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Firearms Safety: Public Consultation

Volume 684: debated on Tuesday 24 November 2020

I have today launched a public consultation to seek views on a range of firearms safety issues.

The firearms laws in this country are among the toughest in the world and the Government keep them under constant review to ensure they continue to safeguard the public.

While lawful shooting is well regulated and generally safe, there remains a risk of firearms falling into the hands of criminals, or in the case of air weapons, being misused. The Government are therefore consulting on how to reduce these risks in certain areas of firearms control where concerns have been raised with us by law enforcement and others.

This consultation looks at how we might address the potential threat posed by high muzzle energy rifles through enhanced security arrangements to reduce the risk of them falling into the wrong hands.

We are seeking views on improving the controls on air weapons, including safe storage. This follows on from a Home Office review of the regulation of air weapons initiated after the tragic death of 13-year-old Benjamin Wragge, who was killed accidentally with an air weapon in 2016.

Views are also sought on how we might address vulnerabilities presented by the current exemption from licensing that applies to miniature rifle ranges, and whether to make it an offence to possess component parts of ammunition with intent to unlawfully manufacture complete rounds

The consultation will end on 16 February 2021.

A copy of the consultation paper will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses and is available on the Government’s website at