica pistols.

But the judge said: ‘I don’t want historical artefacts to be destroyed and so I am not going to make an order to destroy these things.’
It's pretty ironic that there are probably more working-order illegal firearms within a stone's throw of New Scotland Yard than historical re-enactment societies in the country.

And, once again, the police's desire not to be 'disrespected' matches that of the tooth-sucking urban 'yoof' they are supposedly set up to combat. Makes you think, doesn't it?


Anonymous said...

Always go after the soft targets first and persecute to the fullest extent. It gets your bobby-dazzler rating up.

Anonymous said...

It was not so long ago that two policemen escaped jail after SELLING deactivated firearms that had been handed in to be destroyed. No reasonable person would be concerned that they did turn up and would even accept that they were armed but their actions after that smack of either petty vindictiveness as he refused to back down or the intent to sell the historical weapon. Still safer for them than actually, you know... trying to reduce armed crime? Those gun bans are really working out aren't they?

Anonymous said...

Oh, joy of joys. I must summon up Beelzebub's horned police tormentor for a few hot pointers prior to commenting.

Dr Cromarty said...

Cops going for low-hanging fruit? Who'd have thunk it?

Better to go after some harmless collector than some pipe-hitting bad guys who might pop a cap in their ass...

Captain Haddock said...

Bloody good job he wasn't a member of the Ermine Street Guard then ..

Imagine the potential apoplexy which a Gladius, Puggio and a brace of Pila might bring on .. ;)

bpuk said...

So much for being quiet...

Bit of an interesting one this. For the sake of playing devils advocate lets assume that the UK's firearm laws are derived from something approaching sense and good intentions.

The random passerby who reported this to the police acted correctly.
The initial police response, active invesigation by armed police, was correct.

At that point it all comes apart. The ideal scenario would have been for Smith, being confronted with armed police, to have said 'This is a deactivated firearm, here are my keys, please feel free to inspect it'. The officer on the spot should then have inspected it and said 'Right, it's deactivated, stop being a ruddy fool and keep it in your boot when you've got a display coming up. We're off.'.

To be clear, no longer playing devil's advocate, it is permitted to own and possess (proofed) deactivated firearms, and showing the deactivation certificate to the police *should* have been enough to end the matter.

Pleading guilty to 'possessing an imitation firearm in a public place' is odd... this clearly was not an imitation firearm - unless that charge was referring to the 'replica pistols'.

"Imagine the potential apoplexy which a Gladius...."

Ye gads, there'd be no excuse for that one - bit hard to 'deactivate' a 30 inch length of steel :D (well, usually iron, sometimes bronze or steel)

"Those gun bans are really working out aren't they?"

Nuff said.

JuliaM said...

"Always go after the soft targets first..."

Path of least resistance is always the first taken...

"It was not so long ago that two policemen escaped jail after SELLING deactivated firearms..."

Oh, I'd forgotten that one!

"At that point it all comes apart. "

Yup. And the police involved have now made themselves look prideful, dim and malign. Great job there!

Uncle Badger said...

Hang on, did I miss a comment? There's usually (at least) one from one of the blogplods telling us how ungrateful we are, how we don't understand how difficult the job is and that we'd all be murdered in our beds if we didn't, um, shut-up and do what we're told.

Anonymous said...

@ Uncle Badger

As soon as the plod canteen thermometer fell to sickies, plod went home. Once home, it never considers using its own electricity for blogging.

jaded said...

Radiator,Melvin,radiator-that's the word you are looking for.
They have been turned up full blast this week.

WV="boring buffoon", a massive coincidence?

Mick said...

There was a policewoman called Jaded
Whose looks had decidedly faded
On her scalp the nine hairs
Would refuse to make pairs
So she had them all hot waxed and braided.

Anonymous said...

@ Mick

Her first Valentine...gilded with tasteful verse, you smooth Lothario.