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Home Office Consultation: "Offensive Weapons"
Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced a consultation on "restricting access to dangerous firearms" with specific reference to .50 calibre and certain rapid firing rifles. To announce such proposals without prior reference to the NRA or any national shooting organisation is very disappointing. The focus on .50 calibre appears wholly illogical and without reason; I understand "rapid fire rifles" refers to MARS and probably lever release actions but am awaiting further clarification.

.50 calibre poses no greater risk to the public than any other firearm; they are few in number and their use restricted to a handful of suitable ranges across the UK. I am not aware of any recorded incident where a legally held .50 calibre rifle was used in any criminal or terrorist act. To have these firearms included in an initiative to "stamp out serious violent crime" along with flick knives and acids will astonish the law abiding and decent shooting community.

Any unreasonable and unjustified attempt to restrict shooting, no matter how small the contingent, needs to be vigorously resisted.

Our response to the last Home Office consultation (fee proposals for Home Office Approved Clubs) was impressive (nearly 5,000 responses) and effective (the Home Office is currently reviewing the fee proposals). We are urgently seeking clarification from the Home Office on the Home Secretary's unwelcome announcement and will post further updates.

Andrew Mercer
Group Chief Executive & Secretary General

Updated: 05-Oct-17 (Original posting: 05-Oct-17)

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