Offensive Weapons Bill

Written evidence submitted by Robin Watson (OWB14)

I watched much of the last parliamentary debate on this bill, when quite rightly many MP’s made the point that any changes in legislation should be evidenced based.

Since the last reading I have researched the crime figures where firearms have been involved and I can find no evidence that further regulating licensed firearms will provide any reduction in risk.

Since 1996, it has been illegal to hold a handgun, yet the most used firearm in crimes by a country mile, is illegally held handguns.  This is followed by imitation firearms, which I suspect, but can’t prove are also handguns.

In 2010/11 a total of 74 crimes in England and Wales involved a rifle, and again I can’t prove it, but I suspect the vast majority of these were also illegally held.

I can’t find a single instance where a (MARS) or 50 calibre firearm has been used in a crime, yet these are the focus of this proposed legislation.

I believe that this legislation will do nothing for public safety and that the only effect if it is made law, will be to further restrict the peaceful enjoyment of some of the most law-abiding citizens of this country.

Quite rightly, we undergo strict background, mental health and personality checks before being granted access to any firearm, these are flagged on our medical records and Police databases, accessible even from our driving license number.

I fully support anything that will genuinely reduce crime and in particular violent crime, but this proposed legislation has no evidence to provide any such reduction.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter to you and I would be very grateful if you would consider the points I make in your representations on this matter.

3 July 2018


Prepared 4th July 2018