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BASC slams Government’s lead ammunition review

The organisation has criticised the Health and Safety Executive’s handling of lead ban proposals and highlighted a number of failures

BASC has accused the HSE of failing to take on board feedback

BASC has accused the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) of serious failings over its lead ammunition review. It has claimed that the agency is “marking its own homework” after the HSE failed to respond to feedback and pushed ahead with proposals to severely restrict the use of lead ammunition.

BASC’s Dr Connor O’Gorman said: “Firearms and ammunition manufacturers, shooting organisations, gunshops, clay grounds, rifle ranges, clubs and syndicates and individual shooters have all shown a willingness to engage constructively in last year’s two-month call for evidence.

“However, given the contents of the HSE proposals published in May, our collective feedback was clearly not listened to because the HSE ploughed on regardless with a lead ban proposal, largely cut and pasted from proposals published by the European Chemicals Agency a year earlier.”

Dr O’Gormon has written to the House of Commons Environment Audit Committee, asking for it to review the way that the HSE has treated submissions to a consultation
on banning lead. He has also raised concerns over the appointment of academics Debbie Pain and Rhys Green to an expert panel. Professors Green and Pain have both lobbied for a ban on the use of lead ammunition.

Some in the shooting community have criticised BASC and other shooting organisations for what they see as encouraging moves to ban lead ammunition by instigating a phased transition away from lead. 

However, Dr O’Gormon said that the association would fight to preserve the use of lead where alternatives were not available and would insist on sticking to the initial timeline of five years to scrap lead ammunition. 

Dr O’Gormon explained: “When the lead ammunition review was announced last year, BASC made a promise to the shooting community — if we have concerns that the resulting legislative proposals are disproportionate and will damage shooting, we will lobby for them to be revised.

“If the HSE continues down its current path, there will be a political battle ahead and BASC will fight our corner.”