Britain?s gun laws are overly complicated and little understood, MPs on the Home Affairs Committee investigating firearms control were told last week during evidence given in Westminster by BASC?s director of firearms, Bill Harriman.

In evidence to the Home Affairs Committee on 14 September, Mr Harriman said the state of firearms law in the UK is ?complicated and a mess.? During the evidence-giving session, BASC was supported in its call for greater clarity and simplicity in firearms legislation by representatives of the British Shooting Sports Council and the National Rifle Association. At the evidence session, MPs also had the opportunity to inspect sporting firearms brought into Westminster?subject to strict security measures ? by the Countryside Alliance?s head of media, Tim Bonner.

The committee is conducting an inquiry into firearms law after the murders in Cumbria carried out by taxi driver Derrick Bird. Bill Harriman said: ?Firearms law must do two things: it must protect public safety and the peace, and it must allow the continued lawful use of firearms without undue restrictions. At the moment the core of the legislation ? the oversight of applicants and checks by the police ? are tough and well understood. However, with more than 30 pieces of legislation in operation, the details around the edges are muddled, sometimes obscure, and problems are exacerbated because different constabularies interpret the law in different ways.?

The rest of this article appears in 22nd September issue of Shooting Times.

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