I don’t usually read The Daily Mail for its authentic and informative stories about the world, but some pretty interesting stuff does sometimes come out of it. Such as this story about a British parish council chairman in Suffolk who amassed over five hundred firearms in his house. We a story earlier back about an American in California who had thousands of firearms confiscated from him when he died, and in a similar case, this British gentleman passed away before any legal ramifications could be had for him. Comparing gun ownership in Britain to the U.S., that’s alot of firearms! Apparently most of them were illegally owned, but I’ve got a hunch that there might be more to the story than this. This might be a long stretch, but I’m willing to hedge a small bet, that the overwhelming majority of these “firearms” were actually deactivated. Although the problem is that I can’t see any evidence to support this in the pictures, and it doesn’t say so throughout the article. What makes me say this, is that the guy has over five hundred firearms, but apparently not a single round of live ammunition. The report claims that there were “200,000” rounds of ammunition also found, but in all the pictures of this “ammunition”, they either show just bullets without shells, or shells without bullets/powder/primers. Knowing English gun laws are extremely strict, I wouldn’t put it past the police to simply say these were firearms, because maybe they had been deactivated in the 1990s or so, but hadn’t followed any of the additional deactivation laws. For more information on this, see my article on the London Proof House. But essentially, Britain has passed a number of deactivated firearms laws, and with each law, the deactivated firearm has to be brought up to standard, by filling the barrel with lead, or slotting the chamber, or any other such method. Maybe this guy had all these deactivated guns, and just got tired of following each new law, and thus simply didn’t. Because I can’t see how even illegally, one has a huge amount of firearms, but without a single round of live ammunition. I mean, the guy had a M76 LAW, that doesn’t look like it had been touched by the British EOD, unless it was deactivated, the police woman probably wouldn’t even be holding it up for the camera, because it would have been a live rocket stored in a police armory where you can’t store rockets!
Either way, his collection is extremely impressive! From a historical point of view, I hope most of these “firearms” don’t get torched, and instead go out to museums, or the Pattern Room in Leeds. Early 1928 Thompsons, early RPKs, revolvers, M16A1s, even an STG44!