View Full Version : BASC urges all shooters to respond to Home Office (includes guidelines)

Simon Clarke
21-05-2004, 12:31 PM
BASC asks all shooters to respond to Home Office consultation.

21st May 2004………………………………………… immediate release.

Every person who shoots and the clubs, syndicates or groups to which they belong should all send responses to the Home Office consultation on “Controls on Firearms” and contact their MPs to express their views, according to Britain’s largest representative body for shooting, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).

BASC has produced guidelines on how to respond and how to identify and contact MPs. The association is asking all shooting press, websites and connected bodies to encourage their readers and members to take part.
A guide to responding to the consultation, intended for publication, is included.

The consultation runs until the 31st of August, but BASC is encouraging people to make their responses as early as possible. Full details can be seen on the BASC website www.basc.org.uk.

Christopher Graffius, BASC director of communication said “We must make our voice heard, as individuals and as members of clubs, associations and syndicates. Rest assured that those who oppose the lawful ownership and use of sporting guns will be putting their views across. BASC will make a full representation, but each one of us must make the effort to respond to the consultation. Lawful gun owners have not contributed to the rise in gun crime, and tighter controls on our access to and use of sporting guns will do nothing to address the problem.”


Firearms Control Review – How readers can help

BASC is concerned that the Home Office “Controls on Firearms” consultation will be influenced by many “anti-gun” submissions. We therefore ask all who shoot to respond to the consultation and raise their concerns with their MPs as well. This short guide should help you to respond.

You can find copies of the consultation on BASC’s website www.basc.org.uk as well as BASC’s initial summary of the consultation document.

If you don’t have access to the web you can obtain a copy of the document by telephoning Carl Griffiths at the Home Office on 020 7273 3913 / 2697. Copies of the BASC summary can be obtained by telephoning 01244 573 031.

Responding to the Consultation.

Please respond to:

Firearms Controls Consultation
Home Office
5th Floor
50, Queen Anne’s Gate
London SW1H 9AT


Tips on responding to the Home Office

· Consider if you want to respond as a club, syndicate or individual
· Explain your experience as shooter, if you are a BASC member , say so.
· Select the points from the BASC summary response on the BASC website that you wish to raise.
· Briefly set out your concerns with the proposals you have chosen. Key proposals include treating shotguns under the stricter tests for rifles, mandatory testing of those who shoot, and the age limits at which young people can shoot. You will find many other issues raised in the document.
· Keep your letter polite and to the point – it could be published by the Home Office in their summary of the consultation.
· If you choose to respond by email the same tips are relevant.

Please send a copy of your submission to the Home Office and copy it to your MP. You can identify your MP via the front page of the BASC website. Alternatively call the House of Commons on 0207 219 3000 where the Public Information Office can identify your MP from your postcode.

Tips on writing to your MP

· Write rather than email. Personal letters have more impact.
· Explain that you are a constituent, if you are a member of BASC, say so and explain your shooting experience.
· Briefly explain your concerns about the Firearms Controls Consultation.
· Point out that the Labour Party has a manifesto commitment “not to restrict shooting sports”.
· Ask your MP to write to David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, and raise your concerns.
· Keep the letter polite and to the point.

It will be useful for BASC to know what has been submitted to the consultation and what MPs and the Home Secretary has written. Please copy your submission and any replies you receive from your MP or the Home Secretary to Christopher Graffius, Director of Communications, BASC, Marford Mill, Wrexham, LL12 OHL.

Thank you for your support


21-05-2004, 12:39 PM
Thanks Simon.

I will be drafting a submission next week, and will forward copy as per your request.

Best Regards,


ps, Will try to get a notice placed at my local shooting ground tomorrow.

Josie & John
22-05-2004, 08:53 PM
Hi I shall be sending a letter, as a member of the
Sportsmans Association, I have written lots of letters to the papers an MP, it is very hard to get people to write but i will mention it at our club.
I would urge people to write even if it is only a few lines, as once our sport goes we will never get it back then it.


Hornets Nest
23-05-2004, 10:05 AM
Deep Sigh

Depressong reading , but its enough to make me get pen to paper and make my views made on this matter. i eill also send a copy to my local MP and send one to BASC,

i beleave alot of BBS members who dont normally write should force themselves to put an hour aside and do the same

I just wish we had a goverment that was logical


Beer Hunter
23-05-2004, 10:22 AM

As well as individual submissions, how about a about a joint AirGun BBS reply?
This would take a little work to collate all our views and draw up the reply, but I’m willing to put in the effort if others are.


Prone Shooter
23-05-2004, 09:57 PM
Will complete response as club and encourage as many of our 70 plus members to do likewise.

Secretary Basingstoke AR & PC

24-05-2004, 12:24 PM
I composed a reply, but the consultation document is so badly written it is rather difficult to formulate a response. A lack of statistics on the subject matter, and essentially the Government wants to tighten the law on legally held weapons whilst not addressing the issue of illegally held wweapons, in this document at least. I think it is a political document rather than one based on common sense, ie placating the Labour supporters in inner cities whose relatives hve been victims of gun crime, burdening other people for the sake of headlines.

Beer Hunter
24-05-2004, 06:30 PM
I'll take that as a no then! :rolleyes:


24-05-2004, 07:14 PM
I've managed to download the Consultation document, and at first glance I find it good that Home Office claims it does NOT wish to license airguns. I'd like to respond however just to make sure.

I can't seem to access the BASC's response that might give me some tips as to what I actually write. Can anyone summarise any bits of the BASC's response that's relevant to airguns? Any other ideas gratefully accepted. I'd like to do something but I'm rubbish at things like this.

Simon Clarke
26-05-2004, 07:54 AM
Try visiting our home page (http://www.basc.org.uk) directly and following the links that way. It's all set out there.


Beer Hunter
28-05-2004, 12:03 PM
Originally posted by TER...

As well as individual submissions, how about a about a joint AirGun BBS reply?
This would take a little work to collate all our views and draw up the reply, but I’m willing to put in the effort if others are.


If I were to start another thread asking purely for comments, it would be possible to combine these into an “AirGun BBS” response. This could then be sent once the majority are happy with the content.

What do you think?


30-05-2004, 04:27 PM
I think you will end up with an eight legged horse. No offence, but I think it will take ages for people to be happy with the content assuming they have read and thougth about the consultation document. I'd do a letter yourself and copy it to your MP and BASC, as I did.

How many people on here have actually read the document?

04-06-2004, 10:08 PM
Thankyou for pricking my conscience, and the encouragement to get off my butt and write.


06-06-2004, 01:26 PM
message sent today to home office and copy to my mp .:mad:

06-06-2004, 06:08 PM
errm, i'm 14, can i still write or am i underage?

07-06-2004, 01:52 PM
Mine went to Blunkett personally a couple of weeks ago.

The institute for the blind transcribed it into Braille for £30 (not bad for 4 A4 pages)

A feeble attempt to get it actually into the main mans hands but worth a go.

I'd also remind you all there are proposals in that document to move semi auto .22 rimfires, semi auto/pump shotguns (regardless of capacity), long barreled revolvers and seriously big centrefire rifles (50BMG) to section 5.

It is worth considering that these restrictions will certainly not be the end of things and the total apathy displayed by many on this site saddens me particularly since BASC and the like have championed the cause of airgunners for as long as I can remember yet very few are even members.

Perhaps this is a good time to repay some of that help.


08-06-2004, 04:33 PM
I originally wrote this in a pessimistic frame of mind, but today I'm more positive and agree that we must all speak up.


09-06-2004, 11:44 PM
here is the reply from my MP...

Dear Mr. Pengelly

I agree with you completely. As the owner of a shotgun and someone who has shot with airguns, rifles, and shotguns all my life I find the approach to this issue of the Government ridiculous. On the Home Affairs Select committee I asked the Chief of the Met Police how many guns on the streets of London were stolen shotguns and he said "none".

I will write to the Home Secretary attaching your letter as a very good response to the consultation that they are now holding. I will send you any response.

Best wishes

David Cameron
MP for Witney
-----Original Message-----
From: bodypilot [mailto:bodypilot@f2s.com]
Sent: 03 June 2004 15:22
To: camerond@parliament.uk
Subject: Firearms

Dear Mr Cameron,

As one of your constituents, I'm writing to express my views regarding the Governments' proposals that threaten further restricting legitimate users of firearms and shotguns.

Since the last firearms act, when lawfully-owned pistols were banned; (or, rather, re-classified) instances of armed crime, particularly involving handguns, have risen sharply. This is a trend which follows suit from every piece of firearms legislation since Hansard's began. As it stands, we have both the harshest and least sensible Laws of any European nation. The expanding ammunition debacle amply illustrates this last point. With these facts in mind, the idea that legislation is to be passed in the name of public safety is, frankly, laughable. I might add that in the current government's last election manifesto, shooter's rights were effectively guaranteed.

There is absolutely no need to control further the purchase of shotguns by a group who is already strictly scrutinised before they are granted their licence in the first place. It is a cliché, but it is surely not the gun that damages, but rather the irresponsible individual behind it. The number of guns that they may or may not possess is entirely irrelevant to public safety. You may think that only one gun suits all purposes, but this simply is not the case. One cannot effectively play a round of golf using only one club, and shooting enjoys infinitely more variety than the former.

We must disassociate the firearms of responsible licence holders (which they necessarily are) from those on 'the streets,' waved by an entirely different group of people altogether.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Robin Pengelly

Witney, Oxon.

10-06-2004, 10:51 PM
My letter, similar in content, went off a few days ago to my local MP. I will publish on here his response.


(new BASC member)

11-06-2004, 05:50 PM
In return for my 13 pages of thoughts comments and suggestions I got a 2 para unsigned acknowledgement.

"Thank you for your letter responding to the firearms consultation paper.

I acknowledge receipt of your commenfs and suggestions which have now been filed for consderation. I am grateful for your views and thank you once again for taking part in this consultation.

Zoe Dormon
(Firearms Section)"

Standard letter, well at least I know they have my response.


12-06-2004, 09:14 AM
I sent this to my MP

Dear Sir,

I am a constituent, and also the Club Secretary of the Range Masters Air Rifle Club here in Notts.

Following Labours manifesto commitment “not to restrict shooting sports” I am pleased to read the proposal that airguns are not to be licensed in the Home Office consultation “Controls on Firearms”.
This will allow our Police to further intensify their efforts toward greater enforcement of the existing laws regarding the illegal use of firearms.

However I wish to express my concerns at the suggestion that gun shops should be masked as sex shops are, and that there should be a minimum entrance age for gun shops.

Airgun shooting is a safe sport, requiring patience, application and practice to achieve success. These qualities are exactly what some of our children would do well to learn in a properly supervised way.
My 11 year old son shoots, and visits shops with me. He sees a group of normal people, handling firearms safely and behaving in a responsible manner. This serves to de-mystify the gun, and present it as a tool, nothing more. Surely I should not leave him outside unsupervised?

We need to separate the legal shooter, going about his lawful business disturbing no one and the “Gangsta” with his illegal weapon.
Hiding gun shops behind frosted glass will not do this.

I respectfully ask that you pass my concerns on to The Home Secretary.

Thankyou for Your Time,
Richard Harley

I got this back,

Dear Mr Harley,

I understand the points you made in your recent letter and enclose a copy of an article I wrote for the June edition of "Country Landowner" which sets out my views.

I will be meeting the Home Office Ministers soon to discuss the review of the firearms legislation.

If you would like to discuss the matter in more detail, please give me a ring

Yours Sincerely

Paddy Tipping MP

Not Earth shattering, but a response none the less


Simon Clarke
14-06-2004, 12:47 PM
I would take him up on the offer and ring him, or arrange to meet him at a constituency surgery.
Paddy Tipping is a member of the parliamentary all-party group on shooting and conservation, and a gifted clay shot who was introduced to the sport by BASC a year or two ago.
It would be worth talking the issues over with him.

Muddy Gumboots
14-06-2004, 07:54 PM
I emailed the MP for Salisbury, Robert Key, just before kick-off yesterday evening. This morning at 8am I got this reply, which had been composed and sent just before 5am, which shows a greater alertness in the morning than I had:

Thanks for getting in touch. My views on firearms are very much 'on the record'. It is irresponsible use, not responsible ownership, that is the problem. The only time I have voted against my Party four times in a row was on gun law following the Hungerford Massacre. We outlawed many gun clubs - and what happened? Gun crime rose. So I am very sceptical about current Home Office proposals - and that will be my stance when any legislation reaches Parliament. Incidentally, I own and use a shotgun which I use each winter going shooting with local farmers. Keeps me properly in touch with countryside issues. Best wishes from Robert Key.

Any other BBS users in the Salisbury area who want to write to Mr Key about this can email him at rob@robertkey.com.

16-06-2004, 07:38 PM
Thankyou for the heads up Simon, I will go and see him at a surgery, Its about time I met my MP!


roger 62
22-06-2004, 10:50 PM
Please read the BASC response very carefully - the BASC response appears to support all airguns producing over 1 joule of energy (0.73 Ft/Lbs!!) being treated as FAC.

The key question is are they supporting airgun sports in the UK or are they supporting the HO proposals ?

As a BASC member I've asked them to clarify their position and would urge all other BBS / BASC members to do likewise.

Assuming I read it right looks like we're on our own guys


roger 62
23-06-2004, 11:21 AM
Response from BASC

>This relates to the legal definition of a firearm - " a lethal barrelled weapon, capable of discharging a projectile". At the moment there is no set definition of lethality. we are recommending that a muzzle energy of 1 joule should be taken as the accepted minimum definition. This is not a power limit on airguns - they are already classed as firearms in the eyes of the law. It would adopt an accepted (in other European countries) minimum definition for lethality which would exclude airsoft and bb guns, spud guns etc from firearms legislation and make life less complicated. I repeat it is not and would not be taken as a maximum power limit.

Still concerned this is a backdoor route to increasing restrictions (FAC, cabinets etc)

If all airguns are firearms then presumably all require FAC??

Simon Clarke
23-06-2004, 01:34 PM
No - the current UK legal definition of a firearm is a "lethal barrelled weapon" capable of firing a projectile.

Airguns are already classed as firearms, under this definition, by law. Different classes (or sections) of firearms are treated differently for access, certification, storage etc.
There is no difference in law between an offence (eg armed trespass, threats to kill) committed with an airgun or any other firearm.

The problem is that there is no formal definition of "lethal". Under EC rules it is accepted that anything incapable of producing more than 1 joule of muzzle energy is a toy. We are suggesting this should be adopted in the UK. this will exclude airsoft, most BB guns, spud guns and the like from being caught up in firearms legislation. There is no question of this becoming a maximum power limit for airguns.

roger 62
25-06-2004, 05:20 PM
Hi Simon

Took your advice and spoke to Mike - he was very helpful and explained what that clause was all about - we also discussed that as it's a consultation period we need to make our views known.

Trying to motivate shooters attending UKHFT and Lea Valley to get involved and protect our sport hopefully other clubs will follow suit.



01-07-2004, 04:58 PM
Done (but I won't bore you with my reply! :) ).

02-07-2004, 08:04 PM
im quit pleased with myself,a very informative responce sent today,not bad for an illiterate plonker.i said illiterate not illigitamate lol

07-07-2004, 04:53 PM
Letter to my local paper:


Orkney has one of the highest rates of legitimate firearms ownership in the United Kingdom yet we have no armed crime and very few firearms related incidents.

The Labour government, in breach of its 2001 manifesto pledge that “We have no intention whatsoever of placing restrictions on the sports of angling and shooting." is now undertaking a review of firearms controls in the UK and has created a consultation document to which it is seeking responses, presumably so they can blame any new legislation on the public at large.

In the forward to the document, David Blunkett claims that “We want to minimise bureaucracy for those who enforce and administer the law, and we don’t want to impose unnecessary burdens on those who possess and use guns lawfully”. However, the document goes on to introduce a whole raft of worrying proposals that, if enacted, would create even more unnecessary bureaucratic burden on the police and severely impact shooting and gun ownership in the county. Just a few of these include:

· Compulsory training and regular testing of gun owners.
· Imposing section one (rifle) controls on all remaining shotguns.
· Prohibiting and confiscating all remaining semi automatic rifles and shotguns regardless of calibre or magazine capacity.
· Making shotgun ammunition subject to quantity restrictions and ‘secure’ storage requirements.
· Putting reloading components (and specifically primers) under firearms certificate controls.
· Making it illegal to borrow a firearm or shotgun, even to use in the presence of the occupier of the land over which it is used.
· Reducing the duration of firearms and shotgun certificates to two years.
· Increasing the age and further restricting the circumstances under which young people can shoot. This also applies to air weapons.
· ‘Practical’ shooting disciplines to be outlawed.
· Making gun shops restrict access by age and prohibiting window displays (effectively making them subject to the same restrictions as sex shops).
· Licensing all deactivated firearms and making all of them subject to the 1995 deactivation standards.

The government are seeking responses to this document which can be found on the Home Office website at:


Alternatively, copies can be requested from the Home Office at:

Firearms Controls Consultation
Home Office
5th Floor
50 Queen Anne's Gate
London SW1H 9AT

Responses can be e-mailed to the Home Office at:


I would urge all shooters and firearm owners in Orkney to respond to this document and to point out, politely yet firmly, why the suggested restrictions are unjust, unnecessary, unworkable and counterproductive.

Yours faithfully

Chris Werb
3 Wards Park
St. Margaret’s Hope.

08-07-2004, 09:57 PM
Just done my bit because I'd like to be shooting in 12 months time and not have to hand in all my kit to Plod Gratis.

And please don't go on about my attitude to replica weapons, they are a dying breed and are working against us more than we think. The sooner AK47 soft air guns and the like are out of circulation, the better.

Dear Mr Gapes,
As one of your constituents, I'm writing to express my views regarding the Governments' proposals that threaten further restricting legitimate users of air powered rifles and pistols. As a newcomer to the sport (target shooting) my main concerns are the rather extreme punishments (5 years imprisonment) meted out to owners of guns that are ,unintentionally or otherwise, over the 12ftlb limit. From conversations with more experienced shooters I have learnt that a gun that is well within the limit on one type of pellet, can be over the limit on another type of pellet. Given that the 12ftlb limit was arrived at because it was deemed to be the ideal level to cleanly and humanely dispatch vermin, as a member of the RSPB and National Trust, I’m sure you can appreciate the positive impact of vermin and pest control on our countryside. I feel that some leeway should be given to people who shoot vermin, or at the very least there should be a standard test using standardised pellets that all shooters should have access to. I would like to suggest that muzzle energy limit be raised to 18ftlb for rifles and that anyone using an air powered rifle that is over 14ftlb should be given the benefit of the doubt and given a caution and the opportunity to have their rifle adjusted so that it falls within the limit. Anyone using a rifle with 18ftlb of muzzle energy should be dealt with in the same way as someone who is over the 12ftlb limit at present. This allows shooters to use rifles that are on the agreed limit for a swift despatch of vermin without the need for worrying about falling foul of the law. Air pistols on the other hand are used mainly for target sports and I feel are sufficiently powered for their intended use.
Bringing further legislation onto an already over legislated sport with the intention to reduce street crime is naïve to say the least. One has only to glance at the figures in the last 10 years to see that the banning of the legitimate ownership of handguns has had a negligible impact on gun crime. Coming down on ordinary, law abiding people who enjoy shooting in a safe environment is not the way to get guns off the streets. I believe that the main problem involves young people gaining access to replica weapons and using them to cause alarm and fear. Obviously something has to be done about this, the obvious answer is to withdraw replica guns from the market, this is slightly more complex that it may at first appear because one has to define “replica”. Another solution may be to prohibit the purchase of such guns to persons under the age of 21 and even then the buyer should be able to produce proof of age, address etc. I feel that improper use of pistols in particular is where the problem lies. Rifles are less easily concealed and don’t carry the street ‘cred’ that a replica pistol might, legislating against rifles is, in my opinion, a waste of Parliamentary time, if anything, the opportunity should be used to make clear the very obvious differences between a firearm and an air powered rifle or pistol.
The punishment for open possession of a pistol in a public place with the intent to causing fear, should be increased and enforced, law abiding shooters have nothing to fear from legislation of this kind but everything to fear from poorly thought out, knee-jerk legislation that only serves to placate the very poorly subscribed pressure groups. I would request in the strongest possible terms that the Home Secretary take a long look at the problem areas and the cause of the problem areas and legislate accordingly. I suspect there are many deep seated social issues at the root of gun crime in the UK, I can assure you that people shooting rats in fields or paper targets on approved ranges is not one of them. I would respectfully request that you write to the Home Secretary and pass on my concerns.
Yours truly,

Oh, I DID put paragraphs in but the BBS took them out.

08-07-2004, 10:19 PM
I'd like to add that a little research into you MP's background might be of use, I just found out that my MP is a member of the RSPB and National Trust and have fashioned my reply to strike a small chord in that area. The letter to Blinky will be amended accordingly.

09-07-2004, 09:23 AM
I'd like to add that a little research into you MP's background might be of use, I just found out that my MP is a member of the RSPB and National Trust and have fashioned my reply to strike a small chord in that area. The letter to Blinky will be amended accordingly.

Good suggestion, although I have now found out that me and my MP have an awful lot in common, which is a bit worrying.:o I would certainly fancy a pint with him to chat about a few things!

10-07-2004, 09:34 AM
The response I had from Caroline Flint, via my MP was that this is a consultation document to encourage open debate (ha ha) and does not contain any firm proposals.
My MPs comment is that the letter from Caroline Flint is general and skates around the core issues

It is easier to influence during the consultation process, ie now rather than to wait for the Government to publish its proposals

In other words the Government wants to be seen to be doing something about gun crime prior to an election, but when the question is asked, "Well exactly what?"

The respsonse is, "Oh its out on consultation."

Yes Minister springs to mind very easily here.

Why bother voting?

13-07-2004, 12:00 PM
Good article about what is proposed in this months BASC mag. Do hope that they do not ban under 18s shooting. Having told Anna that she will be shooting under VERY supervised conditions in an indoor 10m range with at least two people looking after her in the not too distant future, to tell her that she will have to wait another 13 years would just break her heart!:mad:

18-07-2004, 09:19 AM
Here's my contribution. . .

Concerned shooter of antique muzzle loaders, BASC member, maker of airgun power meters,
paying lots of tax and collecting VAT. Used to be the sole sponsor of Olympic gold medal
shot Mick Gault. East Sussex. Aged 52.

If this is a rationalisation of existing law should it not loosen up in places and tighten
in others? Couldn't find any loosening.

Very concerned that if I pick the wrong 150 year old Enfield out of the gun safe for a
days sport I could go to prison for a mandatory 5 years. I don't see how this helps stop
people being machine gunned in some inner city gang war.

You can't get a FAC until you have been a MLAGB member for 12 months and they have got to
know you. This means everyone starts with an unwieldy musket which is classed as a
shotgun. If shotguns go on FAC how does that work?

It all seems so unnecessary, we are all very well behaved but getting a bit paranoid.
There are all sorts of rumours about some civil service agenda to ban everything vaguely
gun shaped, some days I almost believe it.

best regards

22-07-2004, 10:49 AM
Dear Christopher,

Thank you for your e-mail and please accept my sincere apologies for the delay in replying. I shall have a careful read and think about these points over the next week or two and get back to you. I remember our earlier correspondence and was pleased that we were able to achieve a more positive outcome on the Antisocial Behaviour Bill. I remember using the material that you had supplied in discussing the line to be taken with Lib Dem colleagues and I think that with other colleagues we make a difference in that regard. As you may know I am now a front bench spokesman for the party on Home Affairs so I have a more direct input and at an earlier stage in the process. Your e-mail is therefore all the more appreciated! As you ask I shall bring your concerns to Mr Blunkett's attention.


Alistair Carmichael MP

Before anyone asks, yes, I did vote for Carmichael.

26-07-2004, 10:50 PM
Have you done your bit and sent a response in yet?

Time is pressing on!

27-07-2004, 09:33 AM
sent myne twice you know what the post is like these days,and a copy to my local mp as yet no responce though!!!!!!

28-07-2004, 07:59 AM

Like most people, I've written to the Home Office, and my MP. I got the usual bull***t reply from a MS Zoe Whatsername of the Home Office assuring me that there was no hidden agenda (yeah, right), and my MP sent a card acknowledging my letter, and nothing else. Having seen his website, I'm not surprised - anti-hunting.

BUT, and here's the point of the message. I wish I'd seen the paper entitled "The failed experiment - Gun control and public safety in Canada, Australia, England, and Wales". It's in the journal "Public Policy Sources, No 71, November 2003, pages 3 - 25. It's on the web at:

It would have been really helpful in writing to the Home Office, and I may write to them again, with some of the data contained in the paper - not that that'll have any effect on a Labour politician, or Home Office civil servant.


andy cm
11-08-2004, 11:01 AM
Sent mine today, to my MP + a copy to Simon Clarke & David Blunkett

I will be encouraging & actively assisting any members of my club yet to do the same.

Andy CM

17-08-2004, 04:28 PM
Sent mine and got a good reply from John Redwood, he helped me and my missis get our handgun compensation.:p :p

18-08-2004, 11:04 AM
Got my reply for Mike Gapes today.

Thank you for your recent letter expressing concerns about the proposals that would restrict the use of air powered rifles and pistols.

I have taken the matter up with the Home Secretary. I will of course, be in touch again when I recieve a reply.

Best wishes......

19-08-2004, 05:54 PM
I know you are fighting the good fight but I can't tell you how annoyed I get when receiving or hearing of a reply from an MP like the one you have posted from your MP.

What is the point of consultation or for that matter MP's if they always behave like vegetables and defer all matters to the minister and decline to share their opinon, proffer some original thinking or make a contribution to the debate for the issue.

If they fail to participate other than to pass things on then they are an utter waste of time!

9/10 MP's blush, fart and dance around their handbags when faced with a question but they should be able to come up with something.

Please give your MP another prod!

Whist he is waiting for guidance from the home secretary please take the opportunity to re-inforce your view, challenge him on how the new proposals will make anyone safer than the changes to rules which have already outlawed SLR's. pistols, rimfire pistols, placed shotguns under more difficult restictions etc.

Terrorists and criminals are the only ones not short of guns and ammuntion so whos head will roll?

The police the customs - who exactly.

Please Zanx (and anyone else) say no to a non reply - reply from an MP.

I'm sure some with think I'm in cloud cookoo land but lets at least try and get some logic behind what they ultimately do.

You migh also want to point out to him that the proposals go FAR beyond airguns and challenge if he has bothered reading the consultation papers or if he actually understands them?

A disheartend ENGLISHman that will be following BuddyBoy if it keeps on like this!

19-08-2004, 07:33 PM
English, the problem is that politics has become so far removed from yer average bod that it's hard to tell when the wheels of progress are moving or you're being given the runaround. To me that looked like an acceptable reply, he's passing on my concerns to Mr Luuuuurve and will let me know if anything happens. If an MP has no interest in Zimbabwean Rope Weaving then how can he defend legislation to ban it?

19-08-2004, 07:33 PM
That sounded like a defence of politicians, it wasn't.

22-08-2004, 10:54 PM
Ive sent off my couple of letters, am not usually into this writing lark but if theres a chance of saving my toys then I'll do anything.

Come on those of you who are dithering, not long now....

26-08-2004, 06:13 PM
mine sent too
but it would be better to send a tape to mr blunkett.

Simon Clarke
01-09-2004, 09:35 AM
The deadline for submissions has now passed. Many thanks for the active interest displayed by the members of this BBS, which demonstrates a hgh level of committment to your sport.
There is still merit in writing to your constituency MPs, if you have not done so, asking them to monitor progress and making your opposition and views known. BASC will, of course, keep you informed of any developments.

The full BASC submission can be viewed here (http://www.basc.org.uk/media/basc_final_response.pdf)

01-09-2004, 05:11 PM
Thats a very thorough submission Simon, I for one am pleased with with representation.


02-09-2004, 08:41 AM
Originally posted by RichardH
Thats a very thorough submission Simon, I for one am pleased with with representation.


So am I.Thanks to BASC and Simon.I hope that common sense will prevail.

10-09-2004, 03:37 PM
Sent something off - but it really is a waste of time isnt it - bit by bit they will chisel away - taking away a little at a time.

A fundemental shift is needed in public thinking - and whilst the majority of fuzzy thinking vermin cuddlers are horrified at the thought.

What we need is another black plague!! They would pay us to shoot rats and bunnies!!!

(OK a bit drastic - but they would allow us bazooka's if that happened!!)

08-10-2004, 03:20 PM
I had the following reply from Caroline Flint MP at the HO via my MP, Alistair Carmichael. It had all the usual waffle about 'balance', that the government had no objection to the lawful use of firearms etc. In case it might be of use to anyone here, this was my response:

Dear Alistair

Thank you for passing on the response from the Home Office regarding the Firearms Consultation Document.

The Home Office have always argued that a balance has to be struck between the safety of the public at large and the legitimate activities of gun owners and shooters. This argument transcends party lines. Indeed I have a letter from the Rt. Hon. Douglas Hogg MP from 1987 that uses almost the same wording as Rt. Hon. Ms. Flint used in her letter. No one in their right mind would object to a balance being struck – indeed the need for such a balance was acknowledged by Blackstone in his Commentaries, over 200 years ago. The problem is that the balance struck is not a constant but a variable that (with very minor reverses) has moved inexorably in one direction for the last 100 years. It is high time that this subject was looked at dispassionately and logically, and this Consultation Document could have provided such an opportunity. Instead, the Home Office, under the auspices of the present government, has simply used it as an excuse to continue their ‘salami-slicing’ approach.

The Rt. Hon. Ms. Flint specifically states that she can assure me that the document ‘contains no specific proposals for further restrictions on lawful shooting’. I have read the document and Ms. Flint appears to be pushing the boundaries of semantics to new limits. Some excerpts from the document are as follows:

Page 3:

We are looking for your suggestions, your comments and your ideas as to whether further
legislation is required and what form it should take. We have asked specific questions but we
want an open debate and welcome your thoughts.

Note that the Rt. Hon. Mr. Blunkett makes is clear they do not want suggestions to the effect that less legislation is required. We will address how some of the ‘specific questions’ are posed below.

Page 6:

We are particularly interested in views on whether any other types of firearms should be moved into the prohibited category. For example, large caliber
“materiel destruction” rifles, long-barrelled revolvers or ones with wrist braces or similar
extensions, long-barrelled pump action shot guns, self-loading shot guns or self-loading .22 rimfire rifles.

It is hard to interpret the above paragraph in any other way than that the Home Office is seeking a ban on those specific categories of firearms. If this were truly an attempt at ‘balance’ it would (at the very least) also give a list of firearms already prohibited and ask whether they should be moved to a lower category of licensing.

Page 7:

What might “good reason” for holding a shot gun consist of and would it need to be different to that for guns presently held on a firearms certificate? Should there be minimum
requirements for levels of use as there are for guns held on firearms certificates or would this be too difficult to evidence? Should the onus be placed on those applying to hold a gun to show that they have “good reason” for doing so rather than, as currently, being placed on the police to show that they do not?

This paragraph leads the reader toward imposing a ‘good reason’ requirement on shotguns. A balanced document would have questioned the existing ‘good reason’ requirement on rifles and other S.1 firearms, perhaps asking whether those controls have actually achieved anything.

Page 8:

Mandatory training/testing.

It has been suggested that applicants for certificates should undergo mandatory training and/or testing in the use of firearms. Most target shooters have to undergo a probationary period of at least three months (and satisfactorily complete a course in the safe handling and use of firearms) when joining clubs but there are no comparable requirements for those who have guns for other purposes, such as deer-stalking or vermin control. If this were changed, what level of training or testing would be required, who should provide it and who should pay for it?

‘It has been suggested’ by whom? It is not stated that countries with such testing (for instance France) have much worse accident rates than the UK. The vast majority of road accidents involve drivers that have undergone training and past tests. Conversely, no test is required to drive a vehicle on private land. No thought is given to how such a scheme could work in remote areas (or to any other conceivable problem such a scheme could generate).

Page 18:

Exemptions for borrowing firearms on private premises.

Exemptions exist to allow individuals, without holding certificates, to borrow shot guns or rifles from occupiers of private premises and use them on those premises in their presence (or also in the case of rifles in the presence of the occupier’s servant). Different age limits apply to the exemption for guns held on shot gun certificates and rifles (shot guns can be borrowed by somebody of any age, under 17s cannot borrow rifles). Again, we would be interested in whether there is value in maintaining these exemptions. If you believe there is, we would welcome views on whether there should be any difference between provisions relating to guns held on shot gun certificates and rifles, whether it would be helpful to define in law the terms “to borrow”, “occupier” and “in the presence of ” (and, if so, how) and whether people who have had certificates refused or revoked should be able to take advantage of these exemptions?

The Home Secretary wishes to know if there is any ‘value’ in preserving individual liberties used by thousands of shooters every year, generating huge revenue in deer-stalking using ‘estate-rifles’, and offering, in many cases, the only practical way of gaining experience prior to applying for a certificate. None of the above is stated although it is hinted that those who have had certificates revoked (for any reason – not just negligence and/or criminality) can use these provisions as a way of returning to the sport. Again, not exactly evidence of a desire for ‘balance’.

To confirm all of the above, you can access the document here:


As stated above, this is not really a party political issue. Anyone who has participated in shooting for as long as I have will have seen ample evidence that firearms restrictions are part of a long-term Home Office agenda, and that successive governments are used as a tool to implement the mandarins’ wishes, usually in the aftermath of tragedies that do not even involve the items or freedoms they wish to prohibit.

In the current ‘politically correct’ climate, it is fashionable to involve the public as ‘stakeholders’, however nebulous this concept may prove to be in actual practice. However, it is apparently acceptable to lead Joe and Josephine public in a way that would not be permissible in a court of law. If you have made a manifesto commitment not to further restrict shooting sports, what better way is there to get around that pledge than to be able to wave a piece of paper in the air claiming you ‘consulted’ the public and that they demanded change?

That said, it would be strange indeed if the Consultation made no worthwhile suggestions – indeed some of the proposals are (in my humble opinion) actually positive – although I am left with a feeling that they were placed there to placate legitimate fears among the shooting community. I would be very pleased to see all hunters allowed to own sensible numbers of rifles rather than having to ‘prove’ a ‘good reason’ for each one, perhaps to a Police Officer who doesn’t understand difference between a rifle and a shotgun (as has actually happened to me in Orkney). However, I do feel it is necessary to confront what is obviously a heavily biased attempt at putting through additional restrictions in defiance of a manifesto promise. I am most grateful for your assistance in forwarding my objections.

Yours faithfully

Chris Werb.

12-10-2004, 05:28 PM
I hadnt spotted you hiding there Chris.

What a very well written response.


13-10-2004, 07:36 AM
I hadnt spotted you hiding there Chris.

What a very well written response.


Thank you Richard! :o :)