Formal term for firearms from Sussex Police?...WEAPONS


Well-Known Member
I recently had a bit of a gonad ache with Suspol over a renewal and a variation, but they turned it around and rectified it (although I was left with the impression that I was being troublesome) but throughout my correspondence with staff, they repeatedly refer to firearms as "weapons". I'm not going to die in a ditch over it but you'd think the people advising on the law would know that a sporting firearm is most definitely not a weapon.

Nothing to add, just bit of a moan up! :lol:


Well-Known Member
I don't consider myself a grammatical pedant, but I do get peeved when sporting firearms are called weapons. Whenever I am in correspondence talking about anything gun related either here or with the Firearms Licencing Office, they are always referred to as either 'firearm', 'shotgun' or 'equipment'.


Well-Known Member
They are weapons. I don't have a problem with it. It's also a term I use.
How does that not surprise me .......:old:

Personally I would refer to where I was going as " I am off to the gun shop" much the same as you might say I am off to the allotment.

I would doubt very much any one would say "I am off to the weapons shop" :rofl:


Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
I prefer "rifle" for that long bangy thing you shoot deer with, and "shotgun" for that Bangy thing you shoot ducks and pheasants with. A shotgun should have two barrels.


Well-Known Member
The term weapon is designed to instill a particular response. What distinguishes a gun from any other common or garden weapon is about 150 years of intelligent development. The police do not want the public to own firearms - therefore they become weapons.

Alfie White

Well-Known Member

  • a thing designed or used for inflicting bodily harm or physical damage.
    [COLOR=#878787 !important]"nuclear weapons"[/COLOR]

    • a means of gaining an advantage or defending oneself in a conflict or contest.
      [COLOR=#878787 !important]"resignation threats had long been a weapon in his armoury"


      • a rifle, pistol, or other portable gun.
        "Jones pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm with criminal intent"
        synonyms:gun, weapon;




Well-Known Member
I think "weapons" is perjorative when used to describe sporting firearms. However, I bet there are one or two Enfields in the U.K. that have been used as weapons.

If it's any comfort to the OP, etymologically the term "arms" is the translation of the old Gothic:

ORIGIN: OE wǣpen; Gothic wēpna arms, Ger Waffe

Red stag

Well-Known Member
I had an officer refer to my shotgun as a shooter !
I quickly explained that it was used for sport and that would be a word used by a villain.
I must add that it was in a different county and not Sussex .


Well-Known Member
This thing raises it's head from time to time. Mostly, those people that use the term "weapon" are ignorant of any difference in it's use as compared to, say, "firearm". They are just used as generic terms and are seen as interchangeable. Although it is a good thing that sporting firearms are not viewed as tools to shoot people with.

But as Xavierdoc says, what if you are into Lee Enfields. Those are, for sure, weapons. Despite the fact that you don't actually use them for their intended purpose.

So I say don't get too hung up on a word. Just promote your use of these "items" as sporting equipment. Like a football, or a baseball bat (probably not a good example there though).
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Well-Known Member
A sporting firearm most certainly is not a 'weapon'. It is a 'sporting firearm'. It can become a weapon if used inappropriately, but it's intended purpose as manufactured is for sporting use. Exactly as a golf club, a stick, stone, or anything else is not a weapon until a person intends to use it as such. And that includes Lee Enfields. Never head such nonsense
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Distinguished Member
Strange that the police don't normally refer to their Tazers and sprays as weapons especially as both would be regarded as firearms under the firearms act. :-| And they say that our police are normally unarmed, and I haven't even mentioned their batons.

Would it be considered regarded as provocative to do so. Yet it is considered quite acceptable for some police forces to refer to sporting firearms as weapons.
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Well-Known Member
There might be some entertainment value in explaining that if the firearms in question are weapons in the eyes of the police then could they kindly include a condition on your FAC to that effect for use for self defence, which would otherwise be excluded. If brave enough then you could also ask why, if they are weapons, they are granting you a licence to possess them if you cannot lawfully use them as weapons if the need arises.