I don’t think there has been any one piece of earth-shattering news in the past few months, however, I thought it was time for an editorial because several small things have happened that are noteworthy.
New guidance on firearms law
The new Guidance for Police has been published, and you can read it by clicking here. There are many noteworthy things in it, however the main point to be made is that shooters were successful in convincing the Home Office that the number of rounds that should generally be allowed for a target shooter per calibre is 1,000; with larger limits for those who use .22 rimfire. This is an improvement upon the original suggestion of 500 rounds. My personal view is that the 1,500 limit suggested in the 1969 guidance appears to have worked well for several decades, so why change it?
The other main point is that the number of “uses” per year, recorded by your club, per gun, should be at least three before warning bells start tinkling in your licensing officer’s head, as opposed to the proposed six times, in order to substantiate your “good reason” for wanting a rifle or muzzle-loading pistol for target shooting.
US clamps down on foreigners with guns
As I speculated in the last editorial, there will be fallout from the attack on the World Trade Center, and the bad news is that it is going to become substantially more difficult for foreigners in the US to own or even use firearms. The actual new regulations aren’t that much different, it’s just that they’re taking them more seriously now and new measures have been thought up to make the regulations enforceable. There are more details elsewhere on this website by clicking here.
The meat of it is that if you want to visit the US with your guns now, you must have an import permit, and those take a couple of months to get. The picture as regards even renting a gun at a shooting range in the US is very murky, it’s not clear whether even this innocuous activity is still legal. Final regulations will be issued in May, and pressure is being brought to bear to make them as reasonable as possible, given the circumstances.
The SHOT show
I’ve done a review of the SHOT show that you can read by clicking here. Given all the hassle at the airports it is amazing that anyone showed up, in my opinion!
ACPO strikes again
ACPO (the Association of Chief Police Officers) have once again demonstrated that they are no friends of shooters with a misguided attack on Brocock, the importer and manufacturers of air cartridge pistols.
ACPO apparently based their stupid press release on a comment of an employee of the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS), to the effect that 50% of all recovered handguns were Brocock air cartridge revolvers converted to fire live ammunition. Later, (much later, after the press had all stuck their oars in) it became apparent that NCIS had been seriously mistaken – their figures in fact show that of recovered firearms converted from other items, six out of thirteen recovered firearms were converted air pistols, and of those a proportion were converted Brocock guns. These thirteen guns comprise only a fraction of the total number of firearms seized however, and in reality the converted Brocock guns amount for no more than 4% of the total guns seized, and in all likelihood an even smaller percentage than that.
Several important questions need to be answered, first of all, why were NCIS so incredibly mistaken about their own statistics, and why did an NCIS employee open his mouth with the press watching and cram his foot into it? Why did ACPO respond with a knee-jerk press release, essentially libeling Brocock, without checking the facts first? And what exactly are two public organisations funded by taxpayer money doing, spending taxpayer money to create a massive amount of hysteria over virtually nothing?
We can be sure of only one thing: a lot of criminals who previously didn’t know how to illegally make a handgun now do, and the people responsible for the advertising campaign for how to do it are NCIS and ACPO.
They must face sanctions as a result of their reckless irresponsibility, and writing to your MP with the above details is an excellent place to start.
Overheard at the SHOT show: “The gun went civil service on me.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means it won’t work and you can’t fire it.”