Damaging Bill Amendments Averted

The Public Bill Committee has thrown out amendments to the Offensive Weapons Bill that would have seriously damaged shooting, after listening to advocacy from the likes of BASC.

If all the amendments were accepted, the bill would have banned young people from shooting airguns in their own garden, and made it compulsory to have a firearms certificate to buy shotgun cartridges. Another clause would have impacted home loading of ammunition.

The Bill is mainly intended to tackle knife crime and acid attacks, but anti-shooting campaigners jumped at the opportunity to slip in amendments that target legitimate sporting activities.

The amendments tabled included various proposed restrictions on the use of firearms and ammunition through modification of the Firearms Act of 1968. One clause would have banned the use of airguns by people under 18 on private land, other than as part of a shooting club. Another could have made it an offence to purchase or acquire shotgun ammunition without a valid firearm certificate.

BASC has been working to combat the threat, briefing committee members and lobbying the committee. The association’s chairman Peter Glenser says, “I was particularly pleased to witness Home Office minister, Victoria Atkins MP, steer the Bill committee towards common sense.”

And he said BASC was pleased that the amendments have been withdrawn: “There will be ongoing talks with political parties and the government, but those threats, for now, have been dealt with.”

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