Airgun consultation under way

A consultation on tightening airgun laws in England and Wales, first reported on in the December 2017 edition of Gun Trade News, is now open for public responses.

Intended to be a wide-ranging review into whether the law is fit for purpose, the consultation specifically asks for evidence from Scotland and Northern Ireland, where airguns are already licensed. It also asks “whether further measures are needed on manufacturing standards to prevent accidental discharge of air weapons or to prevent modification of air weapons post-sale in order to increase their power”.

BASC said it would respond “robustly” and tell the government no further legal restrictions are needed. Chairman Peter Glenser said: “In law, airguns are classified as firearms and are subject to all the criminal provisions of the Firearms Act.

“This is already a powerful penal statute and there is no need for further law. The solution has already been identified by government as education and enforcement.”

You can respond to the consultation by email to before 6 February.

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17 comments on “Airgun consultation under way
  1. I believe any further restrictions would only prohibit lawful airgunners from enjoying a wonderful sport. To prevent any further unlawful actions the penalities levied against those parties should be higher and proactively advertised to the wider public.

    I also believe the stigma on an air rifle needs to be differentiated from a FAC firearm. We are mostly responsible shooters as always with every majority is a minority which should not represent nor hinder the responsible owners enjoying a great sport.

  2. Don Edge says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with BASC’s stance on this, education on how to use them safely should be enhanced, and a list of local clubs should be supplied to buyers!!,firearms licensing are stretched to the limit already, without adding to it

  3. Hugh Mitchell says:

    Due to living in Scotland I have been subjected to unnecessary expense and inconvenience with the introduction of the air ‘weapons’ license! Not only do I strongly disagree with the introduction of this totally needless extra level of bureaucracy but I abhor the term air ‘weapon’! Emotive terms like that have no place in an official government licensing scheme, what is wrong with the term air rifle lincense? Intoducing this license has done nothing but penalise the law abiding air rifle user and intoducing a similar scheme in England and Wales will achieve the same outcome. There are already enough laws in place to punish the tiny minority who choose to commit an offense with an air rifle without needing to intoduce a totally unnecessary licensing scheme which will only stretch an already overworked police service!

  4. mick ball says:

    i think that there is no further need fo air gu regulatio just becasue scotland and ileand have air gun licensing it doesnt meen england has to!

  5. william king says:

    punishing the many law abiding airgun owners for the few law breakers just a kneejerk reaction from antigun lobby and anti hunting brigade is an infringment on personal liberties and feedoms bloody country gone to pot

  6. Ian Edge says:

    Dear Sirs,
    I have been shooting Air Rifles for sixty years now and since the late 1960s,before which, one needed to possess
    a Licence obtainable from the local post office for Ten Shillings, I have been able to shoot without a licence provided I stuck to the letter of the law
    and my Children and Grandchildren have been taught by myself to shoot safely and well and they all enjoy doing so , the Girls included.
    I cannot fathom the reason for any further restrictions to this harmless and enjoyable sport which is also subject to stringent laws already.
    I see that there are no proposals to limit ,say, Archery rules and regs. Quite right too I think and these weapons can be powerful as a medium calibre rifle..
    But are always shot safely.
    So why this unjustified concern about the law abiding citizen shooting an air rifle with only twelve foot pounds of power ?
    To tighten a spark plug in a car, one just nips it up to 15 Ft Lbs.!!
    This quantifies the ludicrous concerns over air rifles by example.

    I fully support BASCs’ position in this matter, and emailed the powers that be with my comments.The automated response is as below which I think sums it all up :

    Thank you for your email.

    Responses to the review of air weapons regulation will be taken into account as part of the review. However, due to the volume of responses, we will not be acknowledging each response individually.

    – Tackling Crime Unit

    Who is this faceless “Tackling Crime Unit” ?

    It almost sounds like “spam” to me

    Best Regards, Ian Edge

  7. Mick says:

    Education is the key , we already have laws in place extra licensing will only hurt genuine law abiding shooters.

  8. More laws , ridiculous !, shot airguns for over 50 yrs, seen many changes and the main one is relatively simple, existing laws are misunderstood by various agencies who fail to educate thier staff, the average serious airgunner has more knowledge than many police officers.
    I work professional pest control, and from bitter experience know another fact legislation allways cocks up on basic points, the laws that now exist are draconion at least , better education across the board is what is required, to implement further laws would make a mockery of the entire thing.
    If it does happen and the general licence is returned serious shooters expect something from it , expect us to ask for more not less, raise the power limits to a static 18 to 20 ft lbs to allow for more humane kills on vermin, expect working professionals like myself and others to actually put in to the end result.
    When this type of thing last happened they got it wrong by listening to so called experts, and now later they expect us to have faith in what ?, more government lackys only intent on removing guns from public ownership and raising money from government taxation to be allowed to own them.
    Politely it is seen for what it is polotical gameplay and utter greed.

  9. Andy carter says:

    It’s another money spinner and punishing the carful hunters and shooters ! All because idiots running round shooting air guns at things they should not ! Should be moving age limit to 21 and recording all air guns sold and bane and address checked for asbos and so a like !

  10. Chris hams says:

    I see no need to make a heavily restricted past time any more restricted. It could nake introducing new people virtually impossible.

  11. Darren says:

    So do you need a 2.2 license?

  12. mr kennedy says:

    this is just another way for the goverment to get another tax ,in the name of a know honest law abidding shooters are going to get stuffed

  13. christopher morrow says:

    the law on air guns is already tight enough us law abiding citizens have are restricted to a low power air gun in this country were in other countrys there is no power restrictions.

  14. Jon Weston says:

    One thing that l agree with is having insurance, which is able to be purchased at quite fair prices. I do however feel that the UK has far too many people handling Air Rifles that do not enough common sense to be let loose with a pea shooter. An eyesight test could be an idea as well.

  15. Paul T Gillings says:

    Just another tax on the law abiding shooter. The outlaws won’t get one. Only the law abiding.

  16. Andy Teakel says:

    Again the law abiding shooter is being punished because some people are idiots and spoiling our sport

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