The great thing about the Christmas season is, for me, that it’s the time of year I break out my DVD of A Christmas Story. The tale of Ralphie and his desperation to get his Red Ryder BB gun reminds me of my own youth. It was a birthday for me, but I wanted a BB gun so bad…and I got a Red Ryder.
That was well before the movie, mind you. It was the first time I’d even heard of the venerable line of air rifles. Alas, mine lacked the compass in the stock, but oh well. It was still the makings of an awesome childhood.
That’s also a childhood UK seeks to deny people, apparently.
Just as many American children are hoping that Santa Claus leaves them a BB or pellet gun under the Christmas tree, the Government of the United Kingdom is moving forward with plans to deliver a lump of coal to British subjects. According to a press release from the UK’s Home Office, the government has contacted stakeholders as part of a review into the air gun laws in England and Wales.
Making clear that their intent to further restrict air gun ownership in those regions, the review asked stakeholders for their views on:
- the storage and safe-keeping of air weapons, including possible requirements for increased security e.g. trigger locks or locked cabinets
- whether further measures are needed on manufacturing standards to prevent accidental discharge of air weapons or to prevent modification of air weapons post-sale in order to increase their power; and
- evidence from Scotland and Northern Ireland, where air weapons are subject to a licensing regime
In England and Wales, most air long-guns that produce less than 12 ft/lbs of muzzle energy are not considered firearms and ownership is largely unrestricted. Long-guns that produce greater than 12 ft/lbs of muzzle energy are classed as “air rifles,” are considered firearms, and require a certificate. Air pistols that produce greater than 6 ft/lbs of muzzle energy are prohibited. UK law also prohibits “any air rifle, air gun or air pistol which uses, or is designed or adapted for use with, a self-contained gas cartridge system.”
We’re well aware of the tight control the UK keeps on guns, but apparently, air guns have rules that absolutely none of us would tolerate if applied to real firearms.
Under the act, which went into effect at the beginning of 2017, current and prospective air gun owners are required to obtain an air weapon certificate. Applicants must fill out an intrusive form that includes personal medical questions. The application also requires prospective certificate holders to state a “good reason” for owning the gun, detail their storage arrangements, and provide a reference. The application carries a fee of £72.00, or about $96. Even current firearms and shotgun certificate holders are required to obtain an air weapon certificate before they obtain an air gun. The Scottish government’s propaganda materials warn non-compliers that they “may be subject to a fine or, in some cases, imprisonment of up to two years.”
That sounds exactly like some of the stuff anti-gun zealots want to impose on us for actual firearms, rather than freaking air guns.
But this is also a crystal ball. This is our future if the gun grabbers get their way. They won’t stop when they’ve collected the last firearm. No, they’ll then look at our crossbows, archery equipment, and yes, our air guns. They won’t stop until any means of resisting, even remotely, are obliterated. Of course, they’ve already effectively done that. But apparently, not sufficiently enough for them.
I’m sure the UK is a much safer place, though. Right? Well, maybe not.