The Home Office will today begin seeking the views of interested parties as part of the air weapons review in England and Wales, announced by the Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, Nick Hurd.

The air weapons review was announced in October following a recommendation by Her Majesty’s Senior Coroner for Suffolk, Dr Peter Dean, who wrote to the Home Office requesting a review after the death of Benjamin Wragge, aged 13, who was accidently shot by an air weapon. 

The review will seek feedback on whether existing controls are sufficient to prevent children getting hold of air weapons and the potential for placing extra requirements on adults regarding the security of air weapons when children are present.

 Other views on airweapons sought include:

  • The storage and safe-keeping of air weapons, 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 air weapons or to prevent modification of air weapons post-sale in order to increase their power; and
  • Evidence from Scotland and Northern Ireland, where air weapons are subject to a licensing regime
airgun laws

Ministers debate airgun safety

The comments were made by CA head of shooting Liam Stokes following a debate about the use of airguns by under-18s that took place…

 Enormous fall in air weapon crime

Liam Stokes, Countryside Alliance Head of Shooting, said: “It is right that legislation is periodically revisited to make sure it is fit for purpose, and we are justifiably proud of our tough and effective gun laws. It is also right however that legislation is proportionate. We don’t need new laws that put new burdens on air weapon owners without benefitting public safety. There has been an enormous fall in air weapon crime over the last 15 years, giving little justification for new and potentially expensive and impractical restrictions. Certainly, the chaotic situation foisted upon Police Scotland is not one to follow.

 Healthy shooting sports 

“The Countryside Alliance will work to ensure the Government recognises the value of air weapons to hundreds of thousands of people who use them for pest control and sport shooting. Air weapons play a vital role in introducing people to accessible, sociable and healthy shooting sports, something the Government should welcome and encourage.”