Opinion Former Article

BASC welcomes the Government’s measured and sensible response to the Home Affairs Select Committee’s report on firearms control

In the wake of the tragedy at Whitehaven and bearing in mind the attacks on shooting following previous atrocities at Hungerford and Dunblane, BASC is delighted that the Government has taken a measured and sensible view of firearms legislation.

In every case where proposals have been put forward for restricting lawful shooting the Government has rejected them. BASC is engaged in ongoing discussions with government on measures to improve the service to Britain’s lawful firearms owning community.

BASC welcomes the fact that there are no further restrictions proposed on shotgun licensing.

Areas of concern to the shooting community in the Home Affairs Select Committee report on firearms control were:

*The reclassification of shotguns as section 1 firearms.

This will not be pursued and BASC understands the Government has talked about simplifying the process of application and renewal which will benefit the shooting community.

*Young people and shooting.

BASC is delighted that the Government has not damaged the ability of young people to learn safe and responsible gun use.

*Medical concerns on certificate holders.

Proposals for tagging medical records have been dismissed. BASC has been in discussion for some time with the BMA and ACPO about improving contact between the police, GPs and certificate holders. BASC notes that further work is required to ensure that Home Office guidance is followed with regard to medical checks. BASC is also pleased that the Government recognises that there are security and data protection issues involved.

*References from partners or former partners.

BASC is pleased that there are no proposals to introduce a requirement for references for applications or renewals from current or past partners.

*Storage of firearms.

BASC welcomes the news that both the committee and the Government have rejected the anti-gun lobby’s demand for the central storage of firearms.

*Air guns.
The Government has no plan to licence air weapons and says the vast majority are used “safely and responsibly”.

Areas of concern for the shooting community such as fees have yet to be agreed.
BASC notes that a further discussion will take place regarding shotgun licence fees. BASC has the most comprehensive collection of statistics on licensing departments’ performance collected over the past 14 years. BASC believes that issues of efficiency and service will need to be addressed before any increase in fees are justified.


To download a copy of the Government response visit http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm81/8155/8155.asp

ENDS

For more information please call the BASC press office on 01244 573031

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