Offensive Weapons Bill

Written evidence submitted by Mr Andrew Burton (OWB11)

I am a regular target shooter who competes in National matches at the NRA Bisley.

I used to shoot a straight pull AR 15 successfully until I developed  Medial Epicondylitis (golfers elbow).

 

This condition made it very uncomfortable to operate the straight pull & after a few shots it aggravated the condition so much I was in pain & it affected my shooting detrimentally. 

 

I bought a Southern Gun company Lever release rifle hoping that the action would help my condition which it has immensely, I still suffer from it but with the Lever release action it doesn’t affect my shooting.

I would like you to consider the effect a proposed ban on this ty pe of rifle ( note it is not a ‘weapon’ as it’s used as ‘sporting equipment’) will have on sports shooters who have disabilities & injuries & are unable to operate other rifle actions eg bolt action, straight pull , this type of rifle is very inclusive & enables disabled, injured shooters to carry on with their sport, hobby.

1. 28 Prohibition of certain firearms etc: England and Wales and Scotland

(1) The Firearms Act 1968 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 5 (weapons subject to general prohibition), in subsection (1), after

paragraph (af) insert-

"(ag) any rifle from which a shot, bullet or other missile, with kinetic

energy of more than 13,600 joules at the muzzle of the weapon,

can be discharged;

(ah) any rifle with a chamber from which empty cartridge cases are

extracted using-

(i) energy from propellant gas, or

(ii) energy imparted to a spring or other energy storage

device by propellant gas,

other than a rifle which is chambered for .22 rim-fire

cartridges;".

The Southern Gun Lever Release & MARS rifle would be banned if this act became law & relates to paragraph (ii).

2. Statistically firearm owners are the most law abiding citizens in the UK, no crime has ever been committed with either of these rifles, the criminals weapon of choice is an illegal shotgun or hand gun. Handgun crime has risen to the point that this Bill has been raised even though handguns are illegal.

Banning currently legal rifles from law abiding firearms users will have zero effect on illegal firearms use.

3. The Southern Gun Lever Release & MARS rifle are not semi automatics i.e ‘bump stocks’ mentioned below are not applicable.

(3) In section 5(1), for the "and" at the end of paragraph (b) substitute-

"(ba) any device (commonly known as a bump stock) which is

designed or adapted so that-

(i) it is capable of forming part of or being added to a selfloading

lethal barrelled weapon (as defined in section

57(1B) and (2A)), and(ii) if it forms part of or is added to such a weapon, it

increases the rate of fire of the weapon by using the

recoil from the weapon to generate repeated pressure on

the trigger; and".

These rifles are interrupted cycle actions which means gas is used to propel the bolt back when fired & a sear catches the bolt, a separate lever or in the case of the MARS trigger pull then releases the bolt & the rifle is ready to fire again, this makes it impossible for a ‘bump stock’ to work on this type of action.

3. The 2 rifles mentioned are described as ‘rapid firing’, this is misleading as many other types of rifle can be described as ‘rapid firing’ & can be shot just as quickly if not quicker.

4. Proposed compensation to owners would have been better spent tackling the real problem of ‘illegal weapons’ entering the country.

Owners of the rifles proposed to be banned could just go & buy another rifle which has exactly the same look, caliber, magazine capacity & rate of fire albeit with a different action with tax payers money, this is ludicrous.

Obviously the people who would miss out on this would be disabled & injured shooters who would have to give up their sport/hobby as they would not be able to operate the actions.

5. Taking away ever more liberties from law abiding citizens in the name of ‘public safety’, ‘anti terrorism’, when no proof of illegal activities can be offered is the sign of weak & ineffectual government, who ban things just to look to be doing something, I refer again to the ‘handgun ban’ as a case in point.

In conclusion I hope common sense will prevail & 28 Prohibition of certain firearms etc: England and Wales and Scotland will be removed, and law abiding firearms owners will be allowed to carry on with their sport /hobby safely.

Regards.

Andrew Burton.

2 July 2018

 

Prepared 4th July 2018