Offensive Weapons Bill

Written evidence submitted by The Fifty Calibre Shooters Association of the United Kingdom (FCSA-UK) (OWB164)

Offensive Weapons Bill 2018

Home Office Memorandum on Article 1 of Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights ("ECHR") and the potential for challenge of the legality of the prohibition of rifles of over 13,600 Joules muzzle energy by Judicial Review.

It is correctly stated that c lauses 28 and 29 engage A1P1 as those who are currently in possession of such items will effectively no longer be able to possess them without Secretary of State authority.

It is stated that " The Government is content that this is likely to amount to a deprivation of use for the purposes of A1P1 " .

It is further stated that " Any deprivation of use of property must comply with the conditions imposed by A1P1. It must be in the "public interest", subject to conditions provided by law and the general principles of international law and be proportionate. The Government is content that these measures are in the public interest as they are intended to promote public safety and to combat crime. As these measures are being introduced by primary legislation, and will be implemented compatibly with that legislation, the Government is content that they will be subject to conditions provided by law ".

It is our contention that " deprivation " of the possession and use of rifles of over 13,600 Joules muzzle energy is not " proportionate " given that the risks associate with their possession under Section 1 of the Firearms Act has not been evidenced, nor has there been consideration of a lesser and more proportionate response for such possession to be with a requirement for enhanced security.

Such a lack of proportionality is not eased by the offer of financial compensation.

As such we contend that A1P1 of the ECHR is not met and to proceed with the prohibition of rifles of over 13,600 Joules muzzle energy will be open to successful challenge by Judicial Review.

September 2018

 

Prepared 6th September 2018