Es­sen­tial Safety

Please study, im­ple­ment and do ev­ery­thing you can to spread this mes­sage

Airgun World - - Contents -

Gun safety is of paramount im­por­tance. Please read, di­gest, and pass it on

One of the re­ally great things about air­gun­ners is their sense of com­mu­nity and their will­ing­ness to share their knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence to help oth­ers, es­pe­cially those new to the sport. From time to time there is an even greater need to share this knowl­edge and to spread the help it pro­vides wider than ever. This is one of those times.

Re­cently, there was an Ad­journ­ment De­bate in the House of Com­mons on the sub­ject of air­gun safety. Sadly, ac­ci­dents in­volv­ing air weapons have re­sulted in se­ri­ous in­juries and deaths. In some cases, these ac­ci­dents might have been pre­vented by more care­ful han­dling and stor­age. The call at the de­bate was for a Govern­ment re­view of the reg­u­la­tion of air­guns and Home Of­fice Min­is­ter, Nick Hurd, ex­plained dur­ing the de­bate that fol­low­ing care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion of the re­port pre­sented by the coroner in re­la­tion to the death of Benjamin Wragge, who was 13 when he was ac­ci­den­tally shot with an air weapon in 2016, he had agreed to the coroner’s re­quest for a re­view.

NEW LEAFLET

The Home Of­fice has re­sponded to the need for in­for­ma­tion on air­guns and has up­dated its Air Weapons Safety leaflet, a copy of which you will find inside this mag­a­zine. Further copies will be in­cluded with new air­guns dis­trib­uted by the Air­gun Man­u­fac­tur­ers and Trade As­so­ci­a­tion, or you can send a re­quest to us at Air­gun World and we’ll post one to you. The new leaflet can also be found on­line at https://www.gov.uk/govern­ment/pub­li­ca­tions/air-weapons-abrief-guide-to-safety-jan-2011.

The new guide in­cludes ad­vice on safety, ex­pla­na­tion of the law, de­tails on pos­ses­sion and use, and the age, and places, at which young peo­ple may use air­guns, and we re­gard it as es­sen­tial read­ing, what­ever your level of ex­pe­ri­ence.

We, the air­gun com­mu­nity, need to be ever-vig­i­lant and make sure that we never break the safety code, and es­pe­cially, to help new­com­ers to our sport to be fully aware of their obli­ga­tions, not only to the law, but equally im­por­tantly, to the ev­ery­day rules which gov­ern the safety and se­cu­rity of our air­guns to pre­vent ac­ci­dents. The ad­vice in the Home Of­fice leaflet is sound and will, I am sure, be en­dorsed by us all. Please make sure you read your copy and pass on the ad­vice to all who you en­counter, be it those in your club or the young peo­ple new to the sport who you mon­i­tor and teach.

Com­ment­ing on the leaflet dis­tri­bu­tion, Min­is­ter for Polic­ing and the Fire Ser­vice Nick Hurd said: “I am grate­ful to Air­gun World for their help dis­tribut­ing these safety leaflets inside this month’s is­sue be­cause, as I am sure read­ers are aware, the se­cure and law­ful stor­age of these weapons is vi­tal if we are to keep peo­ple safe. As I said when we an­nounced the re­view, now is the ap­pro­pri­ate time to take stock of the reg­u­la­tory po­si­tion and as­sess whether the cur­rent con­trols are ef­fec­tive. We will do so against a back­drop of ex­ist­ing con­trols that are, by all in­ter­na­tional com­par­isons, very ro­bust.”

SE­CU­RITY AT ALL TIMES

One of the cru­cial as­pects of the safety ad­vice is that of se­cu­rity when your air­gun is not in use. It is your re­spon­si­bil­ity to make sure that no ‘unau­tho­rised per­son’ e.g. a child or some­one un­der the age of 18, has ac­cess to your air­gun, or am­mu­ni­tion, when it is stored at home, or when you put it down for a short pe­riod dur­ing a shoot. A se­curely locked cup­board or a se­cu­rity cord at­tached to the air­gun and a fixed point will stop cu­ri­ous hands tak­ing the air­gun away and risk­ing ac­ci­dents. It’s all com­mon sense of the kind we al­ready ap­ply to elec­tri­cal de­vices and power tools we use around our homes.

SPREAD THE WORD

We are all am­bas­sadors and safety of­fi­cers who act on be­half of the sport we love. Please, study the new Home Of­fice leaflet, make sure you ap­ply its ad­vice at all times, and share that ad­vice with every­one you know who is in any way con­nected to our sport.

Our sport’s club net­work has al­ways been the per­fect means of learn­ing, and spread­ing, the safety mes­sage.

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