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Lewis Nedas News

Lewis Nedas Law are London-based solicitors. Frequently rated in both Chambers UK and The Legal 500, we can help you or your business today. Tel: 020 7387 2032.

Laura Saunsbury Appointed Honorary Solicitor of the Deactivated Weapons Association

deactivated weaponsOur firearms expert Laura Saunsbury has just been made Honorary Solicitor of a new organisation called the Deactivated Weapons Association.

Laura is already Honorary Solicitor to the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association since 2009, and in 2011 she co-authored The British Firearms Law Handbook.

For specialist advice on UK firearms law contact us on 020 7387 2032 or complete our online enquiry form here.

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Laura Saunsbury Profiled In Sporting Rifle Magazine

firearmsOur firearms law specialist Laura Saunsbury has been profiled in the summer issue of a leading publication for shooting enthusiasts, Sporting Gun Magazine, as one of the top five lawyers throughout the country in this field of law. Of the five lawyers featured, Laura is the only woman, testament to her success in what is a largely male-dominated environment. The article, written by freelance shooting journalist Helena Douglas, recognises Laura’s considerable talents in this area of law and that she is increasingly being sought out by a growing client base from all around the country. Another of the lawyers profiled is Laura’s co-author in the British Firearms Law Handbook, barrister Nicholas Doherty, whom Laura regularly instructs to represent her clients.

Click here to read the full article.

For those who have an eye for detail it should be noted there is one small printing error in the magazine’s profile of Laura Saunsbury; she is not 51 years old, as stated in the article, and is in fact a mere 45 years old!

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National Recommendations for Firearms Licensing Published by IPCC – by Laura Saunsbury

On 14 June 2013 the Independent Police Complaints Commission published a report making national recommendations for firearms licensing following its investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fatal shootings in Durham on New Year's Day 2012 by shotgun and firearm certificate holder Michael Atherton. The investigation concluded that Durham Police Constabulary had missed several opportunities to review and reassess Mr Atherton's suitability as a certificate holder.

The IPCC report goes on to make national recommendations for shotgun and firearm certificate holders to be subject to a more regular review of their suitability and personal circumstances, rather than simply every five years when certificates fall due for renewal. The proposal is that all certificate holders would be subject to this closer scrutiny, regardless of whether any particular incident or concern about an individual has been brought to the attention of their local firearms licensing department.

The IPCC recommendations include a suggestion for national guidance to be produced for police forces in relation to how they conduct and process reviews of certificate holders. This would certainly have the benefit of producing more consistency of approach across the country as well as greater clarity for certificate holders and indeed members of the public.

The IPCC argues that a minimum requirement of any certificate holder review should be for the individual to be subject to a further home visit and interview by the local firearms enquiry officer. This would seem to be an eminently sensible approach and should help to minimise the number of instances of revocation and refusal decisions being taken by the police without first inviting the certificate holder to offer any explanation or response to the police concerns.

These are no doubt all quite laudable recommendations, but one wonders how police firearms licensing departments would manage to implement them in practice, given they are already struggling in the wake of redundancies and/or mergers of the licensing departments of two adjoining police forces to simply process new certificate applications and five yearly reviews on renewal!

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Excellent Reviews for Laura Saunsbury’s Book on Firearms Law

In December 2011 Sweet & Maxwell published The British Firearms Law Handbook, which our firearms law specialist Laura Saunsbury co-authored with barristers Nick Doherty and Helen Dobby. Since then the book has been the subject of critical acclaim in a number of reviews published in shooting journals and also the legal press.


, the web-based legal update service for criminal lawyers, described the book in a recent review as, “the nearest to a dedicated practitioner text on the subject as you would ever want”. The review, which was circulated by email to criminal solicitors and barristers throughout the country on 15 June 2012, concluded, “It is difficult to see how any criminal law practitioner dealing with a firearms case can properly ignore this book”.

In the shooting press the book has been widely applauded as a valuable guide for shooting enthusiasts. In the July 2012 issue of Sporting Gun magazine, the reviewer David Frost wrote, “You might expect the book to be full of legal jargon but in fact it’s written in a very user friendly style”. In another review published in the summer 2012 issue of Keeping the Balance, the magazine of the National Gamekeeper’s Organisation, it was given the following praise, “The book has much to commend it for the ordinary gun user”

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