" I would like to explain that the situation is:
Under section 5(1)(ab) of the Firearms Act 1968 (as amended), all self-loading or pumpaction
rifled guns are classified as prohibited other than those which are chambered for .22
rim-fire cartridges. You will note that there is no exemption in this provision for air
The Home Office Circular (HOC) 68/97 was intended as a guide to cover those persons then
(in 1997) in possession of such weapons. In the event, no changes were made to the
legislation to accommodate current sales and the situation remains as set out above.
I hope that this is helpful.
It would appear the Mr Lassman is being economical with the truth.
I was under the impression that semi-auto's were banned after Hungerford so anyone possessing such guns would have to be holding them on S5 anyway.
He is however correct in saying that the HOC was issuing guidance on people holding small calibre pistols in 1997. This was because large calibre pistols had already been banned and a new ban was being placed on small calibre pistols (held on S1). This ban had to wait until Parliament had authorised a compensation scheme.
Once authorised the HOC went on to say that after 1st March 1998 you could no longer hold such pistols and they would be S5.
This is outlined in Para's 1,2 &4 of the 68/97 HOC.
It has nothing to do with with Para's 7, 8, 9 & 10 of the same memo outlining the exclusion of sub 12 (6) FPE semi-auto rifles/pistols.
Just as Para 6 Captive Bolt Stunning Instruments have nothing to do with banning small calibre pistols or allowing semi-auto sub 12/6 FPE rifles and pistols.
The HOC 68/97 addressed 3 different problems associated with the new revision of the Firearms Act. The HOC is quite clear on which Para's concern which problems.