Offensive Weapons Bill

Written evidence submitted by Andrew J Brice (OWB158)

Dear committee, for your consideration in defence of UK shooters.

The evidence presented thus far seems to be perceived by the shooting community as a little unfair and at times misleading and incorrect.

May I draw your attention to the following for your consideration?

The UK shooting scene has always been one of diverse nature, target and hunting being the sub divisions, we are not allowed to use our firearms for self or property protection as it's against the terms of F.A.C. issue, something most non shooters in the UK seem quite unaware of, we have limits for our firearms, using them outside of the conditions warrants an offence, as such the law is closely observed.

Both Hungerford and Dunblane were completely avoidable if concerns of the public and for that matter of other police officers were addressed sooner.

Hungerford, a man with complaints from locals about his loner status and "alleged" threats to shoot them seems to any right minded person to be a recipe for disaster even in the gun crazy United States.....

Dunblane a suspected paedophile with many many complaints logged/flagged against him and from other officers was not acted on, the aftermath of him shooting himself twice in the head and twice in the gut and rumours of him still being alive after in hospital with a second gunman present I will leave to the conspiracy theorists, but again to any right minded person this guy would set alarm bells ringing....

Cumbria was a genuine case of signs missed, and Atherton’s return of his guns after domestic abuse history just boggles the mind, a lot of UK shooters put their guns into storage the second a wife/partner leaves or domestic trouble occurs, there are cases of police arriving to remove guns due to complaints only to find a storage note from a local dealer in the cabinets proving the guns are all safely out of harm’s way, resulting in prosecutions for false witness against shooters.

There has been no mention during these evidence giving sessions of the personal protection pistols on general issue in the UK, i.e. for former SAS, admirals, generals, deep cover operatives, former MP's or animal testing scientists etc....it would be good for the committee to be furnished with these figures by the home office for general public release upon its reconvening, rumour has it numbers are in the tens of thousands, an apparent ban on pistols would seem somehow moot if the public were made aware that pistols are not only in circulation legally but the holders have been taught how to use them for self-defence! This to some people would seem like a denunciation of regular shooters/people as these people have highly stressed lives especially if having be looking over their shoulders their whole lives…And actually carry them on their person... There's also a story doing the rounds that the Russian spy poisoned on the Salisbury bench had his pistol drop on the floor, the retention of said pistol (now poisoned with novichok) by the police sergeant/spy liaison was the reason for his poisoning, but I see no mention of that on the news.

The mars and leaver release rifles evidence is not as total as has been presented, they have been especially designed to break if fired too rapidly, a fact the committee ought to be fully aware of, for some people the pistol grip instead of traditional rifle stock is just the only way they can shoot due to one ailment or another.

Regarding .50 cal, whilst not many actually shoot them there are many restrictions on ownership of them and I put it to the committee that more damage could be done from a rich lord/peer of the realm with his purdey shotgun going nuts in Knightsbridge than from a .50 cal shooter, but nobody is talking about this, I and others cannot envisage a situation where someone could walk about on a rampage shooting holding a gun so heavy itwould break most people’s backs after holding it for 30 seconds, and just how they would operate the bolt whilst The risks are the same as for any other firearms.

Northern Ireland and the uk’s dependencies/colonies still have pistols, and nothing has happened in the way of mass shootings. It would seem quite unfair to the outsider that law abiding citizens of the UK are subject to such odd uniformity of law.

Regarding the section 58 and antiques.

The recent T.V. panorama was a good program and nobody really in the shooting community would disagree with any laws to make these exempt firearms put ontolicences or register properly, panorama did make 3 very obvious misleading mistakes

The cases shopped for will not just fit the 44 Russian, much engineering has to be done to the case to get it to fit.

The program skipped over the reloading part and failed to mention that both powders and primers are regulated items and primers need F.A.C. when purchasing, aside from that no dealer will sellpowder or primers unless they either know you or a licence is produced.

The danger of shooting old guns out of proof (the firearms basic test demanded by most civilised nations not unlike an mot, before a gun is allowed to be sold by law) is that it may just blow up in your face.

Criminals won't be too happy if some dodgy illegal gun blows up in their face......I would not want to be the supplier then...

To convert from a regular calibre to one that's obsolete, is not easy and takes dedication, research and know how. Even then most would not want to be shootinganything old that's not in proof.....

Some people have genuinely obsolete calibres and actually shoot them competitively...all legally too and registered on their licence, and why not, these antiques still safe to shoot in modern time is quite a nice thing to see a bit of history.

The giving up of the peoples freedoms has been the government of the UK’s stance in the past, as has been not to negotiate with terrorists, backtracking on its promises, i.e. changing parliament area to pedestrian only is being seen as giving in to terrorism ,likewise giving up our sport for so say terror reasons is also giving into terrorism ,when one considers that 30 odd pistols could be hidden within vehicles coming in on ferries, and with quite some time being taken to search them coming into the UK at our ports one has to realise not all can be searched ,couple this with homemade guns being produced by criminals, the government has to accept that if criminals want guns they will get them, and social change is really the key to end the lawlessness on uk streets. Let me ask what the government will ban next 1 year after every gun is taken from UK private ownership and shootings are still rising?

Many feel this is the start of a nationwide UK total ban on firearms sports enjoyed by all kinds of people from the unemployed to 2nd in line to the throne and the former prime minister, the idea of leaving guns at the local police station is nonsensical and unworkable, with no crop pest management or deer or fox control prices would soar for food, and the UK deer population would soar and starve, there would also be a huge increase in deer rta resulting in many fatalities on UK roads, could u imagine the 91st multiple pie up on the m4 due to too many deer leaping across motorways?

I would urge the UK police forces to continue to work with clubs and organisations and to trust people, think back to the times not so long ago where almost everyone had a gun at home, there was never so much violence then, why have things changed with less?

August 2018

 

Prepared 30th August 2018