Home Office launches consultation on deregulating sound moderators


BASC has welcomed a government decision to launch a public consultation on a proposal to remove sound moderators from firearms licensing controls.

Launched today, the Home Office consultation seeks views on proposals to amend the definition of firearm in section 57(1)(d) of the Firearms Act 1968, removing the reference to sound moderators.

Currently, sound moderators must be covered by a firearms certificate. However, the wording of the consultation states that “sound moderators are not dangerous as firearms, and removing them from firearms licensing controls does not have any implications for public safety”.

To respond to the consultation, click here. There are four questions to answer, plus your personal details. The consultation closes on 2 April 2024.

You can also email the consultation directly with your comments here

BASC director of firearms Bill Harriman commented: “The announcement that the government is to consult over the deregulation of sound moderators is very welcome news. The removal of moderators from the firearms licensing regime not only benefits firearm certificate holders; police firearms licensing units will be spared needless administrative bureaucracy by no longer having to licence inert objects whose free possession has no detrimental effects for public safety.

“BASC and the British Shooting Sports Council (BSSC) have worked diligently on this matter over the last few years, and we’re pleased that the government is listening. In particular, we would like to thank Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP, BASC VP and chairman of the All-Party Group on Shooting and Conservation and Jonathan Djanogly MP, Chairman of BSSC for the regular representations they’ve made to the Home Office and others in government.”

Today’s announcement came via letter to sent to BASC and other stakeholders from Nick Hunt, head of firearms and weapons policy unit at the Home Office. Read more about the consultation and respond here.

Guide to consultation responses

Detailed below are the questions posed by the consultation, and our suggested responses to them:

Q1. To what extent do you agree or disagree that the requirement to obtain a certificate from the police in order to acquire and possess a sound moderator should be removed?

BASC recommended response: Strongly agree.

Q2. To what extent do you agree or disagree that there is no risk to public safety in removing sound moderators from licensing controls?

BASC recommended responseStrongly agree.

Q3. To what extent do you agree or disagree that the health and safety benefits of using sound moderators are important.

BASC recommended responseStrongly agree.

Q4. To what extent do you agree or disagree that the criteria for making a Legislative Reform Order, as set out in paragraphs 17-21 above and summarised below, have been met?

BASC recommended response: Strongly agree.

If you have any other comments on this consultation, please enter below

BASC recommended responseThis is a sensible proposal that is not only of benefit to Firearm Certificate holders but which will also free up police licensing team resources without having any detrimental impact on public safety.