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Air Weapons

Volume 264: debated on Thursday 19 October 1995

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out the legislation which applies to age limits on owners of air weapons; and what plans he has to review this legislation. [37507]

The acquisition, possession and use of air weapons are regulated by the Firearms Act 1968 which prohibits their sale or hire to anyone under the age of 17. Young people under 14 may not buy, hire, be given, or own an air weapon and may use one only if they are supervised by someone who is 21 or over. Those air weapons which are classified as "specially dangerous" under the Firearms (Dangerous Air Weapons) Rules 1969 are subject to firearm certificate control.In its second annual report, the Firearms Consultative Committee, the independent statutory body established to advise Government on the firearms legislation, concluded that the existing law was adequate to deal with levels of misuse. The committee has this year re-examined the legislation surrounding the use of all firearms by young people generally, including air weapons. It has concluded that the existing provisions, while adequate, are complex and recommended that consideration should be given to simplifying them. This recommendation is currently under consideration.