Here is a message that arrived unsolicited in my inbox. I have not made any contact with the HO since dealing with a completely unrelated matter to do with club certification some years ago.
I understand that the following threads on the airgunBBS.com website have caused some confusion:
I would, therefore, like to explain that the situation is:
Under section 5(1)(ab) of the Firearms Act 1968 (as amended), all self-loading or pump-action 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 rifles/weapons.
The Home Office Circular 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.
Drugs and Firearms Licensing Unit
Crime and Policing Group
5th Floor, Fry Building
2 Marsham Street
I personally would suspect that if the HO are now making it clear they consider them prohibited, then other organisations aligned to them, such as the CPS would follow suit. Hopefully despite not being the message that some would want, at least there seems to be a message that refers back to the past with the current stance which may be of interest to those considering a purchase.