Consultation proposes new controls on air weapons, miniature rifle ranges, and high-powered firearms.
The UK government has set out new wide-ranging proposals to strengthen firearms laws and protect the public in a consultation launched today (Tuesday 24 November).
This includes new controls on air weapons, aimed at keeping them out the hands of unsupervised young persons.
It will also close loopholes which currently mean owners of small gun ranges can buy weapons without informing the police or having a licence.
Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said:
The new air weapons controls being consulted on will include:
- removing exemptions which allow people from the age of 14 to have unsupervised possession of air weapons on private premises
- making it an offence to fail to lock up an air weapon and its ammunition separately in the presence of under-18s while not in use
- working with industry and retailers to improve the safe keeping of air weapons and advice at the point of sale
Owners of miniature rifle ranges are also planned to be placed under the licensing regime.
Under these proposals, owners will no longer be able to legally buy weapons smaller than .23-inch calibre without having a firearms certificate or informing the police.
The public consultation will also seek views on how to increase security measures around powerful firearms, described as high muzzle energy rifles, and how to strengthen controls on ammunition parts to prevent the unlawful manufacture of full rounds.
This follows new laws announced this month aimed at closing antique firearms loopholes, after evidence showed these were being exploited by criminals.
Seven ammunition types have been removed from the definition of antique firearm, making up to 26,000 guns that use them illegal to own without a firearms licence.
View the full consultation here.