Select Committee on Home Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Submission from the Police Superintendents' Assocation, Hampshire Branch

  I have sought views from Forces within the District and from Divisions within Hampshire. I have had a very limited response but nevertheless hope the summary below is of use.

Air Weapons

  Nearly every response raised the control of air weapons as ripe for consideration. Nuisance calls involving the mis-use by children is the most common cause for complaint although there is also a small number of incidents where air weapons have been used by juveniles to cause injury. Given the potential for an armed response to a reported incident, the ramifications of misbehaviour with an air weapon should not be played down. It usually transpires that the weapon is being carried in a public place for no real reason.

  The suggested remedies are:

    —  to raise the age at which air weapons can be possessed unsupervised. (Licensing is seen as too bureaucratic and unwieldy);

    —  to ensure that all air weapons are in a properly secured cover when in a public place.


  It is suggested that shotgun licensing should be the same as for section 1 firearms and that "good reason" should be given for possession.

Other Firearms

  The possession of imitation firearms is of increasing concern as is the ease with which de-activated firearms can be re-activated. (Of course, air weapons which look like the real thing are a problem in this category). Making it an offence to carry an uncovered imitation firearm in a public place without just cause is suggested as a remedy.

  Whilst the change in the law on handguns has reduced the number, it does not appear to have been difficult for criminals to get hold of them whenever they want.


  It is suggested that a consolidating Act be passed which will give the opportunity to eliminate anomalies that exist and make the process of licensing less bureaucratic.

Superintendent G J Stogdon

Honorary Treasurer

4 October 1999

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