Offensive Weapons Bill

Written evidence submitted by Wayne Pearce FRSC CSci BSc CChem APMP (retired), Chairman BDRPC, NRA Club 135 (OWB136)

Dear Bill Committee

As all changes to legislation should be evidence based, I request that the provisions in the draft document related to high muzzle energy (HME) and MARS Rifles are removed. Legally held firearms have negligible impact on crime, and illegal weapons as used by criminals are already illegal.

Your own briefing material: Firearms Crime Statistics SN/SG/1940 and Firearms Crime Statistics CBP 7654 refer, especially the first.

Please see Charts 1 and 2 in SN/SG/1940. Taking the banning of legally held handguns in 1997, this had no impact at all. Gun crime rate continued to rise peaking in about 2003 and then declining. There is not logic for further legislation prohibiting legally held firearms. Table A in the document also shows that the most incidents involving a rifle was about 100 during 2008/9; a negligible amount compared to other firarms. There is not evidence of any significance at all for a need for new legislation on rifles.

Virtually all of these crimes will have been carried out by illegally sourced firearms, which are already illegal.

(Statistics on the legality of firearms and ammunition used to commit an offence are not published. Parliament should demand these figures and they are an essential precursor to any new legislation covering legally held firearms.)

With regards to bump-stocks, my understanding is that these only really work with semi-auto, centre-fire rifles which were banned in the UK in 1988. This is rather irrelevant, and the criminals' (who ignore legislation) first choice of weapon is a handgun, and they will source also fully automatic guns when they want something larger.

While the provisions of the proposed Act with regards to acids and zombi knives can certainly be supported, care should be taken to ensure that valuable and historic edged weapons are not prohibited; I refer to items of World War 2 and earlier. These are held, almost invariably by serious collectors and generally well locked away, due to their very great value.

I do hope that these points are strongly supported. With regards to firearms, I am Chairman of Bristol & District Rifle and Pistol Club and we have members who live in many different Parliamentary Constituencies.

Please keep my personal and contact details private should this be published.

Yours sincerely,

Wayne Pearce FRSC CSci BSc CChem APMP (retired)

Chairman BDRPC, NRA Club 135

August 2018

 

Prepared 13th August 2018