New Clause 46 — Minimum Sentence for Certain Firearms Offences

Criminal Justice Bill — [3rd Alloted Day] – in the House of Commons at 3:54 pm on 20th May 2003.

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'After section 51 of the Firearms Act 1968 (c. 27) there is inserted the following section—

"51A Minimum sentence for certain offences under s.5

(1) This section applies where—

(a) an individual is convicted of—

(i) an offence under section 5(1)(a), (ab), (aba), (ac), (ad), (ae) or (c) of this Act, or

(ii) an offence under section 5(1A)(a) of this Act, and

(b) the offence was committed after the commencement of this section and at a time when he was aged 16 or over.

(2) The court shall impose an appropriate custodial sentence (or order for detention) for a term of at least the required minimum term (with or without a fine) unless the court is of the opinion that there are exceptional circumstances relating to the offence or to the offender which justify its not doing so.

(3) Where an offence is found to have been committed over a period of two or more days, or at some time during a period of two or more days, it shall be taken for the purposes of this section to have been committed on the last of those days.

(4) In this section "appropriate custodial sentence (or order for detention)" means—

(a) in relation to England and Wales—

(i) in the case of an offender who is aged 18 or over when convicted, a sentence of imprisonment, and

(ii) in the case of an offender who is aged under 18 at that time, a sentence of detention under section 91 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000;

(b) in relation to Scotland—

(i) in the case of an offender who is aged 21 or over when convicted, a sentence of imprisonment,

(ii) in the case of an offender who is aged under 21 at that time (not being an offender mentioned in subparagraph (iii)), a sentence of detention under section 207 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 (c. 46), and

(iii) in the case of an offender who is aged under 18 at that time and is subject to a supervision requirement, an order for detention under section 44, or sentence of detention under section 208, of that Act.

(5) In this section "the required minimum term" means—

(a) in relation to England and Wales—

(i) in the case of an offender who was aged 18 or over when he committed the offence, five years, and

(ii) in the case of an offender who was under 18 at that time, three years, and

(b) in relation to Scotland—

(i) in the case of an offender who was aged 21 or over when he committed the offence, five years, and

(ii) in the case of an offender who was aged under 21 at that time, three years.".'—[Paul Goggins.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.