It’s difficult to get a firearm of any kind in the once and former Great Britain now, but that’s not enough for British gun-banners; now they want to go after BB guns. Yes, really. Excerpt:
Just as many American children are hoping that Santa Claus leaves them a BB or pellet gun under the Christmas tree, the Government of the United Kingdom is moving forward with plans to deliver a lump of coal to British subjects. According to a press release from the UK’s Home Office, the government has contacted stakeholders as part of a review into the air gun laws in England and Wales.
Making clear that their intent to further restrict air gun ownership in those regions, the review asked stakeholders for their views on:
- the storage and safe-keeping of air weapons, including possible requirements for increased security e.g. trigger locks or locked cabinets
- whether further measures are needed on manufacturing standards to prevent accidental discharge of air weapons or to prevent modification of air weapons post-sale in order to increase their power; and
- evidence from Scotland and Northern Ireland, where air weapons are subject to a licensing regime
In England and Wales, most air long-guns that produce less than 12 ft/lbs of muzzle energy are not considered firearms and ownership is largely unrestricted. Long-guns that produce greater than 12 ft/lbs of muzzle energy are classed as “air rifles,” are considered firearms, and require a certificate. Air pistols that produce greater than 6 ft/lbs of muzzle energy are prohibited. UK law also prohibits “any air rifle, air gun or air pistol which uses, or is designed or adapted for use with, a self-contained gas cartridge system.”
When I was a little tad, among my air guns was a Crosman semi-auto BB pistol that held 20-30 BBs (going on a dusty old memory here) and was powered by a CO2 cartridge. Now look at that last sentence in the excerpt:
UK law also prohibits “any air rifle, air gun or air pistol which uses, or is designed or adapted for use with, a self-contained gas cartridge system.”
What a load of crap.
Britain (I think they no longer deserve the ‘Great’ modifier) is one of those nations that require subjects to state some “need” before being allowed to own a gun. There are plenty of folks here, many of them in elected office, who would like to see the same policy on the books here.
The UK shooting community has expressed concern about the Home Office’s recent interest in airguns. In a message from the British Association for Shooting & Conservation titled “No further airgun restrictions needed,” BASC firearms team manager Paul Dale explained that the organization “will respond in robust terms to this consultation and will be reminding the government that there is already plenty of good law to deal with those who abuse airguns.” Dale also stated, “Our view is that the solution lies in the education of youngsters and their parents and enforcement of existing law.”
Likewise, Liam Stokes of the Countryside Alliance pointed out that the UK has experienced “an enormous fall in air weapon crime over the last 15 years,” and therefore there is “little justification for new and potentially expensive and impractical restrictions.” Stokes went on to note,
The Countryside Alliance will work to ensure the Government recognises the value of air weapons to hundreds of thousands of people who use them for pest control and sport shooting. Air weapons play a vital role in introducing people to accessible, sociable and healthy shooting sports, something the Government should welcome and encourage.
I’m afraid the odds are stacked against Mr. Stokes. Here in the States we have the Second Amendment as a bulwark against egregious stupidity of this sort; the Second which the Supreme Court has stated does indeed protect the rights of free citizens to keep and bear arms.
Still – does anyone doubt that Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I would have been amenable to legislation of this sort, were she in the Imperial Mansion instead of President Trump? We need to stay well informed and well motivated, True Believers, or this kind of idiocy will find its way to our shores.