The Pistols Act of 1903, generally considered to be the first substantive measure of "gun control" in the UK. (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.) It was repealed by the Firearms Act, 1920.
Be it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
This Act may be cited as the Pistols Act, 1903.
In this Act the term "pistol" means a firearm or other weapon of any description from which any shot, bullet or other missile can be discharged, and of which the length of barrel, not including any revolving detachable or magazine breach, does not exceed nine inches.
The term "gun or game licence" means a licence to use or carry a gun granted under the Gun Licence Act, 1870, or a licence or certificate to kill game granted under the laws of excise in that behalf.
The term "antique pistol" shall not include any pistol with which ammunition is sold, or which there is reasonable ground for believing is capable of being effectually used.
It shall be unlawful to sell by retail or by auction or let on hire a pistol to any person, unless at the time of sale or hire such person either produces a gun or game licence then in force, or gives reasonable proof that he is a person entitled to use or carry a gun without a gun or game licence by virtue of section seven of the Gun Licence Act, 1870, or that, being a householder, he proposes to use such a pistol only in his own house or the curtilage thereof, or that he is about to proceed abroad for a period of not less than six months, and produces a statement to that effect, signed by himself and by a police officer of the district within which he resides, of rank not lower than that of inspector, or by himself and by a justice of the peace.
Every person who sells by retail or lets on hire a pistol shall, before delivery, make, or cause to be made, an entry in a book to be kept for that purpose, specifying the description of the pistol, whether single barrel, magazine, revolver, pin, rim, or centre fire, sold or let on hire, the date of such sale or hire, the name and address of the purchaser or hirer, and the office from which the gun or game license produced by the purchaser was issued, the date of such license or the circumstances exempting such purchaser or hirer from having such licence. Such book must be produced for inspection on the request of any officer of police or any officer of Inland Revenue.
Any person who being under the age of eighteen years, and not being exempt by virtue of section seven of the Gun Licence Act, 1870, from incurring a penalty for using or carrying a gun without a gun or game licence, buys, hires, uses or carries a pistol, shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding forty shillings, and any person who knowingly sells or delivers a pistol to any person under such age, and not being so exempt, shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding five pounds.
The court may make such order as to the forfeiture or disposal of any pistol found in the possession of a person being under the age of eighteen years and liable to a penalty under this Act, as to the court may seem fit.
Any person who shall knowingly sell a pistol to any person who is intoxicated or is not of sound mind shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding twenty-five pounds or to be imprisoned with or without hard labour for a period not exceeding three months.
Any offence against this Act may be prosecuted, and any fine in respect thereof may be recovered, and any summary order under this Act may be made, in manner provided by the Summary Jurisdiction Acts.
For the purposes of the application of this Act to Scotland any offence against this Act may be prosecuted, and any fine in respect thereof may be recovered, and any summary order under this Act may be made, in manner provided by the Summary Jurisdiction (Scotland) Acts.
The provisions of this Act shall not apply where an antique pistol is sold as a curiosity or ornament.
This Act shall not apply to Ireland.