Cover Image: Weapons and ammunition found in the ceiling of a business in Kent (Pictures: Kent Police)
A garage owner stored a cache of weapons, including shotguns, a harpoon gun and a Second World War Russian Submachine in the ceiling of his business in Gravesend, Kent.
During a search at Jeffrey Dawe's property in August, police officers also found gunpowder, fireworks, ammunition and a book on how to convert old, disused guns into live firing weapons.
The 74-year-old pleaded guilty to firearm offences at Maidstone Crown Court on Monday and was sentenced to five years imprisonment.
In total, the officers found 24 long-barrelled guns, 47 handguns, five flare guns, two BB guns adapted to fire lethal ammunition, two shotguns, a Second World War Russian machine gun with more than 300 rounds of ammunition, and a British Second World War machine gun.
Many of weapons were wrapped in plastic bags and hidden behind a metal sheet in the ceiling of his business.
Officers further discovered significant amounts of ammunition of varying calibres, pressing equipment for making rounds, and a large box of fireworks in the property.
Dawe returned to the business whilst the police were conducting the search.
He was arrested at the scene and later pleaded guilty to possessing firearms without a certificate, possessing prohibited weapons, and possessing ammunition without a certificate.
Detective Inspector Bill Thornton said: 'Dawe claimed he collected and assembled his weapons out of his own interest in antiques."
"However, regardless of his intentions, he illegally had in his possession large numbers of firearms that were capable of firing with lethal effect."
'He was fully aware the weapons were illegally held and actively decided not to surrender them to Kent Police.
"This not only ensured there were unregulated, dangerous weapons in the community, but also meant there was a possibility they could fall into the hands of other criminals who would use them to cause harm."