BASC tells MPs: “Gun laws should be simplified”

Britain’s gun laws are overly complicated and little understood, MPs were told by the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC). Giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee at Westminster, BASC director of firearms Bill Harriman said the state of firearms law in the UK is “Very complicated and it’s a mess.”

The Committee is conducting an enquiry into firearms law after the murders in Cumbria carried out by taxi driver Derrick Bird.

Bill Harriman said: “I was pleased to be able to give evidence to MPs on behalf of BASC. It is important that they hear first hand some of the difficulties which our members encounter every day in the application of the UK’s firearms laws“.

“Firearms law must do two things; it must protect public safety and the peace, and it must allow the continued lawful use of firearms without undue restrictions. At the moment the core of the legislation; the oversight of applicants and checks by the police are tough, well understood and robust. However with more than 30 pieces of legislation in operation, the details around the edges are muddled, sometimes obscure and problems are exacerbated because different constabularies interpret the law in different ways.”

Also with Bill were Geof Doe from the NRA / NSRA and David Penn from the BSSC, thanks very much to those guys for thier help and support.

The likely time scales are this:

Witnesses will be called during October to give their view to the HACS, but their hearings may be delayed until after the official police report into the Cumbria shootings.

No one knows yet who will be called but it will almost certainly include ACPO, the Home Office and the police, quite possibly representatives from the medical profession too, and again BASC and the shooting industry will be called, we would expect

Doubtless he antis will be queuing up to vent their spleen!

BASC will attend every evidence session, based on what is said this will shape our lobbying

After the party conference season BASC will be setting up meetings with every committee member. You should too if they are an MP in your constituency

After the oral evidence is given the committee will produce its report and its probable this will be published in the Spring 2011.

There will then be a parliamentary debate, probably late summer of autumn and the government will publish their response to the HASC report