Firearms are sourced and subsequently used in the UK through a combination of legal and illegal methods with only 2% of the population holding a firearms or shotgun certificate.

Firearms are often used in a number of ways to support the business interests of organised criminals to settle disputes, intimidate or enforce. Nationally there are OCGs linked to gun-crime that are known to be involved in the conversion or reactivation of firearms.

Actual firearms offences are likely to be much higher than is known to law enforcement agencies because many of those most affected by firearms are themselves involved in criminal activity and are much less likely to report crime to the police.

The market for firearms in the UK is diverse, suggesting a range of firearms are available including shotguns, pistols, homemade guns, to more powerful weapons such as fully automatic guns, although handguns, usually supplied from abroad, where they are originally manufactured, are the most common type of firearm used in the UK.

There is also a continuing threat from lethal purpose firearms that have potentially been through a number of conversion states before entering the UK criminal market.