June 2015 Review

by Gun Control Network on 30-06-2015

See June Incidents / June Sentences for the full lists.

Gun Deaths

We are not aware of any gun deaths in June 2015. Click to view earlier Gun Deaths.

Sentences and Convictions

We are aware of at least 33 sentences and convictions handed down during June, over 50% relating to serious crimes involving imitation, BB, replica, and airguns, all of which can be legally held without licences.

Angus Harron, Gareth Flemming, and Mark Jewitt have been jailed for a total of 45 years for a violent robbery using an imitation gun at a computer shop in Penrith, Cumbria.

Nine men have been jailed for a total of 31 years following a fight involving a sawn-off shotgunbetween rival families on a street in Blackburn, Lancashire.

Matthew Ferry has been jailed for 13 years for possession of an illegal sub-machine gun and for carrying out an armed robbery at a jewellers in Edinburgh using a replica pistol.

Licensed Gun Owners/Incidents

Raymond Arthur Evans, a 74-year-old retired gamekeeper, has pleaded guilty to possessing an illegalairgun disguised as a walking-stick, and a hammer action double-barrelled shotgun without a firearms certificate.

A police officer is reported to have "unintentionally" fired his gun while responding to an incident in Uxbridge, west London.

A 69-year-old senior Essex police officer has been suspended and charged with three counts of possessing a prohibited weapon, and possessing a firearm and ammunition without a certificate.

Richard Pocock, a 30-year-old who was serving as a police officer at the time, has been handed a six month suspended sentence with 180 hours of unpaid work and been ordered to pay £165 court costs and a victim surcharge after being found guilty of possessing an unlicensed shotgun and ammunition in the loft of his Nottinghamshire home.

Armed Domestic Violence

We are aware of at least two incidents/sentences relating to armed domestic violence in June 2015.

Konrad Kurpias was jailed for 30 months and has been given a restraining order prohibiting him from contacting his wife after he shot her in the stomach with a BB gun, threatened to kill her, and threatened to slit her throat while he was talking to a friend in their home in Southampton, Hampshire. The friend intervened to stop further violence but Kurpias' wife also sustained a head injury the following morning when her husband pushed her.

Steven Ferguson was given a two year suspended sentence with 30 days of activities and 150 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to causing criminal damage and possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear. He threatened to kill his wife, who was 36 weeks pregnant at the time. He also head-butted windows, threw bricks at a house in Deighton, West Yorkshire, armed himself with an airgun, and shot at the outside of the property.

Armed domestic violence is known to involve licensed guns as well as airguns, BB guns, andimitation guns for which no licence is required. Click to view earlier incidents of Armed Domestic Violence.

Stolen Guns

We are aware of the theft of at least five guns in June 2015:

  • A man allegedly stole a BB gun from a shop and used it to rob another store in Nelson, Lancashire.

  • An antique pocket pistol has been stolen from a National Trust property in Nunnington, North Yorkshire.

  • A .22 air rifle has been stolen from a house in Maidenhead, Berkshire.

  • The bolt and scope of a sniper rifle were stolen from the armoury at the National Rifle Association Headquarters in Bisley, Surrey.

  • A van containing an air pistol and ammunition has been stolen from Cricklewood, north London.

  • An air rifle was stolen from a parked car in Mirfield, West Yorkshire.

Animal Cruelty

We are aware of at least seven incidents of animal cruelty in June 2015, all involving air weapons. Six cats have been injured and a herd of 14 bull calves was attacked when their farm shed was broken into. See the Airgun Incidents page for a catalogue of animal attacks and reports of furtherairgun violence.

Assaults Causing Fear

Most firearms assaults in England involve guns being used to threaten individuals, usually for the sake of robbery. Traumatised victims are often unable to identify the weapons used. It is extremely difficult to distinguish between replicas, BBs, airguns, and imitations etc., none of which require a licence, unless the weapons are fired and/or recovered, and for this reason many incidents are attributed to 'unknown' weapons (see explanation). Fear of gunfire is also evident when citizens call police to report hearing gun shots.

The chart below shows data compiled from new incidents and sentences from incidents causing fear in England, Scotland, and Wales as reported in the British media from September 2014 to June 2015:

As the graph demonstrates, many robberies involve the use of imitations and BB guns which do not require a licence and may not contain bullets but are used by perpetrators to capitalise on the fear of victims who believe they are about to be shot. This experience is more common in England, Scotland, and Wales than incidents causing physical injury.

Incidents Causing Injury

In many armed robberies and assaults in Britain resulting in severe injury, perpetrators club or 'pistol-whip' victims using weapons reported to be 'unknown' or imitation firearms. Althoughimitations, BBs, and airguns do not require a licence in England, Scotland, and Wales they are responsible for many gun injuries to both humans and animals.

The chart below shows data compiled from new incidents and sentences causing injury in England, Scotland, and Wales as reported in the British media from September 2014 to June 2015:

GCN is particularly concerned about the criminal use of shotguns (which are licensed to unsafe individuals, lost, or stolen), 'low-powered' airguns, legally held without a licence (though sufficiently powerful to kill adults, children, and animals) and realistic imitation guns (legally held without a licence but illegal to trade/manufacture).

The table below counts new gun incidents in England, Scotland, and Wales as reported in the British media from September 2014 to June 2015:

New Incidents by Month

  Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
 Shotgun 15 13 9 8 17 8 10 6 4 8
 Airgun 36 30 16 14 16 12 23 32 23 11
 Imitation 12 16 12 7 7 14 14 18 6 9
 Unknown 49 34 38 27 26 51 40 35 20 18

GCN is committed to preventing gun violence and we work to pursue that objective through adjustments to the legal system. Ultimately, legally obtained guns in every country tend to find their way into the wrong hands, whether it's through theft or the failure of the licensing procedure to identify legal gun owners who pose a risk to themselves and/or others.


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