Sullivan v Earl of Caithness: QBD 1976

The defendant who lived in Oxfordshire stored his guns at his mother’s property in Surrey because it was more secure. The magistrates held that he was not in possession of the guns in Oxfordshire. The prosecutor appealed.
Held: The appeal succeeded.
May J said: ‘In my opinion the purpose of section 1 of the Act of 1968 and its ancillary provisions is to regulate and license not merely those who have physical custody of firearms, or who keep them in the place in which they live, but also those who have firearms under their control at their behest, even though for one reason or another they may be kept at their country cottage, at the local shooting range or indeed at Bisley . . In the present case the defendant was at all material times the owner of the firearms. He could no doubt obtain them from his mother’s flat at any time when he wanted them. She had the barest of custody of them, not because she had any interest in them, but because her flat was safer than the defendant’s home in Oxford’

Lord Widgery CJ, Park and May JJ)
[1976] QB 966, [1976] All ER 844
Firearms Act 1968 1
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedJenkins v Director of Public Prosecutions and Another Admn 22-May-2020
Short term possession of stun gun
The appellant challenged the decision of the justices finding him guilty on summary conviction of an offence of possession of a weapon designed or adapted for the discharge of electrical current for incapacitation contrary to s. 5(1)(b) and Schedule . .
AppliedRegina v North CACD 9-Mar-2001
The present appeal turns on the meaning and scope of the concept ‘has in his possession’ in the subsection.
Held: The court applied the conclusion stated in Sullivan, stating that the notion of what amounted to possession ought to be . .
CitedCommissioner of Police of The Metropolis v Meekey Admn 12-Jan-2021
The claimant had been convicted and served his time for possession of a large collection of obsolete or antique firearms. He now sought their return. The police replied that he was in any event out of time.
Held: ‘Section 3(2) of the 1980 Act . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 30 December 2021; Ref: scu.651059