Rifles, known as MARS (Manually operated release system) and LRA (Lever release action) rifles have recently been moved into Section 5 of the Firearms Act and are therefore prohibited weapons.
Owners of such rifles have until 9 March 2021 to surrender them. After this date, owners will be in unlawful possession of a prohibited weapon.
These rifles are centre fire rifles, generally in calibres such as 9mm, .45acp, .223 and .308 and are very similar in design to semi-automatic rifles which, unless of .22 rim fire calibre, have been unlawful to hold for many years.
The prohibited rifles eject the fired case using gas pressure. The action is then released either by a second pressure on the trigger or by a separate lever. A spring strips a round from the magazine, loading it into the breach and making the rifle ready to fire. It is then fired by pressure on the trigger in the normal manner. They are capable of producing a high rate of fire.
Ownership of these weapons is now unlawful except where they were previously lawfully held and they are being held in order to surrender them. There is a compensation scheme in place and full guidance for surrender and making a claim can be found here:
There has been confusion caused by letters issued by some Police Forces drawing attention to the change in legislation without being precise as to the exact nature of the rifles involved.
This change DOES NOT apply to any semi-automatic rifle of .22 Rim Fire calibre such as a Ruger 10/22, or to bolt action or straight pull action centre fire rifles of conventional design, which can still be lawfully held on a firearm certificate.