Of­fen­sive weapons bill needs “close scru­tiny”

Sporting Shooter - - Shooting News -

Fol­low­ing a Home Of­fice an­nounce­ment, on Sun­day 8 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. The tim­ing of this seems odd as it comes 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 de­tails re­gard­ing ex­emp­tions for law­ful ac­tiv­i­ties and good rea­son.

• A ban on send­ing knives to pri­vate ad­dresses, even though 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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