Airgun shooters have been given the chance to speak up for their sport by taking part in a Home Office consultation on firearms safety.
Interested parties – and that means us – are being asked to give their opinions on the possession of airguns by people aged under 18, as well as on the secure storage and safe-keeping of airguns.
At the moment, young people aged 14 to 17 can shoot an airgun without adult supervision on land where they have permission to use it, something organisations like the British Association for Shooting and Conservation want to see continue.
BASC director of firearms Bill Harriman explained: “We want the views of the legitimate shooting community to be recognised in this consultation.
“We will fight against regulation that constrains the ability to teach young people how to safely use guns and restricts the capability of farmers and landowners to control vermin.
“Pest control is where airguns are extremely important. They can be used in areas where other guns cannot, and are incredibly accurate and silent.”
There’s already been some good news for airgun shooters in England and Wales who had been concerned that a licensing system similar to that in Scotland might be introduced, but this has not been included in the consultation.
Mr Harriman added: “On first glance it would appear that the government has listened to BASC’s concerns on licensing airguns and are considering other options.
“We will now work with the government during the consultation period to ensure the legitimate shooting community are not left disadvantaged.”
The consultation, which runs until 16 February, is focusing not just on airguns, but miniature rifle ranges, large-calibre rifles and the components used to make live-fire ammunition as well.
Follow this link to have your say on the future of our sport: www.bit.ly/agm143consultation
The Firearms Act 1968 extends to England, Wales and Scotland, with the exception of the regulation of air weapons in Scotland, which is devolved. The control of firearms is generally subject to separate legislation in Northern Ireland.