Originally Posted by RobF
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 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.
Dear Mr Lassman
I understand that the below is an email received unsolicited by the administrator of a prominent target shooting internet forum: -
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 am very disappointed by your assertion that the 68/97 HOC was intended to cover those in possession of semi automatic air rifles held at the time (in 1997). This is not true. The 68/97 was intended to cover those in possession of small calibre pistols that were banned effective from 1 February 1998, but were allowed until 1 March 1998 to surrender them. The extra time was given in order to complete the compensation scheme. I suggest that you re-read the document!
Furthermore, your assertion completely contradicts Para 10 of page 5 of HOC 68/97! This Para states: -
"We have consulted ACPO and the Crown Prosecution Service about the legal status of these weapons and have agreed, in the absence of a court ruling, that the issue should resolved formally at the next legislative opportunity. In the meantime chief officers are advised that self-loading or pump action rifled airguns should CONTINUE to be regarded as falling outside the certification process provided they are low powered and do not fall within the Firearms (Dangerous Air Weapons) Rules 1969"
Again, I suggest you re-read the document!
Finally, your assertion also contradicts advice given by the CPS at the below mentioned URL. Given that you have previously confirmed to me that this guidance "is still valid and has not been superseded," I really do begin to wonder at what is going on!
In view of the blatant contradictions I cc the To Mr G Widdecombe in order that he may ALSOo give me the reason(s) for these contradictions.