Offensive Weapons Surrender & Compensation Scheme

The Offensive Weapons Act 2019 has added MARS and lever release rifles and ‘bump stocks’ to the category of prohibited weapons under section 5 Firearms Act 1968. A compensation scheme for these items, along with certain knives and other types of offensive weapons commenced on 10th December 2020 allowing current owners to surrender any such items to the police and claim compensation. After the scheme closes on 9thMarch 2021 it will not be possible to claim compensation, and the government will then proceed with implementing the prohibition. The exact date of the prohibition on these items coming into force is not yet known, but from that point possession of them will become a criminal offence. The Home Office has published a Guidance document with full details of the items covered by the surrender scheme and how to apply for compensation.