14th November 2003

The States makes it illegal for anyone in Jersey to own a nuclear weapon

While this sounds like the kind of law that should never need to be written and debated – never mind passed – it is officially illegal for anyone to own or use a nuclear weapon in Jersey. Furthermore, to avoid any doubt, it’s also illegal to possess any nuclear explosive device not intended to be used as a weapon. The maximum penalty for contravening the regulations is life imprisonment and a potentially unlimited fine.

A get-out clause

Fortunately, defendants have two arguments they can use in their favour. The first is that they genuinely didn’t know or realise that what they had in their possession was actually a nuclear weapon. The second is that they’d informed, or at least attempted to inform, the States of Jersey Police that they had such a device.

Article 2 of the Crime and Security (Jersey) Law 2003 states among other things that “it shall be an offence for a person to knowingly cause a nuclear weapon explosion… have a nuclear weapon in his or her possession… or threaten to use a nuclear weapon.”
Also forbidden was the act of buying a nuclear weapon on behalf of someone else, in much the same way that adults aren’t allowed to buy alcohol for minors.


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