The Worshipful Company of Gunmakers was established in 1637 by charter of Charles I to promote and to regulate gunmaking, a role it still fills today. Its activities fall under three headings:
The Livery. The 250 members of the Gunmakers' Company come not just from the gun trade but also from a variety of other professions and walks of life. The Company provides them with opportunities for fellowship, furtherance of common interests and participation in the ceremonies and governance of the City of London, including the election of Sheriffs and the Lord Mayor.
The Proof House. Under the provisions of the Gun Barrel Proof Act, all guns sold in the United Kingdom must undergo proof to test the basic soundness of barrel and action. Together with the Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House, the London Proof House provides proofing and other services to the British gun trade. The Proof Master may also be requested to investigate accidental gun and barrel failures, and with working through the Commission Internationale Permanente pour l’Epreuve des Armes à Feu Portatives (CIP) to improve gun safety worldwide.
The Gunmakers' Company Charitable Trust. The recently established Gunmakers' Company Charitable Trust provides grants for gunmakers and others looking to improve skills in gunmaking or gun-related crafts and industries, or to undertake research that will advance the state of knowledge in the trade.
Since 1675, the Company has been located at its Proof House: 48-50 Commercial Road, London E1 1LP, just outside Aldgate and the old walls of the City of London. For enquiries, please telephone the Clerk of the Worshipful Company of Gunmakers, Colonel Bill Chesshyre, or his assistant on +44 (0) 20 7481 2695. Alternatively, email clerk at gunmakers.org.uk. For directions to the Proof House, please follow this link.