Children still dying from airgun misuse

by Gun Control Network on 02-08-2018

Every year, children are killed or injured by airguns — or pellet guns as the police call them — yet the government still drags its feet over the licensing of these deadly weapons.

On Thursday 26 July 2018, another little boy died unnecessarily because someone thought that airguns were harmless. The circumstances of this tragedy are not yet known but, what is clear, is that if the airgun had been treated as a lethal weapon, locked away or carefully supervised, the boy would still be alive.

In December 2017, the Home Office Minister, Nick Hurd, instituted a review of airgun legislation. Thousands of people and organisations, including the Gun Control Network and the families of children killed or injured by airguns over the years, responded urging the introduction of a licensing system along the same lines as that which operates in Scotland. Eight months later, there is still no decision from the Home Office. Maybe it takes another tragedy like this to remind Ministers that they are responsible for public safety and that something needs to be done urgently.

Gill Marshall-Andrews, Chair of the Gun Control Network says:

“The sad fact is that it takes a tragedy like this to jolt politicians into action.  The licensing of airguns has proved successful in reducing airgun misuse in Scotland and there is no reason it should not be introduced in the rest of the UK.  It’s opposed by the gun lobby, who persistently say that airguns are not a problem — but they are a problem, as the devastated family of this child now knows only too well.  We need the government to act now.”