BASC supplied evidence to the members of the parliamentary Public Bill committee on why proposals to ban large-calibre rifles, contained in the Offensive Weapons Bill, are a bad idea.

When asked about the implications of the proposal, which would affect .50 calibres in particular, BASC’s director of communications and public affairs Christopher Graffius told members of the committee: “I am particularly concerned because it will take away a legitimate, lawful, and safely-conducted sport at which we do particularly well in the World Championships.

“I think it also establishes a principle in law via muzzle energy could be used to threaten even more commonly-used calibres and that could seriously damage shooting in the future,” said Mr Graffius, who gave evidence to the committee alongside BASC’s director or firearms, Bill Harriman.

BASC previously told MPs that attempts to ban .50 calibre target rifles are disproportionate and not evidence-based. When asked if he agreed with further evidence provided by the National Crime Agency and National Ballistics Intelligence Service, Mr Graffius said he did not.

“I think one of the problems with rifle that are firing over 10,000ft/lb, in particular the .50 calibre, at which this legislation was first aimed at, is that very few people have seen one, even fewer have handled one and fewer still have pulled the trigger one. There tends to be a lot of myth around it and I’m afraid that much of what you were told was either misleading or inaccurate and often quite ridiculous.”


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