The Home Affairs Select Committee tasked with reviewing firearms controls will, according to BASC, be a ?rallying point for anti-gun campaigners?, making individual submissions from keen shooters of evidence to the committee of vital importance.

Shooters have just days to prepare their own submissions to the committee ? which is chaired by Labour?s Keith Vaz MP, who is well known for his anti-shooting views.

The deadline for submissions is 27 August and both BASC and the Countryside Alliance are urging supporters to prepare a response.

Christopher Graffius, BASC?s director of communications, said: ?This inquiry will be targeted by those who oppose legitimate gun ownership and wish to see further restrictions. It is important that shooting provides a solid body of evidence and opinion to the committee. Individual voices must be heard as well as those of the shooting organisations.?

In the aftermath of the Cumbria killings in June, anti-gun campaigners have already made calls for extreme restrictions on firearms ownership.

Gill Marshall-Andrews, who runs the Gun Control Network, recently said: ?First, we need to assert the public?s right to information about gun ownership. Just as ?Jennifer?s List? enables parents to find out where paedophiles live, so doctors, social workers, care workers, paramedics and others with a legitimate interest should be able to find out who the gun owners are. Parents also should be able to find out if there are guns in a neighbour?s house before allowing their children to play there. In many cases where children are shot accidentally, their parents had no idea that there was a gun in the playmate?s house.?

She added: ?Second, if private citizens are going to be allowed to keep firearms at home, annual checks should be conducted with their doctor, their spouse and the police in relation to alcohol or drug abuse, depression, domestic violence and criminal activity. We need to join up the dots – odd behaviour, mental health problems, domestic violence, gun ownership – and maybe, just maybe, we could prevent such terrible events.?

Robert Gray, campaigns director at the Countryside Alliance, echoed Christopher Graffius?s view that shooters should take personal responsibility for submitting evidence to the committee.

He said: ?Shooting is worth £1.6billion to the UK economy, supporting the equivalent of 70,000 jobs, and shooters spend £250million a year on habitat and wildlife management. Those who play a part in this are not the criminals. Now is not time for over-reaction, but for proceeding on the facts ? and everyone who shoots should help to provide those facts.?

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  • Dido Bendigo

    I did not know that Keith Vaz was anti shooting until now. It will be even more interesting to see the deliberations in that case. Yesterday I emailed him to explain that my submission to the enquiry only carried my name and Post Code. This was because I thought that anyone who wrote supporting the status quo would be identified as a gun owner. Names and addresses being made public is asking for trouble. I asked him to make my reasons clear to the committee!

  • George Grochowski

    As with all the other respondents, I own guns, four to be precise. I have a membership with a top shooting club and enjoy my target shooting. I also have shooting rights over farmland and a private plot of over seven acres to shoot vermin.I was a soldier, then a nurse and am now retired. My GP was quite happy to respond favourably to the police about my mental state. What more do the government wish to do to me. I can see it coming. Renew license every year or two years. Increase the price to a hundred pounds per gun. Pay a 100% tax on ammunition to cover the environmental damage. Take away any guns that are used less than 12 times a year. Have a Police escort from home to range every time you get in the car to go shooting. Pay them for the time taken. Have a bevy of armed police officers at the range just in case I go berserk. I could go on. I had better stop, I may be giving the MP’s on the committee ideas. But you know, It isn’t about shooting. The money gained could go a long way to paying off the massive debt we are in, and take the countries eyes off the still simmering expenses row. I just wait until they place darts and archery on the list of licensed sports. Snooker as well. A ball can be hit so hard as to kill if it hits the side of a spectators, or players head. I think i will have a small gin and tonic and drown my sorrows

  • Michael Warden

    Yet again the ‘antis’ raise their heads and oppose the pastimes of thousands of law abiding citizens. I own a shotgun certificate ( at a cost of 50 GBP ) and my shotgun is kept in a stout metal cabinet secured to the wall with rawlbolts. I was house and CRB checked by the Police before the certificate was issued and I am now considered by the police to be a law abiding citizen and safe to own a shotgun. I would very much like to own and shoot a handgun but our lords and masters have decreed that law abiding citizens may not own a hand gun. This leaves the only handguns in the hand of private citizens with the criminals – who are not afraid to use them. When our lords and masters finally crack down on the criminal fraternity then and only then should they have a go at the rest of us. Laws are made only for those who are prepared to obey them. As for Vaz being the chairman, this is something of a joke surely ? A chairman should be openminded if not entirely neutral. Shooting – whether game or clays – is held by some to be middle class and white. Vaz is very left wing and his anti white rants are well documented. I consider he is totally unsuited for that position . Was this another of little Dave’s bright ideas ?

    Michael Warden – just another law abiding shooter about to be kicked by the establishment.

  • Rosalind

    Hi.I have a shotgun, gun cabinet and a gun license – non of which would have been allowed had the Firearms Officer not been totally happy with the set up.( And we all know what a long winded visit that is ! ) When Vaz and his ‘anti’cronies can crack down on and clear out the illegally held sreet guns and then if he still feels that he has to interfere with the law abiding citizen then he can interfere ! Why put an anti in control unless it is to ensure that you get the result you want ? Yours sincerely, Rosalind W. another responsible shooter

  • Tony Dean

    ~The ‘fit for ownership’ of a gun is a valid point. Checks should or could be made at regular intervals as to the the mental health and suitability for an individual to own and possess a gun for the use of country pursuits or employment. The police do what they can every 5 years and the FAC application allows the police to approach ones doctor. In the main this works…

    But there comes a point when you can not implement it in a total and fair way against one section of the community because the same test should happen with other sections of the community for example suitability to own and drive a car, suitability to drive other vehicles, ownership of companies who employ people in dangerous jobs? cost vs. safety. etc, etc, etc……

  • malcolm smith

    hi i have been a shooting man all my life and my son is also, its part of country life,the thing we must all remember is guns do not kill, people kill,what are we going to do ban everything that can be used to kill,be realistic if any further checks are needed, which i dont think are needed, its to make sure as far as is possible that the owner is of sound mind,and i think your doctors word should be good enough for this.i can not see that any further legislation will do any good in stopping mindless killings in the future, as usual it only punishes the legal owner.

  • Ian G

    I welcome any changes in the law that ,might save a single life in the future, but they must be unbiased and have a large helping of common sense.

    I shoot air rifles for fun and field target competition purposes, I’m insured,I keep my air rifles under lock & key, I’m a member of two clubs, I have permission to shoot over 250 acres of private land and I take my responsibilities of ownership and use very seriously.

    If someone is caught taking “Pot shots” at passers-by in the street with an air rifle, I say lock them up and throw away the key, it’s currently a firearms offence under current legislation, as it should be.

    Don’t punish the legitimate shooters with a “knee jerk reaction”, or maybe we should also look at other sports that have high energy projectiles.
    A cricket ball of 160g travelling at 100mph has an initial energy of just under 160 Joules. To put this into perspective an unlicensed air rifle has only 16 Joules.

    Don’t let the government waste our money on changes to the law that will not stop the illegal ownership of firearms. We should be spending more resources on stopping the arms smuggling in to the UK and Europe.

    Here’s to common sense.

    Yours sincerely,

    Ian
    A responsible shooter.