Originally Posted by ZakFT
This is a very interesting topic and it would be beneficial if someone can sum up on the topic as it appears there seem to be different of opinions.
I'll have a go at summing up.. and perhaps Monty can have a read and see if he agrees.
You're right about the law Zak, there have been opinions on this thread but what Monty and I have quoted directly from the Firearms Act 1968.. it's not opinion, it's the law in black and white.
First off, I'll say that it is NOT illegal to have a loaded air weapon in a public place. That's most certainly the law. (black and white... although there's a grey bit coming up)
However... for it not to be illegal you must have either a Reasonable excuse or Lawful Authority.
Here's where it comes down to interpretation.. and it's the interpretation of what's a reasonable excuse.
An example of a reasonable excuse might be, I have the gun in my car because I'm on the way to my shooting permission.
If you had the gun on the front seat of your car, out of it's case, loaded and cocked.. then I'd say the excuse that you're going to the range doesn't sound very reasonable to me.
Both those cases are at either extreme.. where it gets tricky is if you have a gun in it's case, not cocked but there was a loaded magazine in the gun.. it 'might' not be classed as a reasonable thing to do. If it's not classed as reasonable then it's not legal to have it in a public place.
If you have a gun in a bag in the boot of your car and you have loaded magazines with the gun but not in the gun.. it's still classed as being loaded in the eyes of the law, and personally I'd say that's a reasonable excuse.. whether it is or not would be up to a judge if it ever got that far since it's not defined in the Firearms Act. (a case when the law is not the law, because it's not been decided yet).