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Help! How can I get my guns back from the police?

A relationship break-up led to this reader losing his guns ...

Q: Last year the relationship ended with my partner and not very amicably. Some days later I received a knock on the door. There were four officers there who said that they were taking my guns and certificate for “safe keeping”.

The guns were under lock and key, as usual at my home address.

Since then I have contacted the firearms department four times to ask when my guns will be returned.

Each time, promises are made to contact the relevant department on my behalf, but nothing ever comes of it.

My local firearms officer came to see me six weeks ago and says that I will get them back. No crime was ever committed, or a breach of security.

Can you clarify where I stand now. I feel that through no fault of my own, the police have been heavy-handed and are holding my property (some £15,000 worth) without good reason.

What can I do to have my guns returned to me?

The law when police take guns


It’s very easy, and quite common, for a partner who thinks they have been wronged to create problems in this way.

If you’re a member of BASC, Countryside Alliance or the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation I suggest you get in touch with their firearms team who have plenty of experience and can offer good, sound advice.

I am always urging shooters to join a relevant shooting organisation for just this sort of reason. I wish more did so.

At the moment you need more than generic advice. You need a lawyer who understands this type of situation and is a specialist – your local solicitor may not be able to help.  You could try Shooting Law or Knights Solicitors. 

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Hopefully they will be able to help. However, once again I highly recommend every shooter is a member of a shooting organisation which will not only offer specialist advice but shooting insurance.