UK Government considering to ban .50 cal and Lever Release action rifles

    If you ever wanted proof that there is no end to the forces that want to ban firearms and knives here it is.

    Just months after the EU Firearms Directive (aka EU Gun Ban) the UK Home Office comes with more suggestion on how to restrict the ownership of certain firearms. Once again, it’s just the “dangerous ones” that they are going to ban.

    If a ban doesn’t work you can always try to ban a little more, or widen the definitions of what you were trying to ban. Apparently there’s no need or reason to reflect as to why the previous ban apparently had no effect.

    Unfortunately this trend is not isolated to the United Kingdom.

    Now the UK Government is planning to “…ban the sale of acids to under-18s, prevent children purchasing knives online and restrict access to dangerous firearms...”

    I’m going to skip the details of the acids and the knives and focus on the “dangerous firearms“.


    Home Office to consult on measures to clamp down on the use of offensive and dangerous weapons.

    For instance we see on the list:

    moving two firearms (.50 calibre and certain rapid firing rifles) from the general licensing arrangements to the stricter provisions of section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968

    What the UK Government is aiming at is a ban on .50 caliber rifles and MARS and Lever Release action rifles. MARS stands for Manually Actuated Release System, and there’s a video below to describe how it works.

    To my knowledge no legally held .50″ rifle has ever been involved in any criminal offense in the UK. It would greatly surprise me if there are a lot of illegal .50 rifles around, so it’s difficult to understand what this ban is looking to accomplish. It’s apparent that stopping crime is probably not a priority, although that’s how it’s marketed and, of course, easy for a majority of people to buy as an argument.

    According to UK Shooting News there are at least two Shooting Clubs for .50 caliber firearms.

    The section 5 that is mentioned is part of the “prohibited weapons”. Firearms that end up under that Act and classifications are banned, and as I understand you cannot keep them.

    The NRA in the UK made a statement as reply to the UK Home Office ban.

    While all this is happening, it’s encouraging to see people work hard and develop new shooting ranges, like John and his team with their the latest and newest UK Shooting Range called Silverstone Shooting Centre.

    Silverstone Shooting Centre


    Here you can see an example of a VZ58 with MARS action which would possibly fall under the ban.

    As most semi-automatic rifles already are banned, this is one way of constructing a firearm.

    VZ58 MARS Rifle from Caledonian Classic Arms UK.

    Close up of the new Caledonian Arms VZ58 MARS rifle in .223 Ingenious trigger release mechanism locks the bolt back after every shot to and allows seperate BHO to activate last round hold open, action is gas operated. Available in .223 / 7.62×39 / 9mm /


    The latest details in the matter can be found here UK gun ban latest: Is it lever-releases or MARS?

    Eric B

    Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with a European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatics, optics, thermals and suppressors. TCCC Certified. Occasionaly seen in a 6×6 Bug Out Vehicle, always with a big smile.