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What are deactivated guns?

A deactivated weapon is any firearm that has been converted so that it can no longer discharge any shot, bullet or any other missile. Deactivation is intended to be permanent and cannot be reactivated without specialist tools or skills.


Deactivation work carried out in the UK since 1 July 1989, will generally have been endorsed by a Proof House. The weapon will be proof marked and issued with a deactivation certificate.

There are stringent requirements before a weapon can be proofed as deactivated and such work should be left to a gunsmith. A registered firearms dealer is the best person to speak to about this.

Any weapon - including prohibited one such as a machine gun - can be deactivated and will no longer deemed a firearm under the Firearms Act.

Deactivated weapons may be possessed without a firearm or shotgun certificate and may be displayed in the owner's home without the need for a locked gun cabinet.

Old spec (weapons deactivated before October 1995)

Submachine guns and semi automatic rifles have working actions. Revolvers do not have blocked cylinders and can accept an inert round.

New spec (weapons deactivated post October 1995)

Submachine guns and semi automatic rifles have welded actions (they will not cock or dry fire) Revolvers have the cylinders blocked and cannot accept an inert round