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Following a Home Office announcement on Sunday 8th April of a new Offensive Weapons Bill, BASC has warned that some of the details of the proposed legislation may have damaging consequences for shooting sports and for those whose livelihood is related to shooting; the Bill will require close scrutiny.

The Bill forms part of the government’s Serious Violence Strategy and has yet to be printed leaving the Home Office announcement as the only guide to its contents. BASC supports any reasonable measure to combat violent crime but warns against knee-jerk legislation which may have unintended consequences.

Examples of this include the Home Office announcement of:

• A “ban on the possession of a knife on a further education premises” without explaining how this will affect cookery classes and gamekeeping courses.
• The banning of rapid firing rifles and certain powerful firearms – with no further detail and before the publication of the results of a government consultation on the subject.
• A new offence of “possessing certain offensive weapons in private” with no detail on exemptions for lawful activities and good reason.
• A ban on sending knives to private addresses when the evidence shows that knives used in crime come from kitchen drawers not from the post.

Bill Harriman, BASC’s Director of Firearms said: “We will be submitting the legislation to rigorous scrutiny and will robustly represent the shooting community to ensure that legitimate sporting interests are not damaged by measures that have little or no relevance to stopping violent crime.”

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