Graham Downing sets a reader straight on the matter, advising in Shooting Times
A reader asks “Where can I shoot my air rifle?”
Q: I have bought an air rifle, but I do not have a private garden. What is the law on taking an air rifle to a quiet public park for target practice, away from any wildlife or members of the public? The target practice would be a few tin cans on a wall and there would be no damage to any property or any person.
A: I would strongly advise you not to use an air rifle in a public park. To do so would risk committing an offence under Section 19 of the 1968 Firearms Act, by having an airgun (whether loaded or not) in a public place. The consequences could be very serious indeed. You should also read up on airgun security law here.
Only in private premises
You will need to find private premises to use your air rifle. Perhaps a friend will let you use a garden that is not overlooked and where you can use your air rifle undisturbed. Alternatively, you might think about joining a target shooting club that has access to range facilities, or perhaps you might try outdoor field target shooting. The British Field Target Association has affiliated clubs across England and Wales.
Places to use an air rifle
- You can set up an air rifle range in a private garden, provided a few safety measures are put in place. Mat Manning has written a comprehensive guide to garden airgunning. One of the most important things to remember is that pellets must not stray beyond the boundaries of the garden.
- It is also legal to set up an air rifle range at a village fete, provided safeguards are put in place.
- If you want to use an air rifle for pest control – helping a local farmer control rats for example – then you might like to ask around to get an air rifle shooting permission. You’ll find some useful tips and advice on getting a permission here.