BASC agree with the guidance.
I agree that the legislation has not changed since 1997. The guidance has, to make things clearer.
This is the view of BASC.(part of a received e.mail)
I can only repeat myself in that ANY short firearm that has a barrel less than 30cm in length – OR - has an overall length of less than 60cm – AND - has a muzzle energy in excess of 6 foot lbs, it is a prohibited weapon and attracts the mandatory 5 year sentence.
This is not an interpretation; it is law because the Firearms Act defines air weapons of two types, those defined as “air weapons”, that is to say less than the stated limits (12/6 ft lbs) in the air weapons rules – AND - those with energies in excess of the rules which require a firearm certificate or Section 5 prohibited weapons authority from the Secretary of State.
So with regard to Section 5(1)(aba) where it excludes “air weapons, it only excludes those south of the 6 ft lb energy limit because anything in excess of 6 ft lbs muzzle energy is no longer an “air weapon” by definition.