Yeah that's what I'm worried about Ray. The HOC isn't law, it's just the HO and CPS saying they don't intend to apply the law in that instance.
It sounds like the advice being given out by Mr Lassman is different now - if you read that carefully, that's what he's saying that the HOC 68/97 wasn't intended to cover future sales, just the guns currently owned in 97.
No new HO guidance or CPS policy has been released, but if it was going to change - this is a step in that direction. The HO and CPS only need to change their guidance and you're up the creek without a paddle.
Government departments tend to move very slowly - I work for one that releases thousands of pieces of guidance, and I know how bloody slow they are.
Government departments have essentially been frozen by purdah because of the election, but purdah came to an end on 7th May. So what we might be looking at is the initial phase of the HO changing their guidance.
That's the worrying thing.
If they do change their guidance (depending on how they do it) it might also catch a lot more than a few Steyr Hunter's. Let's hope that doesn't happen.