Weapon Legality in Britain:
These are the weapon laws in England and Wales as they stood on the 4th of January, 2015 (the day before the Merge).
All Stun Guns, Tasers, Pistols, Machineguns (all kinds), Assault and Sniper Rifles require the permission of the Home Secretary to possess. This basically means that the only people the average Briton sees with them either all work for the government, are very
closely allied to them... Or are part of the underworld, who don't really care about weapon laws anyway. Police forces, military and intelligence agencies can easily claim the need to use these types of firearms as part of their lawful duties. Anyone found with one without permission is committing unauthorised possession of a firearm, which has a five-year prison sentence. And suspected cases of owning an unauthorised firearm always
result in armed police raiding your house!
Shotguns (for skeet shooting and hunting) and Carbines (for target shooting and hunting) require applying to the police for a licence. Sawn-Off Shotguns are completely
illegal. Having a criminal record renders you ineligible for a licence.
Bows, non-explosive and non-chemical arrows (including Crossbows) are legal for civilians over 18 years old to own without a licence, but cannot be used for hunting. Putting them in a bag if you're not using them is a good idea.
Hand-forged Swords and other historical melee weapons are legal to own without a licence, but it's a good idea to put them in a bag as well or to otherwise conceal them. Messenger bags that can conceal melee weapons have since gotten very
popular in post-Merge Britain, and the police forces have actually noticed this. Standard protocol now requires that anyone with a bag always
gets searched first.
Knives can only be carried in public with a good reason.
Examples of good reasons to carry a knife in public include:
- taking knives you use at work to and from work (for example as a farmer or estate manager).
- carrying knives you use for recreational purposes, such as angler, camper, hunter, sailor, diver or any other reasonable grounds for expecting to need a knife whilst otherwise pursuing a lawful activity.
- taking knives to a gallery or museum to be exhibited.
- the knife is going to be used for theatre, film, television, historical reenactment or religious purposes, eg the kirpan that some Sikhs carry. (Note: using a knife to sacrifice a living thing is not
considered a lawful activity in Britain, not even under religious grounds.)
There is a notable exemption for knives with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less, eg a Swiss Army knife. These can be carried freely. Swiss Army knives cost 3 EP and are treated as being both a Multitool and a Knife.
Body armour is legal to buy, sell, own and wear without a licence. But if you know what you're looking for, it's possible to tell that someone's wearing it. And someone known to wear it is assumed to be in a position to need
Grievous Bodily Harm:
In Britain, it's treated as grievous bodily harm to transform someone without their knowing consent, unless
you can prove both that it was the only way you could save their life and
that you didn't actually cause the deadly situation in the first place. GBH is also the offence they try you under for blinding, deafening or crippling someone or deliberately infecting them with a STD.
Post-Merge, it's been ruled that deliberately depowering someone without either their knowing and informed consent or possessing government sanction to do so is also considered to be GBH.
Her Majesty's Government requires an Unusual Weapons Licence to carry such weapons, issued by the Home Office. You must be over 18 and have no criminal record. Previous military or police armed response experience helps in your favour. The card has your name, photo and the weapons you're licenced to carry. The full list is confidential, and is restricted to police and intelligence agencies. A code is given in your National Health Service medical records to indicate to your doctor that you do possess such a licence, the same with shotgun and firearm certificates. You must also be able to ensure that the weapon remains secure in your home when it is not being used.