Legal Weapon


1 x 30'

Production company

Longtail Films

Year of production


Commissioning channels




Since 2017, almost 800 guns from the USA have been discovered in the United Kingdom, a country where gun ownership is illegal. Many of these guns have been used in deadly crimes across the country and frighteningly, the process of getting them into Britain is surprisingly easy and perfectly legal. Why? Because they are classed as antiques.

In this BBC Panorama special, reporter Greg McKenzie sends fellow journalist Daniel Foggo undercover to expose just how easy it is to exploit the loophole in UK law which allows the import of antique guns. Foggo is able to buy a Smith and Wesson in America with no fuss, declare it to British customs officials, who are none-the-wiser, on his return and buy home-made ammunition online to turn his collector's item into a weapon. For a criminal, it's child's play.

Featuring interviews with former gunmen, judges and police officers, Legal Weapon blows the lid on how perfectly-legal antique guns from the USA are wreaking havoc in the hands of UK criminals, with touching tributes to the victims. Driving it all is the story of Detective Constable Phil Rodgers who, in an investigation spanning over five years, unravelled the mystery behind this deadly trade.

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