What are they?

A firearm is broadly defined in UK law as “a lethal barrelled weapon of any description from which any shot, bullet or other missile can be discharged”. This can include both real and replica objects of any age. The definitions result in a very diverse range of objects being classified as firearms (see The Law for more information).

The law exists to prevent firearms crime and provide a means for the legitimate possession and use of firearms. The law applies to museum objects. Museums should obtain expert advice when deciding whether objects in their collections are firearms.