The campaign, founded on 12th March 2013, began as a proactive move to counter potential calls to further restrict low powered airguns in England and Wales after the SNP lead Scottish government set a precedent with their own plans to introduce a new licencing scheme, despite overwhelming opposition to this proposal in their own consultation.
As with the Scottish campaign, the introduction of licencing or further restrictions as they apply to everyone will have a disproportionate effect on the law abiding, safe and responsible shooters and sportsmen and women. Such a licencing scheme will offer very little additional protection to the public who are already served by a myriad of laws on the sale, possession and use of airguns. The 2007 VCR act for example raised the age at which an airgun could be purchased from 17 to 18 and forced those selling airguns to become registered firearms dealers who are now not allowed to sell via mail order. From February 2011, the Crime and Security Act makes it an offence for a person in possession of an air gun to fail to take “reasonable precautions” to prevent someone under the age of 18 from gaining unauthorized access to it. Amongst additional well established law pertaining to the safe use of airguns it is also an offence to firing a pellet from the boundary of land which you have permission to shoot on. Those wishing to do harm will ignore such legislation, as they do so already, resulting in only the safe and responsible participants to face the burden, which we feel is unacceptable.
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You can find all of our blog posts which relate to this campaign via this link.