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Air Weapons: Permit Requirement

Volume 621: debated on Tuesday 6 February 2001

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bassam of Brighton on 15 January (

WA 99), whether for the avoidance of confusion and doubt they will list the categories of air rifles and air pistols for which permits are required. [HL615]

I understand that air weapons of the type used in competitive target shooting such as the Commonwealth Games shooting events are restricted in power to give muzzle energies of less than 12 foot pounds for rifles and 6 foot pounds for pistols. They are classed as low powered air weapons and do not require any form of certification.High powered air rifles with muzzle energies greater than 12 foot pounds and air pistols with muzzle energies of greater than 6 foot pounds are classed as being of a type declared by the Secretary of State to be specially dangerous, and this moves them into the same classification as conventional cartridge firing weapons. This means that high powered air rifles come under the control of Section 1 of the Firearms Act 1968 (as amended) and must be kept on a police-issued firearm certificate or visitor's permit. High powered air pistols are prohibited under the terms of Section 5(1)(aba) of the Act and may not be possessed without the express authority of the Secretary of State. In addition, they would also need to be kept on a firearm certificate or visitor's permit.