Current situationAd Hoc with NO
Certification of Quality of Disablement
Some have had a minimal amount of disablement
as shown on the picuture below. Note that no disablement whatever
has been made to the cylinder which is still capable of accepting
and firing bulleted cartridges:
Quite clearly it is a simple matter to re-convert
this revolver to be able to fire bullets by removing (with hacksaw)
the blocked and cut part of the barrel. Sufficient good, rifled
barrel remains to produce an accurate and lethal revolver again,
and of course no work needs to be done to the cylinder.
This picture illustrates disablements that should
be made to race-starting guns to render permanently disabled and
incapable of accepting or chambering bulleted cartridges and incapable
of firing such cartridges:
The disablements are as described and shown
in the attached Home Office document "FIREARMS LAW: Specifications
for the De-Activation of Firearms Ref ISBN 0 11 341142 1"
Hereafter referred to as "FL-De-Act".
Slotting the barrel FL-De-Act page 17(b) or
over-boring FL-De-Act page 17(c) ensures that if a bulleted cartridge
is "fired" the explosive gases will blow past the bullet
and so impart no velocity to it.
Pinning the barrel to the frame FL-De-Act page
17(2) renders wholly futile attempts to re-convert this revolver
to fire bullets by use of a hacksaw.
Inserting a steel collar FL-De-Act page 18 Method
3, welding FL-De-Act page 18 Method 2, or pinning FL-De-Act page
18 Method 1 prevents any bulleted cartridge being inserted, or
any bullet from being discharged. Effectively only blank cartridges
can now fit into the modified cylinder.
As with De-Activated firearms all work carried
out to blank firing pistols should be checked and certified by
bearing a "mark" or "stamp" FL-De-Act page
17(f) by a Proof House approved by the Secretary of State for
It may be said that the use of a pin, weld or
collar block method to permanently disable a race-starting gun
from chambering or firing bulleted cartridges or bullets might
be dangerous. The British Army has used temporary devices (that
achieve the same effect) to block the barrels on rifles and machine
guns used for blank firing on exercises with no reported danger
If "Race Starters" reject such measures
as above as impractical, even though they are not, then Lord Cullen's
Recommendation (Chapter 12 "Public Enquiry into the Shootings
at Dunblane Primary School") should be considered.
"Consideration should be given to restricting
availability of . . . revolvers of any calibre which are held
by individuals . . . preferably by their disablement . . . or,
if such a system is not adopted, by the banning of the possession
of such handguns . . ."
The German company of Rohm produces race-starting
guns in .380" (9mm) calibre that are made of a weak metal
alloy and incapable of bearing the pressures produced by a bulleted
That they are not capable of being used to fire
bullets is clearly seen by the attached catalogue page
that that notes them as "Vente Libre" (Free SaleNo
Restrictions or Licence Needed) in France and the most of the
Because of a fear that these could fire CS Gas
cartridges the Home Office has blocked their sale in the UK. Thus
they are not currently available, as the law stands, in Great
The Home Affairs Select Committee might, perhaps,
ask the Secretary of State why his officials block the use of
such non-lethal race-starting guns in this country whilst being
seemingly quite happy for private individuals to possess lethal
revolvers (fully capable of killing) merely to make a "bang
and a flash" to start a running race?
IN 1997 ACT
The possession of lethal revolvers for race-starting
only allowed where such revolvers
are slotted, over-bored, pinned and blocked as shown in the diagrams.
Such work to be Proof House Certified, Marked and Stamped; or
the possession of "disabled"
lethal firearms for race-starting be prohibited and the law changed
so that non-lethal revolvers of the Rohm type be allowed.
This would have advantages of simplifying the
law and removing all race-starting guns from the licensing procedure.
Existing race-starting guns of the Enfield .380"
type would be surrendered to the police for destruction.
Race Starters would now be able to buy revolvers
of the Rohm type, non-lethal purpose made for race-starting and
incapable of firing bulleted cartridges.
Existing controls on CS Gas ammunition would
prevent their misuse with such cartridges. Indeed the use of which
has never been a problem in UK. No evidence, for example, appears
to exist of CS Gas ammunition having been used in those .38"
revolvers possessed for target shooting (now banned) which were
fully capable of chambering and firing it.
Finally, it has to be asked if such arrangements
are considered to be normal in the EC and the rest of the world
. . . with Race Starters using non-lethal revolvers of the Rohm
type, is it not timeas we enter the21st centurythat
this practice be adopted here?
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