Posted by: konradbaumgarten | June 17, 2010

5 years sentence for “unlawful” gun possession

The trouble with fascist states is that you never know whether you should laugh or cry in desperation. When it comes to individual liberties, the United Kingdom has become a very bad place to be: citizens are subject to preposterous punishments when they dare exercise what other people rightfully consider to be a basic human right.

Grandmother jailed over WWII ‘family heirloom’ pistol

A grandmother has been jailed for five years for possessing a “family heirloom” World War II pistol.

Gail Cochrane, 53, had kept the gun for 29 years following the death of her father, who had been in the Royal Navy.

Police found the weapon, a Browning self-loading pistol, during a search of her home in Dundee while looking for her son.

She admitted illegal possession of the firearm, an offence with a minimum five-year jail term under Scots law.

Cochrane told the High Court in Edinburgh that she had never contemplated she might be committing a crime by keeping the gun or that she might need to get a licence for the weapon.

She said: “I thought it was just a war trophy.”

Defence solicitor advocate Jack Brown argued that the circumstances surrounding the case were exceptional and that it would be “draconian, unjust and disproportionate” to jail the grandmother-of-six.

Prohibited weapon

However, Judge Lady Smith said: “I am not satisfied that a reasonable explanation has been put forward for not handing this gun into the authorities throughout the 29-year period she says she has had it in her possession.”

The judge said she was unable to find herself satisfied that this was one of the rare cases in which exceptional circumstances existed.

She said: “The result is I have no alternative but to sentence Mrs Cochrane to a period of five years.”

The case began after police arrived at the 53-year-old’s home on 17 June 2009 with an arrest warrant for her son who had failed to turn up for a court appearance.

He was not at the flat, but the 80-year-old pistol was found underneath a mattress in her bedroom.

When interviewed, Cochrane told police that the gun had previously belonged to her father and that she had kept it when he died.

She said she believed it was a real gun, but had no ammunition for it.

The weapon was sent for examination by firearms experts who concluded that it was a Czech-made pistol dating back to about 1927.

Cochrane admitted having the 7.65 millimetre Browning self-loading pistol at her home without a firearms certificate and possessing the prohibited weapon without the authority of the Secretary of State or Scottish ministers.

Anybody out there who has read 1984 or seen V for Vendetta? Can you still tell the difference?

(Hat tip: P.M.)


Responses

  1. […] 5 years sentence for “unlawful” gun possession (via The Swiss Gun Blog) Posted on June 18, 2010 by Orwell's Dreams The trouble with fascist states is that you never know whether you should laugh or cry in desperation. When it comes to individual liberties, the United Kingdom has become a very bad place to be: citizens are subject to preposterous punishments when they dare exercise what other people rightfully consider to be a basic human right. Grandmother jailed over WWII ‘family heirloom’ pistol A grandmother has been jailed for five years for possessing a … Read More […]

  2. Shameful. The lady didn’t even have ammo for it. Crime has gone through the roof since Britain outlawed guns. They won’t get our guns here in the States. Well, at least we’re sure not going to give them to them. They can have mine. One round at a time.

    • the judgement is disproportionate, but the equation : [“Gun” + “arrest warrant for her son”] make me think it wasn’t found in the house of a peacefull and law-abiding family… i guess the gun would have been seized even if she was a US resident.
      But you’re right : Gun rights in UK sucks😦

  3. […] In the UK, having an heirloom from WW2 gets you five. […]

  4. English subjects have exactly the government they asked for, over and over again.

    Why should I second guess them?

  5. A bit off topic, but the INGSOC image has an error. It is suppose to read as “Strength” or is that just a play off the whole ignorance bit? If so my apologies…haven’t had my morning caffeine yet.

  6. The English did the same thing with Scots’ Claymore swords a hundred years earlier.

  7. The police were looking for her son under her mattress?

  8. […] In the UK, having an heirloom from WW2 gets you five. […]

  9. […] In the UK, having an heirloom from WW2 gets you five. […]

  10. […] In the UK, having an heirloom from WW2 gets you five. […]

  11. […] In the UK, having an heirloom from WW2 gets you five. […]

  12. […] In the UK, having an heirloom from WW2 gets you five. […]


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