Westminster Withdraws .50 Calibre Ban for Further Consultation

STS and other shooting organisations have welcomed amendments tabled by the UK Government to the Offensive Weapons Bill which removes the proposed ban on .50 calibre rifles, saying it will consult further on the issues around the use of high muzzle energy rifles.

The Home Office decision follows discussions with Sir Geoffrey Clifton Brown MP, the Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Shooting and Conservation and Jonathan Djanogly MP, the Chairman of the British Shooting Sports Council (BSSC).

Seventy-four Conservative and DUP MPs had signed an amendment to remove the proposed prohibition on .50 calibre rifles and instead place clauses into the Bill which would ensure those who own the guns implement tighter security.

Shooting organisations including BASC and NRA worked together to brief MPs on the issues. The organisations clarified confusion among government advisors between .50 calibre single-shot target rifles and belt-fed heavy machine guns.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP said: “I welcome the government’s decision. It is essential that legislation should be proportionate, based on the facts and consulted on with stakeholders. The Home Secretary is right to announce further consultations and has my full support for securing an evidence-based result on this and other firearms issues.”

STS welcomes this decision and will continue to work with our partners at BASC and other shooting organisations to help the UK and Scottish Governments to find more informed, credible and suitable resolutions to challenges that they face.