Shooting laws under fire?

This summer a new three-month consultation will begin, with the aim of clarifying firearms law and stripping away some of the complexity surrounding it.

cartridge bag & gun

The government’s Law Commission will begin a process that it says will make laws easier to understand. It feels frequent amendments have made the law confusing surrounding concepts like “antique,” “lethal” and “weapon.” For example, you do not currently need a firearms certificate to possess an antique firearm but the law doesn’t define what “antique” means, making complying with the law a confusing proposition for collectors.

Professor David Ormerod QA, Law Commissioner for Criminal Law, said: “Our reforms will strengthen the protection offered by the law by ensuring illegal firearms are dealt with by clear and robust legislation, and that criminals no longer have the opportunity to exploit loopholes in the law.”

The British Association of Shooting and Conservation said it supported the review and would be involved at all stages of the process. Communications director Christopher Graffius said: “Existing legislation is piecemeal and often fails to deliver the outcomes legislators intended. While Professor Ormerod promises reform that will strengthen the protection offered by the law, the Law Commission reforms will still have to go through parliament before becoming enshrined in legislation. It is during this process that the reforms are vulnerable to amendment and misinterpretation or misapplication to other areas of firearms law not within the original remit of the review.”

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One comment on “Shooting laws under fire?
  1. We should be very vigilant that any proposals are not designed to make the already over zealous laws more draconian for the law abiding gun owners. A life time certificate – or at least a 10 year certificate would be a step forward. The need when changing a rifle to dispose of one – then needing a variation to acquire another is a total nonsense. Authorisation to posses one of 3 groups – ie rim fire/ .22 centre fire / larger centre fire should be sufficient restriction and one should be able to sell and buy without restriction within any one of these groups. Ammunition restrictions are a nonsense and should be abolished – they serve no purpose as anyone intent on building up an illegal stock is perfectly able to do so. Antique guns are difficult – obviously obsolete/unavailable ammunition make sense but how you discriminate between a 150 year old 12 bore and one made yesterday is difficult – the question should be do you actually need to. How many pre 1914 shotguns are used in crime – very few I suspect so maybe the 100 year rule. Proof marks changed in 1904 so this could be a definitive date. Reproduction muzzle loader are no more effective than antique muzzle loaders so I see no need for them to be registered. Again – ask the relevant question – how many muzzle loaders are used in crime – if they aren’t then why bother registering them.

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