BASC today gave evidence to members of the parliamentary Public Bill committee on the Offensive Weapons Bill.

When asked about the implications of the proposed ban on .50 calibre rifles within the bill, 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 which could be used to threaten even more commonly-used calibres and that could seriously damage shooting in the future.”

Mr Graffius gave evidence to the committee alongside BASC’s director of firearms Bill Harriman.

BASC previously told MPs that attempts to ban .50 calibre target rifles are disproportionate and not evidence-based. 

When asked this morning whether he agreed with evidence the committee received on Tuesday from the NCA and NABIS, Mr Graffius said he did not.

He said: “I think one of the problems with rifles that are firing over 10,000 foot pounds, 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 even fewer have pulled the trigger on one and 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.”

Last month, BASC welcomed pledges that the government is listening to concerns over proposals to ban .50 calibre target rifles.


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