Offensive Weapons Bill

Written evidence submitted by Oliver Fallows, Relating to the Offensive Weapons Bill (OWB173)

To whom this may concern,

Good afternoon,

The above bill which at its heart is a good idea it is targeting the wrong people.

I and many people do agree that acid attacks should be combated and restrictions in place to stop access of these substances to those who wish to cause harm.

Unfortunately, there seem to be those in government who are not concentrating on the actual threats and are again targeting law abiding FAC holder. This tacking on of legislation aimed at firearms and lawful owners is misguided by those with an agenda to see firearms removed from civilian ownership.

Let me point out that legally held firearms are not the main source of firearms used in crime.

They are of such a small percentage the police themselves said that it would be costly and pointless to combine the FAC databases and those used and associated with crime.

Also, law abiding FAC holder on the whole are far safer and have less mishaps or accident than the police or the military, bear in mind most civilian shooters spend far more time behind firearms than the police and military when in the UK.

With such a track record of safety is there and issue here. I think not.

Regarding the .50 and MARS action and lever release proposed ban in the name of public safety I would like to point out these firearms have never been used in crime.

The only noted use of the .50 was in Ireland used by the IRA against the security services.

1 recorded incident and not with a legally held .50.

One civilian .50 was stolen but quickly recovered without use in criminal activity.

The other two types have never been used.

The information provided be "experts" and I use that term loosely has been inaccurate at least and misleading.

The stated range of .50 of over 6000m is wrong and while it can defeat body armour so can many other more practical calibre rifles to use than a .50 which are heavy to use/move and importantly to note require a lot of training and practice to use which if stolen in the UK you would not be able to do.

In all the .50 is the least likely firearm to be stolen and used against anyone.

The other two firearms MARS and LR again unless you practice with them firing rapidly you would be at no advantage over any other firearm.

Many bolt action rifles from WW1 can also be fired just as fast and accurately with practice.

So again, this is another class of firearm that is being targeted because someone thinks it "could" be used in crime.

More recently there have now been motions to ban/ restrict reloading parts that 99 percent of shooters in the UK use.

This is to stop people buying and reloading ammunition illegally.

This cannot happen as the crucial part, the primer can’t be bought without an FAC.

So, buying any other parts is pointless.

This whole bill is designed to increase public safety, a laudable aim but is wholly misguided by people with no knowledge of firearms and organisations who want to see firearms taken from civilian use.

Many of the suggestions would be laughed out of the House of Commons if you were to apply the same logic to cars or alcohol.

Would banning or restricting all alcohol to 0.5 percent bring down alcohol related deaths, yes it would.

Would you ever do this, no even though there are thousands of deaths a year.

The FAC holders of the UK are the most law-abiding section of the community and as a minority group are persecuted like no other.

If we were another minority whether it be religious or of a different sexual orientation and persecuted to the same extent there would be an outcry.

The solutions to the problem with acid and related violent crime are not in restrictions on law abiding people the solution is to bring in punishment that suits the crime and prisons that act as a deterrent not as a holiday camp.

Please can you stop punishing those that abide by the law and punish those that don’t without restricting the freedoms of law abiding FAC holders.

There are many more points to argue for not bringing in any more bans that I am sure others have raised that I have not. All We want is to be treated like any other section of the community and not a criminal in waiting.

September 2018

 

Prepared 10th September 2018