A dif­fer­ence of opin­ion

Sporting Shooter - - Readers’ Letters - R. S. Townsend

I write fur­ther to Mr Ed­wards’ let­ter in the May 2018 edi­tion, ti­tled Air ri­fle li­cens­ing dilemma. Per­haps Mr Ed­wards could point out when firearms li­cens­ing has been of ben­e­fit to the shoot­ing com­mu­nity. Off of the top of my head, I can re­call few, if any ben­e­fits.

The (com­par­a­tively) re­cent re­quire­ment for a doc­tor’s re­port in the li­cens­ing pro­ce­dure has pro­duced myr­iad com­plaints from med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als and in­di­vid­ual shoot­ers them­selves. The ad­di­tional re­sources re­quired would surely be paid for by the ap­pli­cants them­selves, far in ex­cess of the £100 per head per five-year term quoted by Mr Ed­wards.

I feel that Mr Ed­wards’ com­ments con­cern­ing any po­lice re­sponse if some­one car­ries a firearm in a pub­lic place are sim­ply neb­u­lous: “if you mis­use an air ri­fle or pis­tol in any way... a num­ber of red dots will more than likely be tar­geted on the chest area of the per­son with the gun”.

Should a per­son pose a threat/po­ten­tial threat to the pub­lic, what else would you ex­pect the of­fi­cers do? How would a li­cence stop them?

Li­cens­ing is not a to­tal panacea – Michael Ryan, Thomas Hamil­ton and Der­rick Bird would surely be ev­i­dence enough. Un­der Mr Ed­wards’ def­i­ni­tion, none of these peo­ple would be bone­heads, rather they would be sen­si­ble cit­i­zens and trust­wor­thy shoot­ers. I fun­da­men­tally dis­agree.

Ef­fec­tive en­force­ment of the ex­ist­ing firearms leg­is­la­tion is surely the cor­rect ap­proach. I see in the news sec­tion that Colin Green­wood has died. I won­der what his views would have been?

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