BASC will tell the Home Office that no further restrictions are needed on airguns following the launch of a consultation to consider future regulation.

Stakeholders and the public have been asked to respond with their views as to whether existing controls are sufficient to prevent children accessing airguns.

The Home Office will also consider the potential for placing extra requirements on adults regarding the security of airguns when children are present.

BASC will respond robustly to the consultation and highlight existing legislation which makes it an offence to fail to take reasonable precautions to prevent someone under 18 years old from gaining unauthorised access to an airgun.

BASC firearms team manager Paul Dale said: “Our view is that the solution lies in the education of youngsters and their parents and enforcement of existing law.

“BASC will respond in robust terms to this consultation and will be reminding the government that there is already plenty of good law to deal with those who abuse airguns.”

The Home Office has invited public responses to the consultation to be submitted by February 6 next year and says it will ask for views on:

  • The storage and safe-keeping of airguns, including possible requirements for increased security e.g. trigger locks or locked cabinets
  • Whether further measures are needed on manufacturing standards to prevent accidental discharge of airguns or to prevent modification of airguns post-sale in order to increase their power; and
  • Evidence from Scotland and Northern Ireland, where airguns are subject to a licensing regime

BASC chairman Peter Glenser, a barrister who specialises in firearms law, said: “In law, airguns are classified as firearms and are subject to all the criminal provisions of the Firearms Act.

“This is already a powerful penal statute and there is no need for further law. The solution has already been identified by government as education and enforcement.”

Garry Doolan

Garry Doolan is BASC’s deputy director of communications and public affairs. He has more than 20 years experience of journalism and the media. He joined the organisation in 2016 and is a keen shooter and beater, with his springer spaniel Quincy.

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