Report on the use of air weapons

Part of Offensive Weapons Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:22 pm on 28th November 2018.

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Photo of Lindsay Hoyle Lindsay Hoyle Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means, Chair, Panel of Chairs, Chair, Standing Orders Committee 2:22 pm, 28th November 2018

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

New clause 3—Controls on miniature rifles and ammunition—

“(1) The Firearms Act 1968 is amended as follows.

(2) Omit subsection (4) of section 11 (Sports, athletics and other approved activities).”

This new clause would amend the Firearms Act 1968 to remove the exemption on miniature rifle ranges, preventing individuals without a firearms certificate from being able to acquire and possess semi-automatic rifles without a check by the police.

New clause 4—Possession of component parts of ammunition with intent to manufacture—

“(1) Section 1 of the Firearms Act 1988 is amended as follows—

(2) After subsection 4A insert—

‘(4B) A person other than a person permitted to manufacture ammunition by virtue of being a registered firearms dealer or holder of a firearm certificate authorising the type of ammunition being manufactured commits an offence if—

(a) The person has in his or her possession or under his or her control the component parts of ammunition and,

(b) The person intends to use such articles to manufacture the component parts into ammunition.

(4C) A person guilty of an offence under subsection 4b is liable—

(a) On summary conviction—

(i) In England and Wales to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months (or in relation to offences committed before Section 154(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 comes into force 6 months) or to a fine or both.

(ii) In Scotland to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both.

(b) On conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years to a fine, or to both.’”

This new clause would create a specific offence for the possession of component parts of ammunition with the intent to manufacture, for all persons other than those registered as firearms dealer or holders of a firearms certificate authorising the type of ammunition being manufactured.

New clause 18—Offence of failure to store an air weapon in a locked cabinet

“(1) A person commits an offence if they fail to store an air weapon in their possession in a locked cabinet.

(2) The offence in subsection (1) has not been committed if the person has the firearm with them for the purpose of cleaning, repairing or testing it or for some other purpose connected with its use, transfer or sale, or the air weapon is in transit to or from a place in connection with its use or any such purpose.

(3) For the purposes of this section, ‘air weapon’ has the same meaning as in section 1(3)(b) of the Firearms Act 1968.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.”

New clause 19—Sale of an air weapon without a trigger guard—

“(1) A person commits an offence if, by way of trade or business, they sell an air weapon that is not fitted with a trigger guard.

(2) For the purposes of this section, ‘air weapon’ has the same meaning as in section 1(3)(b) of the Firearms Act 1968.

(3) The Secretary of State may by regulations define ‘trigger guard’ for the purposes of this section.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.”

Government amendment 26.

Amendment 23, in clause 30, page 30, line 9, leave out from “rifle” to end of paragraph and insert

“, other than a rifle which is chambered for rim fire cartridges, which ejects an empty cartridge case using energy which comes (directly or indirectly) from propellant gas and subsequently chambers a cartridge by mechanical means through the operation of the firing trigger mechanism alone.”

Government amendments 27 to 33.

Amendment 24, in clause 31, page 31, line 9, leave out from “rifle” to end of paragraph and insert

“, other than a rifle which is chambered for rim fire cartridges, which ejects an empty cartridge case using energy which comes (directly or indirectly) from propellant gas and subsequently chambers a cartridge by mechanical means through the operation of the firing trigger mechanism alone.”

Government amendments 34 to 55.