Vintage guns used in gang crime were peddled by an antiques dealer

An antiques dealer from Gloucestershire found guilty of supplying firearms to criminals told police he “didn’t give a s—” who he sold his goods to.

Vintage handguns and custom-made ammunition sold by Paul Edmunds have been linked to over 100 crime scenes in England including 50 gang-related shootings. Edmunds imported around 280 guns between 2009-2015 including 19th-century revolvers and illegal 1950s Colt pistols from the USA. A registered gun dealer, he also handcrafted 1000s of bullets for use in the obsolete antique firearms, which he brought back into service.

Before being caught by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service, Edmunds worked in conjunction with middleman, Dr Mohinder Surdhar, to supply arms and ammunition to criminal gangs. Detective Constable Phil Rodgers who led the investigation into their activities said the duo “were like the Breaking Bad of the gun world – on the face of it, both decent men, but using their skills and expertise to provide deadly firearms”.

One of the weapons Edmunds imported was used in a fatal shooting at London’s Avalon nightclub in 2013. Another was deployed in an attempt to shoot down a police helicopter. When Edmunds was arrested at his home in 2015 police found three armouries and 100,000 live rounds of ammunition.

Found guilty of conspiracy to supply firearms and ammunition by Birmingham Crown Court, Edmunds could face up to 25 years in prison. As many as 207 of his guns remain at large and may still be used on the streets. Dr Surdhar, who first met Edmunds at a gun fair, admitted conspiracy to supply firearms and ammunition before Edmunds’ trial took place.

Edmunds’ conviction highlights the threat posed by the sale of reactivated vintage weapons to criminal gangs in the UK. According to West Midlands Police DCI Rich Agar “there could potentially be thousands of Second World War guns unaccounted for”, which can be restored and sold with handmade ammunition.

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