Offensive Weapons Bill

Written evidence submitted by Alistair Alan Cormack (OWB34)

I am writing to the Select committee to express my concerns relating to the proposed banning of firearms with a kinetic energy of 13,600 joules at the muzzle.

As a member of a target rifle club in John o’ Groats and as a long-range target shooter it greatly concerns me that our sport is being eroded further by a perceived threat to public safety regarding large calibre firearms.

I would like to raise the following points and I would appreciate if the Select committee would please take the time to review these:

· There is no evidence to support that any civilian owned high calibre target rifle has been used in any crime in the UK, nor that they pose any threat to public safety.

· Due to the small volume of these high value firearms (137) there is little or no evidence that banning them will enhance public safety.

· Due to the size and weight of these firearms they are difficult to carry, use or shoot for that matter and a high level of skill (even for experienced shooters) is required to shoot these rifles. This in turn makes them unsuitable for criminal activity.

· One concern was these firearms would be used for ‘anti-material’ purposes. No anti-material rounds are available to the public as all such special ammunition is currently restricted under Section 5 of the Firearms act and is not available to legitimate users. Even if criminals did ‘acquire’ one of these rifles there are no ‘anti-material’ rounds in circulation.

As we currently have some of the most robust firearms laws in the world I do feel that this ban would lead to a further erosion of the legitimate, law abiding sport of target shooting.

All long-range target shooting is incredibly difficult and requires years of experience to shoot accurately at long range and in my opinion enhanced security measures would potentially cover the safe storage and use of these rifles.

I thank you for taking the time to take note of my concerns and look forward to hearing the outcome of the ongoing debate.

Yours Faithfully

Alistair Alan Cormack

10 July 2018

 

Prepared 17th July 2018