Martin Young, a 67-year-old antique gun collector in England, is battling Oxford city council to have his 350 guns returned and his gun license renewed. He has 30 days to arrange for the guns to be moved or the police will auction them off. Mr. Young believes that his collection might be one of the biggest in the country. Some of the guns date back to the 18th century. To make matters worse, the police have devalued the guns and believe they are worth around £65,000 ($101,116) but Mr. Young says they are worth £350,000 ($544,740). Quite a difference.
“We are not talking peanuts. It’s a life’s work,” said Mr. Young to the Oxford Times.
Mr. Young’s gun license was revoked in 2008 when he made an inappropriate comment over the phone to a council member: “I am armed, blood will be spilt.”
Not a nice thing to say to a public official but not all that threatening, either. Read the full article to understand the context in which the statement was made.
He is also fighting with city council to appeal their decision to block him from developing his real estate property.
Could the seizure of the gun collection be a petty retaliation by the Oxford city council?
As it turns out, Mr. Young is the reason why the Oxford city council has an embarrassing criminal record. They are responsible for illegally crushing Mr. Young’s car that was legally parked on private land in 2007. It was the first time the council was convicted of a criminal offense. Mr. Young won the case and was reimbursed for his troubles.
“The money I have received will be to pay my lawyers’ fees, none of it benefits me. I wanted to make this point essentially for the public benefit – as well as giving the council a dose of what it had given me – and to disabuse the council officers of their general attitude that they are always right and we ‘peasants’ must do as we are told, and without complaint,” he said.
With an American attitude like that, it’s no surprise Mr. Young has problems with British authorities.
Hopefully the guns that took him a lifetime to collect are returned to him and not unfairly sold at a fraction of their value.
If you ever end up in a serious dispute about gun values like Mr. Young, you better have some literature to prove their value. Gun Digest’s Standard Catalog of Firearms is the authoritative source for figuring out how much your guns may be worth.
About the Author: James Card is an editor of Gun Digest the Magazine.
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